Photographer Beaten By Baltimore Police
City Paper photography editor J. M. Giordano was tackled and beaten by police while covering the Freddie Gray protests.
In a video shot by City Paper Managing Editor Baynard Woods you can see Giordano, wearing a green jacket, and a protester, both of whom had just been knocked to the ground by police, being beaten as Woods yells, “He’s a photographer! He’s press!”
Giordano says he was standing next to the protester in the video, facing the police line, at about 12:30 when someone threw a rock which hit a police officer’s shield.
“They mobilized,” he says. The police line moved forward and Giordano did not move fast enough for them. “I always move at the last second,” he says. Five or six police officers in riot gear hit Giordano and the other protester with their shields, knocking them to the ground.
“They just swarmed over me,” he says. “I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out.”
“I kept shooting it,” he says. “As soon as I got up I started taking pictures.” He says the guy who was next to him (who did not throw anything, he is sure) got arrested and was loaded into a van. Joe was not. He thinks it is because police recognized him as a local reporter and figured arresting him would cause a backlash.
“They [police] tried to block me from shooting.”