VIDEO: Photographer says Baltimore police beat him during protest
BALTIMORE (AP – April 26, 2015) — A photo editor for a Baltimore newspaper says he was beaten by police at a protest of the death of Freddie Gray.
J.M. Giordano, who works at the City Paper, says police “swarmed over” him and hit him repeatedly. A video of the beating posted to the newspaper’s website Sunday shows at least two police officers in riot gear hitting and kicking Giordano as the person filming screams, “He’s a photographer! He’s press!”
The 41-year-old photographer says his head hit the ground during the beating, which he says only stopped when someone pulled him out of the fray.
It all apparently began when someone threw a rock that hit the shield of one of the police officers. The City Paper reports:
The police line moved forward and Giordano did not move fast enough for them. “I always move at the last second,” he says. Five or six police officers in riot gear hit Giordano and the other protester with their shields, knocking them to the ground.
“They just swarmed over me,” he says. “I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out.”
“I kept shooting it,” he says. “As soon as I got up I started taking pictures.” He says the guy who was next to him (who did not throw anything, he is sure) got arrested and was loaded into a van. Joe was not. He thinks it is because police recognized him as a local reporter and figured arresting him would cause a backlash.