Pima sheriffs deputies arrest reporter overlaying protest towards Raytheon

A information reporter was arrested Thursday in Tucson by the Pima County Sheriff’s Division whereas overlaying a pro-Palestinian protest towards navy contractor Raytheon. Alisa Reznick of KJZZ was handcuffed and brought away by deputies, regardless of figuring out herself as a journalist.

Reznick was launched a number of hours later, after being taken — together with 25 others arrested — to PCSD’s San Xavier District Workplace and cited for prison trespassing.

In response to regulation enforcement and eyewitness accounts, and video and images taken by protestors on the scene, Reznick was arrested as deputies advised protestors to go away Raytheon property on the College of Arizona Tech Park on the Southeast Aspect.

Reznick was sporting her press cross and carrying reporting gear and a digital camera as deputies took her into custody round 7:30 a.m. Her arrest got here regardless of being clearly recognized as a working reporter, her transfer to go away the property as requested, and PCSD insurance policies that lay out allowances for journalists enterprise their duties.

Sheriff Chris Nanos advised the Sentinel that he was not conscious of his division’s written insurance policies concerning “cheap entry” for reporters at crime scenes.

In a single video, which was additionally posted on YouTube, Reznick will be heard explaining to a deputy that she is a reporter and that she was heading to her automobile as that they had instructed.

“I am a reporter,” she advised a PCSD deputy who was greedy her arm.

“You are underneath arrest,” he advised her.

“I will my automobile, which is correct there,” she mentioned.

“You’ve got had loads of time to go to your automobile.”

“I am not even concerned on this,” she defined.

Holding the reporter’s digital camera, the deputy requested the individual taking the video — which was posted on Twitter, the social media platform that now has an X for a emblem, by the leftist activist group Unicorn Riot —”Are you able to seize this? I do not need to break it.”

Because the deputy snapped Reznick into handcuffs, one other approached. As she defined that she had been heading to her automobile, he mentioned, “We advised you to go away, and also you remained for a number of extra minutes.”

Unicorn Riot posted on-line that the group of about 60 protestors had blocked the roadway into the Raytheon web site close to South Rita Street and Interstate 10 for about an hour Thursday morning.

The one that took the video that was posted by the activist group was not amongst those that have been arrested, regardless of being in the identical place similtaneously the working reporter who was handcuffed and led away, sources advised the Sentinel.

A spokesperson for the group Tucson Coalition for Palestine mentioned they arrived round 7 a.m. to dam the entrances to the UA Tech Park as a part of a protest towards Raytheon, IBM and Citigroup for his or her position in Israel’s navy marketing campaign in Gaza. Raytheon Missile Programs is a protection contracting large that has a number of websites in Tucson.

The College of Arizona and Raytheon are two of Tucson’s greatest employers, they mentioned.

“If our leaders will not take motion to cease the siege, for as we speak we’ll do exactly that,” mentioned the activist, who refused to be recognized by something greater than Aileen.

One other one of many demonstrators, Julius Schlossburg, an unbiased skilled photographer, was there to doc the protest in addition to participate. He was not arrested.

Reznick declined to talk on the file with the Sentinel, as she had not but spoken with an legal professional concerning the incident.

“A number of demonstrators entered personal property, blocked the roadways, and prevented workers from getting into and leaving the ability. Regardless of Raytheon and regulation enforcement requests to go away the personal property, many refused, and 26 folks have been arrested for prison trespass,” Deputy Keith Bee mentioned in a information launch.

“Deputies remained on scene to make sure that order was maintained, whereas the remainder of the demonstrators exercised their First Modification rights to peacefully have their voices heard on public property with none extra violations being noticed,” he wrote.

PCSD initially advised the Sentinel that “the names of the individuals arrested will not be being launched,” however when questioned as to the justification for withholding that info, finally despatched the checklist of people taken into custody.

“The journalist arrested was requested to vacate the personal property and refused to conform,” Deputy Adam Schoonover advised the Sentinel.

Requested to element PCSD’s insurance policies concerning coping with journalists, Schoonover emailed a screenshot with a portion of a web page from the division’s Basic Orders, however ignored a bit detailing entry for reporters throughout incidents.

The emailed portion mentioned:

No arbitrary or pointless obstacles shall be imposed on information individual(s) at any time by any member of the division.

a. No division member shall prohibit members of the press or public
from photographing or filming occasions, which happen in public locations or
in public view; nevertheless, digital camera operators shall not be permitted to
bodily intrude with official departmental exercise.

