Reason.tv Journalist Arrested While Reporting a Story

I regret to announce that Reason.tv producer and journalist Jim Epstein is being held by US Park Police for video recording an incident at a District of Columbia Taxicab Commission hearing taking place at the US Park Police Building in Anacostia Park. Our attorney is on the scene and reports that Epstein, who was attending the hearing as part of an upcoming story on plans to introduce a medallions system to D.C.'s taxi industry, should be released very shortly.

**Update:  Good news.  Jim has been released from police custody.

More info as we get it.

For a Washington Post account, go here.

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  • omg||

    Maybe one of these days cops will get it through their skulls that arresting libertarians is more trouble than it's worth.

  • ||

    Well, the cops are thinking one day libertarians will get it through their skulls that annoying cops is more trouble than it's worth. Let's hope libertarians win out.

  • ||

    Ha! Haven't the cops figured out that you can't get anything through a libertarian's skull?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I JUST noticed the handle RC...good one.

  • ||

    And what can you get through a cops head, beside beer?...Okay, "BJ bitch or a ticket/a night in the can".
    A couple of others but not much.

  • Zuo||

    The day libertarians get it through their skulls that questioning the Official State Bootlickers is more trouble than its worth is the day we are all mass executed via gunshot to the head.

  • -||

    Yawn.

  • vegas seo||

    Yawn? Is that supposed to be some sort of an insult or...what, exactly?

  • Joe M||

    So what the hell did they do, precisely?

  • Abdul||

    From the WAPO: "park police spokesman said both would be charged with disorderly and unlawful entry. Both are misdemeanors."

  • Joe M||

    I saw that, but I'd like to know what actually happened, not just the names of the charges.

  • OO||

    give the waterboarding a chance

  • OO||

    oops i just waterboarded my diapers

  • the real oo||

    quit thinkin about my diapers

  • ||

    Nothing had to happen. A person's presence can be considered a disorderly action if it so offends a representative of the state.

  • ROTS||

    MP, I'm going to have to ask you to leave this blog.

  • Haydukelives||

    The government doesn't like people recording what they say or taking pictures of them. It disrupts the monopoly they have on surveillance.

  • Abdul||

    From the WAPO: "park police spokesman said both would be charged with disorderly and unlawful entry. Both are misdemeanors."

  • Abdul||

    Fuck me, disorderly posting! I'll tase myself with this USB cable.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Try using the HDMI cable, it is so much more life like.

  • Abdul||

    NY Post Headline "Hacks Hacked Off about ejected Hack."

    Well, I can see why the delicate deliberations of the DC Cab Commission would need to be conducted in private in front of about 100 irate cabbies.

  • Snake||

    Ha-Ha! a crime spree!

  • ||

    You cannot expect public servants to operate under this sort of microscopic scrutiny! Jeepers, next you'll want them to take the consequences of their actions seriously, and be accountable for them.

  • Tim||

    He shoulda dressed as a pimp, they never see through the pimp disguise.

  • Kroneborge||

    +1

  • ||

    park police spokesman said both would be charged with disorderly and unlawful entry.

    No dancing?

    I am disappoint.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    They're Baptists. No dancing.

  • Juvenile Lurker||

    Q: Why do Baptists never have sex while standing?

    A: It can lead to dancing.

  • ||

    Instituting a medallion system in a place like Washington DC should probably be a crime.

    Video recording a government commission meeting like the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission--should never be a crime!

    I hope Mr. Epstein is released quickly.

  • ||

    Oh...

    And I want to see what's on that video!

  • Almanian||

    Too bad the police already destoyed it :(

  • 16th amendment||

    I hope Epstein followed Reason's own advice:

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....d-the-cops

    They point out, for example, devices which record and stream the data instantaneously to servers, so if your camera is confiscated, no problem.

  • ||

    They have some video of the taxicab drivers reacting at the Washington post. And you can see cab drivers with their phones in the air recording everything.

