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Philly journalist arrested at protest inside the Municipal Services Building

Protests and sit-ins yesterday led to the arrest of a Philadelphia Inquirer journalist

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Samantha Melamed, a justice and injustice reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, was arrested yesterday inside of the Municipal Services Building after repeatedly saying that she was there as a reporter. 

The video she filmed for the Inquirer below, shows how many times she declared herself a reporter before cops with “counter terrorism” vests at the sit-in placed zip ties on her.

This is not the first time during the last five weeks of protests that a reporter has been arrested. 

After Melamed’s arrest, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted his concern and about a possible violation. 

Erica Palan, an opinion editor for the Inquirer replied that if her memory serves right, Melamed was the fourth journalist to be arrested at a protest.

Earlier in the month, Melamed’s colleague, Kristen Graham was tear gassed and then handcuffed covering a protest at the Vine Street Expressway. 

WHYY reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent was also detained by police covering protests on May 31.

City council member Kendra Brooks tweeted about the event, citing that it was a clear violation of the PPD policy, and that it would be further investigated.

After Melamed was arrested, a police chief quickly cut off her ziptie, and she then tweeted that it was because her coworker had tweeted about the incident.

Additionally, 26 people were arrested for failure to disperse after entering the Municipal Services Building for a sit-in ahead of the budget meeting Thursday morning.

The District Attorney of Philadelphia, Larry Krasner, also tweeted his concern for the recent arrests of journalists:

Journalists put their safety at risk everyday to cover stories and get them out to communities to know what is going on. Experiences like this are always shocking because it goes to show how much power law enforcement has and uses.

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