Madison Ruppert, Contributor
In the wake of the anti-NATO protests surrounding the Chicago NATO summit on Saturday and Sunday, it has now emerged that there were several troubling incidents of vicious police actions targeting journalists.
Unfortunately, police brutality in the United States has become so commonplace that it is almost to be expected, and when officers stand up to this savagery they are targeted and can even face being fired.
There were numerous incidents reported after the chaos had died down, including some journalists who were arrested and injured by police simply for doing their job and covering the protest.
Photographers found themselves targeted even more frequently than other journalists, likely because they were there recording the hard, indisputable evidence of this brutality.
Scott Olson, for instance, a photographer with Getty, was struck with a police baton on Sunday, leaving him bleeding from the head as you can see in this image. This was just one of multiple incidents cited by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) on Monday.
Unfortunately, it appears that the image of another photographer, Joshua Lott, who is a freelancer with Getty, being arrested is no longer available.
In another incident on May 20, Tracey Pollock, who is self described as “a credentialed photographer for The UpTake,” which is a Minnesota-based news outlet, was attacked by police.
As you can clearly see in the video, police begin using their bicycles as weapons in order to force the crowd back. After police established a barricade, an unknown incident occurred and when Pollock attempted to get closer in order to record it, an officer grabbed the lens of her camera and attempted to rip it out of her hands.
The unknown officer then pushed her over some bicycles after which she was pulled to safety by protesters. Thankfully she was just bruised and never sustained serious injuries.
However, the most important aspect of Pollock’s story is that she was clearly displaying press credentials (which aren’t even necessary) and she says that she never crossed the police barricade.
Paul Weiskel, a self-described “emerging photojournalist” from Boston also experienced police using bicycles as weapons and was even attacked by a police officer who “launche[d] a bike into [his] stomach” according to a May 20 tweet and video (posted below).
Even the mainstream media – as hard as this is to believe – has picked up on the ludicrous activities of the Chicago Police Department (CPD).
Independent journalists like myself – in this case members of the group We Are Change – were pulled over by CPD officers early Sunday morning, around 2 am and confronted quite aggressively by Chicago police.
The police officers surrounded the vehicle and approached the journalists with their guns drawn and were detained. After the insane police response, the officers claimed that the vehicle matched the description of another vehicle they were looking for.
As you can see in the footage they captured (embedded below), the completely unwarranted police tactics were clearly an effort to terrorize, not to keep anyone safe.
That being said, the mainstream media’s coverage was still far short of what I would consider even approaching adequate.
Thankfully, Russia Today (RT), and specifically the Alyona Show, highlighted this fact in a May 21 broadcast embedded below.
As Curt of Room 101 Radio and I discussed on Sunday’s episode of End the Lie Radio, this is just a small sampling of the large-scale abuse that was meted out to individuals simply for exercising their right to free speech and assembly.
Even more unfortunate is that this is far from something restricted to the protests surrounding the NATO summit.
Indeed, this is so widespread at this point it is almost becoming par for the course. This is far from acceptable in the United States of America where we are supposed to be protected by the Constitution from these types of abuses.
It is quite tragic to say that our Constitution seems to have become increasingly irrelevant to out-of-control police who seek to crush dissent in whatever way possible, even if it means resorting to violence.
Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at [email protected] with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.
This article first appeared at End the Lie.