Reporters covering "I can't Breathe!" protests are finding out they can't report.
While protests continue to pop up around the country against the grand jury's decision not to indict the NY Police Officer that killed Eric Garner, the media is getting caught in the middle.
The Society of Professional Journalists says that at protests in Berkeley, CA, the police were hitting members of the media with batons.
The SPJ wrote in a letter to Mayor Tom Bates and Police Chief Michael K. Meehan, saying that several journalists were struck with police batons during the unrest while clearly displaying press credentials and, in some cases, verbally identifying themselves as members of the media. In one instance, a photographer was allegedly hit on the head with a baton, which, according to the SPJ, "can constitute deadly force and is only justifiable under extremely limited circumstances."
"We are sure that you agree attacks on journalists are entirely unacceptable," the letter read. "Reporters are on scene to report the news as it happens. They are not participants in the protests. Under no circumstances should members of the press be subject to such gratuitous and potentially deadly police violence."
The organization said they condemned the actions of the officers in the "strongest terms possible," and urged Mayor Bates and Chief Meehan to make sure all police "respect the constitutional rights of the press."