Posts Tagged 'freedom of the press'

Judge Rules In Favor of Photog

Hey, guess what? It turns out the police are not allowed to seize a photojournalist’s camera, which we all knew but, still, sometimes these things have to go to a higher court so we can double-check. On Friday, a judge ruled that a search warrant used to review David Morse’s photos from a December 2009 UC Berkeley protest was invalid.

While covering the protest for IndyBay, Morse was arrested, along with seven others, and charged with assaulting a police officer and vandalism among other things. A few days later, all the charges were dropped and Morse’s camera was returned, but his storage devices never were. The university was also ordered to return all of Morse’s photos on Friday.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Morse was covering the demonstration outside Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s campus residence for the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, also known as Indybay. Morse repeatedly identified himself as a journalist before he was arrested by campus police, which obtained a search warrant to look at his photos before he was released on bail, according to the First Amendment Project.

Score one for the constitution (and the First Amendment Project).

Article from San Francisco Chronicle and IndyBay

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Penn State Photog Cleared

A District Attorney in Centre County, Pennsylvania, who apparently doesn’t have anything better to do than go after college paper photographers, lost his battle in court this week when a judge cleared the photographer of all wrongdoing. 

Michael Felletter was photographing the melee after Penn State’s victory over Ohio State last October 25 for The Daily Collegian when he was arrested and charged with five counts of failure to disperse and one count of disorderly conduct. (In March the charges were re-filed with only one count of failure to disperse.) The criminal complaint – somewhat shockingly, if only because it sounds so preposterous – claimed Felletter’s photographs incited the crowd to become “more exuberant, excited and destructive.”

Interestingly though, the police used Felletter’s photos to identify and charge more rioters involved in the incident. So, the State was happy to use the fruits of his labor, they just didn’t believe he should have been there taking photos. Hmmm.

DA Michael Madeira said he is reviewing the decision and deciding whether to appeal or re-file charges. Andy Shubin, Felleter’s lawyer, said Madeira needs to “reread his copy of the Constitution.” It would seem he has the time to do so.

Article via Centre Daily Times


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