Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/08

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Subject: [Leica] From Editor and Publisher: Reporters hasseled at RNC
From: michiel.fokkema at (Michiel Fokkema)
Date: Wed Sep 8 14:39:07 2004
References: <>

Why were these 200 protesters arrested?

Michiel Fokkema

Kyle Cassidy wrote:

> After my own scary experience of being detained by police for completely
> inexplicable reasons, I wasn't surprised to see this. It only includes
> incidents reported to the hotline (which I had no knowledge of) there was 
> an
> article in slate by an editor who was detained, and humorist Dave Barry of
> Fla. was also detained.
> _id=1000625171
> Reporters' Legal Hotline Drew Nine Calls During GOP Convention
> By Joe Strupp
> Published: September 07, 2004 11:00 AM EDT
> A special legal support hotline for reporters covering the Republican
> National Convention, set up by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the
> Press, received at least nine calls for help from journalists who were
> arrested or detained at the event, the RCFP said Tuesday.
> Although that may be considered low, since nearly 2,000 protesters were
> arrested during the week, RCFP leaders contend it is significant, since a
> similar hotline set up for the Democratic National Convention in Boston
> prompted no calls. Reporters Committee leaders also received a number of
> complaints from journalists about being hassled over credentials, 
> especially
> if they lacked New York City press passes.
> "Despite assurances from New York City police that arrests of journalists
> would be minimized, numerous credentialed and uncredentialed journalists
> were detained during the Republican National Convention," the Reporters
> Committee said in a statement. "Some for extended periods of time."
> The hotline provided free legal assistance to journalists covering the
> convention, as it had at every national political convention since 1976,
> RCFP officials said. The hotline was staffed and co-sponsored by attorneys
> from the law firm of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, who coordinated with
> volunteer attorneys from other firms.
> According to hotline attorney Halimah DeLaine, the hotline received at 
> least
> nine calls between Friday, Aug. 27, when protesters began to arrive, and 
> the
> end of the convention on Thursday, Sept. 2. In contrast, hotlines
> established at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and the 1992
> Democratic convention in New York, the last time a presidential convention
> was held in the city, received no reports of journalists being detained.
> "Confusion, both by journalists and police, also arose over what 
> credentials
> would be accepted," RCFP said in the statement. "Journalists with NYPD
> credentials were generally released immediately, while journalists with
> Republican National Convention or other credentials were not."
> RCFP officials added that some reporters with convention credentials only
> were turned over to the Secret Service for verification. The Secret Service
> then took the credentials, the group added, saying the journalists could 
> get
> new ones the next day, and returned the journalists to the NYPD without any
> credentials to prove that they were journalists.
> Among those who sought assistance via the hotline, according to RCFP, were;
> * Newsday photographer Moises Saman, who was detained Aug. 29 while 
> covering
> protesters. Stephanie Abrutyn, a Newsday attorney who had attended hotline
> training, contacted police and Saman was released when he arrived at Pier
> 57, a temporary processing center dubbed "Guantanamo on the Hudson" by
> protesters. He was held for about two hours.
> * A cameraman from WOWD TV News in Athens, Ohio, who was detained at the
> same time as Saman, but was released without being sent to Pier 57. The
> hotline was notified shortly before he was detained and contacted police,
> who said they already knew about him and would release him.
> * Associated Press photo runner Jeannette Warner, who was detained Aug. 31
> when police closed an entire block of about 100 protesters. The AP
> photographer with Warner was also detained but was released upon displaying
> official NYPD credentials. Attorneys were able to secure Warner's release
> and have the arrest voided, but only after obtaining a letter from AP's New
> York bureau chief confirming Warner's status. Warner was held for about 12
> hours.
> * Another AP photo runner, Tim Kulick, who was detained at about 8 p.m. on
> Aug. 31. Because he was a temporary employee, efforts to gain his release 
> on
> Wednesday were unsuccessful. Hotline attorney Alia Smith secured his 
> release
> at 6 a.m. on Sept. 2 after coming to an agreement that charges would be
> dismissed after six months if Kulick has no further legal trouble.
> * Annie Tritt, a photographer for the San Francisco Bay View , was stopped
> Aug. 31 but released after telling police she was awaiting credentials from
> the NYPD.
> * Daniel Jones, a journalist with WRDR radio in New York with both
> convention and NYPD credentials was stopped and searched Aug. 31. He was
> detained by police and the Secret Service when he was found to have protest
> schedules he had obtained from demonstrators that contained violent 
> ant-Bush
> statements. His credentials were taken and he was released after about 
> three
> and a half hours.
> * Jennifer Whitney, a reporter with Internet news service Narco News
> Bulletin , was detained Aug. 31 while covering. According to her attorney,
> Ronald Kuby, she did not have convention press credentials and was sent for
> processing at Pier 57 along with protesters. She was held until at least 
> the
> evening of Sept. 1.
> * Nick Gehring and Beth Rankin, uncredentialed reporters from the Kent 
> State
> University Daily Kent Stater, were both detained Aug. 31. Gehring was
> charged with disorderly conduct and released after about 22 hours. Hotline
> attorney Jeff Drichta was able to get Rankin released at 3 a.m. on Sept. 2.
> * Credentialed freelance photojournalist Geoffrey O'Connor was leaving his
> office for the convention Tuesday evening when he spotted a protest and
> started to film. He did not have his credentials with him and was detained.
> He was released when his credentials were delivered and resumed filming. 
> The
> police officer who originally detained him again threatened to arrest him
> and said he would have his company's credentials reviewed and revoked.
> * Kelley Benjamin, a reporter with a Tampa, Fla. weekly, was arrested Aug.
> 31 and held until 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 2. Hotline attorneys were was unable 
> to
> get police to release her because of a lawsuit filed by the National 
> Lawyers
> Guild on behalf of all people held longer than 24 hours. Miller was in 
> court
> with NLG lawyers on Thursday when the city was fined $1,000 for each person
> held longer than 24 hours and ordered to release them. Benjamin was 
> ticketed
> and released.
> * Democracy Now reporter Daniel Cashin, who was detained on Sept. 1.
> Attorneys secured his release later that evening and his arrest was voided.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
> Joe Strupp ( senior editor
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

In reply to: Message from KCassidy at (Kyle Cassidy) ([Leica] From Editor and Publisher: Reporters hasseled at RNC)