Injured/arrested reporters

Chris Doss itschris13 at
Tue Apr 18 10:10:40 PDT 2000

Photographers, reporter hurt, arrested in Washington IMF-World Bank protests

By The Associated Press, Freedom Forum Online staff


An Associated Press photographer was struck in the head and knocked unconscious yesterday when he was caught between clashing police and protesters at a demonstration against the International Monetary Fund.

Heesoon Yim, an AP free-lance photographer, was taking pictures of demonstrators linked in a human chain near the White House when the crowd surged toward a line of police and he was struck on the back of the head. Yim, who was treated at a local hospital for a concussion and an inch-and-a-half cut on his scalp, said he didn't know who hit him.

As protests continued today, UPI chief photographer Joel Rennich was chased by police and pepper-sprayed in the face despite trying to comply with orders to disperse, he told The Freedom Forum Online.

Around 8 a.m. today, Rennich was with 40-50 protesters at a streetcorner near the IMF when a protester said a "bad word" to a police officer and police reacted.

A shoving melee ensued in which police pinned some protesters to the ground, Rennich said, and then brought out pepper spray after protesters threw plastic bottles at them. Rennich said he had begun to obey a police order to move when officers chased him.

"I pancake into a construction fence across the street," he said, "and I look up and this cop blasts me with pepper spray and then he goes away."

One of many street medics with the protesters rinsed Rennich's eyes, which he said he could not open for 20 minutes.

"I was complying (with the police), I was leaving, I wasn't shooting, I had my cameras down," said Rennich. He had his press pass and I.D. prominently displayed, he said, "but it doesn't seem to matter much here."

Rennich was back to work shooting pictures by this afternoon.

Yesterday, Ross Simpson, an AP Radio reporter, was clubbed in the back by a police officer in riot gear during a confrontation with demonstrators in which police used tear gas on the crowd. Carol Guzy, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the Washington Post was among about 600 people arrested over the weekend at a protest in downtown Washington that brought attention to controversial global financial policies.

Police arrested Guzy on April 15 after escorting her from a cordoned-off area where they had taken into custody demonstrators protesting policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Associated Press photographer Kamenko Pajic said officers took him and Guzy from the protest area, but police released him before arresting Guzy. She is one of the Post photographers who won this year's Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for their pictures of Kosovo refugees.

Pajic said it was unclear to him what prompted the arrest of Guzy, who was behind him as they were being led away. He turned and photographed her being handcuffed.

Police spokesman Sgt. Joseph Gentile said Guzy was charged with "parading without a permit," just like the other protesters. He would not say why a journalist was arrested along with the marchers.

Pajic and Guzy were among several news photographers who had stayed in the cordoned-off area after police began arresting protesters.

The newspaper's picture desk reported today that Guzy was released late on April 15 and had resumed covering the protests in downtown Washington.

More than a dozen reporters, photographers and television crew members were among the hundreds of people trapped between lines of police in riotgear for about 90 minutes after the protesters swarmed into a downtown street a few blocks from the IMF headquarters.

Minutes before the arrests began, S.P. Digan, another spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, told reporters inside the cordon that they were on the wrong side of a police line and should leave. Gentile then arrived and told journalists, "if you go off to the side, you will not be arrested," though minutes later officers began escorting journalists out of the area and then arrested Guzy.

Guzy told the Associated Press that she had moved away from other photographers while covering the demonstration and, although she wore credentials, was seized by an officer and then arrested after she complained about being roughly handled. ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at

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