A reporter from a Univision affiliate in Arizona has accused police of illegally seizing his telephone and threatening to entry its contents by “brute power” throughout an incident in April.
In a 28-page movement filed in Gilbert Arizona’s Municipal court docket, journalist León Felipe González Cortés of Univision Arizona says that police violated his First Modification rights as a reporter by unlawfully seizing his telephone and threatening to entry its contents, as reported by AZCentral. In the course of the incident, González additionally alleges that the police referred to him as “compadre” in a derisive method in reference to his Latino heritage.
Police have held the telephone for greater than a month, and attorneys from each the city and the police division have allegedly stopped responding to requests for its return.
González was arrested and had his telephone seized whereas protecting the loss of life of a Chandler police officer in April. Based on the movement, González — regardless of carrying a Univision shirt and being accompanied by a photojournalist — was informed by police that he was on the improper aspect of the police line and was arrested for trespassing and hindering a police investigation.
González claims that the telephone contained private info and guarded journalistic work unrelated to the April incident and that such info is protected by the federal Privateness Safety Act of 1980 and the Arizona Structure.
AZCentral requested David Cullier, a professor on the College of Arizona College of Journalism, in regards to the legality of the seizure given the circumstances, which he known as “unacceptable.”
“Police have a proper to guard the integrity of a criminal offense scene, however confiscating and breaking right into a journalist’s cellphone crosses the road,” he says.
Univision and the Arizona Broadcasters Affiliation additionally condemned the seizure.
Gilbert’s spokeswoman Jennifer Harrison despatched out an announcement saying that González was arrested “after he deliberately walked inside a clearly-marked crime scene through the prison investigation” and “by his personal admission, captured digital pictures and/or video footage from contained in the scene.” His telephone was, due to this fact, “seized as proof on the time of his arrest, because the Police Division had possible trigger to consider that the telephone contained proof of his prison conduct.”
She went on to state that she believed that his arrest and the telephone’s seizure had been supported by federal legal guidelines and supplied no additional remark.
Over a month after the preliminary incident, Gilbert police added a further trespassing cost towards González regardless of the property proprietor the place that trespassing allegedly occurred declined to prosecute. The movement additionally claims that the declare the telephone contained proof of the preliminary crime and was, due to this fact, essential to seize is doubtful, because the police had “ample time” to take pictures of their very own.
The crux of the case appears to hinge not on the truth that González went past the clearly marked police line, however that the police had no proper to grab his telephone and threaten to entry its contents consequently.
Picture credit: Header picture licensed by way of Depositphotos.