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Arrests of reporters in the last year

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From the Summer 2000 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 5.

From the Summer 2000 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 5.

What follows is an undoubtedly incomplete list of cases of reporter arrests in the last year. Readers are encouraged to notify the Reporters Committee any time they hear of a reporter’s arrest or prosecution.

Call our hotline at 1-800-336-4243, or e-mail information to

July 1999: Brian Hansen, a reporter for the Colorado Daily, was arrested while covering an environmental protest in Vail, Colorado.

A judge dismissed the case against San Francisco journalist Bruce Mirken, who was accused of using the Internet to entice a teenager into inappropriate sexual conduct. Mirken claimed he met the boy to interview him for an article.

South Bend (Ind.) Tribune photographer Joe Raymond was arrested after he attempted to take pictures of the family of a slain police officer.

August 1999: Jamaal Abdul-Alim, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, was arrested while conducting an interview in a neighborhood notorious for cruising. He was held by police for four hours.

October 1999: The Akron police chief filed suit against Beacon Journal reporter Ed Meyer and photographer Jocelyn Williams for allegedly harassing him and stalking his wife while the Journal was investigating an alleged domestic violence complaint filed by his wife.

November 1999: Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Kelly Murakami was arrested and jailed overnight for “failure to disperse” while covering the World Trade Organization protests.

December 1999: Chicago Tribune reporter Richard Longworth was arrested over a dispute with officers while covering a fire.

Jeffrey Phelps, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was arrested while taking photographs at the scene of a hit-and-run accident.

Kevin Burglund, co-host of a Maplewood, Minn., cable TV show, was arrested for trying to film a party for outgoing city council members. Burglund and counterpart Bob Zick got into a disagreement with city officials as to whether the party was public or private.

February 2000: Savannah (Ga.) Morning News photographer Matthew Moyer was ordered to stop taking pictures and eventually arrested at the scene of an arrest on public property.

March 2000: Magnolia, Ark., Banner-News reporter Toni Walthall was arrested following a dispute with a sheriff about access to public records.

Reporters complained that Secret Service agents shoved them and pushed some of them to the ground when they tried to interview First Lady Hillary Clinton as she marched in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City.

April 2000: Photographer Carol Guzy of The Washington Post was arrested and detained while covering the World Bank protests in Washington, D.C.

Miami Herald reporter Arnold Markowitz was arrested when he went onto an airport roof while covering a story.

NBC cameraman Tony Zumbado and soundman Gustavo Moller were allegedly assaulted by INS agents while trying to get footage of the seizure of Elian Gonzalez from his Miami relatives’ home.

Los Angeles Times photographer Carolyn Cole was arrested for allegedly throwing rocks at police during the protests following the seizure of Elian Gonzalez.

May 2000: Cameraman Larry Washington of KTVI -TV in St. Louis was allegedly assaulted by Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan and his bodyguard during an interview attempt at an airport.

Cape Cod (Mass.) Times reporter Sean Gonsalves was frisked while conducting a roadside interview after police received a tip that a man was holding a gun — which turned out to be the reporter’s tape recorder — to another man’s head.

June 2000: A judge dismissed the charges against Richard Kern, a reporter for an alternative newspaper in Buffalo, who was arrested as he attempted to cover a conference held by a city official. — SK

August 2000: Providence Journal photographer Rachel Ritchie said a police officer grabbed her, twisted her arm behind her back and forced her to the ground to get her to give up her film, which included images of a man who had started shooting a gun during a crowded street festival.