Signal Staff Member Arrested with Occupy Protestors
Signal photography editor Judith Kim was arrested among 19 others late Saturday night, despite her objections that she was a member of the student media.
Seventeen people were arrested for obstructing the flow of traffic; three were students working as members of the press, including Kim, the photography editor for Georgia State’s The Signal; AlisenRedmond, an editor for the Kenessaw State University Sentinel and Stephanie Pharr, an intern for Creative Loafing .
Kim said she had nothing to do with the protestors and did not know why she was arrested until hours after her hands were behind her back.
“Literally, it happened so fast,” Kim said. “I tried to step away, but they came after me.”
“I was screaming ‘I’m student media!’ ‘I’m student media!'””I did not know that if you were on the street you were going to get arrested, then I would have stayed on the sidewalk, because last time you had to be in the park to bear- rested,” Kim said.
“What I was trying to do when I was photographing was move out of the way, but the thing is: I was moving away from them, but they came after me. They grabbed my wrist, and I had to drop my camera.”
“They didn’t say anything; they just started to arrest me,” Kim said. “I was by no means obstructing traffic whatsoever.”
Carlos Campos, public affairs manager for the Atlanta Police Department, said protestors as well as members of the media received ample warning that they could be arrested if they disobeyed the orders of the police Saturday night. “I personally worked to warn media on the scene that we were enforcing the laws and to be mindful of that as the operation continued,” Campos said. “We weren’t arresting protestors or journalists last night, we were arresting people in violation of the law.”
Although Campos declined to comment on the specifics of Kim’s arrest, he said that any protestor or journalist should have known not to enter the street.
“There were verbal warnings on the scene,” Campos continued.
“We tried our best to try to warn people that arrests were impending.”
Although Kim did not have a press pass on her, she was wearing a shirt that identified her as an employee of The Signal. However, Alisen Redmond, the reporter from the Kennesaw Sentinel, did have a press pass with her name, picture and media organization clearly identifiable in large, bold letters.
An editor for Creative Loafing at the scene of the protests tried to get Pharr, the intern from CL that was arrested, out of police custody once she was arrested and placed on the police bus to no avail, Kim said.