The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Detroit police in riot gear

Photo by jentakespictures / iStock Photo

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

From Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis, journalists covering the George Floyd protests have been the targets of police abuse. And in Detroit, a police officer who, according to prosecutors, fired rubber bullets at three journalists during a protest in late May is now facing felony assault charges.

The Detroit Free Press' Frank Witsil reports that on Monday, July 20, 32-year-old Detroit police officer Daniel Debono was charged with multiple accounts of felony assault. Debono is facing nine counts altogether: three accounts per journalist.


According to prosecutor Kym Worthy, "The evidence shows that these three journalists were leaving the protest area and that there was almost no one else on the street where they were. They were a threat to no one. There are simply no explicable reasons why the alleged actions of this officer were taken."

Debono, who is presently suspended with pay, could be sentenced to up to four years in prison if convicted. The journalists Debono is accused of assaulting with rubber bullets are 30 year-old Nicole Hester, 29 year-old Matthew Hatcher, and 28 year-old Seth Herald — all of whom, according to Worthy, wore press credentials.

Witsil reports, "They identified themselves as members of the press, had their hands up and asked to cross the street. As the three began to cross, Debono is accused of firing his weapon at them, striking all of three with rubber pellets. The shooting, Worthy said, was unprovoked."

According to Worthy, Herald suffered a wrist injury — while Hester suffered face, neck, arm and leg injuries. And Hatcher's face was bruised.

The injuries that Hester, Hatcher and Herald suffered in Detroit are not the first time police have drawn criticism for their abusive treatment of journalists who were covering the Floyd protests. At a protest in Louisville, Kentucky, journalist Kaitlin Rust and her cameraman were shot with rubber bullets by police, according to CNN. And in Minneapolis, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez — along with a producer and a photographer — were arrested and handcuffed by police but later released.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

An aerial view of post-tornado Mayfield, Kentucky at Christmas, 2021

In its ranking of business values, corporate America proudly provides a special place for elevated moral behavior. That place is the trash can.

Indeed, several years ago, free-market extremist Milton Friedman actually decreed that the only ethical obligation a corporation has to society is to deliver as much profit as possible to its big investors — everybody else be damned. Any awfulness caused by their self-indulgent policy of profit maximization is excused by claiming that their iniquities "broke no laws." But — hello — they write the laws, intentionally defining corporate immorality as always technically legal.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders said that by vowing to uphold the archaic Senate rule standing in the way of voting rights legislation, his Senate colleagues Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are putting "the future of American democracy" at risk.

"It is a sad day when two members of the Democratic caucus are prepared to allow the Freedom to Vote Act to fail," the Vermont senator tweeted on Friday "I hope very much they will reconsider their positions."

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}