RTDNA seeks your help as DOJ investigates police departments for interfering with journalists

Executive Director/COO, RTDNA

January 24, 2021
 
Dear RTDNA Members:

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating a handful of local law enforcement agencies around the country following incidents of civil unrest and other issues.
 
After RTDNA, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) and about 90 other media organizations requested it last year, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the division to investigate how officers in those agencies may have interfered with journalists’ First Amendment-rooted duty to serve the public by seeking and reporting the truth.
 
DOJ investigators are now at a stage where they are seeking information from journalists who were detained, arrested, assaulted or otherwise impeded by officers during incidents of civil unrest or at any other time in the following cities:
 
  • Louisville, KY
  • Phoenix, AZ
If you were impacted by law enforcement actions in either of those cities within the past couple of years or so, and you haven’t yet communicated with the Department of Justice, RCFP or another agency or organization, please contact RTDNA as soon as possible. Provide as much detail as possible into the incident(s). We will then pass along that information to the DOJ authorities conducting the investigations. Ideally, the DOJ would like to have it by early February.
 
Please send your information to pressfreedom@rtdna.org.
 
Similar DOJ investigations are underway at other local law enforcement agencies, but investigators are not yet prepared to receive detailed information in those instances. Once they are, we’ll let you know.
 
Thank you for your help in this important matter.
 
Sincerely,

Dan Shelley
Executive Director, COO, RTDNA
 

 



 



 
 
 
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