Student reporter pepper sprayed by police talks press freedom
On June 1, 2020, three reporters stood at the intersection of North High Street and Lane Avenue in downtown Columbus, on behalf of Ohio State University’s student newspaper The Lantern: Sarah Szilagy, a Junior campus editor, Maxwell Garrison, a Junior assistant campus editor, and Maeve Walsh, the special projects editor.
The three student journalists had been working on assignment all day covering the Black Lives Matter protests in Columbus, Ohio following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. When the city's 10 p.m. curfew struck, Columbus police officers threatened to arrest the journalists and pepper sprayed them in an attempt to force them out of the area.
Walsh, who has since graduated, spoke with Matter News and Eye on Ohio about her experience being pepper sprayed by the Columbus police and how the incident impacted her first amendment rights as a journalist.