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Record No: Res 31961    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Council
On agenda: 8/10/2020
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION affirming the rights of members of the press, legal observers, and medical personnel covering the protests against police brutality.
Sponsors: Teresa Mosqueda, Alex Pedersen
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Proposed Substitute (added; 8/11/20), 3. Signed Resolution 31961
CITY OF SEATTLE
RESOLUTION __________________
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A RESOLUTION affirming the rights of members of the press, legal observers, and medical personnel covering the protests against police brutality.
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WHEREAS, freedom of the press is a hallmark of a healthy democracy and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and
WHEREAS, a free press is a public benefit that provides critical information and acts as a safeguard against abuses of power by the government; and
WHEREAS, there have been serious allegations made that law enforcement officers have targeted clearly identified members of the press, legal observers, and medics in the protests against the death of George Floyd and police brutality; and
WHEREAS, there have been serious allegations made that tear gas, pepper spray, flash bangs, blast balls, rubber bullets, excessive force, calls to disperse, and arrest have been used with the intent of retaliating against the press for documenting the actions of officers and protesters; and
WHEREAS, these alleged tactics may serve to intimidate and discourage a free press from performing both their right and job responsibilities to observe these events and report them to the public; and
WHEREAS, regardless of the political ideology expressed at events, journalists must be free from intimidation or harassment form anyone when covering events to be able to do their jobs safely and report events to the public; and
WHEREAS, the reported actions against journalists and other members of the press across the country appear to have become increasingly authoritarian, and mirror events in other countries that this country has historically denounced; and
WHEREAS, the Guardian reports that there were 148 known arrests or attacks on journalists in the United States between May 26 and June 2, 2020, and the true total is likely higher; and
WHEREAS, on May 29, a CNN reporter covering protests in Minneapolis was hit by a projectile and tear-gassed on live television; ...

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