News, Special Session

NC Policy Watch reporter arrested as he attempted to cover debate in state House of Representatives

Statement from NC Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier and NC Policy Watch Director Chris Fitzsimon on arrest of NC Policy Watch reporter during special session

RALEIGH (December 15, 2016) — Joe Killian, one of our credentialed NC Policy Watch reporters, was arrested this evening while doing his job covering a large protest in the gallery of the House of Representatives.

He was not protesting. He was simply covering the incident and was arrested when he refused to stop covering the news.

We respect the House of Representatives as an institution and the Speaker’s authority, as well as that of security for the General Assembly.

We believe in the end the judicial process will resolve this issue and find our reporter was simply exercising his right to cover the news as it was unfolding in front of him.

7 Comments


  1. Lisa Heenan

    December 15, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    ARTICLE I
    DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

    Sec. 2. Sovereignty of the people.
    All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.

    Sec. 3. Internal government of the State.
    The people of this State have the inherent, sole, and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, and of altering or abolishing their Constitution and form of government whenever it may be necessary to their safety and happiness; but every such right shall be exercised in pursuance of law and consistently with the Constitution of the United States.

    Sec. 6. Separation of powers.
    The legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of the State government shall be forever separate and distinct from each other.

    Sec. 12. Right of assembly and petition.
    The people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances; but secret political societies are dangerous to the liberties of a free people and shall not be tolerated.

    Sec. 14. Freedom of speech and press.
    Freedom of speech and of the press are two of the great bulwarks of liberty and therefore shall never be restrained, but every person shall be held responsible for their abuse.

    That’s excerpted from the NC Declaration of Rights as hosted on the NCGA website…

  2. Alan

    December 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Rob,

    I realize you are (and have to be) politically correct in your statement:

    “We respect the House of Representatives as an institution and the Speaker’s authority, as well as that of security for the General Assembly. We believe in the end the judicial process will resolve this issue and find our reporter was simply exercising his right to cover the news as it was unfolding in front of him.”

    I have to ask the question, why was a reporter from NC Policy Watch arrested in the 1st place? Was he the only journalist present at the time? If he was acting as a journalist, why would police even consider arresting him at all? What reason was given for his arrest? Who gave the order/instruction to have Joe arrested?

    Fascism hasn’t just arrived in NC, it’s already here in full view of us all, though the state GOP are doing everything they can to hide their actions, even including arresting journalists. I know some folks freak over comparisons to Nazi Germany, but what we have witnessed here over the last couple of days has SO MANY similarities to what happened in 1930’s Germany it makes we want to cry.

    I honestly fear for the future of this state and the union, this is as dark a time for NC, and the USA, as I can recall.

  3. Eugene W. Moore, NC Fire Chaplain (ret.)

    December 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Rob, I am absolutely angry over the state’s General Assembly dictatorial power/control continuing selfish behavior. Other than just “exploding” I would rather be involved in something constructive and positive in confronting this style of “leardership”. I would like to flood the phones of the promoters. Please send contact numbers to me. genewmoore@nc.rr.com. Thanks, Gene

  4. Eugene W. Moore, NC Fire Chaplain (ret.)

    December 16, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for refraising my e-mailed message for appropriate communication. Gene

  5. Rob Schofield

    December 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

  6. Linda

    December 16, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    This sounds more like a police state, and is very frightening. I’m hoping there was a legitimate misunderstanding. Otherwise, someone has some explaining to do.

  7. Jay Joiner

    December 17, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Do the people of North Carolina not recognize the signs? If these would-be dictators can get away with revoking the First Amendment by arresting one journalist, they can arrest others they don’t like. Then where is freedom of the press? Recall, Trump has boasted that he will ban reporters that he does not like from America’s White House. If I could stand on a hill top overlooking, not just this state, but our nation today … I would scream at the top of my aged lungs: YOU FOOLS! You have no idea what is happening. And where are the strong press organizations that used to gather together to protect the First Amendment? Keep telling the people what these power-crazed Trump supporters don’t want us to hear, and they will come for you too.

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