Protests and Police Abuse in 2020: Reporting from the Front Lines Panel Discussion

Amid a nationwide outcry over police brutality, protesters and the journalists who cover them have been subjected to overly aggressive policing.

Across the U.S., reporters, photographers and others have been hit with rubber bullets, sprayed with tear gas and faced arrest while covering the marches and demonstrations that have followed the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and, here in Los Angeles, Andres Guardado.

The Greater Los Angeles Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host four journalists on Thursday, July 2 at 6 p.m. as they describe their experiences during the recent protests, including the obstacles they faced while reporting their stories. The panel will also discuss what comes next as activists demand greater police accountability.

The panelists are:

Samanta Helou Hernandez ||
Freelancer reporter with LAist, CurbedLA, Remezcla
Samanta Helou Hernandez’s work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York City and the Mexican Consulate’s Dual Vision: 35 Artists Under 35.

Molly Hennessy-Fiske ||
Houston bureau chief, Los Angeles Times
Molly Hennessy-Fiske has been a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times since 2006 and previously reported for the Thomson Reuters fellowship in Lebanon in 2006 and a Pew fellowship in Mexico in 2004.

Faith Petrie ||
Freelance reporter with Los Angeles Sentinel/L.A. Watts Times and California State University, Long Beach student
Faith Petrie is a student journalist and freelancer in South Los Angeles.

Lexis-Olivier Ray, ||
Freelancer reporter with LA Taco, Curbed LA, KCET
Lexis-Olivier Ray is a housing, homelessness, cannabis and criminal justice freelance reporter and documentary filmmaker.

The panel will be moderated by KPCC/LAist public safety reporter Frank Stoltze

SPJ/LA condemned attacks against journalists and the general use of excessive force by police earlier this month. The chapter also called on the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to prioritize investigation and prosecution of excessive force abuses locally, including those committed against working journalists.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented over 440 aggressions against the press since protests began in late May.

To receive a Zoom link to the discussion, please RSVP at

WHAT: Protests and police abuse in 2020: Reporting from the front lines panel discussion

WHERE: Online via Zoom RSVP for info

WHEN: Thursday, July 2, 6 p.m.

WHO: Samanta Helou Hernandez, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Faith Petrie, Lexis-Olivier Ray, Frank Stoltze, moderator


CONTACT: Nathan Solis, SPJ/LA Diversity Committee chair
(323) 285-0347

Comments are closed.