Friday, October 23, 2020

LA County Prosecutor Won’t Press Charges Against Reporter at Police Brutality Protest

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The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced it will not seek charges against a reporter who was arrested during a protest in early September because the sheriff’s office has “insufficient evidence.”

Josie Huang, who works for NPR affiliate KPCC and the LAist, was covering a demonstration against police brutality Sept. 12 in Lynwood, California. She was filming the arrest of a protester when she was taken into custody by deputies. Other reporters captured her arrest, which went viral.

Huang tweeted Thursday following the announcement:

“So very grateful for all the support bestowed on me as a reporter. Also…the 1st Amendment means all of us, not just journalists at recognized news orgs, have the rights of free speech and assembly.”

LAist reported a memo from the district attorney showed there was “insufficient evidence” from the sheriff’s office to prove Huang obstructed justice.

“When asked to back up, she is almost immediately grabbed by deputies and taken to the ground giving her little if any time to comply,” the memo reads. “It does not appear that she was intentionally attempting to interfere with the deputies, but merely trying to record the occurrence.”

The sheriff’s department told LAist it disagreed with the move to dismiss criminal charges against Huang.

“This case was investigated and all the elements of the crime were present,” the agency said in a statement. “The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and they ultimately declined to prosecute. This is not uncommon, as they must weigh many factors into their decision.”


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