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Florida cameraman jailed on assault charges

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    NMU         FLORIDA         Newsgathering         Sep 7, 2001    

Florida cameraman jailed on assault charges

  • WFOR/Channel 4 television station in Miami demanded the return of equipment seized by police after a cameraman was arrested for knocking down a rescue officer.

Police in a Florida town arrested a Miami cameraman on a charge of assaulting an officer on Sept. 1 as he was filming a helicopter involved in a rescue operation.

Rudy Marshall of WFOR/Channel 4, a CBS affiliate based in Miami, spent the night in a Florida City, Fla., jail and is facing three felony charges: assaulting an officer, battery, and resisting arrest. Marshall’s camera, videotape and tripod were taken by the police and not returned.

CBS lawyers in New York hope to get the equipment back and have the charges dropped and the arrest stricken from Marshall’s record.

“These charges are ridiculous,” said Steve Yatner, assistant news director at WFOR. “We are confident we will get the camera back and the charges dropped.”

According to Mike Kirsh, a WFOR reporter, Marshall was filming a helicopter that was coming from a rescue operation when a Miami-Dade County rescue officer tried to cover his camera with her hand and told him to move. Apparently when Marshall moved, he accidentally knocked the rescue officer down, Kirsh said.

The woman then called a code 315 — an “officer down” signal. Ten Florida City police officers came to the scene and handcuffed Marshall. The police took his tape, camera and tripod. Marshall spent the night in jail and was later released.

Repeated calls to the Florida City Police Department went unreturned.

“This is an internal matter,”said Andrew Siegel, a CBS attorney. “We expect the matter to be taken care of soon.”


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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