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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Datz’

Freelance Photojournalist Settles Suit Against Suffolk County

A freelance photojournalist has settled his civil rights lawsuit against Suffolk County Police Department.

Phil Datz, a freelance photojournalist, was arrested after being told by an officer to stop shooting the arrest of a suspect. Datz was shooting the arrest from a public sidewalk at the time. Watch Datz’s video of his arrest above.

“This settlement is a victory for the First Amendment and for the public good,” Datz said in a statement “When police arrest journalists just for doing their job, it creates a chilling effect that jeopardizes everyone’s ability to stay informed about important news in their community.”

According to the NPPA, Suffolk County will pay Datz $200,000, “implement a new training program [including a training video], and create a Police-Media Relations Committee.” Read more

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New York Photojournalist Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Following Arrest

The NPPA and the New York Civil Liberties Union, along with New York law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of photojournalist Phil Datz, who was arrested last July as he was attempting to film the conclusion of a police chase on Long Island.

Datz was on a public street when he was arrested.

“Mr. Datz’s arrest was not an isolated event,” said Robert Balin, a partner with Davis Wright Tremaine and lead counsel on the case. “Suffolk County police officers have a pattern of unlawfully interfering with the recording of police activity conducted in plain view. As a journalist, Mr. Datz has a responsibility to cover police activity in public places.” Read more

Video: EMS Official Confronts WNBC Photographer

A WNBC photographer got locked in a confrontation with an emergency medical official earlier this month while trying to cover the aftermath of a chemical spill in Bohemia, NY.  And the incident was caught on tape (video above) by Phil Datz, the freelance cameraman who was arrested in July for filming police officers following a car chase. Read more

Following Photojournalist’s Arrest, RTDNA Offers Media Training to Police Departments

The RTDNA is sending a message to police officers that could be viewed as either an olive branch or a veiled critique. Or both.

Following the recently renounced arrest of Long Island photojournalist Phil Datz, the RTDNA is offering first amendment training assistance to the Suffolk County Police Department, as well as any other police departments around the country that may be in need of a refresher course in media relations.

“This arrest showed a gross misunderstanding of the media’s First Amendment right to inform the public,” RTDNA chairman Mark Kraham stated. “With that said, RTDNA is here to help.”

The organization has not gone into specifics about what sort of assistance it would be willing to provide police departments and it appears that it will consider questions and requests from departments on a case-by-case basis.

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]

Photojournalist Arrested for Filming Police

Photojournalist Phil Datz was arrested on Friday while attempting to film the conclusion of a police chase on Long Island.

Datz works for Stringer News Service, a Long Island-based news agency that provides breaking news footage for New York area stations, and was standing on the sidewalk filming suspects being arrested when an officer approached him, demanding that he leave the scene (video above). Read more