Police in Charlotte, North Carolina detained and threatened two journalists covering a march outside the Democratic National Convention over the weekend. Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake and Steve Horn, a contributor to Truthout covering the DNC for WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin, noticed four men taking photos of a contingent of undocumented immigrants during a march called “No Papers, No Fear.” Gosztola and Horn noticed the men, who were later revealed as undercover officers, trying to blend in with demonstrators and began taking photos.
Both Horn and Gosztola were concerned the men could be shooting photos of the undocumented immigrants for targeted deportation. After following one of the men in question, the two journalists were confronted by him, who claimed he was a protester and did not like his photo taken. During the conversation, the man threatened to punch Gosztola in the teeth, then grabbed Horn and pulled him to a street corner. Uniformed police officers chased down Gosztola after he tried to leave the scene, searched him, and asked him to hand over his phone. In order to keep his belongings, Gosztola deleted the photos. Uniformed officers informed Horn that the men the two journalists had followed were undercover officers.
Jane Hamsher, publisher of Firedoglake said in a press release
“There was absolutely no provocation that could have possibly justified the thuggery and bullying by law enforcement agents of journalists who were legitimately covering a public event. It was an outrageous abridgement not only of freedom of the press, but of individual civil liberties.”
Horn and Gosztola sent out photos (below) of at least two of the undercover officers, and have asked that if anyone has information about their illegal activities, to contact them.
Kevin Gosztola – email@example.com
Steve Horn – firstname.lastname@example.org