The New England Society of News Editors, New England Newspaper & Press
Association, and The Associated Press strongly condemn the arrest of Tara
O’Neill, a Hearst Connecticut Media reporter, while reporting on a public event in
Bridgeport, Conn., Thursday. The organizations also support the May 10 letter sent
by the New England First Amendment Coalition to Bridgeport Police and the
mayor calling her arrest inexcusable.
NESNE, NENPA and the AP also support the steps that NEFAC proposed in its
May 10 letter to Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez and Mayor Joseph
Ganim, calling on the police department to present a full public explanation of the
events leading to O’Neill’s arrest and to issue a formal apology, among other steps.
“There is simply no excuse for a journalist to be arrested for doing her job,”
NEFAC’s letter said.
O’Neill was arrested on Thursday while covering a public demonstration for the
second anniversary of an officer-involved shooting in the death of a 15-year-old
resident. O’Neill tweeted footage of her arrest by police, and on Twitter described
being handcuffed, put into a police cruiser, and taken to the police station for
“NESNE’s board members are united in their belief in the need for press freedom,
and concerned how the arrest of any reporter covering a story undermines it,” said
NESNE president Paula Bouknight.
The New England Society of News Editors
New England Newspaper & Press Association
The Associated Press