LAist Reporter Josie Huang Released After Arrest For Obstructing Justice In Confrontation Outside Hospital

LAist reporter Josie Huang has been released from county jail after being arrested Saturday night while covering a protest outside St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.

After the Saturday night shooting of two L.A. County Sheriffs, a crowd gathered outside St. Francis Medical Center, where the shooting victims were taken. The crowd blocked the emergency entrance and exit and chanted, “We hope they die,” the sheriff’s department said in a tweet.

Huang, an award-winning journalist, was arrested for allegedly obstructing justice. Video shows at least five deputies pinning Huang to the pavement, handcuffing her, and placing her in a patrol car.

The department initially refused to provide details of what happened, but later, Deputy Juanita Navarro of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau confirmed that deputies took Huang into custody on suspicion of obstruction of justice by “interfering with a lawful arrest.” Huang says she was trying to document the rest of a protester.

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Navarro also said Huang “didn’t have proper credentials,” but video shows she was wearing press credentials around her neck.

KPCC, the Southern California Public Radio station which runs LAist, issued this official statement: “We offer condolences to the two sheriff deputies who were shot Saturday evening. These are challenging and stressful times for everyone, but Josie Huang was arrested while doing her job. The charges should be dropped.

“Her arrest is the latest in a series of troubling interactions between our reporters and some local law enforcement officers. Journalists provide an essential service, providing fair, accurate and timely journalism and without them, our democracy is at risk.”

Huang’s arrest was condemned by NPR and other media members in a series of tweets on the incident.

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