NYC Police Told to Not Harass Media

It’s a sad moment when it comes to this, but New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly has ordered a “Finest” message to be read at 10 consecutive roll calls, according to the National Press Photographers Association.

The Finest message highlights various guidelines that instruct police on how to deal with the media, including that “Members of the service will not interfere with the videotaping or the photographing of incidents in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing the photographer constitutes censorship. Working Press Cards clearly state the bearer ‘is entitled to cross police and fire lines.’ This right will be honored and access will not be denied.”

Thanks to NPPA General Counsel Mickey Osterreicher for his continuing work in this area. On this holiday, especially, I give thanks to him and the NPPA for their tireless work in preserving our First Amendment rights.

Mark E. Johnson

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