Phoenix police handcuffed and detained a Black Wall Street Journal reporter who was standing near a bank conducting interviews. Dion Rabouin was on a story about savings accounts, talking to passersby outside a Chase branch, when police approached him.
According to Yahoo!, Rabouin identified himself to police officer Caleb Zimmerman as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, but he later explained that the cop didn't want to see his credentials and cuffed him instead. Fortunately, a bystander began recording, which might have saved the reporter.
Katelyn Parady, a bystander, recorded the conversation between officer Caleb Zimmerman and Rabouin. The video begins as the officer was placing Rabouin in handcuffs.
"I heard him say he was going to leave. This is ridiculous. He's a reporter," Parady can be heard saying as the footage begins.
…Rabouin said the officer didn't want to look at his credentials. …
"'If this isn't public property and I don't have a legal right to be here, if you're telling me that's not what this is, fine, I'll move.' And he literally, kind of, shifted his body to keep me from moving or going anywhere," Rabouin said. "And after we talked a little more, he said, 'I'm done with this.' And he started grabbing me. Grabbing at my arms. And I was kind of flustered and drew back. And he was like, 'This could get bad for you if you don't comply and don't do what I say.' So he grabs my arms and really wrenches them behind my back and proceeds to put me in handcuffs."
While Zimmerman tried to take him to the car, Rabouin said he told the officer that he doesn't want to get in.
"I didn't trust what was going to happen, Rabouin said. "While the woman was recording, I thought the odds of him not doing anything to me whether physically or anything else are a lot higher. Once he closes that door, he could take off, He could take me somewhere. I could be placed under arrest."
Backup officers eventually came and, after assessing the situation, let Rabouin go. In a statement, a Journal spokesperson said the company has asked "Phoenix Police Department to pursue a thorough investigation into the incident and explain why their officers needlessly escalated the situation and took these aggressive steps," according to Yahoo!.
"We're deeply concerned that Wall Street Journal reporter Dion Rabouin was detained, handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle while reporting. No journalist should ever be detained simply for exercising their First Amendment rights."