Newcastle Uni graduate arrested whilst reporting George Floyd protests

Adam Gray was placed in a holding cell with zero social distancing

A Newcastle University alum has become one of the first journalists to be arrested during the ongoing George Floyd protests after being charged with unlawful assembly in New York City, as reported by Press Gazette earlier today.

Adam Gray, now Chief Photographer at SWNS, is said to have been pushed to the ground with a truncheon as he took photos of the protests for The US Sun, and was handcuffed despite showing police his U.S. State Department-issued press pass.

Gray told Press Gazette: “The whole time that I was being arrested, I was shouting that I was press, but they just didn’t seem to care.”

“I get that in the heat of the moment you might get pushed or grabbed, but as soon as you say that you’re press, it normally stops there but not this time. I’ve worked in many other countries doing work like this and never has it gone as far as this. I couldn’t believe it.”

Having been transported in a police van alongside 20 other protestors, Gray was in custody for over ten hours, with around eight of those taking place in a holding cell of 70 people wherein social distancing was an impossibility.

“Police had removed masks from some protestors for their photo but then refused to give them back and did not offer any extra masks,” Gray reported, concluding that there was an “extreme risk to personal health”.

He was released at approximately 9:15AM E.T. on 31st May with a desk appearance ticket (an order to appear in court for an arraignment) for his charge of unlawful assembly.

SWNS Editor-in-Chief Andrew Young said: “This is an affront to press freedom. To be arrested for simply doing his job, at considerable risk to himself, while chronicling the violence that ensued following the tragic death of George Floyd is frankly outrageous.”

Fortunately, Gray has stated that he is “all good” and does not have any injuries. Despite the ordeal, he appears committed to resuming his reporting when it is possible to do so.

Featured Image: SWNS – Adam Gray

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