Maryland General Assembly names June 28 Freedom of the Press Day to honor Capital Gazette victims

The Maryland General Assembly has voted to name June 28 “Freedom of the Press Day” in honor of the Capital Gazette victims who died in a shooting in the newspaper’s Annapolis newsroom last year.

Both sides of the legislature voted unanimously to name the day in honor of the slain journalists, the The Baltimore Sun reported.

The five employees, journalists Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters, and sales associate Rebecca Smith, were killed on June 28 when alleged gunman Jarrod Ramos entered the newsroom and opened fire.

Steve Schuh, county executive of Anne Arundel County, holds a copy of The Capital Gazette near the scene of a shooting at the newspaper's office, June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Md.(Patrick Semansky/AP) Steve Schuh, county executive of Anne Arundel County, holds a copy of The Capital Gazette near the scene of a shooting at the newspaper’s office, June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Md.

During the vote, Maryland Delegate Mark Fisher aired his grievances against the press, according to The Sun.

“Freedom of the press is important, including even if as a journalist you want to put out fake news,” Fisher said. “I’m going to vote for this bill because I think you have the right to print fake news.”

A building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper's offices is seen at dawn, June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith were victims in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper, June 28, 2018.(ABC News Photo Illustration | Patrick Semansky/AP | Baltimore Sun ) A building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper’s offices is seen at dawn, June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith were victims in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper, June 28, 2018.

Those comments were deemed “inappropriate” by Delegate Kathleen Dumais, who serves as the house majority leader.

President Donald Trump has publicly touted members of the media as “the enemy of the American People,” accusing them of putting out fake news.

Last year, Time magazine named the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting as its Person of the Year, as well as slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and three other reporters persecuted for their reporting, two of whom worked for Reuters.

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