Last week I wrote about a violent incident involving a member of the press and a bodyguard working for CNN’s April Ryan. There is now an update to the story. Criminal charges have been filed against the bodyguard.
The original story was one of a journalist being tossed out of an event simply because he was attempting to record the keynote speech. The speech, delivered by April Ryan to attendees of the New Jersey Parent Summit, was suddenly off-limits to the press – or at least to Charlie Kratovil, editor of New Brunswick Today. Kratovil had written confirmation via email that he was approved to cover the conference. He says he had been recording speeches and award presentations for about three hours before he was singled out and tossed from the event. Kratovil claims others were filming Ryan so it is unclear why he was removed by the bodyguard.
A video clip of the event shows Ryan beginning her address to the crowd when Joel Morris, her 30-year-old bodyguard approaches her. Ryan stops the opening of her speech as Morris says a few words to her. She nods in approval, pauses her speech, and watches as Morris begins to disrupt Kratovil’s filming of the speech.
THREAD: It’s been 36 hours since @AprilDRyan’s security guard assaulted me in a hotel lobby after stealing our camera.
Because there has been some misinformation going around, I want to lay out exactly what happened before, during, & after this video.
— Charlie Kratovil (@Charlie4Change) August 5, 2019
Criminal charges have been filed now against Morris. He has been charged with harassment, assault, and theft.
According to the complaint, Morris injured Kratovil’s forearm and shoulder during the incident. The harassment and theft charges come from Morris taking the camera from Kratovil. Kratovil said he was invited to the event and allowed to film for hours prior to Ryan’s appearance, but that the bodyguard said that no filming was allowed at the event, NJ.com reports.
It is still unclear why Kratovil was singled out. As I wrote last week, Kratovil is a Bernie Bro, a liberal who trashes Trump just like April Ryan does on CNN. The only reason being floated is that Ryan doesn’t allow her speeches to be recorded but that doesn’t hold if others continued to film after Kratovil was ejected.
The irony here is that April Ryan is the receipent of a Freedom of the Press award. She was honored as a White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks and a political analyst for CNN by Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in May 2019. Kratovil describes the attack on him as an attack on freedom of the press. April Ryan has not issued an apology or an explanation as to why the whole incident happened.
Ryan employs personal security due to claims that she receives death threats. She is an aggressive critic of President Trump. She frequently plays the victim card during her appearances on CNN. She wrote a book about her time covering the Trump presidency as a White House correspondent. Kratovil is surprised that Ryan acted as she did to another journalist.
“This is the last place I’d expect to have an altercation,” Kratovil tells PEOPLE, “and certainly not expecting it to happen from anybody affiliated with April Ryan.”
After filing the charges Monday, Kratovil tweeted: “This was more than just an assault on me. This was an assault on freedom of the press, and @AprilDRyan should have immediately condemned the use of violence against a journalist.”
While the whole story is odd, perhaps Ryan thought that this kind of publicity would be to her advantage. She is being tested as one member of a four person African-American panel of CNN pundits. CNN is considering giving them a show and it will be touted as a first for an all African-American panel. Any publicity is better than no publicity, right?