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Police use media photos to prosecute vandals after basketball loss

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials

    NMU         PENNSYLVANIA         Confidentiality/Privilege         Apr 3, 2001    

Police use media photos to prosecute vandals after basketball loss

  • Some members of the news media turned over film and tape of Penn State fans who were upset over their team’s loss in the NCAA tournament.

Photos and videos obtained from the news media and others may help police in their search for participants in a post-game melee after the Penn State men’s basketball team was eliminated in the NCAA tournament on March 23.

According to State College, Pa., police Lt. Diane Conrad, some members of the news media voluntarily submitted photos and videos to assist police. Conrad declined to name the media organizations involved.

But Bob Unger, executive editor of the Centre Daily Times, said the newspaper did not submit photos to the police and police did not ask for any assistance. The newspaper sent three photographers in time to cover the mayhem because students warned of a riot in advance, Unger said.

More than 4,000 people filled streets and became violent, breaking windows and throwing debris and firecrackers from apartment balconies. Police hope the photos and video footage of the event will help them apprehend the individuals who caused almost $8,000 in damage.

In addition to the news media, Conrad said police officers were sent to the scene specifically to take photographs. Police have also asked the public to contribute pictures and videos that could lead to further arrests. The photos were then posted on the police department’s “riot” Web site.

The post-game riot, the third melee in less than three years in the central Pennsylvania college town, yielded 20 arrests. Fourteen of those were Penn State students.


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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