Freedom of Press or Police Orders?

I’m still processing this video; not quite sure how I feel about it. The video is a backdrop to this tragic story.

 

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Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
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On one hand, I think the press is way too intrusive. I believe that all too often the media, especially video crews, are too quick to get information on the air. The voracious 24 hour news cycle has led organizations to push the limits; especially the bounds of decency. I’m not sure there was anything that couldn’t have been broadcast from the studio in what Saul Garza reported from the scene.

There is also a valid reason for law enforcement to control a crime scene. The public needs to be protected from possible further violence, evidence needs to be preserved and in some cases the very evidence collected needs to be shielded from immediate dissemination.

 

On the other hand, the deputy was clearly out of bounds; in so many ways. First, there was no justification for moving the news team away from their location. It was stated they were going to be bringing in more equipment. HUH? Were they going to park it in the yard? I could see asking them to move the news van but not to step away from the location. The freedom of the press is well established. The freedom of people to be where they are legally able to be is another principle too many of the police simply choose to ignore.

I thought it was hypocritical for the deputy to insist on not being touched while blocking the camera, holding her hand over it and generally bullying the news team under the color of law. Nor should any law enforcement officer, in uniform, be allowed to block their face from being legally recorded.

And her mangling of the law was appalling. Someone’s yard isn’t private property because it is within the city?? Seriously folks that is sad.

So what do you folks think?  Please join the discussion.

4 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Miguel on 09.02.15 at 21:32

    The crime scene was taped, so any claims the deputy may have are BS. She could have said “Hey guys, we are going to expand the crime scene, so if you can, make a quick take and please move back to….” A 30 second delay was not going to be the end of the world and the reporter would have been gone or risk look like an arsehole.
    She was just abusing her powers.

  2. Posted by Granny Grunch on 09.02.15 at 21:32

    To be sure..this DS is upset over the death of another DS but she still has to realize that just because society allows her to carry a badge and a gun gun there are things she can not do..legally. Actually, she was pretty low keyed in her request for the press to move(we have all seen LEO s being much more enthusiastic in getting people to move) but I just don’t understand why there are LEO s who don’t get The Word .

  3. Posted by Bob S. on 09.02.15 at 21:32

    Miguel,

    I could see a request to move back if – and when – more equipment or vehicles were brought to the scene or if they were going to expand the crime scene as you say. But it should be a request up until they actually do it. To order someone off private property isn’t right.

    I agree both of them were abusing their authority.

    Granny Grunch,

    I think so many aren’t getting the word because the leaders of the various departments aren’t passing it. In fact, the leaders seem to be sending the wrong signals. We still have too much of the achieve total dominance of the scene mentality, too much of the instant obedience or you get arrested for disrespecting an LEO. Is there a time, a place, or a need for such tactics; yes but not at every scene not every occasion.

  4. Posted by divemedic on 09.02.15 at 21:32

    Putting her hand up and blocking the shot is in no way a valid exercise of police powers. This is a “respect my authoritah” act. Police lovers can call me a cop hater all they want. I don’t care. I always vote to cut police budgets in any way that I can: they do NOTHING to control crime.