Conservative news outlet threatening to sue Louisville police after two reporters arrested & charged covering BLM protests
Two reporters for The Daily Caller were arrested in Louisville while covering the Black Lives Matter protests spurred by the court ruling in the Breonna Taylor case. Now the conservative outlet has threatened to sue police.
Reporters Shelby Talcott and Jorge Ventura were arrested as part of a larger group breaking curfew in Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday night, following the announcement that police officers would not face charges of murder for the March killing of Breonna Taylor.
Talcott captured footage of police ordering protesters onto the ground as they detain them.
We are all on the ground right now and police are taking people and putting them in zip tie cuffs pic.twitter.com/eIJJF1t1Ub— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) September 24, 2020
Daily Caller Editor in Chief Geoffrey Ingersoll tweeted that he expected both of his reporters to be “swiftly released” from custody as he had informed police they were capturing footage for a news outlet, and press are exempt from the curfew restriction.
If you've seen footage from the riots across the country over the last few months, chances are it came from @ShelbyTalcott or @VenturaReport. Now they've been detained for the last 12 hours by @LMPD despite numerous calls from our staff identifying them as press.Let them go. pic.twitter.com/pmuJy02Mdl— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 24, 2020
He then reported, however, that police were refusing to release the pair and that both were being charged with “two misdemeanors related to breaking curfew and unlawful assembly for their alleged failure to comply with police orders to disperse and for press to relegate themselves to an ‘observation area.'”
It is unclear if this press “observation area” was announced or if the reporters were aware of it.Also on rt.com Black Los Angeles cop harassed with slurs by protesters in 'demon masks' (VIDEO)
Daily Caller co-founder and publisher Neil Patel has threatened the Louisville Police Department with a lawsuit if Talcott and Ventura were not released soon. In an angry Twitter thread on the incident, Patel said the Daily Caller had "done a more balanced job" of covering recent protests and told the police's "side of the story."
5/The Louisville Police Department (@LMPD) is going to find out all about this in the form of a lawsuit unless things start changing fast./END— Neil Patel (@NeilPatelTDC) September 24, 2020
Ventura eventually published a video saying he had been released after more than 12 hours.
Released from jail in Louisville after being detained for +12 hours. My colleague @ShelbyTalcott is still detained at the moment, as well as journalist @livesmattershow. Thank you to everyone for the support , I am truly grateful! pic.twitter.com/E6Ooau4viQ— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) September 24, 2020
He also revealed another reporter, Drew Hernandez, was arrested during the protests and remains in custody. Talcott, on the other hand, was kept in custody for over 16 hours and was released on Thursday evening.
The Daily Caller called the arrest “outrageous.” They thanked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press for assisting in seeing that Talcott was eventually released.
How in the world is our reporter @ShelbyTalcott not released yet @LMPD?! It’s been nearly 16 hours and we’ve identified her as a member of the press. Several people with criminal records have reportedly been released from the block before her. This is outrageous.— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 24, 2020
And there it is. After 16 hours, @ShelbyTalcott has been released by @LMPD. Apparently she was one of the last two out of 28 people to be released from her cell even though authorities knew she was a reporter and had no criminal history.— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 24, 2020
In a statement put out through Caller reporter Richie McGinniss, Talcott said police were not keeping prisoners in compliance with Covid-19 social distancing measures.
“This is absurd,” she said. “I am packed in with 28 other people in a 20×20 cell. Not all of us have masks, and there is not enough room so people are sleeping on the floor.”
Reporters and pundits, both liberal and conservative, have expressed outrage over the arrest of the reporters.
Extremely troubling — there should be accountability for the arrests of these Daily Caller reporters https://t.co/FsiPrZRVoi— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 24, 2020
It should outrage Americans and Kentuckians that two @DailyCaller reporters were arrested while covering protests in Louisville, despite identifying themselves as press. #FirstAmendmenthttps://t.co/GwIohTkvw4— Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) September 24, 2020
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