The article, “The Rules on News Coverage Are Clear, but the Police Keep Pushing,” in today’s issue of The New York Times, outlines how New York police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, should do more to ensure that his officers “respect the public’s right to know about these events and the media’s right of access to report.”
It cites Democracy Now!’s Ryan Devereaux as “Exhibit 1A that all is not well.”:
On Dec. 17, Mr. Devereaux covered a demonstration at Duarte Square on Canal Street for “Democracy Now!,” a news program carried on 1,000 stations. Ragamuffin demonstrators surged and the police pushed back. A linebacker-size officer grabbed the collar of Mr. Devereaux, who wore an ID identifying him as a reporter. The cop jammed a fist into his throat, turning Mr. Devereaux into a de facto battering ram to push back protesters.
“I yelled, ‘I’m a journalist!’ and he kept shoving his fist and yelling to his men, ‘Push, boys!’ ”
Eventually, with curses and threats to arrest Mr. Devereaux, the officer relaxed his grip.
You don’t have to take his word. An Associated Press photograph shows this uniformed fellow grinding a meat-hook fist into the larynx of Mr. Devereaux, who is about 5 feet 5 inches. A video, easily found online, shows an officer blocking a photographer for The New York Times at the World Financial Center, jumping to put his face in front of the camera as demonstrators are arrested in the background.