July 22, 2019 - Updated on July 23, 2019

US – #WeeklyAddress: July 15 – July 21: Photojournalist hit by rubber bullet in Puerto Rico protest

Below are the most notable incidents regarding threats to press freedom in the US during the week of July 15 - July 21:

Photojournalist injured by rubber bullet at Puerto Rico protest 

An unnamed number of journalists were caught up in a chaos of rubber bullets and tear gas during a protest against Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló July 17, the Miami Herald reported. The next day, El Nuevo Día reporter Benjamín Torres Gotay tweeted a photo of Getty Images photographer Joe Raedle, bloodied by an apparent injury from a rubber bullet. Increasingly tumultuous protests and have rocked the city since sexist and homophobic text messages between the governor and his former aides were leaked last Saturday.

(Credit: Xavier Araújo)

Judge quashes warrant that allowed search on San Francisco journalist’s phone

On July 18, a San Francisco judge quashed a now-infamous warrant that allowed police to search San Francisco journalist Bryan Carmody’s phone in May, thus voiding any evidence collected under the order. The judge also announced she would release the affidavit of probable cause for the warrant this Tuesday, which will reveal if police omitted key information, like Carmody’s press pass-holding status, when asking for the warrant. The warrant was one of five that authorized the information raid on the freelance reporter’s home, during which armed police handcuffed Carmody and scoured his home in search of a police report, taking at least four tablets, seven computers, 10 hard drives, a dozen phones, two cameras and reporting notebooks.


Journalists assaulted at Salt Lake City protest

Photojournalist Matthew Michela and reporter Larry Curtis were assaulted by protesters while reporting on a Salt Lake City protest on July 9. The tussle began when a man approached Michela and attempted to block his camera, telling him to “turn around” and “stop filming” a scuffle between protesters and a counter-protester. When Michela wouldn’t oblige, protesters began jostling Michela’s camera while Curtis tried to shield his colleague. The man who grappled with Michela for the camera has not been identified. “We are on everybody's side, I don't want to be the story,” Michela said in a KUTV interview about the confrontation.



Salvadoran journalist released after 15 months in ICE detention

Fifteen months after he was detained by ICE, journalist Manuel Duran was released on bond July 11. Duran, who sought asylum in the United States when he started receiving death threats for his broadcast reporting in El Salvador, was first arrested by Memphis police in April 2018 while he was covering an immigration protest. When he should have been released from police custody, he was instead transferred to an ICE detention center—a move that was likely an attempt to silence his critical reporting on immigration enforcement, his attorneys said. Now out on bond, Duran is speaking on both the “cruelty” of the detention centers and the implications that his detainment has for press freedom in the United States. “In the U.S., we are made to believe that freedom of the press is valued, but I can tell you all that under the Trump administration, this isn’t true,” Duran said. The Board of Immigration Appeals reopened Duran’s asylum case on July 8 and will allow a hearing on his asylum claim moving forward.


The United States ranks 48th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2019 World Press Freedom Index

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