Thomas DeSeno, an attorney from Asbury Park and frequent MMM contributor, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to buy safety vest for Asbury Park Press reporters.
DeSeno seeded the $200 campaign with a $20 contribution.
APP reporter Gustavo Martínez Contreras was arrested after 10 p.m.while covering a protest in Asbury Park on Monday June 1. He was not wearing a safety vest.
“The Asbury Park Press is a financially struggling newspaper in New Jersey. The parent company, Gannett, has lost over 60% of their stock value since the beginning of the pandemic. They desperately need financial help,” DeSeno wrote on GoFundMe.com
“Recently, one of their reporters was running with a mob during a riot wearing the same dark clothing as the rioters, because the Press can’t afford safety vests that clearly state “PRESS” on them.
“Refusing to leave the area when the rioters were being dispersed, in a hectic situation where the police were being physically attacked, the Asbury Park Press reporter was arrested, the police believing he was one of the offenders.
“This is very dangerous. The Press is very important, almost operating as an arm of government, thus the name “the 4th Estate.”
“It’s bad for society to have the Press getting arrested because they dress like perpetrators and don’t triangulate their position so as not to be mistaken for rioters. They must have clearly marked safety attire that identifies them as “PRESS.”
“In the photos above, on the same night in the same place, we see the attire of a reporter from another news agency clearly identifying himself as PRESS, and the Asbury Park Press reporter being arrested, wearing dark and disheveled attire, his employer unable to provide proper safety clothing.
“He and the other reporters at The Asbury Park Press very much need these vests and this fundraiser will assure they get them. “