November 23rd, 2011 by Alicia Calzada and tagged Access, first amendment, journalism school, Legal, national press photographers association, news industry, newspapers, occupy wall street, photojournalism, police, police relations, zuccotti park
After meeting on Wednesday with several media attorneys, including NPPA general counsel Mickey Osterreicher, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered that a “Finest” message be disseminated reminding officers of their obligations to cooperate with the media. The message will be read at 10 consecutive roll calls citywide.
“I’m pleased to see such a swift response from the Commissioner, of course this is just the first step in ensuring that this doesn’t happen again,” said Osterreicher. “We expect more to be done in the near future to help improve police-press relations which have devolved so significantly.”
The Finest message highlights various guidelines that instruct police on how to deal with the media, including that “Members of the service will not interfere with the videotaping or the photographing of incidents in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing the photographer constitutes censorship. Working Press Cards clearly state the bearer ‘is entitled to cross police and fire lines.’ This right will be honored and access will not be denied.”
The message also states: that “Members of the service who unreasonably interfere with media access to incidents or who intentionally prevent or obstruct the photographing or videotaping of news in public places will be subject to disciplinary action.”
The meeting on Wednesday came after a letter was sent by media organizations on Monday complaining about the way police mishandled the media during last week’s “eviction” of Zuccotti Park, the home of months of Occupy Wall Street protests. Police officers arrested several journalists and also used force against several journalists during the raid.
Read the entire contents of the plannedÂ NYPD Finest message, as it was provided to the NPPA.
Posted in Cameras, First Amendment, mass media, National Press Photographers Association, NPPA, NYPD, Photographers' Rights, photojournalism, Police, Public Photography, Recording Police, Street Photography, Uncategorized | No Comments »
November 21st, 2011 by Alicia Calzada and tagged Access, first amendment, journalism school, national press photographers association, news industry, NPPA, photographers, photography, photojournalism, police, police relations, video
New York – The National Press Photographers Association was joined by several media organizations and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the PressÂ in a letter to the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Paul J. Browne, to protest police mistreatment of the the media during the Occupy Wall Street protests last week. The strongly worded letter drafted by NPPA general Counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher along with New York Times vice president and assistant generalÂ counsel, George Freeman, pointed out that “credentialed media were identified, segregated and kept away from viewing, reporting on and photographing vital matters of public concern. A press pen was set up blocks away and those kept there were further prevented from seeing what was occurring by the strategic placement of police buses around the perimeter. Moreover, there have been numerous instances where police officers struck or otherwise intentionally impeded photographers as they were taking photos, keeping them from doing their job and from documenting instances of seeming police aggression.”
The letter outlines several specific incidents in which members of the media were physically assaulted by police. It also describes how members of the media were ordered to leave public areas, stripped of their credentials, threatened with arrest, detained and arrested.
During an August 2011Â meeting Browne hadÂ promised to review previous media complaints regardingÂ other incidents involving police interference with the media and his agreement to considerÂ additional training to reinforce media guidelines, for newer officers on the force.Â Browne had agreed at the time that additional training for officers would be beneficial. The media representatives who authored the letter expressed their beliefÂ “that had such agreed upon training occurred, it may have helped avoid the numerous inappropriate, if not unconstitutional, actions and abuses the police heaped upon both credentialed and non-credentialed journalists in the last few days.”
A companion letterÂ was sent by the New York Civil Liberties Union to New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg making similar complaints. Both groups have asked for a meeting withÂ the police in order to address these issues.
Read the complete letter here:DCPI Letter – Signed 11-21-11
See articles by the New York Press Club. and the Associate Press.
Posted in broadcasting, First Amendment, First Amendment rights, law, Legal, mass media, multimedia, National Press Photographers Association, News Photography, NPPA, NYPD, photographers, Photographers' Rights, photojournalism, Police, Public Photography, Recording Police, video cameras | 2 Comments »
August 25th, 2011 by Mickey Osterreicher
NPPA has written strong letters of objection to both U.S. Rep. Steve ChabotÂ (R-Ohio)Â Â and the Cincinnati Police Chief after video cameras belonging to citizens were seized by a police officerÂ acting upon orders from the congressmanâ€™s aides.
The incident occurred on August 22, 2011 while Chabot was speaking to the public at a town hall meeting. According to pressÂ reports, Chabot spokesman Jamie Schwartz admitted that â€œhe had a Cincinnati police officerÂ confiscate the cameras â€˜to protect the privacy of constituents.â€™â€
Think Progress also reported that signs were posted on doors at the NorthAvondale Recreation Center that read: â€œFor Security Purposes, Cameras Are NOT Permitted.â€Â Video posted on Carlos Millerâ€™s website shows clips of the incident. At least two photographers recording with broadcast quality cameras can be seen in the video although they were not interefered with.
What is most disconcerting is that Congressman Chabot sits on the U.S. House of Representatives Commitee on the Judiciary which deals with these very issues and has supported legislation permitting â€œthe photographing, electronic recording, broadcasting, or televising to the public of [federal] court proceedings. In seeking â€œa complete and immediate apologyâ€ by the congressman for this Â â€œblatant constitutional transgressionâ€ the NPPA letter also wrote that â€œposting signs banning cameras â€˜for security purposesâ€™ does not supersede the constitutional rights of citizens.â€
Reaction to the incident has been extremely negative and widespread withÂ hundreds of comments posted on YouTube, Congressman Chabotâ€™s Facebook wallÂ and sent to his congresssional website page. This appears to beÂ exactly theÂ embarrassing outcome that aides had intented to avoid. Schwartz also is reported to have said thatÂ the cameras confiscatedÂ “from David Little and Liz Ping, who were given the cameras back at the end of the meeting.â€
The NPPA letter to Cincinnati Police Chief James E. Craig stated that â€œwhether the officer acted at the request of the congressman or his staff or of his own volition exhibits a total lack of understanding and/or disregard for the constitutional protections afforded those he is sworn to serve and protect. Law enforcement agencies are established to uphold and enforce laws in a professional manner, part of which is to exercise good judgment. I believe that your officer abused that discretion by his actions.â€ The letter also went on to state that â€œif your departmentâ€™s vision is to be â€˜recognized as the standard of excellence in policingâ€™ by â€˜the delivery of fair and impartial police services while maintaining an atmosphere of respect for human dignity;â€™ then we would respectfully request that you maintain your â€˜integrity,â€™ â€˜professionalism,â€™ and â€˜accountabilityâ€™ by upholding your â€˜obligations to the department and communityâ€™ and reinstate â€˜public trustâ€™ by a full and impartial investigation of this incident.â€ The letter concluded by a â€œrequest that your department immediately issue orders directing officers to cease such activity and also that your department implement revised training for all officers regarding these matters.â€
Another town hall meeting is scheduled for August 29, 2011. Schwartz assured reporters that â€œno cameras would be seized atâ€ that meeting.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/08/24/Video-cameras-confiscated-at-town-hall/UPI-46281314241497/#ixzz1W3ygwoJo
Â and http://www.pixiq.com/article/ohio-congressman-bans-cameras-from-town-hall-meeting
Posted in Access, Cameras, cincinnati police, condemned, confiscated, congressman, ethics, First Amendment, First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment, Fourth Amendment rights, law, Legal, mass media, National Press Photographers Association, News Photography, NPPA, photographers, Photographers' Rights, Police, Politics, Public Photography, Search and Seizure, steve chabot, Town Hall Meeting, video cameras, violating | 1 Comment »