The National Press Club alleged in a statement today that FCC security “manhandled” a journalist after he attempted to ask a question.
According to the statement, CQ Roll Call reporter John Donnelly questioned FCC commissioners after a press conference. When he approached Commissioner Michael O’Rielly with a question, the statement alleges, “two guards pinned Donnelly against the wall with the backs of their bodies until O’Rielly had passed.”
“One of the guards, Frederick Bucher, asked Donnelly why he had not posed his question during the press conference,” the statement continues. “Then Bucher proceeded to force Donnelly to leave the building entirely under implied threat of force.”
Donnelly said in the statement that he “could not have been less threatening or more polite.”
“We apologized to Mr. Donnelly more than once and let him know that the FCC was on heightened alert today based on several threats,” an FCC spokesperson said in a statement.
Today’s proceeding was closely watched and drew major attention from protestors, as the agency started the process to roll back net neutrality protections.
Update, May 19, 11:14AM ET: Includes statement from FCC spokesperson.