LAPD joins other police departments across the country in a growing practice of criminalizing journalism.
Occupy LA, Ruth Fowler’s blog: “LAPD Made Sure The Whole World Ain’t Watching”
AT 5:30pm yesterday, LAPD announced a 7:15pm meeting for a lottery for a “media pool” to be comprised of a very limited number of members of the media (3 media outlets for each of three media: print, tv, radio — no internet?) authorized to cover Occupy LA. Members of the press otherwise not authorized will be subject to arrest once an unlawful assembly dispersal order is given.
Once again, a clear violation of First Amendment Rights is occuring over Occupy LA and its eviction. It remains to be seen whether other members of the MSM (mainstream media) excluded from the pool adhere to it or not, but the banning of MSM from the scene of Occupy LA during its eviction severely inhibits the press from reporting fairly and accurately, as well as protecting Occupiers from police abuses, which are frequently deterred by the presence of the media.Note: California Penal Code Section 409.5 clearly states reasons that the LAPD and other agencies may close areas due to public health concerns, riots, civil disturbances or calimities (earthquakes, fires, floods, etc) — but — Section D of 409.5 states:(D) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PREVENT A DULY AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY NEWS SERVICE, NEWSPAPER, RADIO OR TELEVISON STATION OR NETWORK FROM ENTERING THE AREAS CLOSED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. (bold Fowler’s)
Here are their streams:
UPDATE: Eviction is reportedly going down TONIGHT at Occupy LA
KFI radio reporter Steve Gregory (one of those approved for the media pool) said on air yesterday that pool elite will be outfitted in special protective clothing before the raid. They’ll be notified an hour before police dive in, and won’t be allowed to phone home with their juice until the eviction is over.
More bizarre still: Reporters in the pool will have to submit their entire “pool reports” to the wire (City News Service) before any news outlet can post an exclusive.
If the LAPD doesn’t lift media restrictions, the ACLU plans to file an injunction against them.