And that’s fair, but the other thing to consider here is that these aren’t just students doing this for a class, they’re adults doing close to a full-time job which they interviewed for and are paid to do. They are, by definition, professional journalists. So on some level, this isn’t just classroom work, this is where real life application starts, and I’d expect them to act as a professional journalist and be treated like a professional journalist in return. And they very much know what they’re doing and getting themselves into.
I think the kids did exactly what they should have done in that situation and I would never expect a mentor or instructor to advise them any differently. No instructor would ever, ever tell a student journalist to listen a police officer giving them unconstitutional orders. In fact, when I was there, we had entire classes devoted to doing the exact opposite – knowing your rights, sticking to them, what to do when you’re illegally arrested, how to respond, etc. The answer is never, ever “do what they want you to do.” The fact that they knew they were legally in the right in that situation tells me they were very prepared for that situation, it was the police officers who were not.
As for your last question, why wouldn’t it be their place? That’s an earnest question.
We talk all things Ohio State on this website. Yesterday I wrote about Ohio State building a new music building. Ohio State students getting maced oh high street while working for the campus newspaper is pretty damn OSU-centric.
Ah, yes. Only centenarians are allowed to have an active and valid role in the society in which we live. Thank you for correcting me.
I respect your opinion when you say you should always comply with an officer's request. That is certainly the safer advice. I just am very much of the opinion that the officer should NEVER make requests that infringe on individual rights or overstep their authority, and I don't believe anybody should comply with such a request.
That's fair, they can request whatever they want. But the reporters were in no way required to comply, and the police had no authority to force them to. I get what you're saying about the reporters screaming and arguing, but they weren't the instigators – the entire mess would have been avoided if the police simply allowed them to do their job legally without question.
It was illegal for the police to tell them to “clear out” in the first place and it was more illegal for the police to mace them to enforce that illegal order. The police cannot make up new laws to enforce on the spot – that’s not how this country works. There should not be “consequences” to following the law.
Now, if your argument is “you should have known the police would do something overreaching, physical and illegal when you disobeyed them, even if you were right,” that’s kind of a bigger problem.
Accreditation, or even that they were students, is not at all relevant here. They had a press pass, so they are reporters. It’s that simple.
As for your other points that “everyone has to go home” at 10 p.m. and that “just because they have a press pass doesn’t mean they get to do whatever they want and not listen to law enforcement,” you are explicitly incorrect on both of those points. As news media, they were exempt from from that curfew. So by having a press pass, they were allowed to be there and were well within their rights to disregard the illegal order from the police.
Now, if the police made an order they actually had the authority to make, that would be a different story. But in this scenario, the police had no authority to make that order. The journalists were doing their jobs and following the law, the police were breaking the law. It is that simple.
Nobody under any circumstances should “comply” with an illegal request made by a police officer. I’m extremely proud of them as both journalists and citizens of the United States that they did not, instead politely and firmly informing the officer of their legal right.
Police officers have tremendously stressful jobs, especially during that circumstance, but that does not absolve them from upholding or following the law. They cannot do whatever they want because their job is hard. More than that, they should have been even *more* careful realizing they were under a microscope in this instance, given what the protest was about.
Again, mistakes happen, but The Lantern reporters were absolutely in the right here, and the police were absolutely in the wrong. There’s really no way you can legally spin it otherwise.
D’eriq King will be pretty good imo
If you think *she’s* the gold digger, I have some news about my profession...