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October 23, 2018, 11:56:01 am
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Author Topic: One less QT today  (Read 32372 times)
T-Town Elder
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These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

« Reply #285 on: August 16, 2015, 09:48:34 am »

An amazing amount of patience from the reporters in this video.

I can’t fathom how it’s in the public interest to file charges against two journalists who reported richly and persistently from the site of an international news story—even if you assume, for the sake of argument, that probable cause existed. Reilly and Lowery revealed abuses of government power, they gave voices to all manner of protestors and police officers, they investigated the interminable issues of race and class in American communities—and how people engage in collective grieving.

Reilly’s and Lowery’s reporting illuminated the biggest story in the world at the time, and if declining to charge them in connection with that reporting isn’t in the public interest, then I don’t know what would be.

Beyond that, what harm was caused by the alleged offenses? The police chief, after all, released Reilly and Lowery as soon as he learned they had been arrested and the reason. They hadn’t caused a hazard or contributed to one, the restaurant hadn’t demanded their removal, and, again, they were in the process of complying with the officers’ orders when they were arrested. I agree with The Washington Post’s assessment that the journalists endangered nothing “except the egos of the officers involved.”

With that in mind, consider the disproportion of the authorized punishment in relation to the offenses. A trespassing charge and an interference-with-a-police-officer charge each carries a penalty of one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. To be clear, that’s one year in prison for not leaving a McDonald’s restaurant quickly enough, while trying to comply with the officers’ orders—and otherwise producing public-service journalism. That’s absurd.



"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #286 on: August 18, 2015, 06:59:47 pm »


Vashta Nerada
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Posts: 956

« Reply #287 on: May 20, 2016, 06:41:55 pm »


Prosecutors on Thursday dropped charges of trespassing and interference with police officers against two national reporters arrested while covering the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Mo. in exchange for the reporters' pledges not to sue the county.
"A deal probably would have resulted in few if any actual consequences for us, but it also would have legitimized bogus arrests and provided cover for officers who violated our rights and engaged in misconduct."


One of the municipal codes we were charged with violating, which makes it unlawful for a person to “interfere in any manner with a police officer or other employee of the County in the performance of his official duties,” is a “contempt of cop” statute that is unconstitutionally overbroad.

The facts were on our side. The manager of the McDonald’s never asked us to leave (let alone be arrested) and welcomed us back to the restaurant on many occasions. The evidence made clear what had happened: Stressed-out officers who didn't want their actions recorded had decided to lash out at a couple of reporters. No charges were warranted. But prosecutors endorsed the ridiculous theory -- which the police pushed -- that two journalists recording the actions of police officers in a fast food restaurant “directly contributed” to the civil unrest in Ferguson in August 2014.

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