In America, we didn’t previously arrest reporters for filming on the public sidewalk.
An ABC News producer was arrested outside a downtown hotel here Wednesday while he and a camera crew tried to shoot footage of corporate donors leaving a meeting with a group of Democratic senators.
Asa Eslocker, who works with the network’s investigative unit, was charged with trespass, interference and failure to follow a lawful order. He was released four hours later on a $500 bond.
“We expect to see this kind of behavior in Myanmar, not in Denver, Colorado, at a national political convention where a reporter is trying to videotape big-money donors trying to meet with elected officials,” said ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider.
Footage of the incident showed one police officer constantly pushing Eslocker as the producer walked backwards across the street, and another officer placing his hand around Eslocker’s neck. Eslocker kept saying that it was a public street and asking what law he was violating. Schneider said Esocker never entered the Brown Palace Hotel, where the meeting was taking place.
And, in America, we didn’t previously try to silence the opposition through legal manuevers and intimidation.
As Senator Obamaâ€™s campaign makes its argument for his candidacy before a national audience here this week, it is waging a separate, forceful campaign against a new conservative group running millions of dollars of ads linking him to the 1960s radical William Ayers Jr.
Lawyers for the campaign have asked the Justice Department to investigate the group â€” which is operating under rules governing non-profit corporations â€” calling on television stations to cease airing the spot, and, campaign officials said, planning to pressure advertisers on stations that refuse to do so. The ad is running in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.