Capitol Police Arrest Progressive Journalist


The daily arrests at the Wisconsin State Capitol took a new twist Thursday as police arrested the editor of The Progressive magazine while he was documenting the event.

Matt Rothschild says he was arrested while he was trying to get a picture of police loading a cuffed protester onto the capitol elevator. He says he was 15-20 feet away from the elevator when an officer told him he couldn’t be there. “I had my reporter’s pad out, I had my cell phone out, I announced myself as a journalist a couple times. There was no question that I was with the Fourth Estate, but that didn’t seem to matter to them at all.”

Rothschild says he was cuffed, taken to the Dane County jail in the back of a squad car, fingerprinted, detained in a holding cell and eventually ticketed for obstructing an officer. Asked about the arrest, the state Department of Administration did not mention Rothschild by name, but said a person had interfered with an officer while they were detaining someone.

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The Progressive is up front about its point of view – it calls itself a left wing magazine. But Rothschild says he was not participating in Thursday’s Solidarity Sing Along, only documenting it.