The Slatest

Baltimore Police Beat Up City Paper Photographer at Freddie Gray Protest

A protester holds up his hands as police in riot gear pass through during a march in honor of Freddie Gray on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore.  

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Baltimore police in full riot gear tackled and beat Baltimore City Paper photo editor J.M. Giordano at the Freddie Gray protest. The paper published video shot by its managing editor, Baynard Woods, in which Giordano is being beaten as Woods yells: “He’s a photographer! He’s press!”

It all apparently began when someone threw a rock that hit the shield of one of the police officers. The City Paper reports:

“They mobilized,” [Giordano] says. 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.

On Sunday, Woods took to Twitter to deny reports that police tackled Giordano to protect him from an attempted robbery.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of Freddie Gray’s death.