Police attack journalists at marijuana legalization rally in Brazil

The Brazilian police used tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets against protesters and journalists covering a May 21 march in São Paulo in favor of marijuana legalization and freedom of expression, iG reports.

A city court said that the “Marijuana March” was not legal, inspiring protesters to demonstrate for freedom of expression as well, Terra explains.

Folha de São Paulo reports that TV Folha reporter Felix Lima was pepper sprayed in the face and had his equipment damaged by the police, even though he was wearing his press credential.

Journalist Pedro Nogueira, one of the organizers of the rally, said the actions constituted police abuse, Estado de S. Paulo adds. The city’s urban security department said that all allegations of police excesses would be passed on to internal affairs.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.