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Reporter handcuffed, detained for interviewing students

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Reporter handcuffed, detained for interviewing students 02/23/98 NEVADA--A school police officer in mid-February detained and handcuffed a reporter and threatened…

Reporter handcuffed, detained for interviewing students

02/23/98

NEVADA–A school police officer in mid-February detained and handcuffed a reporter and threatened to arrest a photographer outside a school in Las Vegas.

Brenda Stanton, a reporter for KVBC, was standing on a sidewalk outside Valley High School and interviewing students about teen pregnancy when she was approached by an unidentified police officer. The officer told Stanton she would be arrested for loitering if she did not leave the sidewalk.

Stanton initially moved from the sidewalk to the street, but when she returned to the sidewalk the officer informed her that she was under arrest and handcuffed her. The officer also ordered the photographer, who continued to videotape from the street, to return to his vehicle, threatening him with arrest if he failed to comply.

No charges were filed against Stanton, who was later released.

Dan Burns, the station’s acting news director, said KVBC was “contemplating legal action to make sure that this never happens again.

“The sidewalk around the school is a public place,” he said. “We want to make sure that the police will not interrupt news gathering activities in a public place. The police will not interfere with our right to interview members of the public.”

Ray Willis, a spokesman for the Clark County School District, agreed that sidewalks are public property. “I think it’s just deplorable that it happened,” he told the AP.