Press freedom: Seattle police drop effort to obtain videos of protest

The Seattle police announced they will abandon efforts to subpoena five local news groups to obtain unpublished videos and photos during a demonstration on May 30. They said they needed the videos to help them solve arson and theft cases. The department said it would take until next year to obtain the visual evidence and that they arrested a suspect in one of the cases. The media groups appealed to the state Supreme Court a judge’s order that would have allowed police to obtain some materials. (The Seattle Times, September 21, 2020, by Lewis Kamb)

The case involving the boundaries of the Washington state Shield Law protections was widely noted since it pitted the working media and its need to report the news independently of law enforcement and the need of police to investigate crimes and bring perpetrators to justice. (The Associated Press, September 22, 2020)

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