CTSPJ statement on New Haven reporter’s arrest

Statement from Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists President Mike Savino following an incident this month involving a New Haven Independent reporter and New Haven police.

“We are greatly disappointed in the decision by the New Haven police department to arrest a working journalist.

We recognize that police have legitimate concerns when setting a perimeter around a scene and urge journalists to respect those boundaries, but an arrest is extreme when less draconian remedies would have sufficed. Additionally, we are concerned by officers’ attempts to seize the memory card from a reporter’s camera, especially in light of New Haven Police Department’s historical failure to recognize the public’s First Amendment Right to record police.

The Connecticut General Assembly even felt compelled to pass legislation reaffirming this right in response to actions by New Haven police, among other agencies. Allowing the press and general public to freely monitor the government that serves on their behalf are an essential part of democracy.”

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