An independent journalist was recording a Seattle, Washington Antifa protest when local police asked him to stop filming, as his presence may have created an unsafe situation for protesters.
Independent conservative journalist Saleem Juma traveled to Washington University’s campus in Seattle to film an Antifa protest that featured black bloc protesters holding signs reading “Fight Capitalism”, “Blue Lives Murder”, “Bigots Out”, and featuring hammers and sickles.
Eventually, Seattle police asked Juma to leave the area, explaining that his presence as a journalist was creating an unsafe space for the protest.
After first being asked to leave by one officer, Juma responded “See the thing is, officer, we’re actually legally allowed to come to these protests and ask questions,” and noted the several times when protesters crowded his personal space that he recorded on video.
“If I’m standing here and five or six of them come surround me, I think they’re the ones being the aggressors here,” Juma said to the officer, who did not respond.
By this point the protesters were loudly chanting anti-police slogans as the officers attempted to help them by removing a journalist from the scene.
“It’s not illegal to ask questions,” Juma said, “We do have the right to ask questions.”
After noting that he was an accredited journalist with a pres pass, another uniformed officer approached him, and began shaking his head in the negative before saying “Not today.”
“Our job is to come here and ask people what they’re doing here,” the journalist told the officer, noting that he has every right to be there.
The police officer rebutted, telling him that the protesters “don’t want to talk to [him].”
Again, the journalist explained that it is his job to be there and asking questions. The police officer continued denying his right to be there.
“It’s clear that your presence is creating additional anxiety on some of their part,” the officer shot back, “That’s just not smart.”
He then asked Juma again whether or not he had press passes, and suggested he go inside the school and wait for individual protesters to come find him for interviews.
Eventually, realizing the police were not going to allow him to peacefully ask questions and record the far left protesters, Juma asked his camera man if they had enough footage and proceeded to leave the area.
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