After the U.S. Park Police (USPP) led law enforcement to forcibly shut down a mostly peaceful protest on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., an hour before a city-wide curfew on June 1st, 2020, the protestors and the press have pushed for answers about who was responsible for the decision. More than a year later, the Department of Interior has published a report with some answers.
On June 2nd, the Department of Justice revealed that during the administration of former President Donald Trump, the DOJ acquired the phone records of four reporters from The New York Times. The phone records date from the first several months of 2017.
On May 26th, New Mexico journalist Tabitha Clay filed a lawsuit against the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office. Clay claims local law enforcement violated her First Amendment rights by allegedly retaliating against her and withholding information after she wrote an article in May of 2019 detailing a sheriff’s deputy’s deployment of a taser on a 15-year-old special education student.
On May 5th, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning news coverage conducted by a local television station.
The Malheur Enterprise, a local newspaper, requested documents last October as part of its ongoing investigation into whether a state legislator was using his official position to help his private business. On February 5th, the county's district attorney ordered the government agency to disclose the unredacted documents.
Private prison officials at a halfway house in California seized an incarcerated journalist’s phone and delayed his release after he texted a colleague about a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on February 2nd.
On January 6th, a large group of pro-Trump supporters, motivated by President Donald Trump’sunsubstantiated claims of election fraud, stormed the Capitol building. Over the course of the day, reporters on the ground described multiple incidents in which rioters called for violence against the media.
Drawing on data collected by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the report showed at least 117 verified cases of journalists arrested in 2020. The number represents a 1200% increase from 2019 when only nine cases were confirmed.