Citizen-Times: ACLU of NC, press advocates petition to release Asheville police reporter arrests bodycam

This article is related to our prosecution, though the journalists arrested on Christmas night 2021 are not among the defendants charged with felony littering or banned from parks.

“The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, Freedom of the Press Foundation and Committee to Protect Journalists have petitioned the Buncombe County Superior Court for release of police body camera footage from Dec. 25, 2021, the night two Asheville reporters were arrested while covering a homeless camp clearing in Aston Park.

Seth Stern, director of advocacy for Freedom of the Press Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit, told the Citizen Times that the “most important factor” of the 182-page petition is the public interest in the footage.

“One, it relates to a controversial eviction on Christmas night of houseless people from a public park. The fact that police conducted that operation, in it of itself, is of very significant public interest, and has been the subject of media coverage, public debate and comment and extensive local controversy,” Stern said.

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