*Joshua Rashaad McFadden, a freelance photographer working for the New York Times, was beaten by Minnesota police officers as he was covering the protests outside the police station over the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was killed by a white veteran police officer during a traffic stop.
Per The Times, McFadden, 30, said in an interview on Sunday that the police surrounded the car he was in on Tuesday as he tried to leave the scene. They beat on the windows with batons, then forced him out of the car — beating his legs and striking his camera lens, he said, the report states.
“It was definitely scary — I’ve never been in a situation like that with so many police officers hitting me, hitting my equipment,” McFadden said.
”They’re hitting me, they’re hitting my camera as if they’re trying to break my camera lens, over and over again, telling me to get out, but I clearly couldn’t get out because now they’re blocking the doors,” said McFadden, who added that he told officers he was a journalist but that they did not believe him until the other journalist he was with, who was white, vouched for him.
”I am assuming because I am a Black photographer that they would not believe me or look at my press credential until who I was with said, ‘Oh, he’s with the Times,'” McFadden said.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” he said, to know that “if a situation like this happens, they’re not going to believe or care about anything I’m saying.”
Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, on Sunday responded to reports that the state’s police officers had assaulted journalists, saying, “Apologies are not enough; it just cannot happen.”
“I think we all need to recognize the assault on media across the world and even in our country over the last few years is chilling,” Walz said in an interview with a local CBS station. “We cannot function as a democracy if they’re not there.”
“the police surrounded the car he was in on Tuesday as he tried to leave the protests. They beat on the windows with batons, then entered the car to force him out, beating his legs and striking his camera lens, he said.” https://t.co/j0yEZQbxY0 pic.twitter.com/uA7biW5yPs
— Joshua Rashaad McFadden (@joshua_rashaad) April 19, 2021
In a statement Saturday, the Minnesota State Patrol said it “has and will continue to respect the rights of the media to cover protest activity.”
Per Yahoo, “On Friday, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday barring officers from arresting or using force — such as less-lethal projectiles, pepper spray and batons — against journalists covering protests in Brooklyn Center,” the outlet writes