Cop Arrests News Reporter For Filming Accident

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What a little man that cop is, he needs another line of work. He should get a job, where he doesn't deal with people, lawn care? I don't want to think of what he would do to a teen.
 
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It is typically illegal to stop on the interstate. I did notice the office told them to move their vehicle. He didn't say they couldn't tape. At that moment, instead of the reporter saying they weren't doing anything wrong (Incorrect since it's typically illegal to stop on highways except for emergencies.) he should have told the camera man to shut down the unit and get off the highway. Because he wanted to argue, instead of complying with a lawful request, he got cuffed up. Of course, they'll make the cops look like the bad guys, and you'll probably never hear a news story about how many laws the news crew was violating by parking on the side of an interstate or state highway to film and interview folks. Sure, it makes a great shot. Yet it's also a hazard with all the yahoos who will gape at the reporters while trying to pilot their 2 ton SUV, sip their latte and talk on their cell phone. I'm with the officer here, and hope he doesn't get into any trouble over this, and I hope its made clear that stopping on the side of the road to do this sort of thing is not advised. I could see if they were stopped and offering aid to accident victims. But they were not, they were interviewing folks. Basically, they were told to move along and wanted to argue it. Tell it to the judge.
 

Kestas

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I'm sure we've all seen the TV programs where idiot rubberneckers ram into a traffic stop because they're distracted by the police activity.
 
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 Originally Posted By: javacontour
It is typically illegal to stop on the interstate. I did notice the office told them to move their vehicle. He didn't say they couldn't tape. At that moment, instead of the reporter saying they weren't doing anything wrong (Incorrect since it's typically illegal to stop on highways except for emergencies.) he should have told the camera man to shut down the unit and get off the highway. Because he wanted to argue, instead of complying with a lawful request, he got cuffed up. Of course, they'll make the cops look like the bad guys, and you'll probably never hear a news story about how many laws the news crew was violating by parking on the side of an interstate or state highway to film and interview folks. Sure, it makes a great shot. Yet it's also a hazard with all the yahoos who will gape at the reporters while trying to pilot their 2 ton SUV, sip their latte and talk on their cell phone. I'm with the officer here, and hope he doesn't get into any trouble over this, and I hope its made clear that stopping on the side of the road to do this sort of thing is not advised. I could see if they were stopped and offering aid to accident victims. But they were not, they were interviewing folks. Basically, they were told to move along and wanted to argue it. Tell it to the judge.
I noticed near the 20 second mark, you can clearly see at least two other cars stopped on the side of the rode as well with what appears to be the cars drivers standing next to them. Both cars are forward of the cop. I find it odd that the cop wasnt asking them to move a well.
 
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As a "free" society we're challenged to balance one's rights against enforcing laws... like traffic laws. It was tried once to not allow political signs within 25 feet of intersections because they obstructed views and caused a safety hazard. This dragged through the courts and was overturned because enforcement could be sporadic and prejudiced. Many police jurisdictions issue press passes that let reporters cross police lines etc. This would be a great time for the chief of police to let the press know what is expected of them, how to keep themselves out of danger and let the police do their jobs, etc. Stopping in a breakdown lane is, IMO, less "sinister" than crossing a police line... but you still want to do it in a way that allows traffic flow, doesn't impede the investigation of the accident that already happened, etc. (which it appears was done.) Texas probably needs a pow-wow between their cheifs of police and news media about what is and what isn't allowed... or let this event blow up into a court case about media access to report stories. This is going down the same road as "free speech zones" blocks away from political conventions...
 
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 Originally Posted By: oilyriser
Someone filming could be said to be recording identities of potential witnesses, so it isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Indeed. As has been said, there was no problem with the filming. The problem was that they stopped where they did.
 
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The reporters were way too close while the officer was trying to perform an investigation. He was given a fair chance to leave and stop interfering but didn't. The only problem I see here is the reporter trying to get the officer upset so that the story can be that much better.
 
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Well, I would imagine that the cop didn't make his disposition clear..or rather he did ..but didn't do much 'splainin' in the process. He just told him to take a hike. If he'd stated that he needed the vehicle moved to the other shoulder or the increased hazard he was causing by being there, it wouldn't appear so draconian. I've never seen police stop media reporting of anything. Telling them where they can set up and whatnot has been part of the deal ..but typically all other normal regulations are somewhat suspended. You'll see enough equipment sitting just off someone's lawn to warrant a work permit for something like a sewer project. "You're adding to the rubbernecking here creating more of a hazard. Please get your film footage and move on." instead of setting up a cookout.
 
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I've got to respectfully slightly disagree with you Gary, and go with Java and Warlord on this one. If that reporter was stupid enough to pull into the breakdown lane and contribute to the problem rather than filming from the other side of the road, he was too stupid to understand any explaination from the officer. Actually, he wasn't stupid, but he was trying to make his breaking the law and refusal to follow a order from the officer to get in compliance a freedom of the press issue. He knew what he had to do, and he was obviously trying to slow leak the officer. It's idiots like this that make three car accidents thirty car pileups.
 
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I've known many (now mostly retired) PA state troopers. They're very used to pointing their finger and getting compliance (at least back in the day). They had a certain absolute command over just about anything that they did. Naturally, this was also backed up by performance along the lines of excellence. They were not common humans for they never erred. Those filters that made these types of individuals the norm instead of the exception have been removed. This reporter was in his own (or so it appears) pickup. If he'd been in a news van, the cop would have just told him to move it. As you can see, the reporter thought that it was a routine request (that he'd probably done many times before) to finish up before he packed up and moved on. I'm not in conflict with the officer's response. I too would react in a similar manner. I'm a long fuse and watch me explode type. Stress me out where I've got a 3 ring circus to handle and you're going to be dispatched in the most expedient manner available to me. (think Belushi and the clown with the guitar on the stairway in Animal House) Then again, I'm not a cop.
 
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Gary Allan's view is not mutually exclusive with javacontour's. IMO, both are equally insightful and important. I would only add that it would be nice to know what happened in the few minutes before the video clip starts. Maybe the officer tried the kind of reasoned approach that Gary described, and wasn't getting anywhere with it. I somehow suspect we'll never know...
 
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The camera started rolling while the officer was climbing over the fence (because the reporter already wasn't following instructions). At that point, I think most rational people would have said "Yes sir" and headed for the truck. This reporter seemed to have a sense of entitlement that wasn't supported by the situation. After that point, the officer told him to get in his truck and move six times. He was back-talked all six times, indicating refusal to comply. I don't think I could be a cop - I'd have probably shot the reporter (just kidding) about the third time I had to tell him to move. I do hope they charge him with obstruction of justice or a similar violation.
 
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