I was up by 7:30 continuing the process.
Please do all you can to get the word out this. The more I talk to people the more I am convinced that this was an intentional effort by the police to silence the press. From the reports I've received, what happened to Cheryl was not the normal way things are done. I believe it was the work of a rogue cop-- maybe a rightwinger who was angry he couldn't be in Washington with the other teabag protesters, so he took it out on Cheryl Biren.
I am not certain that the Philadelphia DA's office, headed by Lynne Abraham was involved yet. I am waiting to hear back from them and am giving the benefit of the doubt, working on the assumption that some kid just out of law school-- an assistant DA made the decision to charge a reporter taking photos with criminal conspiracy.
I understand that the Philadelphia Police Department's Civil affairs unit does not do the arrests. They monitor and manage protests with the potential for civil disobedience until it is time for arrests. Then the regular police come in and mop up. They come in plain clothes, without name badges. This doesn't make sense to me. I can see them wearing plain clothes to blend in with the mall shoppers. But when it is time to do the arrests, they put on plastic gloves in preparation for physical contact. Why can't they put on identifying name badges-- so abusers of police power can be identified.
This kind of arrest doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough to scare journalists. This is an outrage. Cheryl Biren should have all charges dropped and be given an apology by the city of Philadelphia. And the officer who arrested her should be disciplined.
Will you take a step for justice? Make some calls. Send out some emails.
Cheryl Biren, Freedom of the Press and Abuse of Police Powers by anthony wadeThe Photos OpEdNews Journalist Cheryl Biren Took Before Being Arrested by Philly Police
OpEdNews Reporter Arrested While Photographing Protest