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Commissioner Nullifies Arrest of Photojournalist, Orders Media Relations Training

Bowing to pressure from the Press Club of Long Island and other media organizations, the Suffolk County Police Department has decided to drop its charges against photojournalist Phil Datz.

Datz was arrested on Friday evening as he attempted to film the conclusion of a police chase on Long Island. Despite his apparent efforts (documented in a video uploaded to YouTube) to follow protocol in filming the police arrest a group of suspects, Datz was taken into police custody and charged with obstruction of governmental administration.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said in a statement on Monday that he is working to have the arrest nullified. He also stated that an internal review is underway and all officers will receive remedial media relations training.

“The police department believes in keeping an open line of communication with the media,” Dormer said, “and we will be reviewing the department’s policy concerning involvement with the news media.” [Via Long Island Press]

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