Baltimore Police Reportedly Detained Photojournalists During Protests

At least two photographers were detained during the ongoing Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

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Complex Original

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According to the Baltimore Sun, photographers from Reuters and the Baltimore City Paper were harassed and detained by local police late Saturday evening during the ongoing protests surrounding the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Both incidents reportedly occurred near the Western District police station, where Baltimore City Paper photo editor J.M. Giordano says officers hit him multiple times in the head with riot shields and forced his face to the ground. Giordano says he sustained multiple bruises following the incident.

Reuters photographer Sait Serkan Gurbuz was issued a citation for "failure to obey orders" and was swiftly detained while photographing an altercation between police and another photographer. The Baltimore Sun speculates that the subject of Serkan's botched photograph was "possibly Giordano." Both the Baltimore Sun Media Group and Reuters released statements on the similarly disheartening incidents, quoted below.

"We take seriously the right of the press to fairly and accurately cover events such as the protests that occurred yesterday in Baltimore. We are looking into the incident and are reaching out to the Baltimore Police Department to begin a constructive dialogue to express our concerns about what happened to our photographer." — Baltimore Sun Media Group

"Serkan was on a public sidewalk and the events were happening in plain view. We do not agree with the police's citation for 'failure to obey orders,' as Serkan backed away from the scene when the police demanded that he do so, or with the way in which he was treated by the police. We hope the Department will dismiss the citation and, in the future, respect the First Amendment right of the press to lawfully take images in the public interest." — Reuters


Yesterday, the police assaulted a photographer. Now, this is violence. Baltimore. #FreddieGray

— deray (@deray) April 26, 2015


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