A police officer in Patagonia, Arizona lied to a 12-year-old girl by claiming it was against the law for her to upload a video of him to the Internet, which is exactly what she did.
Hilde Kate Lysiak, founder of the Orange Street News (OSN) that she publishes out of her parents’ home in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, wrote that she was investigating a tip for a story when she was threatened with arrest for legitimate journalism:
The OSN was biking down Roadrunner Lane investigating the tip at about 1:30 pm on February 18th when the reporter was stopped by Patagonia Marshal Joseph Patterson and asked for identification.
The Orange Street News identified herself as a member of the media, including name and phone number.
“I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” said Patterson.
The Marshal continued “I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvey. “
…Asked what he could arrested for, the officer first said it was for “disobeying his command,” then said it was for riding on the wrong side of the road. Finally, the officer said a Mountain Lion was spotted in the area despite their being other people in the area who were not kicked off the road…
“I gave you a lawful order and if you disobey a law enforcement officer….Lying to me and saying you were going to your friends house wasn’t acceptable.”
The court says the First Amendment gives citizens the right to record police officers in public while they are performing their duties. But that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to record if you’re doing so secretly interfering with the officer, or otherwise breaking the law.
The Officer told the reporter he was calling her parents.
“You aren’t an adult so don’t act like,” Marshal Patterson said before driving off.
The Washington Post notes that Lysiak has been reporting on Trump’s failed border wall:
Lysiak, whose father is also a journalist, hasn’t said what brought her to rural southern Arizona. But she has found no shortage of stories to cover there. Last week, she interviewed residents to see how they felt about President Trump’s proposed border wall, then briefly hopped over the barbed-wire fence separating the United States from Mexico. “Even a 12-year-old can easily get through it,” she commented.
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