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East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Indymedia | Police State and Prisons

Indybay Journalist Moves to Quash UCPD Search Warrant
by dave id
Tuesday Apr 20th, 2010 2:31 PM
For Immediate Release April 19, 2010

Contact: David Greene, Geoffrey King, First Amendment Project 510.208.7744

VETERAN JOURNALIST MOVES TO QUASH SEARCH WARRANT

– Photographer Was Newsgathering During UC Berkeley Chancellor House Protest

– Search Warrants Against Journalistic Work Product Expressly Barred By California Law

– Search Warrant Affidavit Filed By Police Under Oath Omits Any Mention of Journalist Status


Oakland – David Morse, a 42-year-old veteran journalist who has covered hundreds of demonstrations
and other events since 2002, moved Friday to quash a search warrant issued for his journalistic work
product. Morse was arrested and his camera searched in connection with a protest he was covering at UC
Berkeley on December 11, 2009. The charges were dropped at Morse’s first court appearance, but not
before a search warrant had issued for Morse’s unpublished photographs. It is a violation of the Penal
Code to secure a search warrant for any items covered by the California journalist’s shield law, including
unpublished photographs made in a public place.

The court papers allege that Morse was at the scene solely in a newsgathering capacity, identified himself
as a journalist six times to police prior to issuance of the warrant, possessed a press pass that he showed
to the ranking officer on scene, and protested the legality of the search. The search warrant affidavit the
UCPD filed with the court entirely omits any mention of these facts.

The details of the incident are included in the attached court papers. A hearing on the motion is scheduled
for 9:00 a.m. on May 11, 2010 in Department 115 of the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.


###

(19-page PDF)


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

STATEMENT OF FACTS
A. Morse's Coverage of Student Protests, Past and Present
B. Events at the UC Berkeley Chancellor's House
C. The Issuance of the Search Warrant
D. The Search Warrant, Supporting Affidavit and Statement of Probable Cause
E. David Morse Is An Experienced Journalist and Member of the Indybay Collective
1. Morse Is An Experienced Journalist
2. Indybay Is a Decade-Old Online News Outlet
3. Morse Is a Member of the Indybay Collective
4. Other Publications Source Morse's Reportage From Indybay

ARGUMENT
A. The Court Has the Authority to Quash the Warrant and Return the Items Seized Pursuant to its Authority
B. California Law Absolutely Prohibits the Issuance of a Search Warrant for Items Covered by the Shield Law
C. The Contents of Morse's Camera and Memory Discs Are Items Described in Section 1070 of the Evidence Code
1. Morse is Connected With Indybay and Was Newsgathering on the Night of December 11, 2009
2. Indybay Is a News Outlet of the Type Described in Section 1070
a. Indybay Is a Periodical Publication
b. Indybay Is Also a Wire Service
c. Indybay Is Also a Press Association

CONCLUSION

(9-page PDF)

(4-page PDF)
§Declaration of Peter M, Indybay Co-Founder
by dave id Tuesday Apr 20th, 2010 2:31 PM

(4-page PDF)
§Declaration of Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View
by dave id Tuesday Apr 20th, 2010 2:31 PM

(3-page PDF)

http://www.sfbayview.com/

§Declaration of David Morse
by dave id Tuesday Apr 20th, 2010 2:31 PM

(12-page PDF)