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of the First, Fourth and Eighth Amendments and for violations of a federal law barring the use of search warrants for unpublished journalistic materials. The lawsuit follows Morse’s successful motion to quash a search warrant issued for his unpublished news photographs.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on the basis that it violated Section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code, which absolutely bars search warrants for unpublished journalistic materials.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
08/29/16 Teo Valencia Family Files Federal Lawsuit Against City of Newark and Conrad Rogers Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | East Bay | Government & Elections08/24/16 Filthy & Dehumanizing Santa Rita Jail to Improve Treatment of Women In Custody Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Womyn | East Bay08/20/16 Tribes Push Back Against Yet Another Threat to Clean Water Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Racial Justice | U.S.08/20/16 Grand Jury Releases Report on 2015 Jail Death of Krista DeLuca Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia08/20/16 Nationally-Coordinated Prisoner Work Stoppage on Anniversary of Attica Prison Uprising Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | U.S.08/19/16 Renter Protections on the November Ballot for Six Bay Area Cities Front Page | Health, Housing, and Public Services | East Bay | Peninsula | California08/19/16 Bulletproof "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later" Training Relocated to San Jose Church Front Page | Police State and Prisons | South Bay | East Bay | California08/18/16 The PR Campaign to Uplift Police & Demonize Those Who Call for Accountability Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Indymedia | San Francisco | California | U.S.08/14/16 California Coastal Commission Upholds Public Access for All Police State and Prisons | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia08/14/16 Santa Cruz NAACP Plans Peace Party with Local Police Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Santa Cruz Indymedia08/11/16 Residents Look for New Places to Live Following Chinatown Homeless Sweeps Front Page | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia
Related Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Indymedia | Police State and Prisons | Front Page
Scott Sternberg of Beverly Hills is behind Richmond’s mass evictions Lynda Carson (1 comment) Thursday Aug 25th 4:45 PM
Mayor Schaaf Accused of Promoting Acting Police Chief Without Notifying Public Ken Epstein, Oakland Post Wednesday Aug 24th 7:52 PM
Hacker houses are proliferating in the Bay Area Lynda Carson (1 comment) Monday Aug 22nd 10:34 PM
Video of Newark PD Shooting Teo Valencia in the Back Anti Police-Terror Project Monday Aug 22nd 3:32 PM
Teo Valencia family filing federal lawsuit against City of Newark Anti Police-Terror Project Monday Aug 22nd 10:06 AM
Danny Haber and Alon Gutman target tenants with eviction and higher rents Lynda Carson (1 comment) Sunday Aug 21st 9:06 PM
Stop Urban Shield: Mass Mobilization Stop Urban Shield Friday Aug 19th 10:38 AM
Where The Bulletproof Warrior Went Oakland Privacy Thursday Aug 18th 2:36 PM
More Local News...
[ × close ]
This Week in Palestine, July 29th, 2016 IMEMC Friday Jul 29th 9:58 PM
Palestinian Workers, Human Rights, US Labor & Zionism Labor Video Project (3 comments) Wednesday Jul 27th 10:56 PM
This Week in Palestine, July 22nd, 2016 IMEMC Friday Jul 22nd 6:16 PM
OSHA Chief Michaels and DOL Secretary Perez In Corruption Scandal At DOL/OSHA Pacifica WorkWeek Radio KPFA Pacifica Thursday Mar 31st 5:37 AM
Mary Kay Henry - Members Demand Say Aside The Rigged Election Results In SEIU 1021! Labor Video Project (1 comment) Sunday Mar 27th 11:34 PM
This Week in Palestine, March 4th, 2015 IMEMC Friday Mar 4th 9:27 PM
WW2-2-16 UAL IBT Contract Fight And Flint Water, Labor And The UAW KPFA WorkWeek Radio Wednesday Feb 3rd 11:30 PM
More Global News...
[ × close ]