2020 Pro Bono & Social Impact Report

Scroll for more

Page 9


Defending the Rights of a Journalist of Color Swept Up in a Mass Arrest Last August, police in Washington, D.C., arrested multimedia journalist Kian Kelley-Chung and seized his equipment while he was covering Black Lives Matter protests in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Although Mr. Kelley-Chung identified himself as a journalist, officers confiscated his two cameras and his smartphone and he was held in custody for over 18 hours. Thanks to the efforts of the National Press Photographers Association, working with DWT lawyers, D.C. police returned Mr. Kelley-Chung’s equipment. A team at DWT then filed suit, alleging violations of our client’s constitutional rights. Earlier this year we were proud to celebrate a substantial monetary settlement in the case. “Respecting the rights of photographers and reporters is not optional for police officers,” said Mr. Kelley-Chung’s attorney, Robert Corn-Revere. “Hopefully, outcomes like this will help reinforce that message.” Said Mr. Kelley-Chung: “It is important that people remember the power they have when they hold a camera, and their ability to hold the system accountable.” Also assisting in the case were Ronald London (now with Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) and Meenakshi Krishnan.