8 p.m. EST Sunday. Update: Jesse Rosenfeld has been released from custody, says family, and is doing well.
A journalist on assignment for The Guardian newspaper was arrested and beaten by police officers at the site of a peaceful demonstration on The Esplanade near the G20 security fence in downtown Toronto at approximately 11:00 p.m. on June 26, 2010. Having been punched in the stomach and elbowed in the back by officers, it is believed that Jesse Rosenfeld, a 26-year-old writer from Toronto, was then taken to the temporary detention facility on Eastern Avenue in Toronto.
Rosenfeld had already filed a story for The Guardian, the United Kingdom–based newspaper founded in 1821, but was not able to receive media accreditation as the RCMP had dragged its heels through the accreditation process. However, Rosenfeld clearly identified himself to police as a journalist.
Steve Paikin, the Gemini-nominated TVOntario personality who was also covering the protest via Twitter witnessed the incident. The following are Paikin’s tweets journaling the arrest and beating:
“they repeated they would arrest me if i didn’t leave. as i was escorted away from the demonstration, i saw two officers hold a journalist.”
“the journalist identified himself as working for ‘the guardian.’ he talked too much and pissed the police off. two officers held him….”
“a third punched him in the stomach. totally unnecessary. the man collapsed. then the third officer drove his elbow into the man’s back.”
“the officer who escorted me away from the demo said, ‘yeah, that shouldn’t have happened.’ he is correct. there was no cause for it.”
“the demonstration on the esplanade was peaceful. it was like an old sit in. no one was aggressive. and yet riot squad officers moved in.”
Rosenfeld’s family is livid that police would violate the rights of anyone but especially a journalist on assignment, and are supporting Jesse in this matter. Rosenfeld’s father, Mark, is available for comment, as is Jesse’s girlfriend and fellow journalist Carmelle Wolfson. Rosenfeld will be available for comment following his release.
Mark Rosenfeld, father
Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, friend
Rosenfeld spoke at a rabble-sponsored event this week. You can watch the video here.