Cop Detains, Handcuffs WSJ Reporter Outside Bank

Dion Rabouin was interviewing people outside bank branch in Phoenix
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2023 5:55 PM CST

The Wall Street Journal says it is deeply concerned by the way one of its reporters was treated by police in Phoenix. New York-based reporter Dion Rabouin tells ABC15 he was working on a story about savings accounts and decided to do some man-on-the-street interviews outside a Chase Bank branch in Phoenix while he was visiting relatives over Thanksgiving. He ended up being detained, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a police car. Rabouin, who is Black, says two bank employees came out to ask him what he was doing but didn't ask him to leave or inform him that the sidewalk outside the bank was public property. Rabouin says he was dressed in street clothes because he didn't want people to think he was selling anything.

He says that when a police officer turned up, he identified himself to the officer and said he'd move if he didn't have a legal right to be there, but the officer "shifted his body to keep me from moving or going anywhere." He tells ABC15 after they talked a little longer, the officer said, "I’m done with this" and grabbed at his arms. "And I was kind of flustered and drew back. And he was like, 'This could get bad for you if you don’t comply and don’t do what I say.’ So he grabs my arms and really wrenches them behind my back and proceeds to put me in handcuffs." A few minutes into the encounter, passerby Katelyn Parady started filming, Mediaite reports. "I heard him say he was going to leave," she can be heard telling the Officer Caleb Zimmerman. "This is ridiculous. He’s a reporter." She kept filming after Zimmerman warned her that she could be arrested as well.

Rabouin says that when the officer tried to place him in the back of the police car, he told him he didn't want to get in and sat with his feet outside the door so Parady could keep filming. "I didn’t trust what was going to happen," he says. The handcuffs were taken off and Rabouin was released two minutes after other officers arrived at the scene. Rabouin says he later received an apology from the bank—but not from police. Matt Murray, the Journal's editor-in-chief, has written to the Phoenix Police Department demanding an internal review of the Nov. 23 incident. "I am appalled and concerned that officers at your department would attempt to interfere with Mr. Rabouin’s constitutional right to engage in journalism and purport to limit anyone's presence in a public location," he said. (More Wall Street Journal stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.