Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Reason Magazine (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Iowa Reporter Acquitted After Being Arrested While Covering George Floyd Protests

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


A jury acquitted Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri today of two misdemeanor charges stemming from her coverage of protests last year in a case closely watched by press freedom advocates.

Sahouri was pepper-sprayed and arrested by Des Moines police while covering protests over the police killing of George Floyd last May. Prosecutors and police claimed that Sahouri and her boyfriend ignored orders to disperse and interfered with an arrest, two misdemeanor offenses.

According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, 128 journalists were arrested or detained in the U.S. last year during the months of unrest that followed Floyd’s killing, but Sahouri was one of the only journalists whose charges weren’t dropped by prosecutors. The case drew national attention and outrage from press freedom groups, which called the Polk County District Attorney’s decision to prosecute Sahouri outrageous, excessive, and wasteful.

“The acquittal of journalist Andrea Sahouri in Iowa today is a welcome relief, but Polk County prosecutors never should have filed charges against her in the first place,” Committee to Protect Journalists program director Carlos Martinez de la Serna said in a press release. “Reporting is not a crime, and journalists should not be punished for doing their jobs and covering matters of public interest.”

The arresting officer, Luke Wilson, testified that he was clearing a street of an unruly mob and wasn’t aware that Sahouri was a reporter. Sahouri was not wearing a press badge. However, Sahouri and other journalists who were on the scene sharply disputed the police account of her arrest.

“I see an officer coming at me, so immediately I put up my hands and I say ‘I’m press’ because he was coming like, right at me, and I didn’t think it was a good idea to run from officers,” Sahouri testified during her trial. “He grabbed me, he pepper-sprayed me and as he was doing so said, ‘That’s not what I asked.’”

Body camera footage could have cleared this up, but, after a judge ordered prosecutors to produce the video, it was revealed that Wilson did not save the footage of Sahouri’s arrest and did not report it to his supervising officer, as department rules required.

Last year, a federal judge in Portland ordered police to stop targeting reporters with less-than-lethal munitions and exempted journalists and legal observers from orders to disperse.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in January against New York City for what she says was unchecked excessive force and false arrests by NYPD against protesters, medics, and legal observers.

After her trial concluded today, Sahouri tweeted one word: “Acquitted.”


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.