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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149705 Find in a Library
Title: News Media Participation in Law Enforcement Activities
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:63  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1994)  Pages:28-32
Author(s): K A Crawford
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on an analysis of United States v. Sanusi (1992), this article examines constitutional issues that arise when the news media participate in law enforcement activities.
Abstract: In Sanusi, nine defendants, including Babatunde Ayeni, were charged with credit card fraud. In preparation of his defense, Ayeni subpoenaed a CBS News videotape taken during the search of his apartment. The search, which was conducted pursuant to a warrant, was filmed by a CBS crew on the scene at the invitation of the U.S. Secret Service. Contending a newsgathering privilege, CBS refused to turn over the videotape and moved to quash the subpoena. In denying this motion, the court identified and analyzed both first and fourth amendment issues. As a result of the Sanusi decision and the subsequently filed civil action against CBS and the Secret Service, media participation in law enforcement activities can result in predictable and legally significant consequences. First, films obtained by the media are subject to discovery and may be used by the defense to cloud issues at trial. Second, if law enforcement activities occur in an area where an individual has a fourth amendment right of privacy, media participation at the invitation of law enforcement is a violation of that constitutional right. Finally, the individual law enforcement officers responsible for inviting the media into areas protected by the fourth amendment are subject to civil liability for having violated a clearly established law. 23 notes
Main Term(s): Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Civil liability; Police legal limitations; Right of privacy; Search and seizure laws
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