(From right: Corn-Revere, London, Schary, Balin, and Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel of NPPA.)
In March, DWT attorneys Rob Balin, Bob Corn-Revere, Ronnie London, and Alison Schary were honored with the Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit from the National Press Photographers Association. According to the Association, the award is given to “those rendering continuing outstanding service in the interests of news photography whether or not they are members of the profession.”
The DWT team was recognized for its recent work fighting for the First Amendment rights of photojournalists in two important pro bono cases, both stemming from incidents in the summer of 2011.
In the first, Long Island photojournalist Philip Datz was arrested by Suffolk County police while filming an arrest from a public street, in the presence of other bystanders. (Mr. Datz captured his confrontation with the officer in a video that was circulated on the Internet and widely reported in various news articles.) In the second case, photojournalist and video producer Mannie Garcia was arrested by Montgomery County, Maryland, police officers while he filmed another arrest on a public street.
Suffolk County dropped its charges against Mr. Datz. Montgomery County prosecuted Mr. Garcia, and a judge dismissed the charges.
In both cases, DWT has brought federal civil rights actions against the police departments and individual officers involved, alleging violation of the photojournalists’ First and Fourth Amendment rights, along with various state-law claims, such as false arrest and malicious prosecution. Both cases are ongoing.