NPR reporter arrested trying to interfere in arrest of hospital-blocking protester after ambush of deputies

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As if police don’t have enough on their hands in dealing with irrational, often violent Black Lives Matter militants rioting in the streets, they must contend with a bevy of reporters, many of whom are aggressively trying to capture officers being overly aggressive.

On Saturday, as Black Lives Matter protesters set siege on the hospital where two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were fighting for their lives were taken, after being ambushed, an NPR radio reporter found herself caught up in the mayhem.

Protesters reportedly tried to get inside the ER and were seen outside the faculty chanting, “We hope they die!”

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, protesters were blocking the hospital emergency entrance and exits, and when a male adult protester refused to comply with a dispersal order, officers moved to arrest him.

A struggle ensued, the department said, and that’s when they saw a female coming toward them and that she “ignored repeated commands to stay back” — that female turned out to be 89.3 KPCC reporter Josie Huang, who was quickly arrested.

The LA Sheriff’s Department said Huang “did not identify herself as press and later admitted she did not have proper press credentials on her person.”

Officers on the ground have a difficult job trying to access who is who, and what that person’s intentions may be — when an assassination attempt was just made on two of their fellow officers, there may be little patience in doing so.

Not lost in the mix is that NPR radio stations are publicly funded by taxpayers:

Colleague Frank Stolze tweeted that Huang was charged with obstruction of justice, calling the actions of police “disturbing.”

The arrest is seen here:

Huang would later share another video of her arrest. She can be heard telling the officers she is with KPCC after being taken to the ground.

Capt. Kerry Carter tweeted late Sunday the LA Sheriff’s Department is conducting an “active investigation” of the incident.

Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president for news and editorial director, said the organization is “appalled” that Huang was arrested while doing her job and gathering facts to inform the public.

“The rights of journalists are protected by the First Amendment, and essential to an informed public and our Democracy,” Barnes said in a statement.

KPPC offered its condolences to the two sheriff deputies who were ambushed, but said Huang was arrested “while doing her job.”

“These are challenging and stressful times for everyone, but Josie Huang was arrested while doing her job. The charges should be dropped,” the station said in a statement.

“Her arrest is the latest in a series of troubling interactions between our reporters and some local law enforcement officers,” the release continued. “Journalists provide an essential service, providing fair, accurate and timely journalism and without them, our democracy is at risk.”

KPPC executive editor Megan Garvey was clear in her tweets informing followers of Huang’s status at the jail that they saw their reporter as the victim.

Some will argue that the media reaction to police actions in stressful times, as seen in a tweet from Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian, who called the LASD “out of control,” contributes to an atmosphere were low information people choose to act on such assertions.

As seen Saturday night.

 

Tom Tillison

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

The longest-tenured writer at BizPac Review, Tom grew up in Maryland before moving to Central Florida as a young teen. It is in the Sunshine State that he honed both his passion for politics and his writing skills.
Tom Tillison

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