A reporter from the Post-Star newspaper in New York was arrested for trying to get information from police after a murder-suicide last week.
David Taube, who writes the Chapel Chat section of the news site, was arrested four hours after the incident had been reported because “he refused orders to leave the area.”
This at a time when the bodies were removed and the crime tape was removed and the roads were re-opened to traffic.
But the Warren County Sheriff’s Office still charged with obstruction of governmental administration, the same charge Emily Good was slapped with after she videotaped Rochester cops from her front yard.
Good’s charges were dropped and it is likely Taube’s charges will be dropped because the investigation was already over.
According to the North County Gazette, Taube was arressted after police removed the crime tape because he did not wait obediently like the other reporters for police to allow him to proceed.
According to reliable sources, the incident occurred at approximately noon, about 4 1/2 hours after the shooting was reported. The crime scene tape had just been removed. Reporters from many other news outlets were standing respectfully outside the boundaries of where the crime scene tape had been, waiting for the police to grant them access to the scene. However, sources say Taube, the Post-Star reporter immediately interjected himself into the scene and was asked several times to leave the scene. When he did not, he was arrested.
Once the the tape is removed, the public is free to roam at will. They don’t need to wait for a police order.
The Post-Star, a 29,000 circulation newspaper covering the Adirondack region of New York, published an editorial vowing they will fight the charges.
“ We plan on aggressively fighting these charges in the weeks ahead since our reporter was doing nothing more than reporting on a tragic story.
”We understand the stress that law enforcement and first responders have during these tragic incidents, but the arrest took place on a public road, four hours after the incident and there was no police tape around the scene.
“ When arrested, our reporter was asking police officers on a public road questions. That is what thousands of reporters do every day in this country without being arrested.”
This was a reporter simply trying to do his job and these charges have no merit.
As in most news stories, the most interesting details can be found in the comments section with one reader whining about the rights of the deceased people (the bodies had already been removed and what rights do dead people have anyway?) and stating that “the press has long pushed the envelope of the second amendment”.
But when was the last time you heard of a reporter getting arrested for carrying a gun?
The charges should be dismissed without hesitation if the district attorney has any legal sense.
Unfortunately, the Post-Star will probably not pursue the matter anymore once that happens.
So police will continue to do as they please because they really have nothing to lose.