While dozens of major cities in the United States had large protests Friday night in the wake of a pair of officer-involved shootings in the United States this week, two reporters were among 74 people arrested in Rochester, N.Y. Friday night.
WHAM-TV in Rochester recorded the moment where two of its reporters were led away in handcuffs as the station was interviewing a woman on a sidewalk. The moment was aired live, with the station's anchor asking where the city's mayor and police chief are.
According to WHAM-TV, a number of local journalists were in the immediate area covering the events, as police in riot gear tried to clear the area. The station said that the reporters, Carlet Cleare and Justin Carter, were the only African American reporters on the scene.
Both reporters were released Saturday morning, as police did not press charges. The station also received apologies from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Police Chief Michael Ciminelli.
"As a news organization, we are continuing to investigate the police handling of the situation and will have further dialogue on the issue with the city in the coming days," WHAM-TV said in a statement. "While we understand and value the importance of the police in our communities, we are also very protective of our First Amendment Rights as free journalists. No society can be fully secure if journalists cannot freely report on important events that affect the people of a community."
Police were in the process of trying to disperse protesters who had blocked traffic in Downtown Rochester. After several tense hours, the demonstrations came to an end by 2 a.m.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that those charged were cited for disorderly conduct, and will face arraignments.