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Ear to the Ground

Chicago Police Detain Independent Journalists at Gunpoint (Video)

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Posted on May 22, 2012
YouTube/wearechange

A shot from one of the live stream cameras taken after the group was pulled over.

Police stopped and drew guns on a group of independent journalists who were driving home after covering the NATO protests in Chicago on Monday evening. Tim Pool and Luke Rudkowski, two of the best-known live streamers covering the Occupy movement, believe they may have been targeted.

They were later released without being charged, but some of their equipment was destroyed and wiped clean during the officers’ search. Officers said they were looking for another vehicle that matched the description of the journalists’ car. But a report saying police had gathered outside the group’s apartment earlier in the day casts doubts on that claim.

At least four journalists were arrested and multiple others suffered injuries while covering the NATO summit. The total arrest count was low, and media representatives said police did not come down as hard on journalists as officers have during demonstrations in Oakland and New York.

Read Guardian reporter Ryan Devereaux’s account of what occurred when police apprehended the group and then watch footage of the event below. —ARK

Ryan Devereaux at The Guardian:

As they approached a stop sign, roughly a dozen police vehicles – marked and unmarked – reportedly surrounded their car with lights flashing. Using their cellphones Pool and Rudkowski activated their live stream feeds.

“Fuckin’ hands!” one officer is heard yelling, as police approached the vehicle with their guns drawn.

Rudkowski, who was in the back passenger seat, reached his arm outside the window, his phone in hand. It nearly cost him his life.

“They started screaming: ‘Don’t shoot, it’s only a cellphone, don’t shoot!’” Rudkowski said. “I was scared that they easily could have shot me because they saw something in my hands.”

Police bent Shively over the vehicle and handcuffed the remaining four. Officers rifled through the vehicle and reportedly smashed batteries and external hard drives belonging to the journalists. Rudkowksi’s phone was taken from him and much of his footage from the incident was deleted.

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Concerned Canuck's avatar

By Concerned Canuck, May 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Another example of the proto-facism that’s subverting American bemocracy.

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By ROBinDALLAS, May 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Luke R is one the real heroes of our times.  He speaks truth to power.  He is a
courageous and articulate activist who takes on all the sacred dinosaurs. 
Thank you Luke and WAC.

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By gerard, May 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Dear Truthdig:  I am a fringe writer, member of a small but vocal group of fringe .... argh! .....

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