Charges will not be filed against Josie Huang, a reporter at Pasadena Area Community College news/talk KPCC Los Angeles (89.3), who was arrested earlier this month during unrest that followed the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Compton.
At the time of her arrest, the sheriff’s department said Huang interfered with the arrest of another individual and did not identify herself as a reporter. The Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Office disagreed and dropped any pending charges saying, “it does not appear that she was intentionally attempting to interfere with the deputies, but merely trying to record” the incident, according to the Associated Press. “Ms. Huang was in a public area filming a protest. When asked to back up, she is almost immediately grabbed by deputies and taken to the ground, giving her little if any time to comply.”
Promptly after the Sept. 12 arrest, SAG-AFTRA issued a statement strongly objecting to the arrest, saying Huang was visibly credentialed as a working journalist and was verbally identifying herself, yet was still tackled, held down, handcuffed and arrested. The union, which represents employees at KPCC, said the incident is “another deeply troubling interaction in a string of police arrests and often violent attacks on working journalists.”
“These unconstitutional attacks on the rights of a free press are appalling and must stop now,” SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said at the time. “SAG-AFTRA champions the U.S. Constitution and the work of our journalist members, whose primary role is to provide citizens with the information they need to effectively govern a democracy.”