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Thread: last week a cop/city attorney threatened to sue me. i AM the press

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    last week a cop/city attorney threatened to sue me. i AM the press

    I have been working on a story and video about a local police officer who I filmed one night at a DUI checkpoint. He filmed our encounter with his body worn video recorder. Later, I filed a public records request for the video.

    Long story short, he and others at the department made the majority of the video go missing.

    So I told them I have proof they are lying and I will be putting out a video about it. They threatened to sue me for defamation and other things. I said, go ahead, you are public officials and I am the press.

    Plus, I am right and you guys are lying.

    Well, I wonder if they will still be suing now ?

    I can think of one person in particular on this board who is upset at this ruling. Not that this ruling changes over 200 years of constitutional protections for the press.

    But...I AM THE PRESS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    earth's crust
    Being the press is not a defense for slander or defamation or libel. Stating facts and the truth is a perfect defense to such claims.

    Plenty of newspapers have been successfully sued.

    The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by an Oregon bankruptcy trustee against a Montana blogger who wrote online that the court-appointed trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case. from link

    What if this court-appointed trustee lost his job because of what this blogger wrote? And it was unfounded?

    I think with some public officials great leeway is given to the 1st amendment, like elected officials. With other public officials, not as much.

    On cannot willy-nilly accuse people of fraud and whatnot. Looks like in the case that the trustee got facts to the court that showed that the blogger was completely wrong. And saying that a guy committed a felony is defamation per se where one does not have show or prove that it damaged him - its assumed. So the court said that the plaintiff has to show in a new trial that the blogger was negligent which should not be hard to show.

    If the plaintiff wishes to continue pursuing the case; winning a defamation per se case is not going to get you rich unless you had actual damages resulting from the defamation (loss of job etc).

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