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‘This Is Not China’: The Daily Caller Threatens To Sue Louisville Police Department For Arresting Its Reporters, Refusing To Let Them Speak To Attorney
Louisville Police
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The Daily Caller is threatening to sue the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) after two of its reporters were reportedly arrested and charged with misdemeanors while covering the riots roiling Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday night.

Reporters Shelby Talcott and Jorge Ventura were part of a mass detention of demonstrators who were instructed to get on the ground shortly before midnight, according to footage Talcott posted to Twitter. Despite identifying herself as press, the two were handcuffed with zip-ties and taken to a detainment cell.

Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Ingersoll tweeted late on Wednesday that he had notified LMPD of his reporters’ arrest while in the capacity of press reporting for an accredited media outlet. “My expectation is that they will be swiftly released,” he said, but he later learned that Talcott and Ventura “will be processed and charged like everyone else, despite my best efforts to alert official channels that they were operating in the capacity of press at a live news event.”

Ingersoll added that the two were to be “charged with two misdemeanors related to breaking curfew and unlawful assembly for their alleged failure to comply with police orders to disperse and for press to relegate themselves to an ‘observation area.’”

According to Richie McGinniss, another Daily Caller reporter, Talcott described her conditions to him as “absurd,” adding, “I am packed in with 28 other people in a 20×20 cell. Not all of us have masks, and there is not enough room so people are sleeping on the floor.” McGinniss said shortly after noon on Thursday that the two “have been processed for release, but will not actually be out for another 2-4 hours or more[.]”

Attorney Neil Patel, the co-founder and publisher of The Daily Caller, had earlier expressed concern for the reporters’ safety. Patel threatened litigation in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday morning:

The Louisville police arrested two of our employees Wednesday night. We have informed the police that these are reporters who were peacefully doing their job, but they are still refusing to release them. They will not even let us speak with them. Given the fact that our reporters have been repeatedly harassed, punched and even shot at during past protests, we fear for their safety in lockup with people who may want to do them harm.

No other news outlet has been on the ground at more protests and riots, and none have done a more balanced job of telling the public what is happening. We appreciate the difficult situation that officers are in trying to balance their own safety while allowing protestors to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Unlike other outlets, we have interviewed police about this and told their side of the story. But this is not China. Those reporters flat out have a constitutionally protected role to play on our streets. The Louisville Police Department is going to find out all about this in the form of a lawsuit unless things start changing fast.

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