A reporter/photographer for the Dover Post was arrested yesterday while he identified himself to Delaware State Police officers as a member of the press.
Andre Lamar was in Camden live-streaming a video of a protest just after 6 pm on the news outlet’s Facebook page. Video shows members of the State Police on an embankment off of Route 13 and several people face down on the ground with hands behind their backs as Lamar reports from the scene.
“There are people laying down on the ground right now. We don’t know why officers have arrested them,” Lamar is heard saying. ” Officer, why are people being arrested right now?”
As the camera continues rolling, Lamar is heard saying, “I don’t know whats going on right now.” A struggle ensues, and Lamar is overheard raising his voice saying multiple times, “I’m with the press!” and later “I can’t breathe.” Police officers are heard telling him, “Don’t move. Relax, You gotta listen to us, okay?”
While the phone continues to record, Lamar is overheard saying, “They took my badge.” According to the Dover Post, Lamar was taken into custody for more than an hour before he was later released without charges.
Governor John Carney weighed in last night on Twitter after the video of the reporter’s arrest went viral.
“Reporters have a fundamental right to cover the demonstrations we’re seeing in Delaware and across our country. They should not be arrested for doing their jobs. That’s not acceptable.”
Delaware State Police issue statement, calling protesters disorderly
Delaware State Police today issued a statement saying they are investigating yesterday’s incident, “involving a disorderly group” which led to the arrest of 22 people, including the reporter.
State Police say the initial incident began in the City Limits of Dover, with a group of approximately 40 individuals protesting.
The group migrated out of the City Limits of Dover and reconvened on South DuPont Highway (U.S. 13) southbound to the area of Wawa located at 200 East Street, Camden, at approximately 6:17 p.m. During this time, the group entered onto U.S. 13 southbound and northbound, began acting aggressively toward motorists and resulting in all lanes of travel blocked by the protestors.
According to police, the individuals were advised multiple times by Law Enforcement Officers the protest was not lawful because it was obstructing traffic and to exit the roadway and move onto the shoulder. The incident escalated with protestors becoming disorderly.
Protestors then refused to allow a Dover Police Officer in a marked police vehicle to proceed through. Once the officer exited the patrol car, individuals became disorderly.
As a result, 22 individuals, including Lamar, were taken into custody and transported to Delaware State Police Troop 3. After a police investigation, the Lamar was released with no charges filed.