News Photographer Jeff Mails was handcuffed and detained in the back of a squad car yesterday during the Glassell Park incident.
He's actually already been released. Jeff wasn't held for very long, but he joins an unfortunately growing fraternity of journalists to suffer what looks to be an obvious abuse of authority by the Los Angeles Police Department.
I don't have all the details right now and the situation is too serious for me to dance around repeating the story second hand, but here's the very basics of what I know from talking to other photographers who witnessed it.
Jeff was covering the drive-by shooting in Glassell Park yesterday. An officer of the LAPD took some exception to Jeff's questioning of where the media was and wasn't being allowed.
From what I understand, the general public was being allowed access to areas where the media was being told to stay back.
A short time later, Jeff was handcuffed and perp walked to a squad car.
That's the basics and I hope I didn't loose you in the complicated nature of the situation. The twists and turns and subtle--
No, wait. It seems pretty clear. It's either a crime scene or it isn't. It's either a secure area or it isn't. If the general public is allowed into an area and it's not a secured area, then there's no real legal basis for restricting access to the news media.
These things seem to take forever to sort out.
I'll probably be able to talk to Jeff when I get to work today and get his full side of the story. I'd really like to hear from the officer who decided it was necessary to detain Jeff.
With everything that's happened in the past year, you would think the LAPD might have developed a better way of dealing with the media, but then again maybe I'm not looking at the bright side.
At least they didn't beat him.
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