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SPJ congratulates photojournalists in historic settlement with NYPD


Claire Regan, SPJ National President, cregan@spj.org
Kim Tsuyuki, SPJ Communications Coordinator, ktsuyuki@hq.spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists congratulates five renowned photojournalists in partnership with the National Press Photographers Association for achieving a historic settlement with the New York City Police Department.

Today, the settlement resolved a federal lawsuit brought three years ago by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, in partnership with NPPA and noted civil rights attorney Wylie Stecklow, on behalf of Amr Alfiky, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Mel D. Cole, Jae Donnelly and Adam Gray who were assaulted and/or arrested in New York while covering the racial justice protests of 2020, following the death of George Floyd.

“This is a remarkable settlement for police versus press in New York City,” said SPJ National President Claire Regan. “We congratulate our colleagues at NPPA for pursuing this noble cause with perseverance and success, and express hope that the message will reverberate across the country.”

The settlement promises to transform police conduct and training while reinforcing the First Amendment protections accorded to both journalists and the public. The NYPD is now obligated to implement policies and training to ensure that members of the press are free from the threat of wrongful arrest and harassment. Additionally, for the first time ever, the NYPD formally acknowledges that the press has a clearly established First Amendment right to record police activity in public spaces.

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