Groups Calls Series Of Incidents At Democratic Convention An Assault On First Amendment
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DENVER – Following news reports and a video showing Denver law enforcement agents ordering a reporter off a public sidewalk and pushing him into the street and later arresting him, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado called for renewed protection of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and a free press.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:
"The physical removal of ABC reporter Asa Eslocker from public property and his subsequent arrest are a blatant assault on the First Amendment. Arresting a reporter for simply doing his job is both unconstitutional and un-American. That free speech is curtailed during the Democratic Convention underscores the need for continued protection of civil liberties, regardless of the party in power."
The following can be attributed to Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado:
"The arrest of Asa Eslocker is the latest of several troubling incidents in which law enforcement has mistreated dissenters or others exercising their right to free speech dissent during the Democratic National Convention. On Monday hundreds of people were rounded up by police, detained without access to attorneys and denied the most basic due process protections. Arrestees were flexi-cuffed together so that they couldn't even use the bathroom alone, and in at least one case a woman was forced to walk barefoot and in leg shackles into a courtroom. The First Amendment is supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy, but some law enforcement agents in Denver have shown a complete disregard for the right to free speech."