Two photojournalists have alleged in separate federal lawsuits this week that they were harassed and physically assaulted by law enforcement officers at protests in the Los Angeles area.
The lawsuits come amid heightened tensions between local police and the media after a year in which reporters and photographers have repeatedly alleged abuses by officers — including verbal harassment, physical assaults and baseless detentions and arrests — as they’ve sought to cover street demonstrations.
Nicholas Stern, a freelance news photographer, alleged he was repeatedly struck with a baton and then shot twice with projectiles by Los Angeles police officers during mass protests against police brutality in the Fairfax district on May 30.
Stern alleged one of the shots, to his thigh, came after he had used his media credentials to get onto a sidewalk and out of officers’ way — behind the officers’ skirmish line. He claimed he was lifting his credentials up when the officer opened fire anyway.
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