KPCC Reporter Among Injured In Police-Protestor Clash
May 3, 2007 at 4:37 PM (PT)
A reporter for SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RADIO (SCPR) noncommercial KPCC/PASADENA-LOS ANGELES was among several media members who were injured when police responded to bottle-throwing by protestors at MONDAY's immigrant-rights rally in LOS ANGELES' MACARTHUR PARK with force.
KPCC's PATRICIA NAZARIO says she was walking away from the police and sporting a press pass and microphone when she was hit in the back and leg and knocked to the ground by an LAPD riot officer; reporters and camera crews from FOX O&O KTTV (TV) (FOX 11) and TELEMUNDO O&O KVEA-TV (TELEMUNDO 52) (including TELEMUNDO national news anchor PEDRO SEVCEC) were also injured when the police used batons and rubber bullets to break up the protestors and allegedly turned on the reporters as well.
The LAPD is investigating the incident, with Police Chief WILLIAM BRATTON, who said he was "disturbed" by videotapes from the scene, adding, "We should never be engaged in attacking anyone in the media."
SCPR Condemns Violence
SCPR Pres./CEO BILL DAVIS issued a statement late this afternoon that read, "SCPR condemns the violent behavior of the small group of demonstrators that sparked the incident. SCPR appreciates the dangers and difficulties that police face, and we understand the importance of maintaining the public's safety in violent situations such as occurred this week. That said, SCPR condemns -- in the strongest possible terms -- the assault upon Ms. NAZARIO by a uniformed member of the LAPD. Ms. NAZARIO's press badge was clearly visible, and she verbally identified herself as a reporter to the police officer who subsequently hit her.
"SCPR is concerned about the LAPD's policies and procedures in this area. Our concerns extend to whether these policies and procedures are sufficient to guarantee the safety of journalists who report on potentially violent demonstrations. Furthermore, questions remain regarding whether the LAPD's leadership has been effective in communicating these policies and procedures to its rank-and-file officers."