Editor : Joshua Zamudio / Editor : Jenae Lien / Written & Photographed by Yuki Iwamura / Contributing Producer : Kemal Cilengir
PRO-POLICE RALLY in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn by Yuki Iwamura
My experience of covering this last pro-police rally that I attended was definitely surprising to me. I've covered many demonstrations organized by right-wing extremists including the KKK, Neo-Nazis and 2nd Amendment supporters over the past 2 years, and I've never been attacked by them. However, On July 11th, 2020 when my colleague and I were covering a pro-NYPD rally in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, my colleague was attacked by 2 NYPD supporters. They grabbed her camera out of her hand and smashed it on the ground towards us.
It was clear that NYPD officers were in support of Pro-Police demonstrators during the clash between them and Black Lives Matter protesters that Sunday. While NYPD arrested 6 BLM protesters (one of them was even tased,) they made no arrests of pro-police protesters both on Friday and Sunday.
As a photojournalist, I felt extreme danger covering pro-police rallies, especially because you expect no support from NYPD. Pro-police protesters have the green light from police officers to attack people with impunity.
Here are details of the assaulting incident that happened to my colleague when I was next to her.
During the assault that my colleague and I experienced, her camera and phone were completely destroyed, and NYPD officers let the suspects walk away. At the scene, the officer told us he couldn't arrest the suspect because they didn't see him assaulting us. Thankfully, a neighbor was filming the incident from her bedroom and I later discovered that the first bike officer who arrived at the scene was watching the suspect throw my friend's camera at me. This incident is still under investigation.
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