Home > NewsRelease > SPJ condemns arrest of freelance reporter at UCLA and demands charges be dropped
SPJ condemns arrest of freelance reporter at UCLA and demands charges be dropped
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Indianapolis, IN
Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Caroline Hendrie, SPJ Executive Director, chendrie@hq.spj.org
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Specialist, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists condemns today’s arrest of freelance journalist Sean Beckner-Carmitchel at the University of California, Los Angeles and demands that authorities immediately drop a criminal charge against him.

Beckner-Carmitchel was arrested Monday morning while recording video as police detained dozens of UCLA protesters in a parking structure. Beckner-Carmitchel faces a charge of misdemeanor conspiracy to commit a crime.

“This unwarranted arrest flagrantly violates Sean’s First Amendment right to film police and protesters on public property,” said SPJ National President Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins. “It was to curb exactly this sort of over-reaction by law enforcement officials that a coalition of journalism organizations, media unions and First Amendment advocacy groups pushed successfully for California’s Senate Bill 98, which Governor Newsom signed into law two years ago.”

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Jennifer Royer
Group: Society of Professional Journalists
Dateline: Indianapolis, IN United States
Direct Phone: 317-927-8000
Jump To Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Jump To Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
Contact Click to Contact
Other experts on these topics