Conservative news outlet threatening to sue Louisville police after two reporters arrested & charged covering BLM protests

Two reporters for The Daily Caller were arrested in Louisville while covering the Black Lives Matter protests spurred by the court ruling in the Breonna Taylor case. Now the conservative outlet has threatened to sue police.

Reporters Shelby Talcott and Jorge Ventura were arrested as part of a larger group breaking curfew in Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday night, following the announcement that police officers would not face charges of murder for the March killing of Breonna Taylor.

Talcott captured footage of police ordering protesters onto the ground as they detain them. 

Daily Caller Editor in Chief Geoffrey Ingersoll tweeted that he expected both of his reporters to be “swiftly released” from custody as he had informed police they were capturing footage for a news outlet, and press are exempt from the curfew restriction.

He then reported, however, that police were refusing to release the pair and that both were being charged with “two misdemeanors related to breaking curfew and unlawful assembly for their alleged failure to comply with police orders to disperse and for press to relegate themselves to an ‘observation area.’”

It is unclear if this press “observation area” was announced or if the reporters were aware of it.

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Daily Caller co-founder and publisher Neil Patel has threatened the Louisville Police Department with a lawsuit if Talcott and Ventura were not released soon. In an angry Twitter thread on the incident, Patel said the Daily Caller had “done a more balanced job” of covering recent protests and told the police’s “side of the story.”

Ventura eventually published a video saying he had been released after more than 12 hours. 

He also revealed another reporter, Drew Hernandez, was arrested during the protests and remains in custody. Talcott, on the other hand, was kept in custody for over 16 hours and was released on Thursday evening. 

The Daily Caller called the arrest “outrageous.” They thanked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press for assisting in seeing that Talcott was eventually released. 

In a statement put out through Caller reporter Richie McGinniss, Talcott said police were not keeping prisoners in compliance with Covid-19 social distancing measures.

“This is absurd,” she said. “I am packed in with 28 other people in a 20×20 cell. Not all of us have masks, and there is not enough room so people are sleeping on the floor.”

Reporters and pundits, both liberal and conservative, have expressed outrage over the arrest of the reporters.

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