Four more journalists have been charged with felony charges after covering riots during President Trump’s inauguration.
The total number of journalists that have been arrested totals six. If they are found guilty they could face 10-year prison sentences and face fines up to $25,000.
The journalists include a documentary producer, photojournalist, live – streamer, and a freelance reporter. All four have been charged with the most serious level of laws against rioting. All four were caught up in the violence that occurred during the inauguration.
On Monday, it transpired that two journalists were charged with the same offence. Evan Engel of Vocativ, and Alex Rubinstein of RT America were arrested while covering the riots.
According to court filings, all six were arraigned in superior court on Saturday and will face further hearings in February and March. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) stated that the charges against the journalists who were covering the riots should be dropped.
Carlos Lauria of the CPJ said, “These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests. We call on authorities in Washington to drop these charges immediately.”
One of the arrested journalists, Jack Kelly a documentary filmmaker for Story of America, said he was detained for 36 hours after being arrested by police. They arrested him despite telling officers he was press.
While Matt Hopard who is an independent journalist was live-streaming the riots was arrested on Friday. He denies the charges against him as well.
Aaron Cantu, a freelance journalist, and Shay Horse, a freelance photographer were also arrested and deny doing anything wrong.
None of the arrest reports for the journalists cite specific charges.
On Friday around two hundred people were arrested as the riot caused property damage to some areas of Washington. Police say that six officers suffered minor injuries.