  • Amy Alkon||

    It's so cute of them to think the First Amendment still applies.

  • ||

    I regret to announce

    Get your tongue outta your cheek. We all know this is, like, the best thing ever. Assuming they weren't nightsticked, of course.

  • ||

    They arrested the wrong guy, that's for sure. LAWSUIT TIME BITCHES

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Regret? Epstein's libertarian cred just skyrocketed.

  • Phlogistan||

    I wanna an autograph, a Free Epstien!! (TM) T-shirt, tickets to the open air benefit concert and... The actually story he was working on.

  • Brett L||

    Just send reason $250 during a subscription drive and you can probably get all that as schwag.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Can I send back my "Declaration of Independents" book to get it autographed?

  • Phlogistan||

    Congratulations Mr. Epstien! Politicos ordering your arrest! You have done your profession proud this day!

    2 reporters arrested! Were there only 2 covering this event? If so, its a Law enforcement clean sweep! Congratulations to the US Park Service for ingnoring their public duty in enforcing the law! Following orders indeed!

  • Karma Wilson||

    Who knew taxicab commission hearings could be so exciting! ;) Imagine if he had been tased?! And there was tape! I mean, I don't wish anybody to be tased, but if it is going to happen it should happen to a libertarian (I'm not volunteering though) with a camera.

  • Haydukelives||

    I'll proudly volunteer my body for it, I've been wanting to see what getting tazed is like for awhile anyways. This would kill two birds with one stone.

  • Warty||

    So the reporters were guilty of not respecting authoritah, is that correct?

  • ||

    Any day now, I expect the police to adopt the riot shields that say OBEY on the front, like in Transmetropolitan.

  • Warty||

    I hope they have a picture ofAndre the Giant on there too, because that makes it totally subversive and ironic or something.

  • Fire Tiger||

    It's only ironic if you get paid. Otherwise it's just pathetic.

  • ||

    You mean like in They Live, comic book nerd.

  • ||

    My reference was on point, you half-literate oaf.

  • ||

    Reading comic books is to literacy what listening to Tiffany and Debbie Gibson albums is to music. Or the Strokes.

  • ||

    Tiffany and Debbie Gibson? You couldn't come up with a superficial act that wasn't from the 80s, McFly?

  • ||

    Did you miss The Strokes mention there, Matt Frewer?

  • ||

    I saw it, but I thought you were comparing Tiffany and Debbie Gibson to music...or The Strokes. Not the same, eh?

  • ||

    I was comparing The Strokes with Tiffany and Debbie Gibson...and your mom.

  • Kant feel Pietzsche||

    "I was comparing The Strokes with Tiffany and Debbie Gibson...and your mom."

    I'm betting his Mom would require more strokes than circa 80's Tiffany OR Debbie Gibson.

  • ||

    You would have made a great adjunct professor of English Literature at a community college with that attitude.

  • Ska||

    House of Leaves - any good?

    And I think I see why people are pissed about Feast for Crows. I didn't wait years to read it, but certain storylines being left out for, what, six years?, might have been hard to deal with.

  • ||

    House of Leaves better as a concept than a read. I know a lot of people rave about it, and it is a cool "curious artifact," but the core of the story could have been told in about 20 pages. I've never gone back a read it again, which is about one-a-half thumbs down in my book.

  • Ska||

    Cool, thanks.

  • Trespassers W||

    House of Leaves - any good?

    FWIW, it's a cool idea and I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, and I wouldn't re-read it. I expected it to be scarier, although there were some creepy parts.

    Also, I skipped the last part.

  • ||

    I wouldn't want to steal your thunder.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Ya I couldn't tell if the Strokes were the alternate numerator or denominator either.

  • ||

    Part of his being a half-literate oaf is his abject inability to form coherent sentences.

  • ||

    I am not a half-oaf. I am a full blooded oaf, like Elrond or Homer Simpson.

  • CE||

    Isn't Debbie Gibson a national hero after saving us from MegaShark? And the Electric Youth album wasn't half bad. (I also read comic books.)

