Reporter arrested while on assignment covering George Floyd protests acquitted of all charges

Reporter arrested while on assignment covering George Floyd protests acquitted of all charges


Reporter arrested while on assignment covering George Floyd protests acquitted of all charges

Reporter arrested while on assignment covering George Floyd protests acquitted of all charges

Andrea Sahouri, a reporter for the Des Moines Register who was arrested covering protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, was acquitted on Wednesday of the charges she continued to face amid outcry from press advocates.

Sahouri, who spoke about her arrest in an interview with The Independent for its “Journalism is Not a Crime” campaign, identified herself as a journalist numerous times to the arresting officers as she was detained while covering the protests. Still, she said she had pepper spray shot in her face and was detained for several hours for simply doing her job.

The journalist faced up to 30 days in jail over two charges, including failure to disperse and interference with official acts.

During her testimony, Sahouri described the importance of having journalists on the scene at historic demonstrations like the ones seen during the summer of 2020, following numerous police-involved killings of unarmed Black men and women in America. Those protests, some led by the Black Lives Matter movement, quickly transcended the US and swept across the UK and other cities and countries worldwide.

“It’s important for journalists to be on the scene and document what’s happening,” Sahouri said in her testimony. “Protests erupted not just across the country but all over the world. I felt like I was playing a role in that. I know we are a small city, but I felt like I was playing a role in that.”


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