Across the nation, we have seen journalists severely injured during the recent protests against police brutality that erupted after George Floyd, an African-American man, died while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
All of us at the Press Club of Long Island were horrified and saddened to learn that one of our own members, Darius Radzius, was attacked on May 31 while covering the demonstrations in Brooklyn.
Darius is a highly respected reporter, both on Long Island and in New York City, and a stalwart volunteer for Stony Brook University’s annual Robert W. Greene Summer Institute at Stony Brook University, which introduces high school students to journalism. He works for both 1010 WINS and News 12.
Darius suffered bruises across his face and required five stitches across his eye. According to reports, he observed a liquor store that was being looted when someone in the crowd yelled, “Snitch!” An object was then hurled at his head, and he was knocked to the ground.
All of us at the Press Club of Long Island send our thoughts and prayers to Darius for a speedy recovery.
We also condemn the violence that has rocked cities and suburbs across the country. Journalists have, at times, been attacked by looters and police. In one notable case, a journalist lost vision in one eye when hit in the face by a rubber bullet. In others, they have been targeted by police with pepper spray and tear gas. And still others, they have been arrested — one case involved a CNN reporter who was on air at the time!
A reporter heads into harm’s way with only pen and paper or a camera in hand. Journalists understand the dangers they face. This is not a war-ravaged nation, however. This is the United States in 2020. None of this should be.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation is tracking attacks on the press. For the spreadsheet, click here.
For more information, click here.