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 Typically, unpublished material is protected and not available to law enforcement.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.

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156 Comments

Cool Cat's picture

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.

Koen Miseur's picture

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!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

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

Darren Whitley's picture

Look, we found a troll!

Koen Miseur's picture

abduct
/əbˈdʌkt/
Learn to pronounce
verb
1.
take (someone) away illegally by force or deception; kidnap.

So I think that I'm very correct!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

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

Koen Miseur's picture

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!

Michael Krueger's picture

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

David Pavlich's picture

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'.

David Pavlich's picture

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.

Leon Kolenda's picture

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!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

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

Eric Mazzone's picture

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

Gregg Shipman's picture

You are misspelling "arrest"

Koen Miseur's picture

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!

Leon Kolenda's picture

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.

Koen Miseur's picture

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

Gregg Shipman's picture

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

Koen Miseur's picture

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!

John Ohle's picture

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?

John Ohle's picture

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

Leon Kolenda's picture

F__K the Protesters! They are not the Law!

John Ohle's picture

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.

Darren Whitley's picture

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

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

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

John Ohle's picture

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

Koen Miseur's picture

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!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

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.

Koen Miseur's picture

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!
COPS KILLING PEOPLE = ILLEGAL!

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