One day after reporters and camera operators were injured while covering an altercation at an immigrant rights rally in Los Angeles, news organizations condemned police for their use of batons and riot guns against members of the media, says the Los Angeles Times. “I was dumbfounded,” said KPCC-FM reporter Patricia Nazario. “I’ve covered riots. I’ve covered chaos. I was never hit or struck or humiliated the way the LAPD violated me yesterday.” Nazario said she was walking away from riot police when she was hit in the back. In another case, police knocked over monitors and lights and hit reporters and camera operators with batons.
Police Chief William Bratton promised an investigation. “We should never be engaged in attacking anyone in the media,” he said. The use of force on news crews came despite a 2002 legal settlement calling for Los Angeles officials to recognize journalists’ right to cover public protests even if there is a declaration of unlawful assembly and an order to disperse. Marc Cooper of the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism said the video he viewed of the clash led him to believe that the use of force by police was “unjustifiable and excessive.”