The newspaper reported that Andre Lamar, who has been covering protests for the Gannett paper was later released and not charged.
Lamar, an African American, is a well-known reporter-photographer in the Dover area for the weekly newspaper. that is now owned by the Gannett chain.
It marked the first mass arrests during a wave of protests in Delaware following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Four officers in that city have been charged with murder in the case.
Troopers reported the latest protest started in Dover, with a group of approximately 40 individuals participating. The group traveled to South DuPont Highway southbound to the area of Wawa at 200 East Street, Camden, at about 6:17 p.m.
During this time, the group entered Route 13 southbound and northbound and blocked lanes while acting aggressively toward motorists, police claimed.
State Police said individuals were told several times by officers that the protest was not lawful because it was obstructing traffic and to exit the roadway and move to the shoulder.
The incident escalated with protestors refusing to allow Dover Police officer in a marked police vehicle to proceed. Once the officer exited the patrol car, individuals became disorderly. Twenty-two people were taken into custody and detained.
Police confirmed that one of the 22 individuals detained was Lamar.
Lamar, who was carrying press credentials and equipment while covering the incident,, was taken into custody by an officer of the Dover Police Department and transported to Delaware State Police Troop 3 with the other individuals.
Lamar was released with no charges were filed. Charges against protesters and their status were not listed.
Two people were released with no charges. Others face the following:
• Disorderly Conduct when Refusal to Disperse (All 20 Individuals)
• Disorderly Conduct by Obstructing Vehicular Traffic (All 20 Individuals)
• Disorderly Conduct by Obstructing Pedestrian Traffic (All 20 Individuals)
• Disorderly Conduct by Fighting or Violent Tumultuous or Threatening Behavior (All 20 Individuals)
• Resisting Arrest (4 Individuals)
• Hindering Prosecution Prevent or Obstruction by Force (3 Individuals)
All of the individuals were arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court and released on either their own recognizance or unsecured bond. A condition of bail included the following: The defendant will not interfere with public egress or ingress or shutdown public right-of-ways or block roadways when physically protesting unless legally permitted.
State Police issued the following before listing charges.
The Delaware State Police will continue to support our mission and the citizens of Delaware with their rights to peaceful protest. We ask for the public’s patience as we continue this investigative process as a result of an incident in Camden tonight with Dover PD.
— Delaware State Police (@DEStatePolice) June 10, 2020
Previous protests in the Dover area have often involved demonstrators entering roadways, with police allowing the practice. A protest in Dover ended up with the Superintendent of the State Police talking with demonstrators.
The event ended peacefully. A store was entered at neighboring Dover Mall at around the time of the protest.The mayor of Dover has continued to impose a curfew.
Earlier, protesters blocked Interstate 95 for a time in Wilmington. However, there were no arrests.
Reporters have been arrested, detained, and sometimes tear-gassed during the protests demanding police reforms. Floyd’s funeral was Tuesday.
Delaware Gov. John Carney was critical of the detention of Lamar in a post on his Twitter account.
Reporters have a fundamental right to cover the demonstrations we’re seeing in Delaware and across our country. They should not be arrested for doing their jobs. That’s not acceptable. https://t.co/7TQI0p7R9b
— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) June 10, 2020