  • SIV||

    Attorney? Can't the Kochtopus afford some mercenaries?

  • Mike M.||

    The Park Police really suck. What a bunch of tinpot little dictators these guys are.

  • ||

    Tomorrow's headline:

    Leather Jacket Comes to Life, Rips Jail Door off Hinges, Freeing Reporter

  • Phlogistan||

    Shhh! That jacket wont just stop at hinges once activated

  • Nipplemancer||

    afterward a nude and disoriented Gillespie is found in the woods covered in blood while his pristine leather jacket is laying nearby.

  • Ska||

    Jackanthropy?

  • Nipplemancer||

    the leather was made from the hide of a were-cow who now seeks vengence in the after-life.

  • Ted S.||

    I always figured Nick's jacket was made from chupacabra hide.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Pristine jacket is charged with rape.

  • Jim||

    Just make sure it doesn't leave anything behind in the jail cell, or a serial killer might bond with it and form Carnage.

  • Tim||

    Is the memory stick safely ensconced in his anus?

  • Hisanus||

    Among other things, yes.

  • The Park Police||

    Haw! I'm gonna call it "The Memory Stick" from now on!

  • Ska||

    One glimpse of the Jacket and the US Park Police will realize how bad they fucked this one up.

  • TRTB||

    Infuriating. These fuckers are corrupt at every goddamn level.

  • cynical||

    What's the R stand for?

  • ||

    The Real Tuberculosis.

  • TRTB||

    That is correct. As of now.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Nick, I know that Jim's safe release is your priority, but I hope you fight this charge tooth and claw once that's been done.

    The aim here was to get reporters out of the smoke-filled room. If you let them get away with it, the bad guys win.

  • Professional Critic||

    Smoke-filled? In a government building? GET 'EM!

  • Waggoneer||

    Leave it to a libertarian to be arrested at a taxicab hearing. No facet of liberty is too obscure.

  • ||

    Drink!

  • ||

    What drink rule is this? Don't get me wrong, I will take the drink, I just wanna know the reference.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Damn it. I already took a drink.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    you know sage, the place was alot better when postrel was here.

  • Phlogistan||

    I'm heading to a Wichita Kansas City Council meeting on Bus service this thursday. I hope my "Free Epstien!!" tshirt gets me tased!

    Reason Reporters are setting a high standard to meet. Got to keep up with the Jonses.

  • The Jacket||

    I have existed since the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the heavens. Though I have taken the form of Nick Gillespie's jacket, I am all outerwear as I am none. And therefore, I am your god.

  • sevo||

    So, this rapture thing....

  • The Jacket||

    All will be brought into The Jacket.

  • ?||

    Pocket?

  • ||

    D C Taxicab Commission; saving and creating jobs.

  • Colin||

    What was he smoking?

  • Almanian||

    So, the evidence is in - the terrorists have won.

    Thanks, Park NaziSSGestapoPanzerBlitzFuckers!

  • TheSporadical||

    "What are we doing just SITTING here? Let's get on our bikes and DO SOMETHING!"

    Rushing Outside in Chorus: "Yeah!"

    ...don't know what movie I'm trying to channel...but I've got some general feeling of a biker movie where one of the members gets arrested or was being held by a rival gang...

    ...oh, you know what...not a biker movie, but one of the Revenge of the Nerds movies definitely had a similar moment...

    ...and of course, I'm not actually going to do anything, returning instead to eating ice cream and listening Queen's Greatest Hits...

    ...oh, Animal House, too...that's would have also been a better scene to have quoted, rather than the imaginary rambling I put forth here...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Have you met Herc? He is my candidate for pres 2012.

  • Rock Action ||

  • Kant feel Pietzsche||

    What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst.

    "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this.

    Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's still probably better than Joe Biden's closet.

  • ||

    Since this happened on national park land I believe this goes before a federal magistrate, so added hassle for the reporters.

