Attorneys Reach Settlement in Arrest of Photojournalist During Black Lives Matter Protest
Attorneys representing a photojournalist who was arrested during a Black Lives Matter protest in Atlanta announced this week that they have reached a settlement with the city, resolving allegations of violating the journalist’s first amendment rights.
In an exclusive interview with FOX 5 News, Sharif Hassan, the photojournalist, shared his experience and expressed his passion for conflict photography.
According to Hassan, everything seemed fine until a sudden rush of police officers charging towards him caught his attention.
He explained that he began running after them, documenting the scene, when an officer forcefully pushed him to the ground and restrained him.
Despite identifying himself as a journalist and the presence of a nine p.m.
curfew implemented by the city, Hassan found himself arrested.
The First Amendment Clinic at the University of Georgia’s School of Law, along with two private attorneys, worked on Hassan’s case and announced the settlement with the city of Atlanta.
As part of the agreement, the city has committed to including language in future curfew orders that provides exceptions for journalists and essential workers.
This development aims to prevent similar incidents and ensure the protection of press freedom.
Hassan emphasized the importance of clarifying the rights of journalists during times of civil unrest.
He believes that being vocal about these issues is crucial in upholding the principles of the First Amendment and participating in protests.
The settlement required the city of Atlanta to pay $105,000, with the majority of the funds going to Hassan’s legal team, who will continue advocating for journalists’ rights in Atlanta.
This settlement not only serves as a resolution for Hassan but also highlights the significance of safeguarding press freedom, even in times of societal turmoil.
By addressing the concerns raised by this case and implementing protective measures for journalists, Atlanta aims to create an environment that respects the vital role of the press in reporting on critical events.
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