Baltimore, MD (Liberty) – A credentialed member of the media was forcibly detained by Baltimore Police this past Saturday while covering the protest and police enforcement of the imposed curfew. Originally told he was being charged with breaking curfew, Ford Fischer of News2Share would be cited for “disorderly conduct”, and released after being held for approximately two hours.
As you can see in the video below News2Share reporters Fischer and Trey Yingst are video reporting on the action of the police without interfering with them in any way. During the video for example, police officers are seen physically pushing protestors, using pepper spray and making threats, to people who are not acting violently. Then Ford reacts to what appears to be a pursuit by police and follows. It is at that time he is commanded by police to move back and, is also asked if he had any credentials. He responds with both a “yes” and, shows the credentials. The camera picks this up just before he is grabbed from behind and placed on the ground and handcuffed. The camera also picks up that one of the officers present clearly state that Ford was a credentialed reporter. Another officer says, “I don’t care.” This is important because members of the media were exempt from the curfew enforcement.
While Ford is being detained at the site, News2Share reporter Yingst seeks answers as to why Fischer was being arrested. He also is able to take control of Fischer’s equipment.
In speaking with my colleague Alex Freeman , Journalist for The Fifth Column, and myself earlier this afternoon, Ford told us that he was taken in a squad car to a police station and given a citation for disorderly conduct. The citation costs $500.00. Ford further described conversations with officers that included comments that he should not have been arrested.
At no time does the video above show Fischer doing any action that could be described as disorderly conduct. He also did not become confrontational with the police at any time. Once they were shown Ford’s press credentials they should have allowed him to continue working instead of placing him in handcuffs.
It is amazing that these types of arrests continue to happen with alarming frequency in this country. This is a developing story.