Washington D.C. (June 25, 2020)—On Monday, June 29, at 10:00 a.m., Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will hold a remote briefing on how the violent treatment of protestors and journalists across the country by federal and local law enforcement have violated the First Amendment.
Since George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, people in cities all over the country have flooded the streets to protest his death and in support of Black Lives Matter. Despite the mostly peaceful nature of those demonstrations, protesters have been met with unnecessary police violence, and upwards of 10,000 people have been arrested. Protesters, journalists, and even clergy have been hit with chemical gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, batons, and more.
Videos captured on smart phones by protesters, journalists, and bystanders have proven to be essential in holding police accountable for their actions as police departments have issued numerous statements that are easily disproven by video evidence.
The First Amendment is a fundamental right that protects the freedoms of speech, assembly, press, and religion, and this police violence threatens our country’s democratic norms.