CNN's Miguel Marquez confronts Baltimore police: “Are we under martial law?”

CNN Reporter Confronts Baltimore Police Officer: “Are We Under Martial Law?”

CNN Reporter Confronts Baltimore Police Officer: “Are We Under Martial Law?”

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May 2 2015 1:04 PM

CNN Reporter Confronts Baltimore Police Officer: “Are We Under Martial Law?”

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CNN reporter Miguel Marquez with Baltimore police officers on May 1, 2015.

Screengrab via CNN

CNN’s Miguel Marquez was evidently exasperated Friday night by the massive police presence while he was covering the Freddie Gray protests. And that frustration reached a boil live on television when he was trying to talk to an arrested protester and was prevented from doing so by police officers who pushed him aside and told him to “step back.” Police then seemed to carry out actions to make sure arrested protesters were inaccessible to reporters. When Marquez asked why he had to step aside, one officer was direct: “Because they asked you to, sir, please comply.”

That, it seems, is when Marquez had enough. “Are we under martial law?” Marquez wondered. “The media has the right to work.” CNN’s Don Lemon can then be heard trying to calm down his colleague: “Miguel, Miguel, it’s not worth it.” Marquez wants it to be clear, though, why he’s making such a big deal about this. “It is shocking that in a city like this that it would come to this,” Marquez said. And he later added: “I think that the First Amendment and the Constitution still applies in Baltimore, Maryland.”

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Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.