    Also, curious to know why DC city government has to hold their meetings in NPS facilities.

  • Phlogistan||

    "Also, curious to know why DC city government has to hold their meetings in NPS facilities."

    Fascist professional courtesy would be my first guess

  • Haydukelives||

    The federal government is superior to state and local government in every possible way. Get that through your head, geez!

  • MJ||

    In the case of DC government, it actually is (DC only has a local government on the sufferance of Congress).

  • Fire Tiger||

    Afraid of the river dance.

  • Jerry||

    How the hell can the DC Taxicab commission make up its own rules with regard to public meetings?

  • DC city government||

    Also, curious to know why DC city government has to hold their meetings in NPS facilities.

    Austerity measure, Biotch.

  • Rich||

    Calm down, guys.

    I'm sure the President will clarify this tonight. Why, Jim'll probably even get a beer at the White House out of it.

  • CE||

    It wasn't really an arrest, see -- it was a temporary kinetic law enforcement action. And the Park Police were unlikely to be injured by Epstein.

  • ||

    What's the backstory exactly? Why were they holding the meeting?

  • CE||

    To protect the turf of their buddies who run the existing cab companies, and to keep new cab companies with lower fares and superior customer service from flooding the market.

  • Jerry||

    The commission wants to introduce a medallion system, thereby creating artificial scarcity in the DC taxi market.

  • ||

    Why does the taxicab industry nationwide seem so rife with such things?

  • Jerry||

    Because customers of taxis only have a marginal interest in how the system operates, since it's not every day we have to use a cab. The industry faces almost no resistance when trying to get favors from our political overlords.

  • ||

    That sounds plausible.

  • Translucent Chum||

    What did Mr. T have to say about DC cabs?

  • B.P.||

    What's wrong with the National Park Service? They didn't even use their SWAT unit.

    http://www.nps.gov/uspp/swatpag.htm

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Well, at least Epstein is out...per the WaPo article as of 4:45EST

    Nick, we anxiously await the full rundown.

  • Sockpuppet Alliance®||

    Why wait? It's a travesty!

    Harrumph.

  • ||

    I can think of very few reasons why a public meeting of government should not be recorded. Very few reasons indeed. And certainly none of those reasons should apply to a municipal taxicab authority.

  • -||

    Most public meetings are recorded in one form or another. Perhaps the arrest had nothing to do with recording. Others succeeded in filming it. (See below)

  • ||

    From what I can tell from that that the filming happened after the arrest; that provided the distraction to do so (plus how many people are they going to arrest?).

  • Vincent LaGuardia Gambini, esq||

    I hear my friend defense attorney Jose Baez is busy. Ima available for the yoots from reason

  • Justice||

  • Annoying Thin Video Awards||

    And the Thinny® for Best Nausea-Inducing Panning goes to...

  • ||

    What's that thing the statists keep saying to us? Let's see, what was it...something about how if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear...

  •  ||

    Precious few details, but plenty of knee-jerk reactions from the peanut gallery. "Libertarian" objectivity at its dreariest predictability.

  • Trespassers W||

    Enough details in the 4:15 update to the WaPo article, which are about as everyone expected.

  • ||

    "Tucker was then arrested and taken to a holding cell elsewhere in the building. An officer, he said, offered to let him out without charges if he promised not to take pictures or return to the meeting. He refused to do so."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

    If he isn't already a libertarian?

    We should send him an engraved invitation!

  • Seer||

    Wouldn't it be something if all the cab drivers showed up to the next meeting with cameras in hand?

  • ||

    These are the same goons that arrested the folks at the Jefferson Memorial for dancing.

  • Paul||

    Tucker said that he was arrested after being directed to stop photographing the meeting of the Taxicab Commission, which was held at Park Police headquarters in Southeast Washington.

    This is public property, you're not allowed to be here...

  • GaryM||

    I hope everything turns out OK for him. Even though I don't know him personally, this really makes the War on Freedom feel close to home for me.

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  • Nike Dunk High||

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