Journalist Held by ICE Speaks: ‘Without a Doubt’ I Was Targeted for My Work

Journalist Held by ICE Speaks: ‘Without a Doubt’ I Was Targeted for My Work

Originally published by The Daily Beast

What started out as a “just another day” in Memphis-based journalist Manuel Duran’s life ended in his arrest by local police and later Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The arrest, Duran claims, was retaliation for his reporting about local police actions.

Duran, 42, who is sometimes listed as Duran Ortega, was covering a Memphis protest in April when he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway or passageway. In a video taken of the incident, Duran appears to be wearing a press badge and was not the only journalist in the street.

After the charges were dropped, Duran was released from the Shelby County jail and ICE agents were there waiting to arrest him, the county sheriff’s spokesperson Earle Farrell said. A Memphis Police arrest report claimed that Duran’s refusal to get out of the road “caused a hazard.” It also mentioned that he did not have a U.S. identification.

Duran believes his arrest wasn’t over a simple hazard, but that he was targeted for his coverage of the Memphis Police Department in Memphis Noticias, the online publication he founded.

A year before Duran’s arrest, Memphis Noticias published a video interviewwith a woman whose friend was arrested by Memphis Police and later ended up in ICE custody despite promises from Mayor Jim Strickland that the city’s government was not cooperating with ICE.

“There are three cases already confirmed in some manner in which people are guaranteeing that ‘yes, the Memphis police are involved with immigration where obviously there is this collaboration,’” Duran said in the Spanish-language video.

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