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NPPA Protests New Tactic in Dealing with Photographers Covering the Occupy Protests

February 21st, 2012 by Mickey Osterreicher and tagged , ,

Today, the NPPA sent another letter of protest to U.S. Parks Police Chief Teresa Chambers asking her to investigate allegations that a photographer was arrested and detained for 48 hours without being formally charged. According to press reports officers arrested Jerry Nelson, a freelance photojournalist as he covered the removal of OccupyDC protestors from McPherson Square in Washington, D.C. on February 4, 2012.

It is also alleged that although officers originally decided to charge Mr. Nelson with assault, he was never formally charged, read his rights, arraigned or allowed to make a telephone call, although he was kept “shackled and handcuffed” with “no food, no water” until his released by U.S. Marshall’s 48 hours later.

In a previous letter to the Chief, the NPPA objected to the arrest of journalists photographing and recording a Taxicab Commission hearing this past summer. After that incident, the Chief responded that their Solicitor’s Office had determined that the officers in question had acted legally.

The arrest and detention of Mr. Nelson appears to be another escalation in the ongoing tension between police and photographers covering events involving the Occupy movement.

Posted in Access, Cameras, D.C., District of Columbia, First Amendment, First Amendment rights, Fourth Amendment rights, McPherson Park, McPherson Square, National Press Photographers Association, News Photography, Newsgathering, NPPA, OccupyDC, photographers, Photographers' Rights, photojournalism, Police, U.S. Parks Police | No Comments »