Sacramento Police Detain Reporter Covering Stephon Clark Protests, Tie Hands Behind His Back

Police allegedly shoved a photographer to the ground with a baton as well.



Police detained a reporter for The Sacramento Bee and allegedly forced a photographer to the ground Monday night as protesters took to the streets after learning there would be no charges filed against the officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark last year. The officers had followed Clark on foot, then opened fire after mistaking his cell phone for a gun.

Police made "80 plus arrests," Sacramento Police Captain Norm Leong tweeted. "Still processing it all," he added. According to police, many of the arrests were made because demonstrators wouldn't disperse when ordered to do so.

"We gave multiple orders to disperse," Sacramento Police Sergeant Vance Chandler told reporters, according to The Washington Post. "Ultimately, we made at least 10 announcements."

One of the people detained was the Bee's Dale Kasler, who was covering the protests and has been working for the paper for more than two decades. One of Kasler's colleagues, Sam Stanton, captured the moment when Kasler was detained:

"I guess [Kasler] ended up on the wrong side of the street," Stanton says on the Bee's livestream. "Dale Kasler has been handcuffed and is being led away along with the rest of the marchers. The police here don't seem to care they've arrested a reporter."

"Evidently if you were unlucky enough to end up on the west side of [the street], you get arrested," he added. "If you're on the east side like we are, you apparently don't."

There's nothing to indicate that Kasler was actually arrested. However, the reporter's hands were tied behind his back before police eventually let him go free. "I was following the marchers," Kasler told KXTV following his release. "It became apparent that there was nowhere to go, that the police had basically created a funnel-type situation and had sealed off any exit routes for the demonstrators," he said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, police would not let the protesters back to where they had parked the cars, so it would have been difficult for them to disperse. "Then they started arresting people," Kasler said.

Kasler told police he was a member of the media, but that didn't initially work. "They said: 'We know that and you refused an order to disperse,'" he recalled to KXTV. "They also said, 'When we are doing these…a sweep of people, we don't play favorites, we just basically take everyone.'"

Police soon realized "I was just doing my job," Kasler added. "It took a while, and they let me go." He said he was given a release form that read: "Suspect exonerated."

According to the Bee, photographer Hector Amezcua "was shoved to the ground by an officer with a baton." Amezcua was not detained, though two pastors, as well as an administrative law judge, were, the Times reported.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said in a statement he has "many questions about what went on that precipitated the order to disperse and the subsequent arrests."

"No matter the reason an order to disperse was given, no member of the press should be detained for doing their job," he said.

For more on aftermath of the Stephon Clark shooting, read Reason's Scott Shackford here.

NEXT: From Momo to Hate Crimes, Skittles Parties, and Sex Trafficking, Fake News Is Clearly a Problem

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  1. “We gave multiple orders to disperse,” Sacramento Police Sergeant Vance Chandler told reporters, according to The Washington Post. “Ultimately, we made at least 10 announcements.”

    And then we started bustin’ skulls. How dare they not obey.

  2. Maybe that reporter will report more on the militarization of police around the USA?

  3. I would say never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel, but it remains to be seen if the paper seriously pushes back against this either in print or in court.

    1. We have been told many times that there is no hive mind when it comes to media types.

      This reporter might rail against local police but other media types will cover for the increased tyranny of police around the USA.

    2. lol Fist journalists aren’t people.

    3. This is what I don’t get. Why aren’t news outlets suing these municipalities back to the stone age?

      1. And lose access to the police blotter?

  4. Cops fucked up now – it’s bad enough when they’re doing this shit to the little people but they’re crossing the Rubicon when they start treating journalists as if they were civilians.

  5. Amendment I:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    A reporter reporting clearly falls under the peaceful assembly protection. Same goes for peaceful protesters who are not violating the rights of others.

    1. If only the police were aware of the first amendment. Someone should tell them!

      1. If only the police were aware of the first amendment. Someone should tell them!

        It’s California…I doubt those fuckers can read.

        1. California actually repealed the 1A

          Well, they never actually ratified it anyhoo

    2. That is closely related to what my thoughts were. I know that having a reporter involved is like catnip for other reporters, but ordering people to disperse when they are peaceably assembling in order to petition their government for redress of grievances seems like an even more fundamental violation of an American citizen’s rights.

      But then, what do we know. We are just a bunch of wacky libertarians.

      1. But….the police told them to disperse! That negates their free speech until TPTB can set up some Free Speech Zones inside the FEMA camp.

    3. Yes. And not a free press issue. Everyone has the right to assemble, ask questions and try to see what’s going on, whether or not they are going to publish what they learn.

