Posts Tagged 'Jim West'

Photographers’ Rights Progress

Two positive developments today for photographers’/media rights:

• ŸThe City of Toledo will pay an undisclosed settlement and change their media policies in response to a civil rights lawsuit brought by two photographers. Jeffrey Sauger and Jim West were arrested in 2005 while covering a Nazi rally and counter-protest. Their lawyer noted that it’s very rare for a police department to revise its policies in response to a civil rights lawsuit, so it was a significant win.

The photographers agreed to take a lesser monetary settlement in exchange for the policy change, which: says that the police must recognize all legitimate media at public events, dictates how officers interact with media, and establishes that police are prohibited from erasing any images on media cameras. [National Press Photographers Association]

• In April, we posted on how Virginia state officials illegally stormed the newsroom of James Madison University’s student newspaper, The Daily Breeze, and seized photos relating to a party-turned-melee. After much outrage and legal action, the state has agreed to pay the school’s legal fees, totalling $10,000. The Commonwealth’s attorney, Marsha Garst, even admitted she was wrong in her approach and has committed to obtaining search warrants in the future. (Which, really, is not so much a concession as an avowal to follow the law. Duh.)

Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center, said, “The fact that the government is going to have to pay $10,000 is a meaningful sting. That sting ought to send a message to anyone trying to cut corners on the Privacy Protection Act.” [Waynesboro News Virginian]

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