AG Grewal Announces Working Group to Address Goals of Freedom of Press, Free Speech, and Safety During Protests
Mistaken Arrest of Reporter at Protest in Asbury Park Prompts Examination of How Law Enforcement, Journalists, and
Public Can Better Preserve Civil Rights and Promote Safety
TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that he is forming a working group including law enforcement leaders, journalists, and civil rights advocates to address critical issues of safety, freedom of the press, and free speech during protests in New Jersey.
The announcement was made after the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (“MCPO”) released the results of its investigation into the June 1 arrest of an Asbury Park Press reporter who was covering a protest in Asbury Park in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The MCPO concluded that the officers in Asbury Park were not aware they were arresting a journalist. The charges against the reporter had been dismissed previously.
“The freedom of the press to cover matters of public interest is essential,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This bedrock principle is especially important during protests and other mass gatherings, when reporters have both the right and the responsibility to cover these events.