The president of CBS News David Rhodes said he is standing by one of their network’s reporters after the journalist was arrested along with four other people outside a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The rally in Chicago had been canceled due to violence, but that did not stop a heated clash between Trump supporters and protesters according to CNN Money.
.@SopanDeb was handcuffed, later charged with resisting arrest; on tape you see he did not resist, identified himself as working press— David Rhodes (@davidgrayrhodes) March 12, 2016
Sopan Deb, the journalist arrested, was at the event on Friday and said,”I’ve never seen anything like what I’m witnessing in my life,” amongst a series of tweets before his arrest.
I've never seen anything like what I'm witnessing in my life.— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 12, 2016
CBS News aired footage of the rally and of the journalist’s arrest which included images of a bloodied man surrounded by law enforcement. Deb managed to capture on tape the dramatic arrest despite being thrown on the ground and handcuffed. Deb said Illinois State Police abruptly threw him to the ground before charging him with resisting arrest “although there is no sign of that on the video,” according to CBS and Rhodes.
On tape you see he did not resist, identified himself as working press…
Deb was arrested along with four other people at the Trump clash and was placed in the back of a police vehicle despite telling the policemen he was a journalist according to Deadline. His camera, that caught the dramatic arrest, was left on the ground but was later returned to Deb when he was released on Friday night.
The arrested journalist appeared on Face the Nation Sunday morning and recounted how he was forced to the ground even as he told an Illinois police officer he was a journalist.
…a police officer pulled me down by the back of my hoodie and threw me to the ground and bashed my face into the street.
CBS News gave the following account and posted the video of the journalist being arrested on its website.
“Deb says he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed, without notice or warning. Illinois State Police charged him with resisting arrest although there is no sign of that on the video. On the tape he identifies himself as a credentialed member of the news media. The arrest procedure continues, and Deb is placed in the back of a police van while his camera is left nearby. It was returned to Deb after his release.”
Deb has been traveling with the Trump campaign since last summer and has witnessed violence and racism at rallies before. He is Indian and said he has been repeatedly singled out at events such as this one.
At a rally in December, he tweeted that a man had come up to him and said “Go back to Iraq!” At another rally in January, the arrested journalist took to Twitter saying, “A Trump supporter just asked me at Reno event if I was taking pictures for ISIS. When I looked shocked, he said, ‘yeah, I’m talking to you.’”
Deb is not the only journalist to experience violence by authorities and Trump supporters at a Trump rally. The arrest came only one day after White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement cautioning against fiery rhetoric against the press on the campaign trail.
Chris Morris, a photographer for Time magazine, claimed a Secret Service agent choked him and slammed him to the ground last week, according to Poynter.
Another reporter, Michele Fields of Breitbart, said she was grabbed and bruised by someone, possibly Trump’s campaign manager, at a press conference. Fields has since filed charges against Trump campaign manager Corey, according to Yahoo.
Both Trump supporters and protesters have also experienced violence and been left bloody or been arrested during events. A man this week was charged with assault after he sucker-punched a black protester being led out of a Trump event. The supporter told Inside Edition that the protester “deserved it” and threatened to kill him if he saw him again.
Two men, one bloody, were just arrested at the Trump rally in St. Louis. pic.twitter.com/1r5njyvPDk— Junius Randolph (@JuniusRandolph) March 11, 2016
Journalists arrested like Deb have legal recourse when situations like this arise. Mickey Osterreicher, the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, has given advice to Deb and CBS on the matter.
“The first thing would be for CBS attorneys to seek to have the charges dropped or have the DA agree not to prosecute. Then they could bring a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers and police department (and possibly others) under 42 USC 1983. In this case I strongly believe the journalist’s rights were violated under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as other state laws such as false arrest.”
Despite being arrested, the journalist is back on the Trump campaign trail already.
[Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP]