Another cop tried to play news editor with a photojournalist by standing in front of his camera and informing him it was in “bad taste” to video record the investigation of a traffic fatality.
The San Diego Sheriff’s Sergeant, who sounds like she said her name is “Guerra,” but correct me if I’m wrong, then proclaimed it was her First Amendment right to block his camera.
But photojournalist JC Playford said she didn’t have the right to interfere with his work.
She ended up walking away and he ended up getting his footage, which shows the tragic aftermath of a motorcyclist’s body under a tarp being lifted into the back of the coroner’s van.
While the sergeant believes it was disrespectful to the man’s family, it is, in fact, educational for anybody driving the streets that life can be very fleeting.
Playford, who has been arrested four times while recording authorities, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and the San Diego Police Department over press credentials.
According to the North County Times:
San Diego police issued freelance journalist James Charles Playford a press credential but later took it away after someone filed a restraining order against him, a police spokesman said earlier this year.
After that, American News and Information Services issued Playford one of its own press credentials. But San Diego County law enforcement officials have not routinely honored the privately issued credentials, the lawsuit says.
San Diego County sheriff’s deputies have arrested Playford four times since 2010 on suspicion of obstructing them in the performance of their duties. Playford, who has a reputation among police agencies for being loud and aggressive in his coverage, was filming police activity and did not comply with sheriff’s deputies’ orders to identify himself, move or leave.