November 22, 2011

Pressing The NYPD On Their Treatment Of Press

When the Occupy Wall Street-ers were evicted in the middle of the night from Zucotti Park last week, the most shocking thing to me about the operation was the fact that the police forbid the media from covering it.  They said that they did it out of concern for their safety but it doesn't take a genius to figure out the real reason was that the mayor did not want pictures of it all over the morning papers/TV/blogs.  And there weren't. There were only reports that the protestors had been evicted.

Well today, the press is fighting back against this egregious violation of the First Amendment. The TIMES media blog today reports that 13 news organizations along with 10 journalistic unions have filed complaints with the NYPD and have asked for a full investigation into the events of November 15th.  In addition to the enforced media blackout, there were also 10 journalists who were arrested that day and multiple reporters who were roughed up and impeded from covering a major news story.

This is beyond shocking in a democratic society.  The police and the mayor's tactics on that day are more reminiscent of what goes on in China than in the United States.  Let's hope a full investigation is launched into police misconduct and that the city takes responsibility for violating the rights of citizens that it is supposed to be upholding.

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