A Dover Post reporter was detained by Delaware State Police while covering a protest in Camden.
Andre Lamar, who is African American, showed his own arrest on Facebook Live video, and can be heard repeatedly identifying himself as a member of the press.
"I'm with the press! I'm with the press! I'm with the press" he shouted.
Prior to his arrest, he was videoing the arrest of several protests and questioning why.
"They slammed them down to the ground, there are people lying down on the ground right now, we don't know. Why are people being arrested? Officer, why are people being arrested right now?"
As Lamar is detained some kind of struggle ensues, and he's heard saying he can't breathe.
"I have a press badge on," Lamar is heard saying.
On the two-minute video, troopers can be heard telling Lamar to relax, "get a breath" and "you've got to listen to us."
"Sir you took my badge off me," said Lamar.
"You've got no help here, OK, the best thing you can do is just be quiet," one of the officers said.
Governor John Carney responded to Lamar's arrest on Twitter.
"Reporters have a fundamental right to cover the demonstrations we’re seeing in Delaware and across our country. They should not be arrested for doing their jobs. That’s not acceptable."
Reporters have a fundamental right to cover the demonstrations we’re seeing in Delaware and across our country. They should not be arrested for doing their jobs. That’s not acceptable. https://t.co/7TQI0p7R9b— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) June 10, 2020
Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said on Twitter she's been "clear with law enforcement that I do not believe civil disobedience should be treated criminally and that peaceful protestors [sic] should not be harmed." She added she spoke to law enforcement and Lamar would not be charged.
I’ve been clear with law enforcement that I do not believe civil disobedience should be treated criminally and that peaceful protestors should not be harmed. https://t.co/LwojxOgCp6— Attorney General Kathy Jennings (@DE_DOJ) June 10, 2020
A reporter was taken into custody at a demonstration today. We’ve spoken with law enforcement and that reporter has been released and will not be charged.https://t.co/w17mmWCXKp— Attorney General Kathy Jennings (@DE_DOJ) June 10, 2020
The ACLU of Delaware also weighed in.
"A free press and the right to protest are essential to our democracy and are protected by the First Amendment. We will continue to monitor this issue."
A free press and the right to protest are essential to our democracy and are protected by the First Amendment. We will continue to monitor this issue. #netDE— ACLU of Delaware (@ACLUDelaware) June 10, 2020
Lamar was ultimately not charged. He was released and used Facebook Live to show himself being escorted out of the Troop 3 in Camden by officers, where a trooper was heard telling him to "keep walking straight."
After saying an update would be issued in the "near future" in the 9 p.m. hour, Delaware State Police released information at 1:35 a.m. on the incident, saying it began within the city limits of Dover with a group of about 40 individuals protesting.
The group, described as "disorderly" by police migrated out of Dover city limits and reconvened on South DuPont Highway (U.S. 13), southbound to the area of Wawa located at 200 East Street, Camden, at approximately 6:17 p.m. During this time, the group entered onto U.S. 13 southbound and northbound, began acting aggressively toward motorists and resulting in all lanes of travel blocked by the protesters, said DSP.
Lamar was never seen in the roadway, blocking traffic, and was not in the roadway when he was detained.
DSP said the individuals were advised multiple times by law enforcement officers that the protest was not "lawful" because it was obstructing traffic and to exit the roadway and move onto the shoulder, police said.
In all, 22 people, including Lamar, were taken into custody and detained. No charges were filed against Lamar. It's unclear what charges protesters may face.
In Wilmington, protesters have twice marched onto Interstate 95, stopping traffic and shuttering the roadway. No arrests were made in those protests.