Black Lives Matter protesters held a conference at Cleveland State University over the weekend, but when a white reporter came to cover the event, they told him to get out.
While gathered on a public sidewalk outside a building on the CSU campus, one of the protesters announced that the sidewalk was a “people of African descent space,” and informed anyone not of African descent that they should “go to the outside of the circle…. Immediately.”
Northeast Ohio Media Group crime reporter Brandon Blackwell, who is not of African descent, complied with the protesters request. But after he did, a chorus of people told him to “stop filming,” and followed him to the far side of the sidewalk with t-shirts and other objects blocking his camera.
“I’m not touching you. I’m not touching you,” one of the protesters said as they held their hand in front of Blackwell’s camera.
In the accusations and questions about Blackwell’s motives that followed, no politically charged cliché or imagined grievance was overlooked by the angry participants. One protester accused Blackwell of being a federal agent. Another, freelance “race reporter” Rosa Clemente, said Blackwell was endangering children in the crowd because “police target their children,” adding:
Do you think that the police are not putting files on our children? That’s why we asked them not to tape.
Yet another said he was nothing more than an agitator. One other man accused the reporter of being a white supremacist.
Blackwell asked why they would gather in a public place if they didn’t want to be filmed, and Clemente said they didn’t do it in private because “when we do it in a private place we’re surrounded. We’re surrounded by the police.”
Later in the video, a girl in the crowd shouts, “That’s white privilege!”
Blackwell responds, “This is the privilege of anyone in a public space.”
Another man in the crowd then says, “I got 800 black people behind me, what the f*ck are you going to do?” before he and another man start to push Blackwell and reach for his camera.
Blackwell asks someone in the crowd to restrain the protester and one large man steps in to keep things from getting out of hand.
A video of the exchange follows. Caution: Violence and profanity.
This report, by Josh Fatzick, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.