Judge Tells News Media to Hand Over Protest Photos and Videos to Police

Judge Tells News Media to Hand Over Protest Photos and Videos to Police

News organizations in Seattle have been ordered by a judge to hand over photographs and videos to the Seattle Police Department to aid investigations into alleged arson of police vehicles and theft of police weapons.

The judge set what some regard as a dangerous precedent that threatens to bring the free press into the domain of a surveillance state.

As reported by the Seattle Times, the Seattle Police Department successfully subpoenaed five Seattle-based news outlets whose reporters were covering events at a protest that took place on May 30th. Typically, unpublished material is protected and not available to law enforcement. King County Superior Court Judge Nelson Lee decided that the Police Department were justified in their request to access the photographs and footage, but must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other means of inquiry. The police will not have access to material captured on reporters’ mobile phones.

The five news outlets — Seattle Times and TV stations KIRO 7, KING 5, KOMO 4 and KCPQ 13 — are expected to appeal the decision.

News organizations may now fear that in the future judges will be able to decide which information their reporters will be forced to turn over to authorities. Furthermore, as observed by Seattle Times Executive Editor Michele Matassa Flores, such a move undermines the independence of the press and might put journalists at risk while reporting.

Lead image by Damien Conway, used under Creative Commons.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Why should the news media be given protection rights when they use such material to push their own political narrative. Let me be the first one to say, "Good". It's time people get busted for their erratical protests of looting, destroying property, beating-up and even killing innocent people.

Ow and the cops can kill, hurt, abduct people? Don't be a dumbass, ofcourse there are also bad people at the protests but don't be fooled, the bad people in this story are the cops and politicians! If cops would do the things they did in the US they would get fired! It is illegal to abduct people without giving a reason or without identification, if not everyone could do it!

"Abduct?" I think it's you that's being the dumbass.

Look, we found a troll!

Hi, troll.

Learn to pronounce
take (someone) away illegally by force or deception; kidnap.

So I think that I'm very correct!

Learn to read. When you untwist the make believe stories, those "abducted" were arrested.

They weren't shown identification, they didn't get explained why they were "arrested"! Also it isn't an arrest if it happens in a blacked-out van with unmarked agents (like I said they could have been any person with military clothes on because they didn't have any ID on them)!
And if u believe that this wasn't illegal u should seriously try to learn the law, and again stop being a dumbass believer!

Abduct is a very accurate description, these aren't legal arrests by any means.

Maybe if you owned a business and a 'protester' was standing in front of it about to throw a brick through your front glass, you could ask him/her for their ID. Then maybe you could ask this 'protester' how breaking the window of your business has ANYTHING to do with the 'protest'. Of course, you wouldn't want the police to stop the 'protester' from destroying your property. It's not a good idea to get in the way of 'progress'.

You have a little different viewpoint when your livelihood is being destroyed, especially when your livelihood has NOTHING to do with the 'protest'.

I wouldn't answer, but I will since my reply will make sense as opposed to your screed. I would punish them to the extent that the law allows. In a free society, there are laws. In the case of the states, it's the rule of law, not the rule of mob or the rule of emotion that tells us the proper path to deal with the law breakers. Don't break the law, it's very simple, AND it cuts both ways. I say put the police that are guilty in jail, right next to the lawbreakers that are destroying property.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned and is the elephant, or should I say, donkey in the room; every one of these cities under siege is run by one specific political party. That's not a coincidence.

You don't need to ID someone when there burning a cop car or building, or throwing a chair through a window! Arrest there ass's!

Stop being such a larper. You weren't there, you don't what was said after they were arrested.

If they're not Mirandized they are NOT legally arrested, thus it is an illegal abduction.

You are misspelling "arrest"

No it's not an arrest if they don't identify themself! If u would wear military clothes without badges u could abduct people because well they did the same! Police has to wear ID's and are required to identify themself, or why do u think they yell Police! when enetering a room, it would be alot easier for them if they didn't have to, but it's the law! It's also the law that if asked they should be able to identify themselfs with name and number! Something none of them did!

OH, Hello there, I'm officer Mr. Logan, I notice you have started my car on fire, and looted that Target store and burned it to the ground. Would you mind putting these handcuffs on, it'll only take a minute. Then could you get in the back of my Police cruiser please, Thank you very much, I'll recommend you get a reduced sentence.

Don't act stupid, like I said before they go in to a house they do this to (even show a warrant)!

Their uniforms say POLICE all over them. It is an arrest - whether you like it or not. I'm very sorry.

Than u should at the right video's but i've seen alot of them that says nothing on them! Stop defending the dumbest and craziest president in the world!

Rick, the protests are about the police killing people. The very people who now request the photographs, to track down the protesters.

