Surge in assaults on media, including in Paso Robles

April 18, 2021

Laurie Bryant

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Black Lives Matter protests picked up nationwide this week spurred by uproar over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by a Minnesota police officer, which occurred as the George Floyd murder trial was taking place nearby. Attacks on journalists picked up, too, occurring at protests as well as at a Kristin Smart vigil in Paso Robles.

The fatal shooting of Wright placed the national spotlight on Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. Since the killing of Wright last Sunday, protests have been ongoing daily, at times morphing into riots.

Meanwhile, there have been sizable protests on the West Coast, some of which have also turned violent. A pair of journalists were assaulted at West Coast protests this week, one in Los Angeles and one in Portland.

During a march Thursday night in Hollywood, protesters followed Kalen D’Almedia, a co-founder of Scriberr News. Protesters surrounded D’Almedia, called him a Nazi and pushed him while walking beside him, video shows.

A member of the crowd then punched D’Almedia, knocking him to the ground and possibly causing him to lose consciousness. Protesters can be seen in video footage stomping on D’Almedia while he was on the ground.

Los Angeles police officers were standing nearby while the assault happened, but they did not intervene. Following the incident, D’Almedia said he suffered a moderate concussion.

 

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A post shared by Kalen (@fromkalen)

On Friday in Portland, where another fatal police shooting occurred, freelance journalist Justin Yau was shoved to the ground and hit multiple times while covering a protest. Yau was bloodied, and his glasses were broken. He was also ordered to stop taking photographs. [Portland Tribune]

A couple days prior, Yau posted video on Twitter of the Portland Police Association Building on fire. Protesters set the police union building on fire during a demonstration against the killing of Wright, Yau tweeted. Yau’s reporting angered some protest sympathizers who demanded he delete the tweet.

In Brooklyn Center, journalists have faced attacks from both protesters and police.

On Wednesday night, a protester threw a water bottle that hit a CNN crew member in the head, knocking him to the ground. Demonstrators then chased the CNN crew off, cursing at them and throwing eggs at them and their vehicle as they fled the protest.

The attack was preceded by protesters demanding the crew cover the demonstration from a different vantage point. CNN reporter Miguel Marquez refused to comply with the demands and said protesters do not dictate news coverage. [Washington Examiner]

Minnesota police are facing numerous accusations over harassing and even assaulting journalists during this week’s protests in Brooklyn Center. One freelance photographer said an officer punched him in the head and forced him to the ground.

Brooklyn Center police also pepper sprayed journalists, forced some to lie face down and took photos of reporters’ faces and credentials. [Reuters]

On Friday, a United States District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting police from arresting, threatening to arrest or using force against journalists. Minnesota police are now promising to comply with the order.

Then on Saturday evening in San Luis Obispo County, two women attempted to eject CalCoastNews photographer Richard Bastian, 78, from the Paso Robles City Park where the Krisitin Smart vigil was held.

Laurie Bryant and Tribune columnist Sande Hunt-Burns manage a SLO County News Facebook page. The page appears to be near copycat of the SLO County News Facebook page managed by Jason Brock.

When Bastian refused to leave, Bryant grabbed his stool. She then became physical, said Bastian and several witnesses.

Bryant choked Bastian and shoved him, witnesses said. She pushed him again, after which Bastian regained his balance and hit Bryant in the jaw.

Police officers arrived at the scene and asked Bastian if he wanted to press charges.

“Why start World War III,” Bastian responded. “It’s just another day for news media trying to do their job. Welcome to the new normal in the neighborhood.”

Two private social media postings regarding the assault. CCN is leaving the names of the witnesses out to protect their safety.


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Rambunctious

Wake up media….assaults are up on everyone…early release and weak punishment for violent crime is what needs to be fixed….


kevin rise

Freedom of the press. 4 years of threats towards the press doesnt help, neither did racist rhetoric, hate and divisiveness from our former president. Must end Tribalism and Nationalism. One community.


Gramelin

Do you believe everything the Tribune says? My last recollection, is that the Tribune is also called the “Fibune”.I personally know the truth is not searched out and printed their story far from truth. In fact that is why I read CCN. and not the Fibune!

And even so, I am disgusted with the attacks on reporters!! They should NOT be happening, BUT do you honestly believe all of what you were reading? .Obviously a lot of untruths are written. IT leads to DISTRUST And same with what was written about Trump, Alot of slanted views. A Truthful idea maybe, then slanted into a non truth in several circumstances. How to end the distrust? How about by eliminating slanted views based on bias and report on fact? That’s a start!


paragon

Yep this is the sad aftermath of 4 years under a President who constantly launched hostile attacks against the media, labeling them “Fake News”, and celebrating violence against them. A free press is an essential part of any democracy and you need to support the right of ALL news outlets to cover stories, even the news outlets you dislike or disagree with.


kevin rise

Truth


Gramelin

So you don’t believe President Trump was attacked with fake news by the media? Do you believe the Media was at all time Honest?


slo-to-load

You’re missing the point. Every President gets attacked by the media. But only the last President launched an all out war on the media, except when he coddled the sycophants at Fox News who lavished him with false praise.


downSLO

This is a bit disturbing. Two women, abusive to an older reporter, are they actual reporters? RIDICULOUS. I would like to see him reconsider charges. Last I heard, the Sandee person was not only with the Tribune, but also KSBY, as well as an administrator for Justice For Kristin Smart and a family spokesperson. This needs to be reported if true. This certainly does not represent the feelings of the supporters of the Find Kristin Smart team and I would think not her family either. I am pretty ill about this. Please look into this further and if any of this is true, the reporter for CalCoastNews, should certainly press charges. It would not start WWIII, but prevent any further abuse of systems, perhaps!


kevin rise

These folks were actually pretending to be the Left to stoke the race war and destabilize our Democracy, they’re actually Russian Spies. Nice job proud boys, you did it again….


Cmonnow

Apologize for my first post….wrong article. But in Paso Robles park at a vigil for Kristin?Really? Aside from a complete lack of social awareness…who the neck is Ms Bryant & what was her/their beef? I didn’t read any notices about respectfully requesting no photography or anything like that… What am I missing?