RPD Reviewing Why Officers Detained 13WHAM Reporters
Rochester, N.Y. - The Rochester Police Department is reviewing why police officers arrested two 13WHAM news reporters early Saturday morning while they were covering protests on the city's East End.
The protesters were promoting the "Black Lives Matter" message, with many holding signs with that message or joining in chants.
13WHAM Reporters Carlet Cleare and Justin Carter were detained in handcuffs for about ten minutes and then released without being charged with any crimes or issued any tickets.
Their arrests were captured on live television as 13WHAM continued to broadcast live until 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Both Cleare and Carter were working as journalists to provide live coverage on 13WHAM-ABC and on Facebook Live where their feeds were regularly used on-air.
Around 12:38 a.m. those live feeds suddenly ended as news cameras captured video of police officers grabbing both reporters, handcuffing them, and escorting them from the area. At that time police were in the process of clearing East Avenue of protesters and crowds by directing people to the sidewalk. Both Cleare and Carter were arrested while many other reporters, photographers, and onlookers in the immediate area were not detained.
Fifteen minutes after their arrest, Rochester Police informed 13WHAM News that Cleare and Carter were being released and not issued any tickets or charged with any crimes.
Before an early morning press conference at the Public Safety Building, Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren each called the reporters to personally apologize. That apology was made public moments later at the press conference that described police response to the protests.
"Two local reporters, Carlet Cleare and Justin Carter, were taken into custody at the scene," Chief Ciminelli said. "I apologize for that. They were there trying to do their job covering this event."
"I as well want to express my sincere apologies to Carlet Cleare and to Justin Carter," Mayor Warren added. "We will make sure that we review this."