Scenes we didn’t see on CNN during the RNC in St. Paul….
Then a skirmish line of roughly 100 riot police charged the remainder of the crowd, which they had trapped in a parking lot bounded by the walls of three buildings. Knowing to stay out of their way as they worked, I glued myself to the side of one of the buildings and shot. A group of officers had just taken down a protester, with one of the officers driving his billy club between the butt cheeks
of the young man, forcing him facedown into the ground. I was switching cameras, going from the one with the long lens to the one with the short lens, when it happened.
The camera exploded in my face and I was trying to figure out exactly what happened, when a group of the black-clad cops ran at me from all directions, trapping me against the wall. Using their sticks, they pushed me to the ground where, with their boots, they pinned me. One cop took his stick and poked me repeatedly in the genitals. Another punched me in the face. The entire time I was yelling “Press! Press! Press!” but it didn’t stop them. They flipped me over, and handcuffed me behind my back so tight that my hands were numb in minutes.
I tasted blood in my mouth, and spit it out.
I kept repeating the word “Press! Press! Press!” over and over. Finally, a Secret Service agent appeared and ripped the credentials from my neck. He took my phone, called my employers and verified that I was, in fact, a professional press photographer. Then he left, leaving me in the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Taken to jail, I again identified myself as credentialed press photographer, but all jail officials did was show me to a cell.
The freedom…. oh, the freedom!