Will the unidentified, unnamed federal agents who are snatching people off the streets and bundling them into unmatched vans also have access to the photos?

I forgot to add. If the photos are handed over then photographers and journalist will be at risk of attack from protesters.

F__K the Protesters! They are not the Law!

Neither are the police. They are there "to protect and serve".

I will say that they have an incredibley tough job to do and under very difficult conditions. But they need to be accountable for their actions.

If they act within the law, what's the problem?

The protests about police killing people was 2 months ago. The riots happening now have nothing to do with protests.

This would be the Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of a black person by the police. OK.

Ofcourse they do, they will only stop when the Police get reformed and when black people wont get treated unfairly, even in the protests they get treated worse than whites!

Dang, dude, you are just guzzling down on that BLM and liberal media Kool-Aid. Read up on some stats. It's so obvious you are just parroting what you see on the mainstream media.

Lol you are so very wrong! Like I said I'm not from the US, so I don't follow any of your mainstream media! I'm following it via social media, news we get from our reporters in your country (so they aren't liberal or conservative, we have more than 2 sided in Belgium btw).
I'm not parroting anything, I see what is happening and I that's where I get my conclusions from!
What I don't get that there are still people defending racism, corrupt police, racist cops, Trump and right wing fools!

You could talk to a wall instead. These people will never understand the meaning of your words. Don't waste your time with Trumpees.

'PROTESTERS DESTROYING BUSINESS=ILLEGAL! Well, maybe your country condones 'protesters' destroying private property that has NOTHING to do with the 'protest'. Funny thing, it seems that many of the leaders in these cities condone private property destruction. Go figure!

Black, you need to take your blinders off and actually look at what is happening in this country and quit drinking the fox news propaganda. Maybe go to a protest, go speak to some people involved, definitely changed my perspective.

Protests are protests and are part of a free society. However, wanton destruction of private property is NOT part of a free society. If one cannot separate 'protest' from 'riot', there is a real problem.

Pull your head out of the sand. Many of you rioter sympathizers are exactly like this supposed journalist. "This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking, unruly, but, fires have been started."

Yes, it's old. However, to this day, many of you continue to downplay the violence and destruction from these "peaceful" protesters. Your precious fake news and willingness to turn a blind eye is keeping you from seeing what's happening in this country.

Kool aid? But do they? I know some drink chlorine and like it.

Your only following social media? And you think that is objective? What a dumb a__

Truth is paramount. It's not the duty of media to collect evidence for the state. It's a gross generalization to blame protesters for violence, but you probably play Monday QB for fun.

The first amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of the press to allow criticism of the government without retribution. Criticizing the government basically requires a political agenda.

Safe assumption you don't care about our constitutional rights.

"Why should the news media be given protection rights when they use such material to push their own political narrative. "

Rick Knight, because the First Amendment gives them the explicit right to use that material to push their own political narrative. The concept of a "disinterested press" was invented during WWII. When the Founding Fathers wrote the First Amenment, there was no such thing as a "disinterested press."

They knew as they wrote it that they were talking about the liberty for the press to push their own political narrative. That was precisely their intent.

The constitution is not a buffet, you can't just pick and chose the rights you like for you and not for the "others".

I don't know what you're talking about. I don't think you do, either. Pushing a political agenda is specifically what the First Amendment allows. The police, as a government agent, do not have "rights." They have "powers," limited by the Constitution. The people have rights, not government.

Of course that is why big cities used to have 5 or 6 newspapers, all with different opinions and view points. I think the police and the judge overstepped the line in making the newspaper turn over their property.

Maybe the cops should use this judgement to use video-material to investigate their own agents!

For what...doing their jobs to catch rioters doing this shit.

Ow and should I start showing photo's about all the black people killed by cops, because I don't think there is enough space in this discussion! Is it good that SOME protesters are doing this, ofcourse not but killing people is ALOT WORSE than burning a couple of cars and looting.
Also if the politicians would do something about police brutality, racists cops, instead of ignoring the protests and trying to ban them!
Sorry but what is happening in your "western" country is something that isn't happening in ANY other western country, cops aren't above the law, they are their to enforce the law even on their own agents!

Of course you would find a lot photos of black people killed by cops because that's all the media shows. Killed whites by cops hardly get (if any) news coverage. Black on black deaths don't get media attention. Hence, gullible people like you are swayed.

WHAT! Are u really that brainwashed! First of all this protest is about police killing people not other people killing other people!
Second take a look here: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/
And third

LOL! Talk about being brainwashed. Your chart is playing the numbers game. Even your chart shows 1304 blacks and 2500 whites killed. Please don't tell me I have to do the math for you.

Here's a chart that basically tells the same story, but, in a realistic way.

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