Following an incident in which Chicago police handcuffed WGN reporter Dan Ponce, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said this week that he doesn’t “believe in handcuffing reporters.”
“Whether I like what you write or whether I like what you report, you have an essential role in telling the truth,” Emanuel said to a group of reporters on Monday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I want to say this: You won’t be handcuffed. That I can assure you today.”
A little over a week ago, Ponce and WMAQ photographer Donte Williams were handcuffed outside of a hospital as they attempted to report on the murder of a six-year-old girl. Police detained the pair while they were situated on a median in a street alongside the hospital.
Ponce and Williams were eventually released, and no charges were pressed against them.
“The WGN reporter and photographer were at all times conducting themselves professionally and properly,” WGN news director Greg Caputo said in a statement, following the incident. “They did not enter the hospital grounds and they did nothing to antagonize any hospital security or Chicago Police.”
Emanuel’s declaration comes as thousands of journalists are set to descend on Chicago in May for the NATO summit.
“My detainment by CPD last weekend went all the way to the top,” Ponce announced on his Facebook page. “I’m glad Mayor Emanuel spoke about it.”
Here’s video of their detainment…[Chicago Sun-Times, WGN]