      1. Exactly. I don’t give a rat’s ass that this guy is a “journalist” or a member of the “press”. What the cops did was wrong, but not because the guy is a reporter.

  6. “When we are doing these?a sweep of people, we don’t play favorites, we just basically take everyone”

    Unless it’s a friend or family member, of course

  7. Thug Pigs heard people then arrest them for being where they heard them.
    This is why we cheer when Cops are shot in their fucking faces.

    1. That’s consistent with what I herd.

      1. Ha!

    2. We? Speak for yourself.

    3. I hope you get killed by a cop.

    4. I like you thinking, maj.

  8. How does being a member of the press give you immunity from being detained under these circumstances, unlike any other person on that street?

    Again, we have a theory that gives a recognized member of that profession more privileges than an ordinary person. The free press clause does not grant rights to a profession.

    1. Why was anyone being detained?

      1. That is a very good question.

    2. It doesn’t. Freedom of the press means that anyone can publish anything they want. It’s not a special set of privileges for professional journalists. The real issue here is freedom of assembly.

      1. Yes, but Seyton seems to be concerned that a journalist was detained. That the demonstration was broken up does not seem to register much on the outrage scale .

        1. Well, it may not be constitutionally required, but there is a custom, often with legal backing, of allowing reporters more access to various things than the general public and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

          But yeah, just arresting everyone for not following an order to leave a public place should be the outrageous part. If people are committing crimes, arrest them. Otherwise they are peacefully assembling and within their rights.

  9. the police had basically created a funnel-type situation and had sealed off any exit routes

    They were just following SPLC guidelines. I lived in Jerusalem 2 years ago and they don’t have freedom of assembly, meaning you needed a permit to demonstrate, which limits attendance as well, and they will turn people away if it goes over. They also didn’t allow the 2 sides to mix. Once I was in Mea Shearim and talking to a bunch of yeshiva bochers from the US and a guy came up and said “The police need to talk to you.” Next thing I know I was on the ground – he hit me from behind. So I just lay there and eventually they dragged me out. They asked for ID, passport, etc. To every question I looked them in the eye and responded, “I got hit in the head.” They called an ambulance but I said I didn’t want to go to the hospital. So they said, “We can’t protect you from them.” Well it was a bunch of kids. I said, “I need protection from you!” Eventually they let me go.

  10. They aren’t even going to dismiss the police that shot an unarmed man who they were pursuing for breaking into cars. And their reasoning “Oh, he had a cellphone and we thought it was a gun”, is a lame excuse, and if you accept that, you give them carte Blanche to shoot whomever they want, whenever they want.

    1. They already have that, that’s why the weak ass “we thought the cell phone was a gun” excuse worked.

  11. OT: new York post is reporting that aoc aid funneled 1 million dollars a private account

    1. It’s only funneling when a conservative does it. AOC’s aid redistributed 1 million dollars to a private account.

      Seriously, do you even socialist?

  12. 1. Reporters are not a special class anointed by themselves to be above the law.
    2. ‘Taking to the streets’ is usually different from ‘peaceable assembly’.
    3. It’s California, so the US constitution does not apply. (You have been told by gun nuts for decades that they will go after the first amendment after they have neutered the second)

    You asked for it – you got it; now get over it.

      1. 2. Probably when property destruction is involved but I don’t want to put words in OP’s mouth. As far as point 3 goes, the situation is one that involves a powerful state with a blue army just kinda hanging around waiting for orders so… statists gonna state. None of it is right. All of it is hilarious.

  13. “No matter the reason an order to disperse was given, no member of the press should be detained for doing their job,” he said.

    I disagree. Being a reporter does not grant you carte blanche. Lawful orders, such as those to disperse, still apply. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    1. Why do police have the privilege of being able to violate people’s first amendment rights? You know – freedom of assembly?

      Why would anyone ever consider an ‘order to disperse’ to be lawful?

  14. There’s nothing to indicate that Kasler was actually arrested. However, the reporter’s hands were tied behind his back before police eventually let him go free.

    Well, that’s either an arrest or a kidnapping.

    Or are we going to say its was a ‘voluntary detainment’ and that he ‘was free to go at any time’?

    1. People often say “arrested” when the mean “booked” or “charged” or something like that.

  15. Cops vs journalists… yeah, do I really have to pick a side here? Can’t they both get the shit beat out of them?

    1. Whatever I may think of journalists, I don’t think that their being beaten by police is going to make anything better.

      1. Yeah, you’ll see. Morale will improve.

  16. Why are Dem run cities such cesspits of Fascist Thuggery?

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