Map Interactive local COVID-19 tracker
Contact Us
Monmouth Daily Voice serves Freehold, Howell, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown & Neptune
Return to your home site

Menu

Monmouth Daily Voice serves Freehold, Howell, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown & Neptune

Nearby Towns

  • Ocean
    serves Barnegat, Berkeley, Brick, Jackson, Lacey, Lakewood, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Stafford & Toms River
  • Mercer
    serves East Windsor, Ewing Township, Hamilton Township, Hightstown, Hopewell, Lawrence, Pennington, Princeton, Robbinsville, Trenton, West Windsor & Windsor
  • Burlington
    serves Bass River, Bordentown, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Chesterfield, Evesham Township, Medford, Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, Pemberton & Willingboro
  • Middlesex
    serves Edison, New Brunswick, North / South / East Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Sayreville & Woodbridge
Breaking News: Ex-Long Branch Police Officer Lands Lighter Jail Time On Appeal For Fatal DWI Pedestrian Crash
News

Prosecutor: Asbury Park Police Justified In Arresting Reporter During Protest

Asbury Park protest
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: Kimberlee Petillo

Asbury Park police were justified in arresting a newspaper reporter during a June protest, authorities said Wednesday.

An internal affairs investigation led by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office concluded that the Asbury Park officers who arrested APP journalist Gustavo Martinez Contreras during the June 1 George Floyd protest "reasonably believed he was one of the protestors," Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said.

"Arresting officers had no knowledge they were apprehending a reporter."

Martínez was covering the demonstration for APP.com and arrested while live-streaming the tense conclusion of the rally on Twitter. Martínez was also recording officers aggressively detaining other demonstrators at the time he was taken into custody.

Charges on Martinez's arrest were dropped the following day.

Martinez was not immediately available for comment when Daily Voice reached out Wednesday.

Not all journalists were readily identifiable as members of the press, including Martinez, whose press ID -- dangling from his neck -- was facing backward when the first officer confronted him, authorities said.

Gramiccioni's office interviewed 21 people, including 14 law enforcement officers and Martinez, reviewed body-worn camera footage and social media posts captured during the protest.

 “We fully support and embrace the First Amendment protections that journalists’ have to report the news. Our investigative findings are in no way inconsistent with those important constitutional safeguards,” Gramiccioni said. 

"Martinez, unfortunately, was one such journalist whose affiliation with a news organization was extremely difficult to discern," the report said.

State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal apologized for the reporter's arrest and all charges against Martínez Contreras were dropped. The newspaper did not release any immediate reaction to Gramiccioni's findings.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Monmouth Daily Voice!

Serves Freehold, Howell, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown & Neptune

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.