Police officer injured, journalist among 12 arrested in New Jersey protest

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Video from the Asbury Park Press shows a protest in the city

ASBURY PARK, New Jersey -- A police officer was injured and a journalist was among 12 people arrested as officers sought to enforce a curfew in Asbury Park following a protest of the Minneapolis death of George Floyd.

Monday's protest was peaceful, and many police officers knelt in solidarity with demonstrators who denounced police brutality. However, tensions flared around 9:30 p.m. as police moved to clear the streets of about 200 people because of the city's 8 p.m. curfew.

A city police officer was injured after demonstrators hurled rocks at officers, police said.

Asbury Park Press reporter Gustavo Martinez Contreras was streaming the protest live on Twitter when he was arrested and issued a ticket for failing to obey an order to disperse. He was released from police custody on Tuesday.

Video from the Asbury Park Press captured the chaotic scene.

The charge against the reporter will be dismissed, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a tweet.

"I know that officers face enormous challenges while maintaining order during a chaotic situation, but I've discussed this matter with local authorities and they will be dismissing the charge today," he said. "We will also figure out why this happened and make sure it doesn't happen again. Because in America, we don't lock up reporters for doing their job."

The curfew had exempted credentialed members of the media.

The protest came after 28 similar events took place in the state over the weekend. Incidents of vandalism in Trenton and Atlantic City led to more than two dozen arrests.


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