FAC Letter to San Diego Police Officers Union Regarding Cease and Desist Demand to Photojournalist Joe Orellana

Today FAC sent a letter to Jared WIlson, President of the San Diego Police Officers Association (SDPOA) asking the SPDOA to withdraw its “cease and desist” demand to photojournalist Joe Orellana.

The SDPOA’s letter was in response to a Twitter thread Orellana authored while covering a meeting in which the San Diego Police Department was advocating for the use of smart streetlights and automatic license plate readers before the city’s Privacy Advisory Board. In his thread, Orellana noted — as an aside — that one of the police officers presenting, Lt. Adam Sharki, was “on San Diego’s Brady List under “Do Not Call,” meaning he was flagged under a ruling “requiring prosecutors to disclose to defense lawyers information about unreliable police officers or other holes in their cases.”

WIlson of SDPOA sent the cease and desist letter to Orellana accusing him of making “false and defamatory statements” about Lt. Sharki.

But as the FAC notes in its letter today, ” Regardless of whether correction or retraction of a statement might be appropriate, the First Amendment prohibits claims arising from a statement about a public official unless the plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the statement was made with actual knowledge it was false or with reckless disregard for the truth. The letter states no facts meeting that stringent standard.”

Read the full letter below: