125 violations of press freedom by US that uses helicopters to disperse protesters

Low flying military helicopters were seen at the rooftop level above protesters who took to the streets in Washington D.C.'s Chinatown district on Monday night, according to multiple reports.

U.S. Army Black Hawk and Lakota helicopters appeared to kick up dirt and debris as crowds were out defying the city's 7 p.m. curfew, allegedly coming low enough to reportedly rip branches from trees. Storefronts were reportedly shattered.

The crowds at one point dispersed into the surrounding blocks before one of the helicopters returned for another pass.

In another development, US police have violated the constitution with arrests and violence against reporters covering the anti-police-brutality demonstrations, a global media rights group has said. The rallies were followed by rioting in major cities.

“We are horrified by the continued use of harsh and sometimes violent actions of police against journalists doing their jobs. These are direct violations of press freedom, a fundamental constitutional value of the United States,” Committee to Protect Journalists (CJP) Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna said.

Since May 29, the New York-based NGO has recorded at least 125 violations, including 20 arrests, against journalists who were covering the protests, sparked by the death of unarmed black man, George Floyd, in police custody.

Police have hit “dozens more” reporters with tears gas, pepper spray or rubber bullets, even after they had displayed their press cards, the CPJ said, citing various sources. The statement came after local and international media outlets reported that their journalists have been attacked during the protest rallies and the ensuing chaos.

Thousands of people have been arrested across the United States in angry protests that have now spread to dozens of cities over the death of  Floyd.

Source: Agencies