Thursday, November 24, 2011

Top cop's memo reminds officers not to interfere with media access during news coverage

Don’t arrest reporters doing their jobs, Ray Kelly tells NYPD's rank-and-file

BY John Doyle & Joe Kemp

Thursday, November 24 2011, 1:52 AM

  Daily News reporter Matthew Lysiak, in royal blue jacket, covers the action as Occupy Wall Street protesters, ousted from Zuccotti Park, try to stake a claim at a private park near Duarte Square on Nov. 15. He was arrested shortly thereafter.
Preston Rescigno/Getty Images

Daily News reporter Matt Lysiak, in royal blue jacket, covers the action as Occupy Wall Street protesters, ousted from Zuccotti Park, try to stake a claim at a private park near Duarte Square on Nov. 15. He was arrested shortly thereafter.

  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly watches as the NYPD's early-morning operation to clear Zuccotti Park begins.
Julia Xanthos/New York Daily News

Ray Kelly watches as the NYPD's early-morning operation to clear Zuccotti Park begins.

The city's top cop sent an internal memo to officers reminding them not to interfere with media access during news coverage — and those who do may face disciplinary action.

The message by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly comes a week after several members of the media, including a Daily News reporter, were arrested covering a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters that had entered private property during a downtown rally on Nov. 15.

The demonstrators had cut through a fence near Sixth Ave. and Canal St. and went into a vacant lot owned by a church.

Kelly’s memo states that officers should permit media as close to the activity as possible and that media should not always be restricted from entering private property.

“When incidents spill over or occur on private property, members of the media will not be arrested for criminal trespass, unless an owner or representative expressly indicates that the press is not to be permitted,” according to a section of the Patrol Guide included in the memo.

The message was read in all the police precincts Wednesday after Kelly and his deputy commissioner of public information, Paul Browne, met with representatives of city media outlets.


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/don-t-arrest-reporters-jobs-ray-kelly-tells-nypd-rank-and-file-article-1.982255#ixzz1edXJ6JFM
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