April 12, 2012

Phil Datz Sues Suffolk County, NY. Over Right to Videotape Police

With the support of the National Press Photographers Association, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Davis Wright Tremaine, New York photojournalist Phil Datz is suing the Suffolk County, N.Y., over the right to videotape police.

Datz was arrested in July, 2011, while filming the end of a police chase from a nearby sidewalk alongside other bystanders.  Datz was forced to leave the area but others were allowed to stay.  Datz was arrested when he moved to another area down the street.  In turn, his video tape was released later that day when the coverage was no longer timely.

Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, originally wrote a letter to the Suffolk County Police Department stating,
"…While in some situations the press may have no greater rights than those of the general public, they certainly have no less right of access on a public street, especially where a crime scene perimeter has not been clearly established."
Do you agree or disagree with Osterreicher's statement?  If you were in Datz's shoes, what would you have done on the scene?

You can read more information on this lawsuit and the arrest over at Poynter.

No comments:

Post a Comment