Below is an example of what not to do. Chicago police took into custody an NBC photographer and WGN reporter for trying to cover a story about a six-year-old girl who was shot and killed Saturday.
The media were not at the crime scene but rather at a hospital where the girl was taken. If the media were impeding medics or helping a criminal escape, the cops would have a beef. They were not.
From the story and accompanying video -- it looks like Chicago's finest overreacted. One cop can be seen on tape saying:
"Your First Amendment rights can be terminated if you're creating a scene or whatever."Umm. No they can't
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.This nation is STILL a great democracy because there is an unfettered flow of information and ideas – both broadcast and print. At the core of that first amendment right is a journalist’s duty, and yes, responsibility to cover any event – lawfully – respecting the rights of others to privacy as they do so. Handcuffing reporters -- just because you can -- is what happens in other countries -- not here.
The Chicago police demonstrated that they need a refresher course in dealing with the media. As in the past, that refresher course often comes in the form of a civil law suit – sometimes it’s the only way the Chicago PD learns. The reporter and photographer were released after about ten minutes in custody -- but the impression of strong-armed tactics by the police will last much longer.