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PHOTOS: Charge Dropped For Asbury Park Journalist Arrested Reporting On Protest

Monday's protest in Asbury Park. Photo Credit: Courtesey of Pat O'Brien (@coast2coast_photography_ Instagram
Monday's protest in Asbury Park (courtesy of Pat O'Brien @coast2coast_photography_ Instagram) Photo Credit: Pat O'Brien (@coast2coast_photography_ Instagram)
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: @koachwave Instagram
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: Kimberlee Petillo
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: Kimberlee Petillo
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: Kimberlee Petillo
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: Kimberlee Petillo
Asbury Park protest Photo Credit: Kimberlee Petillo

The charge against the Asbury Park Press reporter arrested during Monday's protest will be dropped, authorities said on Tuesday.

Gustavo Martinez Contreras was arrested as police tried to clear people from the street in a protest of George Floyd's killing.

“I know that officers face enormous challenges while maintaining order during a chaotic situation,” Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said on Twitter Tuesday. 

“But I’ve discussed this matter with local authorities and they will be dismissing the charge today. We will also figure out why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Because in America, we don’t lock up reporters for doing their job.”

Contreras was handcuffed and loaded into a police van about 10 p.m. while live-streaming police ordering people to disperse, according to multiple reports. Asbury Park had ordered an 8 p.m. curfew.

Martinez was charged with failure to disperse, booked at Belmar police headquarters and released, authorities said.

Several protesters also were arrested and at least one Asbury Park police officer was injured in the clash, authorities said.

Meanwhile, peaceful protests continued to spread across New Jersey: Two large marches were reported along Georges Road in South Brunswick and Route 37 in Toms River on Tuesday. Another peaceful march proceeded across the 9th Street Bridge from Somers Point toward Ocean City.

The marches protest the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a police officer, Derek Chauvin, placed a knee on his neck as Floyd cried out, "I can't breathe."  Chauvin and three other officers from the Minneapolis Police Department were fired; Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

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