Dana Green, a lawyer for The Times, said members of senior police leadership apologized, too, and said that they valued the work journalists were doing.
“That might sound like lip service,” she said. “But in the current climate, it was really welcome.”
David McCraw, The Times’s deputy general counsel who has been with the paper for 18 years, said the treatment of Mr. McFadden and other journalists was “quite shocking.”
“From time to time, in New York, we have people who feel like police are interfering with their ability to get to a scene,” he said. “But we don’t see regular physical harm being inflicted the way we did in Kenosha, Wis., and the way we did in Minneapolis.” (In Kenosha, after a white officer shot a Black man, Jacob Blake, seven times and left him partly paralyzed, journalists covering protests were shot with rubber bullets fired by law enforcement.)
The Times works hard to try to prevent situations from escalating, Jia Lynn Yang, The Times’s National editor, said. Reporters and editors meet with a security team before covering a potentially volatile event, during which they are advised that their safety always comes first.
“That’s another reason why this treatment from police is so unfortunate,” she said. “We are not trying to insert ourselves in the middle of confrontations. Our job — and it’s important that we are allowed to do it — is to be there to observe.”
Meaghan Looram, the director of photography for The Times, said editors work with photographers to create a security plan and maintain contact throughout the event they are covering. Journalists receive protective equipment that may include hazard gear like gas masks.
“We do our best to ensure that any journalist assigned to a hazardous or volatile situation is as prepared as possible, from a physical, legal and security perspective,” she said.