La Raza was located on the fourth floor of this building
Image courtesy of La Raza
La Raza 95.7, the voice of the Hispanic community in the Twin Cities, lost its studios and offices on Wednesday (5/27) when outside agitators burned down the building where they were located. La Raza has been off the air ever since.
The station’s facilities were located on the fourth floor off an office building located at the corner of east Lake Street and 27th Avenue, just one block from Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct that was also burned down the same evening.
UPDATE 6-5-20 2:00pm
La Raza has a new temporary home in Minneapolis. Noncommercial community station KFAI has offered to let La Raza broadcast from their studios. La Raza accepted the offer and will be back on the air soon.
Why La Raza was targeted isn’t clear, but the area in South Minneapolis has seen considerable rioting and looting since the killing of George Floyd.
La Raza is a locally owned commercial station that is best known for airing popular Mexican pop tunes.
The station made this statement on their Facebook page:
“The same horde that looted dozens of businesses along Lake St. without the authorities intervening to contain them. Right now we are evaluating the options we have and through social media we will be informing you."
Concern for the safety of journalists has become more apparent since Floyd was killed while in police custody on May 20th.
The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has joined the National Press Club and 17 other journalism associations in calling on law enforcement to halt the targeting of journalists.
Dan Shelley, the executive Director of RTDNA said in a statement [link] on Saturday (5/30):
“In cities large and small, and particularly in Minneapolis, dozens of journalists have been deliberately targeted by protestors and police. Before the weekend was even over, RTDNA, other press freedom associations and the US Press Freedom Tracker reported at least five dozen incidents of violence and arrests targeting journalists. ”
RTNDA and other press freedom organizations cited these incidents during the past two weeks:
Looters and arsonists in the lobby of the building
where La Raza was located
Image courtesy of La Raza
• In Minneapolis, police using crowd- control irritants, despite clearly identifying themselves, shot a group of TV and print journalists.
• Also in Minneapolis at least two network TV news crews were fired upon with crowd- control irritants and projectiles, despite the fact they were clearly identifiable as journalists and were nowhere near protestors.
• an award-winning veteran Twin Cities photojournalist was chased down by police and arrested, even after identifying himself and repeatedly asking the trooper “where should I go?”
• A Pittsburgh photojournalist said his camera destroyed, attacked
• A freelance photographer says police using a crowd-control projectile, leaving her blind in one eye, shot her in the face at point- blank range.
A protestor live on the air was assaulted a Phoenix TV reporter.
• A digital news agency journalist was deliberately hit with a police baton as he documented the arrest of a protestor in Philadelphia.
• In Salt Lake City photojournalist was struck by what he said was a rubber bullet.
• A reporter and cameraman from WAVE-TV in Louisville were struck with pepper balls while live on the air by a law enforcement officer who appeared to target the crew, though they were behind police barricades.
Shelley shared this advice with journalists:
“As we continue through this summer and into the future, I urge you to stay safe, know your rights and report responsibly. We need you now more than ever and we are here to back you up so you don’t have to back down.”