Over on the National Press Photographer Association’s discussion list, Jim Dean posted a link to a story on about Louisiana sheriff’s deputies who were using a photo of a local reporter for target practice.

From the story:

“I don’t think there was anything sinister about it. I don’t think it was meant to be a threat,” Sheriff Jack Stephens, a 28-year police veteran, said.

Uh, yeah. You can think that.

The reporter who’s image was used, Lee Zurik from Fox 8 out of New Orleans, had recently completed an investigative project looking at a voter-fraud issue that involved sheriff’s office employees voting in areas they weren’t residents of.

Nope, no way anyone could perceive this as a threat.

UPDATE: I watched the Fox 8 story about the incident and the quotes from outgoing Sheriff Jack Stephens above were taken out of context in the story. Watch the video and you’ll see that he says there wasn’t anything sinister about it, but that, “It points out, particularly with regard to people who serve in this line of work, the responsibility they have with respect to their action and how it affects other people. It’s one thing for a civilian to be doing something like this, but it’s a totally different thing for a commissioned officer to be doing something like that.”

The omission of that second part of the quote changes the context tremendously. Because of that, I have struck-through my editorial comments.

Mark E. Johnson

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