Police launch investigation after wrongful arrest of editor, photographer
GEORGIA–A newspaper publisher is demanding a public apology from police officials after the arrest of a city editor and a photographer during their coverage of an accident.
In late July, the chief photographer for the Griffin Daily News, Bob Frietag, was ordered to stop taking pictures of a child strapped to a stretcher at an accident scene. An emergency medical technician at the scene told Frietag that because of patient confidentiality and the child’s age, he could not photograph the child’s face.
Mark Williams, city editor for the News, arrived on the scene and informed police that patient confidentiality did not apply at accident scenes on city streets. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Williams was taken to the city jail, where Frietag took pictures of him as he sat in a police car. When Frietag questioned a police order to stop taking photos, he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
The charges against both Williams and Frietag were never formally filed.
The city has since launched an investigation into the matter and conceded that patient confidentiality does not apply to accidents on public property.
City officials are waiting for the results of the investigation before deciding whether a public apology is in order, according to the Associated Press.