(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Lafayette 148 New York x April Ryan "Under Fire" book Launch)
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‘Deafening Silence’ From CNN’s April Ryan After Bodyguard Is Charged with Assault


- August 20th, 2019
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CNN political analyst April Ryan refuses to comment on an altercation that took place during a speaking event in New Jersey earlier this month leading to her bodyguard being charged with harassment, assault and theft.

Ryan’s bodyguard–Joel Morris, 30, of Illinois–was charged with the crimes after violently ejecting a journalist from the New Jersey Parent Summit on Aug. 3.

Videos posted online show New Brunswick Today editor Charlie Kratovil being roughed up by Ryan’s goon after spending two hours inside filming other guests and speakers without any problems.

Kratovil’s video shows Ryan taking the stage and Morris approaching the podium, apparently seeking instruction. Ryan says something and gives Morris a nod. He then walks over to Kratovil and allegedly grabs his video camera.

“Put that down,” Kratovil exclaims. “Don’t you dare — put that down, sir! That’s my camera!”

As the struggle ensued, Ryan told the audience: “What I will say, when I speak, I don’t have news covering my speeches.”

Kratovil told NJ Advance Media that he had “no choice” but to leave the room at that point. “That camera is worth more than my car. I was able to retrieve it but was not able to avoid being attacked by this guy,” he said.

A second video posted by Kratovil shows the guard grabbing Kratovil and dragging him across the room and out the door.

The Aug. 19 complaint “alleges Morris took Kratovil’s arm and shoved it behind his back, injuring his forearm and shoulder” and “harassment and theft charges stem from Morris taking the camera.”

Kratovil told Press Freedom Tracker that he was diagnosed with a sprain to his shoulder, following the incident.

Ryan, it should be noted, has repeatedly accused President Trump of threatening freedom of the press. Last year, in fact, she published a self-referential book titled “Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House,” in which she lamented that the free press was under attack.

“It’s an awkward, painful, deadly time for reporters in this administration compared to the prior administrations that I’ve covered,” Ryan told an interviewer during her book tour.

No fan of Trump himself, Kratovil spearheaded an Impeach Trump effort in New Brunswick.

The journalist is still waiting for an apology from Ryan.

“This was more than just an assault on me,” tweeted Kratovil on Monday. “This was an assault on freedom of the press.”

“Joel Morris stole [my] camera, high-tailed it out of the room. One thing led to another, I ended up being assaulted after retrieving the camera,” he said. “But now Mr. Morris is going to have to show up on Sept. 12…in Superior Court because that theft charge is an indictable third degree crime in the state of New Jersey.”

He read a statement from the NJ Society of Professional Journalists, saying: “It is never under any circumstances permissible for a person aggrieved at being photographed or videotaped to lay hands on the journalist, or attempt to take away the journalist’s equipment.”

Kratovil continued: “It is sad we have to say this, and remind people of this — and it’s super sad that we have to remind another journalist of this. We are still waiting for [Ryan] to comment on this unfortunate incident…Maybe now that there’s criminal charges we might hear something from her. I hope sincerely that she does comment and I hope she does condemn this. This is unacceptable…Not in our country, we have freedom of the press here.”

Ryan, who remains active on Twitter posting tweets slamming the president, still hasn’t commented on the altercation.

“Her silence is deafening at this point,” Kratovil told NJ.com. “It’s been more than two weeks. Anybody who’s a journalist should be condemning this.”

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