freedom of the press

Cops Drop Charges Against Journalist Arrested at Trump Rally

Security Concerns Postpone Trump Rally
Demonstrators celebrate after learning the Trump rally would be postponed on March 11, 2016 in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police on Thursday dropped charges against a CBS journalist who was arrested at the now-infamous canceled Donald Trump rally there last week, Politico reports.

Sopan Deb, a reporter for CBS News, was covering the confrontation between Trump supporters and protesters during Friday night’s event at the University of Illinois’s Chicago Pavilion when he was, per CBS’s own reporting, “thrown to the ground and handcuffed, without notice or warning” by police. Deb’s own camera caught his arrest on tape. He was charged with resisting arrest.

In a joint statement issued Thursday, the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois State Police characterized last Friday’s incident as “very dynamic,” and said officers had been “forced to make split-second decisions in the interest of public safety,” but decided after reviewing the evidence to drop the charges against Deb.

Deb wasn’t the first journalist to experience some heavy-handed policing at a Trump event. Time photographer Christopher Morris got choke-slammed by a Secret Service agent at another rally in Virginia a few weeks ago after Morris stepped slightly outside the designated press pen to take a photo and swore at the agent when asked to step back.

While Trump’s own staff was not involved in these altercations, the Republican front-runner makes no bones about his contempt for the press. He has repeatedly called reporters “disgusting people” (though “some are nice”) and said that as president, he would “open up” the nation’s libel laws to make it easier to sue media outlets for perceived attacks.

Journo Arrested at Trump Rally Won’t Be Charged