CAMDEN, Del. (AP) — A black journalist was arrested while identifying himself as a reporter at a protest in Delaware and was later released.
A video of the arrest was streamed live by the Dover Post reporter, Andre Lamar, on the news outlet’s Facebook page. It shows protesters lying on the ground with their hand behind their backs as Lamar questions officers about why the arrests are happening.
Police then approach him and a struggle ensues as he shouts “I’m with the press!” multiple times. A group of officers continue the arrest and pick up his camera gear as the altercation is broadcast live on the social media network.
Lamar was one of more than 20 people arrested at the protests for obstructing traffic and blocking lanes on a highway in Camden, the Delaware State Police said in a statement Wednesday. Protesters disrupted traffic “to refocus people” and were blocking roads so others “can think about people like George Floyd,” Lamar said in another video explaining his arrest after he was released.
State police tweeted Wednesday they will support “citizens of Delaware with their rights to peaceful protest” and asked for the public’s patience as they investigate the arrests.
“Reporters have a fundamental right to cover the demonstrations we’re seeing in Delaware and across our country,” Delaware Gov. John Carney tweeted Tuesday night after Lamar’s arrest. “They should not be arrested for doing their jobs. That’s not acceptable.”
In his second video, Lamar said the physical force police used “makes no sense” and claimed officers escalated the situation. Protesters are “literally people advocating for other individuals to love black people,” he added. Later on in the video, he is seen encountering police officers on the street and asking them if they are “afraid of one black man with a camera.”
He was not charged with any crimes, state police said.