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Journalist, LAPD settle lawsuit over attacks during convention

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    NMU         CALIFORNIA         Newsgathering         Oct 12, 2001    

Journalist, LAPD settle lawsuit over attacks during convention

  • Los Angeles police officials agreed to pay $60,000 to seven journalists struck by officers during last year’s Democratic National Convention, but have yet to disclose what changes will be made to their media policy.

The Los Angeles City Council agreed in late September to pay $60,000 to seven journalists who were struck by police breaking up a protest outside the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in August 2000.

The settlement conditions require the police department to institute a policy that recognizes that the media has the right to cover public assemblies, even if they are unlawful. Peter Eliasberg, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union in Southern California who worked on the case, could not confirm when the policy changes would be made or what specifically they would include.

The lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department alleged that the police officers violated the journalists’ constitutional rights when they broke up a crowd of protesters outside the convention. The lawsuit said the case illustrates the importance for the press to have meaningful access to emergency scenes or protests.

The group of journalists, which included veteran television consumer reporter David Horowitz, were injured when police shot several of them with rubber bullets and beat others with sticks. Horowitz himself was knocked down and kicked by police while trying to identify himself as a member of the press.

(Crespo v. Los Angeles) HP

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