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Trial Opens for Des Moines Journalist Arrested While Covering Black Lives Matter Protest

HeadlineMar 09, 2021

In Iowa, a trial got underway Monday for a Des Moines Register reporter who was arrested last year while covering a Black Lives Matter protest. Andrea Sahouri streamed this video from the back of a police wagon on May 31, 2020, shortly after she was arrested while covering clashes between police and protesters in Des Moines.

Andrea Sahouri: “I was saying, you know, ’I’m press! I’m press! I’m press!’ Police deliberately took me, sprayed pepper spray on my face and then put me in a — put me in zip. Zip ties? What are they called? Zip ties. … I’m just doing my job as a journalist.”

A police officer who testified at Sahouri’s trial said he didn’t realize she was a reporter. Meanwhile, prosecutors have said Sahouri’s status as a journalist is irrelevant to her charges and arrest. Amnesty International responded in a statement, “Treating media work as a crime is a human rights violation.”

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