Statement from New Mexico reporter about his arrest at UNM encampment protest 

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The following statement is from Bryant Furlow, an independent investigative journalist who regularly partners with New Mexico In Depth, about his arrest yesterday during a police action on the University of New Mexico’s main campus to clear a student Gaza solidarity encampment. 

“Thank you to all the media who have reached out to me in the last 24 hours. Tara Armijo-Prewitt, a photographer to whom I am married, and I are fine after a long day Wednesday in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque.

“I am releasing a statement through New Mexico In Depth, for whom I am a frequent contributor as an investigative journalist.

“Tara and I were arrested Wednesday morning and charged with criminal trespass and wrongful use of public property during the operation to clear the UNM student protestors’ encampment.

“Tara has documented the protests on the University of New Mexico campus for weeks and decided to return early Wednesday in anticipation of the encampment being cleared following Tuesday’s statement by UNM’s president, Garnett Stokes, in which she said the university was prepared to take action in the event of continued violations of UNM policy.

“I accompanied Tara as a journalist interested in possibly reporting on this operation by the UNM Police Department and the State Police (NMSP). 

“Upon arriving on the scene, I asked officers where news media were permitted to stand to document the operation and did not receive an answer. I asked officers several times if there was a public information officer on scene with whom I could speak and was told there was not. I also inquired about who was in charge but got no response. We at all times followed instructions we received from police and stayed behind the yellow police tape. We were arrested while photographing the operation and shortly after asking an NMSP officer for his badge number and name. As I was being arrested, I said I was a member of the press repeatedly and loudly. 

“We spent approximately 12 hours in custody following our arrests. 

“We want to secure legal representation to fight the criminal charges before we speak further about our arrests.

“Thank you.” 

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