Attorneys for Aaron Cantú File Motion to Dismiss Charges in Inauguration Day Arrest

Jose Ochoa | Newsgathering | News | January 19, 2018
January 19, 2018
Lawyers for journalist Aaron Cantú filed a motion Friday to dismiss charges stemming from his arrest while covering the Inauguration Day protests on Jan. 20, 2017.
Cantú, who now works for the Santa Fe Reporter, was covering the protests in Washington, D.C., as a freelance journalist. He was one of several protesters, journalists and others who were penned in by police for hours before many of them were arrested.
The motion argued that the indictment violates Cantú’s First Amendment rights as a journalist and that the District of Columbia’s riot laws are unconstitutionally vague as applied in this case.

Consent orders on arrests of journalists released as Ferguson awaits grand jury decision

Amelia Rufer | Newsgathering | News | November 21, 2014
November 21, 2014

(Editor's note: The Reporters Committee's hotline, 800-336-4243, will be available during any upcoming unrest for journalists who are interfered with while covering the news.)

As St. Louis anxiously awaits a grand jury decision on whether to indict the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, city, county and state officials have agreed to consent orders regarding the arrest of journalists to end litigation brought by the ACLU over earlier events in Ferguson.

Supreme Court: Secret Service immune from Bush protesters' suit

Cindy Gierhart | Newsgathering | News | May 27, 2014
May 27, 2014

The Supreme Court unanimously held Tuesday that Secret Service officials could not be sued by protesters who alleged a First Amendment violation for being moved away from then-President George W. Bush while Bush supporters were allowed to remain.

Steven R. Shapiro, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, expressed disappointment over the Court's decision. While the ACLU recognizes the obvious need for security surrounding the president, he said "that does not include the right to shield the President from criticism . . . . In our view, the jury should have been allowed to decide whether this case was actually about security or censorship."

Supreme Court rules against protester, avoids First Amendment claim

Emily Grannis | News | February 27, 2014
February 27, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday unanimously declined to address the First Amendment claims of a protester who was banned from a military base , deciding the case solely on property ownership grounds.

Anti-war activist John Apel was banned from Vandenberg Air Force base in 2003 after he was involved in a protest that included throwing blood on a sign at the base. He was arrested and served two months in jail and was barred from the base for three years. After he began protesting there again in 2008, the base commander permanently banned Apel.

New York City settles for $18 million over RNC arrests of journalists, protesters

Cindy Gierhart | Newsgathering | News | January 16, 2014
January 16, 2014

The city of New York has reached an $18 million settlement over the arrest of roughly 1,800 protesters, journalists, and bystanders at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Journalists, often those who were not credentialed, were among the many swept into holding pens at Pier 57 in New York City, some held for a couple hours and others held well over 24 hours. The conditions in the detention facilities – a former bus depot along the Hudson River – were described as filthy with poor ventilation, according to the New York Times.

OWS protester argues that First and Fourth Amendments apply to tweets

Lilly Chapa | Reporter's Privilege | News | October 9, 2012
October 9, 2012

An Occupy Wall Street protester is challenging a court’s decision requiring his tweets to be handed over to New York prosecutors, arguing that his First and Fourth Amendment rights should apply to tweets like they would to information stored on a personal computer or phone.

At least five journalists arrested during OWS protests

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | September 17, 2012
September 17, 2012

At least five journalists have been arrested in Manhattan while covering Occupy Wall Street protests marking the one-year anniversary of the movement.

New York City police said the department has arrested 146 people between Saturday and this afternoon. Those arrested include Hunter College student journalist John Bolger, economic journalist Mark Provost, illustrator Molly Crabapple and photojournalists Julia Reinhart and Charles Meacham.

Twitter faces looming deadline on court order to reveal user's information

Lilly Chapa | Reporter's Privilege | News | September 13, 2012
September 13, 2012

After a state appellate court earlier this week denied Twitter's request to stay the proceedings, lawyers for the social networking company argued that disclosing an Occupy Wall Street protester's tweets and subscriber information would negatively affect those who use the social media service.

Protesters, police and press avoid major confrontations at Democratic National Convention

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | September 7, 2012
September 7, 2012

A large, well-trained law enforcement presence and fewer, more peaceful protesters allowed the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. to run smoothly and prevented journalists’ arrests, according to police and lawyers who followed the events.

Police planning credited with avoiding problems at Republican National Convention

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | September 4, 2012
September 4, 2012

The 2012 Republican National Convention last week saw minimal arrests, no violence and fewer protesters, a marked contrast from past conventions. The Democratic convention is also starting off with few incidents.