Charges Dropped Against MLive Reporter Arrested During Proud Boys March
It's not easy for anyone in the media these days. But for Sam Robinson, the 23 year-old reporter who was covering the Proud Boys rally that took place in Kalamazoo over the weekend for MLive, it was especially scary. Despite wearing visible credentials identifying him as a reporter and his media affiliation, he was arrested by officers who believed he interfering and obstructing. In reality, he was getting live footage of the alt-right group for a continuous feed on the MLive Facebook page. Thankfully his identity and duty were sussed out and charges against him have been dropped. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Karianne Thomas issued a public apology to Robinson and stated that she was unsure why he had been taken in to custody despite identifying himself several times.
I'm not sure if Robinson was ready for the violence he would capture on his camera Saturday, or feel a sense of risk before he walked out of the house that afternoon. When you're working for a news outlet documenting the world around you, there is a sense of invincibility, that you, too are experiencing through the camera and you are in no real sense of danger. I certainly hope this experience hasn't taken away the journalistic spirit of this young man. Hopefully we as a society and law enforcement at large will learn from this experience and take the steps necessary to keep our reporters safe as they step in to the fray to document the truth for the people.