Reporter arrested during Hawthorne Park sweep

MEDFORD, Ore. – A local journalist was arrested as police cleared out an unauthorized homeless camp Tuesday.

Over the last week, an unauthorized tent city materialized in Hawthorne Park. A self-proclaimed group calling itself “Hawthorne Mutual Aid” said they organized the camp for people displaced by wildfires. However, Medford police said very few of the campers were actually wildfire victims and the park was becoming a health and safety hazard.

On Monday, the Medford Police Department sent a team to the park to tell campers they need to leave. Officers reportedly worked with Rogue Retreat to connect campers to resources.

Medford police said they cleared out the park Tuesday morning, making 11 arrests for various violations in the process.

One of the people arrested was Jefferson Public Radio reporter April Ehrlich, according to JPR.

Erlich was reportedly at Hawthorne Park to cover the dismantling of the encampment when she was taken into custody on charges of interfering with a police officer, trespassing and resisting arrest.

According to JPR, a witness saw the arrest and stated Erlich had recording equipment in the park and was arrested after officers told her to move to a “press location.”

Read more at https://www.ijpr.org/poverty-and-homelessness/2020-09-22/medford-police-clear-encampment-from-park-jpr-reporter-among-11-arrested

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