Neil Patel, co-founder and publisher of Daily Caller, is threatening legal action against the Louisville Metro Police Department after officers arrested and refused to release two of the publication’s reporters who were covering protests in the city on Wednesday night.
Patel said in a series of tweets on Thursday that police arrested the two employees while they covered protests that erupted in the city after a grand jury decided to charge only one officer in connection to the police operation that killed Breonna Taylor, but not her death. Though the Daily Caller has informed the department that the pair are reporters who were peacefully doing their job, the department has refused to release them, he said.
Thread on our reporters who were arrested in Louisville last night 🧵
The Louisville police arrested two of our employees Wednesday night. We have informed the police that these are reporters who were peacefully doing their job, but they are still refusing to release them.
— Neil Patel (@NeilPatelTDC) September 24, 2020
“They will not even let us speak with them,” Patel said. “Given the fact that our reporters have been repeatedly harassed, punched and even shot at during past protests, we fear for their safety in lockup with people who may want to do them harm.”
He continued in saying he appreciates “the difficult situation that officers are in trying to balance their own safety while allowing protestors to exercise their first amendment rights,” but claimed no other outlet had “done a more balanced job of telling the public what is happening.”
“Unlike other outlets, we have interviewed police about this and told their side of the story,” he said. “But this is not China. Those reporters flat out have a constitutionally protected role to play on our streets.”
He concluded in threatening legal action against the department if the reporters are not released.
“The Louisville Police Department (@LMPD) is going to find out all about this in the form of a lawsuit unless things start changing fast,” he said.
Police arrested nearly 100 people overnight on Wednesday after protests turned into violent riots, Fox News reported.
Larynzo Johnson, 26, was arrested and charged with wanton endangerment and assault of a police officer after he allegedly shot two Louisville police officers during the rioting.
Other rioters were arrested for damaging businesses, jumping on city vehicles being used as barricades, and for violating curfew and unlawful assembly rules, according to the report.