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Thu Mar 31, 2022, 02:37 PM

How tensions between the police and media boiled over one chaotic night in LA

Bodycam footage shows police shooting rubber bullets at reporters. Smartphone videos capture police taking them into custody. Throwing them to the ground. Striking them with batons.

Over the past two years, 200 journalists have been arrested or detained while doing their jobs, right here in the U.S. Journalists have complained that police kept them far from the action, shut them down, even brutalized them and destroyed their equipment in short, intimidated and prevented them from reporting.

One night of chaos in Los Angeles stands out, however, both for illustrating the collapse of the relationship between these two powerful institutions the police and the news media and for helping to spark reforms in California.

A year ago this month, as police prepared to sweep Echo Park Lake of homeless encampments, protests broke out. The reporters who descended on the scene to record it were caught in the middle, as police were unable or unwilling to distinguish between reporters and activists.


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