Public comments for: Amendment of Rules for Suspension or Revocation of Press Credentials

Comments

Comment:
Having been successfully sued in federal court for what amounts to vindictive punishment of a press photographer, the NYPD are now being forced to establish new protocols regarding due process and hearings for revoking media credentials. It’s alarming to realise, the organization we as society have entrusted to uphold our laws, weren’t capable of establishing an appropriate hearing and due process system for members of the press in the first place. It’s frustrating they had to be sued and agree to establish them as apart of a settlement. However what really takes the biscuit is their attempt to use this settlement agreement to stray from solely creating a codified due process for members of the press who have had their credentials revoked, but to rewrite the rules around how press credentials can be revoked in such vague and general terms that it empowers any officer to take them at any moment for almost any whimsical reason. Firstly this is a clear and blatant attempt to curtail and control the activity of the working press around crime scenes and other sites deemed sensitive in order to hamper their news gathering abilities by using fear of revoking credentials. Credentials that in New York City amount to a license to practice Journalism. Secondly they are designed to be so vague that any justification can be used to take press credentials and make it extremely difficult to be sued again This proposal is a transparent attempt at a vindictive retaliation. The NYPD now intends to punish the entire press corps for their own defeat in court. These proposed rule changes are an affront to our first amendment rights and clearly unconstitutional. The problem is when the NYPD ignores our objections and brings them to bear, these rules will stand in place until someone once again has the time, energy and money to challenge them in federal court. It is clearly apparent that the NYPD cannot be trusted to handle issuing press credentials appropriately, and is in itself inappropriate and questionable that a law enforcement agency is issuing press credentials in a free and open society in the first place. Beyond this proposal I believe it is time to remove the NYPD‘s ability to issue a press credential and entrust that responsibility somewhere else.
Agency: NYPD
Comment:
Free press should be the default not the exception. The NYPD has made it exceedingly clear by this rule that it does not adhere to that mandate. This rule would make it dangerously easier for NYPD to mute journalists’ ability to report on police activities. And it proves the police department is not trustworthy decision maker regrading press credentials. Therefore, determinations about press credentials should not remain at NYPD's discretion. Such determinations should be made by an independent office, wholly separate from the NYPD.
Agency: NYPD