NCAC has signed three letters urging state and local officials to uphold First Amendment rights during the protests over the death of George Floyd.

It has joined Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 16 other press freedom, journalism, and civil liberties organizations in calling on Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota, Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York, and Mayors Jacob Frey of Minneapolis, Muriel Bowser of Washington DC, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Bill de Blasio of New York City, to immediately halt abusive police actions against journalists during the protests, and to take swift measures toward accountability for violations of the First Amendment during violent crackdowns on peaceful protests.

The letter also calls for an immediate halt to arrests and assaults on members of the press, and the establishment of an official public record of incidents to inform accountability for violent acts against the press.

Elected leaders must explicitly affirm the right of the press and the public to record the protests, including the actions of the police.

NCAC also joined more than 50 groups in writing Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and the Philadelphia City Council to denounce unprovoked acts of police violence against journalists and other violations of First Amendment rights that are occurring in Philadelphia during the protests over the death of George Floyd.

The coalition’s letter, delivered on June 5, sets forth a list of demands, including immediately ending the practice of arresting journalists and protesters expressing their First Amendment rights, and immediately releasing and dropping charges against anyone who has been detained for exercising those freedoms.

NCAC has also joined a coalition of 56 press freedom organizations and experts led by PEN America and the Committee to Protect Journalists that has sent letters to every US governor and the mayor of Washington D.C., urging them to affirm their commitment to press freedom and to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions against journalists covering protests.