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Philly cops mock reporter while arresting her then drag her down 2 flights of stairs

Philly cops mock reporter while arresting her then drag her down 2 flights of stairs

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Journalists are typically allowed to ply their trade from the sidelines, observing things in order to be able to accurately report on them for their readers later when they file their stories.

Traditionally, reporters are given the same type of deference from law enforcement that emergency medical personnel receive, with their press passes functioning as an indicator that they are neutral observers of whatever even they are covering, in the same manner that a red cross or red crescent symbol protects EMTs from being confused with combatants during wartime.

When the story a reporter covers is about the protests against police misconduct and brutality, however, it seems that a press pass offers little protection from law enforcement fed a steady diet of right-wing “Fake News” propaganda, including Donald Trump himself demonizing the media as “enemies of the people.”

While many have already seen footage of journalists caught up in protestor confrontations with the police in the streets as BLM marches are attacked by militarized law enforcement contingents wielding batons, tasers, and pepper spray indiscriminately, regardless of one’s job description, the latest story emerging from a staff writer at the Philadephia Inquirer who was covering a protest at that city’s Municipal Services Building demonstrates that press credentials mean little to those given the power to detain and harras citizens based solely on their own judgment and sense of decency.

Samantha Melamed, the reporter in question, live-tweeted her own arrest today as a group of protestors entered the lobby of the Philadelphia Municipal Services Building and demanded to meet with the city’s mayor and managing director to discuss the demilitarization of law enforcement in the city and the reallocation of police resources to other social services.

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So far, Melamed seems to be conducting herself as one would expect a journalist to behave, witnessing the events at hand, interviewing the participants, and reporting what she sees.

it wasn’t long before she became the subject of the story herself.

Maybe it was the line of questioning in full “Karen” mode that triggered her arrest, but you can judge for yourself whether you think that this particular reporter was a menace to public security or the victim of a police force again overreaching and overreacting to a situation using strongarm tactics and force by watching the video of her arrest that she later posted to Twitter.

It seems as if the police simply ignore her audible declarations of her status as a journalist as they zip those plastic ties around her wrists.

One observation also gleaned from the video is that Philadelphia police apparently attach their “Counter Terrorism” labels to their uniforms with velcro, presumably to be replaced with a more innocuous “Traffic Control” or “Coffee and Doughnut Patrol” as the occasion warrants. Perhaps the suggested new police budget can include funds for a sturdier attachment system for future uniform redesigns.

Luckily for Melamed, her tweets alerted readers to her plight and the news of her detainment reached police brass quickly. She was soon freed from custody to return to relating her story on social media.

Before long, the intrepid reporter was back in the streets relaying her accounts of the protests and their interactions with law enforcement as they took place.

Even an unwarranted arrest couldn’t stay this journalist from the swift completion of her appointed rounds.

She deserves a hearty bravo from our readers to counteract the negative libel and slander tossed towards journalists from the likes of our president, whose contempt for the 1st Amendment is only exceeded by his contempt for the rule of law in its entirety.

The truth shall set us free, but when police start locking up reporters, we have no access to truth and we have no freedom.

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Vinnie Longobardo
Managing Editor
Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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