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Kalamazoo may issue press badges for protest coverage

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Courtesy City of Kalamazoo Facebook page
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The City of Kalamazoo is considering issuing its own credentials to reporters covering protests. That’s after public safety officers arrested an MLive reporter earlier this month (August). He was covering a Proud Boys rally that ended in a violent clash with counter-protestors. At a virtual press event today (Monday), City Manager Jim Ritsema said a city-issued badge could safeguard reporters’ rights.

“When these split second decisions need to be made, we can make sure that the press is protected and observers, and – so they can perform their important role,” said Ritsema.

Ritsema said the city was still working out the details. MLive says reporter Samuel Robinson was wearing a press badge and an MLive backpack when police arrested him. The city says it plans to release footage from the rally in the next week or so.