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Arrested journalist pleaded with officer: 'This is my job'

Racial Injustice Reporter's Trial
Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 19:36:58-05

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa journalist recounted getting pepper-sprayed and arrested while covering a protest for racial justice last year, testifying in her own defense at her widely-watched trial on charges stemming from the incident.

Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri told jurors she was running away from a scene where riot police had shot tear gas to disperse protesters outside a mall in Des Moines, Iowa.

She said that after she rounded the corner of a Verizon store, she saw an officer charging at her and she put her hands up and said she was press.

She said she was grabbed, pepper-sprayed, and arrested anyway.

On the second day of trial, Sahouri told jurors that she thought she was going to go blind after being pepper-sprayed, which was “extremely painful," The Associated Press reported.

Sahouri and her former boyfriend are charged with failure to disperse and interference with official acts.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Wednesday.