What in God's name is this?
Police seize riot photos from JMU student newspaperHer intentions were honorable - "to get the violent criminals off the streets" - if her methods were right out of the Hugo Chavez "How To Ignore Your Country's Constitution, Seize Control of Power, & Turn Your Country Into a Banana Republic" playbook.
By Jordan Fifer, Roanoke Times
At least half a dozen police officers and the Rockingham County commonwealth's attorney raided the offices of James Madison University's student newspaper Friday, confiscating hundreds of photos of an off-campus riot last weekend, the paper's editor said.
Katie Thisdell, editor-in-chief of The Breeze and a 2007 graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, said Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst came Friday morning armed with a search warrant after Thisdell refused Thursday to hand over newspaper photos of the April 10 brawl.
Friday morning, Thisdell said, Garst and police officers executed a search warrant for photos of the riot at her newspaper's offices.
"I said ... I don't have to give you these photos right now," Thisdell said. "I can consult with legal counsel."
But Garst appeared prepared to take all of the newspaper's equipment, Thisdell said, so she complied. Officers copied more than 900 images from computer hard drives, only about 600 of which were from the riot.
Garst could not be reached Saturday for comment, but she told The (Harrisonburg) Daily News-Record the search was "an attempt to get the violent criminals off the streets so they don't hurt anyone else. The pictures were sought to identify those responsible for the violent crimes associated with the weekend riot." [link]
And what judge signed off on the search warrant?
This ain't right. If Freedom of the Press means anything, it means the government doesn't raid newspaper offices and seize press materials in order to "get the violent criminals off the streets." Search warrant or no.
What is this world coming to?