The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has weighed in after several reports came from prominent news outlets that Capitol Police were blocking reporters and telling photojournalists not only to stop taking pictures, but to delete the photos.
Though it's written in the first amendment and has been reaffirmed by courts multiple times, reporters from the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and more tweeted from the Senate Gallery of being barred from access to healthcare protestors. Furthermore, when police arrested protestors, they allegedly told the reporters and photojournalists that it was a "crime scene" and thus, could not be documented, then demanded that any photos taken be deleted. Capitol Police claim that the Sergeant at Arms put out the command to delete footage due to photography being forbidden on the third floor of the Senate Wing; nonetheless, even if photography is not allowed, it is illegal to demand any images be deleted.
The ACLU was quick to respond, asking that any reporter who thought they had their rights violated contact them and noting that police cannot delete photos without a warrant under any circumstances. The ACLU also reiterated that people "lawfully present" in public spaces have the right to photograph that space and anything happening in it. They have not yet mentioned if they plan to take further action after this incident.
[via Common Dreams]