During a #BlackLivesMatter protest in downtown Rochester, New York, police arrested Carlet Cleare and Justin Carter, two black news reporters from the local ABC affiliate. At the time of their arrests, they were actively working as journalists while capturing footage for their station’s Facebook Live feed.
— 13WHAM (@13WHAM) July 9, 2016
According to the statement released by 13 WHAM, the two reporters were standing alongside their cameramen and other reporters, when they were arrested. Both Cleare and Carter were arrested from behind, with no prior warnings or dialogue from the police. None of the other reporters in the area were detained.
In an interview with the Democrat & Chronicle, the station’s manager, Chuck Samuels, voiced his concerns about how the arrests were carried out.
“Carlet is approached from behind and you know, my concern is this: why the need for this? Why the need for handcuffs? You could have approached her and said, ‘Excuse me miss, what are you doing here?’ You know, anything,” Samuels told the D&C. “But to immediately slap cuffs on somebody and take them away — that’s why I have a concern.”
Samuels also spoke about the glaring fact that only the black reporters were arrested by the RPD.
“We’re being criticized for pointing out that they’re African-American, but there were white reporters standing right there near them and had also been in the streets, and they were not handcuffed. Whether it was (racial profiling) or not, I don’t know. But how can you not raise the question?”
The reporters were released after 15 minutes but that didn’t stop Cleare from voicing her frustration via Twitter.
Welp, that was interesting. Cuffed by RPD while cover protest in downtown ROC. Was never told I wasn’t supposed to be on sidewalk –
— Carlet Cleare (@ccleare) July 9, 2016
Justin Carter & I spoke with RPD’s police chief today about the night we were detained & moving forward. We share… https://t.co/JtodsC9JrG
— Carlet Cleare (@ccleare) July 11, 2016
Source: Kadisha Phillips