Independent journalist cited for trespassing in Florida city hall

December 20, 2018
On Dec. 20, 2018, reporter and activist Andrew Sheets was cited for trespassing after filming inside the city hall building in Punta Gorda, Florida, in violation of a local ordinance.Sheets, a member of the National Press Photographers Association, is a self-described “copwatch reporter” who runs a YouTube channel focused on police misconduct and corruption.The local law that Sheets was accused of violating, Ordinance 1872-17, prohibits filming people without permission in certain areas of city-controlled buildings, including Punta Gorda City Hall …

NC news publisher charged with criminal contempt of court

December 3, 2018
Davin Eldridge, publisher of the local news site and Facebook page Trappalachia, was charged with contempt of court on Dec. 3, 2018, for recording and livestreaming a criminal proceeding in November 2018 at the Macon County Courthouse in Franklin, North Carolina.The News & Observer reported that despite posted signs stating that recording was not permitted in the courtroom and a warning from a bailiff, Eldridge allegedly continued to film court proceedings. The presiding judge, William Coward, reiterated his rule against …

BuzzFeed News journalist arrested in Seattle while asking for comment

November 4, 2018
On Nov. 4, 2018, BuzzFeed News reporter Blake Montgomery was arrested in Seattle on suspicion of trespassing.The Stranger, a Seattle alt-weekly, reports that Montgomery was arrested while in the process of reporting out a story about Tank Hapertefen, a man who died after injecting silicone into his genitals. When Montgomery went to the Seattle home of Tank's former partner, Dylan Hapertefen, to ask him for comment, the occupants of the home called the police. The police arrested Montgomery and took …

Freelance reporter Karen Savage arrested for felony trespassing while covering anti-pipeline protest in Louisiana

August 18, 2018
On Aug. 18, 2018, freelance investigative reporter Karen Savage was arrested under a felony trespassing law, while reporting on protests against the construction of the Bayou Bridge oil pipeline in Louisiana. At the time, Savage was on assignment for The Appeal, a progressive news site focused on criminal justice issues.Savage was embedded with a camp of protesters, known as water protectors, who were aiming to defend a piece of land in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya River Basin, a wetlands area co-owned by …
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