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Redacted From: Northern California Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee [ ‘Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2014 04:50 PM To: Berkeley Mayor's Office; Meehan, Michael ‘Subject: Urgent - Police assault journalists in Berkeley Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates Berkeley Police Chief Michael K. Mechan By Email Dear Mayor Bates end Chief Meehan: ‘The Northera California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists condemns, in the strongest terms possible, the outrageous conduct of law enforcement officers who assauted members ofthe media during lat night's Saturday, Deo. 6, 2014) demonstrations in Berkeley, California, You have an obligation to ensure that all officers, including those providing mutual ad, respect the constitutional rights ofthe press. ‘SPJ has been in touch with a number of working jouralists who say they were struck with police batons while working and clearly displaying press credentials in one incident, a journalist who was on assignment tells SPJ that he was holding out press credentials and telling an officer he was ‘news photographer when sruck. This same joumalis also reported seeing a colleague take “serious blows” from police who “hit him with impunity,” espe the fact thatthe colleague was “obviously pres.” Other reporters also described witnessing or expericncing similar ssenls, ven more disturbing, several jourallsts confirm tht a officer stuck a news photographer inthe head with s baton. As you know, this can constitute deadly force and is only justifiable under extremely limited cireumstances[1] (As the California Court of Appeal noted in an unpublished 2010 opinion, even whon using a baton as deny force, “officers should avoid striking a suspect's bead because ofthe potential for serious injury or eath."(2) ‘We are sure that you agree attacks on journalists are eairely unacocptabe. Reporters are on scene to report the news as it happens. They are not ‘Particfpants in the protests. Under no circumstances should merabers ofthe press be subject to such gratuitous and potentially deadly police violence Word is being spread of plans for another protest to begin in Berkeley at 5 pm. today, Sunday Des. 7, 2014. We implore you to ensure that all law enforcement officials working tonights protest, including those providing mutual aid, adhere to their constutional obligations and respect the freedom of the press, We also call fora thorough investigation into inappropriate uses of force by officers against members of the news media. We look forward to your response. Lila Lahood resident, SPJ Nother California Chapter Goofttey W. King ‘Thomas Peele Co-Chairs, SPJ Noreal Freedom of Information Commitee