Multiple Journalists Arrested While Covering Protests in Echo Park

Protesters oppose displacement of homeless encampments

Last Updated: March 26, 2021 @ 6:24 AM

Reporters from multiple outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and Spectrum News, were briefly arrested by LAPD Thursday night while they were covering ongoing protests in Echo Park. They were arrested between 8:45 and 9:05 p.m., but were both released by 9:45.

LA Times reporter James Quelly was arrested at approximately 8:45 p.m., an event captured on video and shared on Twitter by LA Taco reporter Lexis-Olivier Ray, who was also covering the protest. “It was not immediately clear why he was detained, but police had issued a statement a short time earlier saying reporters were subject to dispersal orders in the area,” the LA Times said.

Spectrum News Reporter Kate Cagle meanwhile reported at 8:22 p.m. that she was among several dozen people who had been “kettled” — the term for when police officers corral demonstrators to make them easier to arrest — by LAPD. At 9:02 she reported that she and two freelance photographers were part of a crowd that was in the process of being handcuffed.

The Los Angeles Times said it protested Queally’s arrest “immediately.” He was released around 9:24 p.m., according to LA Times reporter Joel Rubin. And in a since-deleted tweet, Cagle said at approximately 9:45 that she had been released as well.

Knock LA said two of its reporters, Jonathan Peltz and Kate Gallagher, were detained. “We are calling for their immediate release, and further demand that any charges against them are dropped,” Knock LA said in a statement. “Law enforcement cannot be allowed to jail journalists for doing their job.”

The protests, which began March 24, are being held to protest an attempt to tear down encampments and relocate homeless people from Echo Park.