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Charges dropped against British photographer arrested during US protests

Posted on: June 9, 2020 by Ian Murray

A British photographer arrested and charged covering the recent protests in New York is to have all indictments dropped.

Last week, the Society of Editors reported how Adam Gray, 33, a New York-based photojournalist for agency SWNS, was thrown to the ground by police, restrained and handcuffed as he chronicled the violent rallies in the city.

He spent twelve hours in custody amongst the protestors before being charged with unlawful assembly near Union Square.

The British Government, world media commentators, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, condemned the actions of the police department and demanded the charges be dropped.

Now Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., has quashed the pending prosecutions against Adam and others caught up in the protest.

Adam, from Wakefield, Yorks., said: “It is a huge relief to know I will not be prosecuted. But it should never have been a prospect in the first place.

“To have a journalist arrested for doing his job is simply untenable. Although relieved, I will not rest until my record is expunged and fingerprints and mugshot removed from the police database.

“I would like to thank the Sun US, SWNS and all those who spoke out in my defence, for standing by me. It means a lot.”

Authorities were forced to reconsider the actions of the police and subsequent charges after The Sun, which commissioned Adam to cover the rioting, instructed their lawyers.

SWNS editor-in-chief Andrew Young said: “This is not only a victory for common sense, but for the principle of press freedom and journalistic endeavour.

“Many journalists around the world put themselves in danger on the frontline of news gathering on a daily basis. 

“To think they should ever have to be concerned about the actions of the police in a so-called free country as they go about their jobs is beyond contempt.

“SWNS would like to thank The Sun for backing Adam and calling the highest judiciary to account in bringing the matter to a swift resolution.”

The Sun, through its legal representatives, are now insisting Adam’s fingerprints and personal details are expunged from the criminal database.

Read the full piece from SWNS on Press Gazette