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KSU Student Journalist Arrested During Occupy Atlanta Demonstration

Alisen Redmond of The Sentinel was among two student journalists arrested Saturday while reporting near Woodruff Park.

The Student Press Law Center is calling for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to drop all criminal charges against two college journalists who were arrested Saturday at the site of an "Occupy Atlanta" demonstration.

Saturday evening, Atlanta Police Department officers arrested Alisen Redmond of The Sentinel at and Judith Kim of The Signal at Georgia State University as they were reporting on protests near downtown Atlanta’s Woodruff Park, according to a release from the SPLC.

The students each spent about 14 hours in jail and received citations for “obstruction of traffic” despite identifying themselves as journalists and standing on a street that police had closed off to traffic, according to the release.

Both students were released from jail Sunday afternoon and given a March 9, 2012 court date.

“We respect and appreciate the difficult job that police officers do, and that controlling crowds can at times require spur-of-the-moment safety decisions,” wrote SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte in a letter to Mayor Reed.

“However, it appears clear from the video and witness accounts of Saturday night’s events that no public-safety justification existed to arrest pedestrians in a hasty and indiscriminate manner. The officers had ample time to make a distinction between a person causing a disturbance and a person peacefully recording police activity as part of a bona fide news organization.”

The arrests mark the latest run-in between police and student journalists assigned to cover “Occupy” protests. On Oct. 29, Middle Tennessee State University student Malina Chavez-Shannon was arrested while she was photographing the arrests of demonstrators in Nashville.

“I don’t think there is any question that the Atlanta students were singled out for arrest, while the professional videographers standing right alongside them were not, because they look like ‘kids’ to the police,” LoMonte said.

LoMonte encouraged any student who encounters difficulty with police while gathering news to call the SPLC hotline at 703-807-1904.

towen November 08, 2011 at 01:32 AM
LoMonte is full of crap. I was there and saw the two arrested. They were filming but also in the street. Their credentials are so small that nobody would of known to target them as student journalists.
nashobo November 08, 2011 at 01:43 AM
I believe he is saying because of their age they looked like students so they were targeted because they were silly college students trying to cause problems like the rest of the occupiers who are just a bunch of hippies and college kids (totally not true).
Ray II November 08, 2011 at 05:59 AM
In my lifetime,I have seen with my own eyes students being arrested in anti VietNam ,Civil rights,and now in the Pro Middle Class demonstrations. The Police have been on the wrong side of every issue. I feel it is way past time that Police try to figure out what is wrong and what is right in real life. I just don't get it.
vmtrinidad November 09, 2011 at 02:23 AM
Thomas Jefferson once said: "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "

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