top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Mon Dec 13 2010 (Updated 05/09/11)
Indybay Reporter Files Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against UC Police
Mon Dec 13 2010 (Updated 05/09/11)
Veteran Journalist Who Quashed Illegal Search Warrant for His Photos Sues UCPD
Indybay reporter David Morse has filed suit against University of California, Berkeley Police in federal court for violations of the First, Fourth and Eighth Amendments and for violations of a federal law barring the use of search warrants for unpublished journalistic materials. The lawsuit follows Morse’s successful motion to quash a search warrant issued for his unpublished news photographs.

Morse, a 42-year-old journalist who has covered hundreds of stories for Indybay and other outlets, was arrested a year ago at the scene of a UC Berkeley protest after police allowed a group of demonstrators, many of whom were wearing masks, to flee. Morse’s arresting officer pulled his car up to Morse and said, “I saw you take a picture of us. We want your camera.” Officers arrested Morse despite the fact that he informed them of his journalist status six times and denied all wrongdoing.

UCPD officers jailed Morse, then increased the charges against him in order to buy themselves time to prepare a misleading search warrant affidavit that omitted any mention of Morse’s newsgathering activities. The First Amendment Project successfully quashed that search warrant in June on the basis that it violated Section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code, which absolutely bars search warrants for unpublished journalistic materials. Federal law also bars such warrants.

Although Morse’s charges were dropped at his first court appearance, UCPD refused to return his images for more than six months and even made surveillance photographs of him when he attempted to retrieve them in person.

The federal suit seeks damages against the various defendants, as well as a judicial order mandating additional training. High-ranking UCPD officers are separately being sued under similar causes of action by the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation for searching a newspaper office at the Long Haul in 2008, litigation that was ongoing at the time of Morse’s arrest. Nonetheless, UCPD Captain Margo Bennett has been quoted as stating that UCPD has not considered changing the way it deals with journalists.

Morse is represented by First Amendment Project and Gross Belsky Alonso, LLP.

PDF Press release and court filings | Photos The seized photographs | Previous coverage: Indybay Reporter Succeeds in Quashing UCPD Search Warrant | Eight Arrested at UC Berkeley After Concert and March | Days of Action Against the Tuition Hikes | Affidavit Discloses UCPD "Cause" for Raid on Long Haul Infoshop | UCPD and Feds Raid Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley
04/23/17 How Berkeley Cops Helped Alt-Right Trolls with No Permit Stage Their Rally Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | East Bay | California | U.S.04/22/17 Demanding Justice for the Police Murder of Diallo Neal Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | East Bay | California04/22/17 The Future of Our Nation's Wild Horses is Uncertain Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | U.S. | Animal Liberation04/20/17 Campaign Against Those Without Homes in Santa Cruz Grows More Repressive, Even in the Rain Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia04/19/17 California Senate Committee Votes to Eliminate State's Money Bail System Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | California | Government & Elections04/19/17 New California State Legislation Honors The Dignity Of Transgender Prisoners Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | LGBTI / Queer | Indymedia | California04/18/17 Tens of Thousands in Over 150 US Cities Demonstrate Against Trump on Tax Day Front Page | Central Valley | San Francisco | East Bay | Peninsula | North Bay / Marin | North Coast | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia04/17/17 Anarchists and Antifascists Clash with Alt-Right, Neo-Nazis, and Trump Supporters Front Page | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | East Bay | California | U.S. | Immigrant Rights04/16/17 KPFA Local Station Board Member Tries to Secretly Create New Organization Front Page | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Indymedia | East Bay | California | U.S.04/13/17 Campaign for Sensible Transportation Proposes a Commuter Benefits Programs Environment & Forest Defense | Santa Cruz Indymedia04/13/17 Staff at Ella Baker Center Form a Union and Join CWA, Local 9415 Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Labor & Workers | East Bay
Related Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Indymedia | Police State and Prisons | Front Page
Solidarity with Bay Area Antifascists Facing Repression some anarchists Sunday Apr 23rd 7:35 PM
Justice for Diallo Neal Rally Antoinette Gaggero (1 comment) Friday Apr 21st 10:29 AM
How Berkeley Cops Helped Alt-Right Trolls with No Permit Stage Their Rally Anonymous / IGD (1 comment) Thursday Apr 20th 10:29 PM
Stop Urban Shield: All Out to Berkeley City Council AROC (1 comment) Thursday Apr 20th 5:57 PM
Liberated Lens special film screening: Awake, a Dream From Standing Rock Liberated Lens Film Collective Thursday Apr 20th 4:26 PM
Call-in to Shut Down Berkeley on May Day Berkeley Against Racism & Sexism (5 comments) Thursday Apr 20th 10:00 AM
Louise Rosealma on Berkeley and It’s Implications It's Going Down (3 comments) Tuesday Apr 18th 5:39 PM
More Local News...
[ × close ]
Media Bull on Syria DJ Mouse (2 comments) Tuesday Apr 11th 2:26 PM
Media Gas Attack on Syria DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Apr 4th 2:28 PM
London Gladio B Op & SF's Frankenstein Mayor DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 28th 2:58 PM
NATO target lawyer Lynne Stewart, RIP...3-21-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 21st 2:59 PM
Vault 7 Hastings Postmortem...3-14-17 Mouse Repost DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 14th 2:56 PM
Saving Mena Bridge...3-7-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Mar 7th 2:24 PM
Suicided to death...Dr. Kelly...oil war press...2-28-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 28th 3:59 PM
Death Squads R US...Flynn 2012 DIA Intel...2-14-17 Mouse Report DJ Mouse (1 comment) Tuesday Feb 14th 3:25 PM
Open Newswire...
[ × close ]