Kauai police backed off a trespass charge against a Hawaii-based journalist at the last minute Wednesday, deciding as she turned herself in that she had been "covered by the First Amendment" when she reported on a protest at a home construction site last month.
According to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Joan Conrow was among a group of journalists who covered the protest of a house going up on Hawaiian burial grounds. She was the only one who ended up facing arrest. Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry told the Star-Bulletin that he reviewed Conrow’s arrest warrant and decided she had a constitutional right to be at the protest site: "I want to make sure we are doing the right thing."
The Star-Bulletin reports that Perry told local prosecutors to drop the charge.