Andrea May Sahouri, Des Moines Register Reporter, Tweets Video from the Back Of A Police Vehicle After Being Arrested

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Heavy/Twitter Reporter Andrea May Sahouri.

Des Moines Register reporter Andrea May Sahouri was arrested while covering protesters responding to the death of George Floyd as well as the police response and looters damaging retail stores.

Protests across the country have been breaking out in response to the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who died in police custody. A video of his death surfaced, showing then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of his neck for several minutes as a handcuffed Floyd begged for help and told him and other officers that he couldn’t breathe.

Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis announced that the four police officers involved have been fired, the FBI has started an investigation into the incident and Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree-homicideProtests in Minneapolis and all over the country have taken place calling for police reform and the arrest of the other three former officers at the scene with Chauvin: Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng.

Sahouri said she was arrested while reporting on protests taking place near Merle Hay Mall. She tweeted a video of herself from the back of a police car, where she described what happened, as she still appeared to be suffering the effects from the pepper spray she said police sprayed in her face:

I was just reported at Merle Hay mall today. We were running, police were approaching the crowds trying to get them to disperse. My boyfriend who was with me was hit by a teargas canister; I was seeing if he was ok. Police came closer, and we went around the corner, and I was saying, ‘I’m press, I’m press, I’m press.’ Police deliberately took me, sprayed pepper spray in my face and then put me in zip-ties, and I’m in the back of a cop car right now. I believe we haven’t moved anywhere as of yet, I think we’re still in the Merle Hay Mall parking lot.

I’m just doing my job as a journalist, I’m just out here reporting as I see. I asked why I was arrested and they said, I think something about failing to disperse or about something like that, and I said, ‘Well, I’m a journalist and police informed me that I would have to report from further away.’ I said multiple times, ‘I’m a reporter with the Des Moines Register, I’m a reporter with the Des Moines Register.’ I’m ok though; the pepper spray really stung my eyes and my face, but I’m feeling better now.

According to a tweet from the news director of the Des Moines Register, Paige O. Windsor, the police did not ask Sahouri for credentials.

Reaction to her arrest drew backlash from reporters and non-reporters across the country:

Sahouri’s Reporting Showcased Conflict Between Protesters And Agitators, Crowds And Police

Before her arrest, Sahouri had been updating Iowa residents with a Twitter story about how gatherings were unfolding around several local businesses. Sahouri reported that peaceful protests were taking place as well as looting and vandalism, such as a Target being tagged with graffiti.

Sahouri also reported that tear gas and pepper spray were being used by police and said that protesters had caught two undercover police officers and “forced them to leave the crowd.” Sahouri said that protesters were pleading with those in the crowd throwing rocks and water bottles at police to stop, while police were arresting others, including someone she said “was just filming with a cell phone.”

Sahouri’s reports from Merle Hay Mall reflected damage from looting, including broken glass and haphazard displays; she also captured police gathering in front of a Shoe Carnival, Target and Jeannie’s Bottle bar.

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