When deputies are in a non-public dwelling or different space not typically
open to the general public, permission for information media entry have to be obtained
from the citizen holding authority over the premises. If no such individual
is obtainable, permission for such entry could also be granted by the deputy
in cost.

Not included in that assertion from PCSD was the subsequent part, on the identical web page:

Information individuals shall be allowed cheap entry to scenes of crimes or incidents besides the place such entry is prohibited by evidentiary want or by the presence of grave bodily hazard.

Sheriff Chris Nanos advised the Sentinel that Reznick advised deputies that she had permission to be on the property when she didn’t adjust to requests to go away.

Not one of the video of the incident consists of such a press release by the reporter. The Sentinel has requested PCSD’s bodycam footage of the incident.

Raytheon representatives requested PCSD to inform the demonstrators to go away the property, Nanos mentioned. The realm by which Reznick was arrested is a paved part of street on the Tech Park campus, a lot of which is so open to the general public that it seems in Google Road View.

A number of of the protestors, together with Reznick, had left their automobiles on the road that wraps across the property and deputies mentioned they may go to their automobiles and drive out however wanted to go away.

“Some nonetheless refused to go away,” Nanos mentioned. He mentioned his deputies understood “this was excessive precedence” they usually “saved their cool.”

“They’ve a job to do; they requested folks to go away 4 or 5 instances,” he mentioned. Reznick and others refused, mentioned the sheriff. “She gave us little or no option to do one thing else.”

“We attempt to deal with this as low-level as we will. We have now to have respect for each side of the protest,” mentioned the sheriff, an elected Democrat.

Reznick was halted by a deputy as she walked within the route of her automobile, and arrested as she repeatedly mentioned she was leaving, the video confirmed. PCSD Lt. Brett Bernstein advised the Sentinel that he did not have any rationalization for why she was arrested, however the individual linked with the activist group who filmed her arrest was not.

When a Sentinel reporter laid out the division’s Basic Orders concerning the press, Nanos advised a Sentinel reporter that “that is the primary I heard something like that.”

“We do not ask you the place you’re employed,” Nanos mentioned. “I do not suppose any of my deputies ever go and say ‘the place do you’re employed?’ and and it actually would not matter,” he mentioned. “For those who’re a reporter otherwise you’re an off-duty police officer,” he mentioned, the deputies are going to ask folks to go away. “You have to respect the needs of the property proprietor they usually’ve requested you to go away the premises.”

“I do not consider she gave us every other possibility,” he mentioned, including in the end, Reznick and KJZZ might “take this matter to the courts.”

When requested if the division had a coverage to keep away from arresting reporters, Nanos mentioned, “It is actually about being cheap. I do not care whether or not you are a journalist or not, if I am a regulation enforcement officer working in my official capability, and also you’re sitting there as a journalist, you already know, all people has some duties right here.”

“So I do not suppose I want a coverage to inform you deal with the press this fashion or that means, somewhat we deal with our citizenry, regardless of the place they work, with respect,” he mentioned.

PCSD’s Basic Orders embody three pages detailing rules for the way division employees should deal with relationships with “respectable reporters.”

Makes an attempt to curtail reporter entry

There have been makes an attempt to place authorized restrictions on the power of journalists to report on police.

In June 2022, former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a invoice into regulation making it unlawful to video officers inside eight ft of them at work.

Launched by state Rep. John Kavanaugh months earlier, HB 2319 made it “illegal for an individual to knowingly make a video recording of regulation enforcement exercise if the individual making the video recording doesn’t have the permission of a regulation enforcement officer and is inside eight ft of the place the regulation enforcement exercise is happening.”

Individuals who violate the regulation might have confronted a misdemeanor cost and as much as 30 days in jail.

Even earlier than the invoice was signed by Ducey, a Republican like Kavanaugh, civil rights teams and reporting organizations, together with the Nationwide Press Photographers Affiliation mentioned the measure was unconstitutional. After it was signed, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Arizona Broadcasters Affiliation, the Arizona Press Affiliation and newspapers and TV stations from across the state filed a lawsuit. Weeks earlier than it took impact, U.S. District Decide John Tuchi issued a preliminary injunction, writing the invoice violated a “‘clearly established’ proper to ‘file regulation enforcement officers engaged within the train of their official duties in public locations’ underneath the First Modification.”

After Tuchi’s resolution, Kavanaugh struggled to search out legal professionals prepared to defend the regulation, and state and native officers additionally refused to again the regulation, leaving Tuchi’s resolution in place.