#NYPD cops harass, shove AP reporters covering George Floyd protests

NYPD cops harass, shove AP reporters covering George Floyd protests

June 3, 2020 | 12:53pm

NYPD officers surrounded, shoved and harassed a pair of Associated Press journalists covering the George Floyd protests in the Big Apple Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Part of the tense encounter was captured on video, and released by the AP Tuesday night, showing videojournalist Robert Bumsted and photographer Maye-E Wong trying to cover the Lower Manhattan-area rallies.

“Why are you essential?” one cop repeatedly yells at the pair after they identified as credentialed journalists.

Working journalists are considered essential workers and are allowed to be out past the citywide 8 p.m. curfew to cover the protests, according to the mayor’s office.

“I don’t give a s–t,” another cop responds on the video.

“Get the f–k out of here you piece of s–t,” another cops says.

Cops continued to push the two, trying to separate them and force them toward Bumsted’s car, according to the AP.

Both were wearing their AP identification, according to the report.

“They didn’t care,” Wong said.

America Protests Media AP

Associated Press videojournalist Robert Bumsted reminds a police officer that the press are considered “essential workers” and are allowed to be on the streets despite a curfew.

AP/Wong Maye-E

America Protests Media AP

A police officer shouts at Associated Press videojournalist Robert Bumsted

AP/Wong Maye-E

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Asked about the incident from Tuesday evening, as well as other incidents of police aggression against the press during the protests, Police commissioner Shea said the department “were are doing the best we can in the difficult situation.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had some people according to be pressed that are actually lying if you could believe that,” Shea said. ” A lot of people obviously know what to say… so sometimes these things take a few moments to sort out.”

“We 100 percent respect the rights of press.”

The incident with the AP journalist occurred after police stepped up patrols to shut down most of Manhattan after the 8 p.m. curfew.

Nearly 300 arrests were made overnight.


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