Police Abuse

Reno Newspaper Photographer, 60, Assaulted by Deputies While Covering Fire

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Reno Gazette-Journal Photo Director Tim Dunn was thrown to the ground by a pair of deputies while trying to cover a fire. Via his own newspaper:

A 60-year-old Reno Gazette-Journal photojournalist was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and suffered minor injuries Monday after sheriff's deputies allege he obstructed and resisted them while trying to take photographs of a destructive fire in Sun Valley.

About 5:42 p.m., Monday Washoe County Sheriff's Office deputies cited Tim Dunn for obstruction and resisting.

Dunn, the newspaper's photo director and a 21-year employee there, was taking photos of a fire that broke out near Flora Way and East Fourth Avenue that ultimately destroyed two homes and multiple structures.

Dunn said he was told to leave the area, and directed to another location farther away from the scene. He said he was ultimately taken to the ground by two deputies — one who shoved his foot on his back, and the other who pushed his face in the gravel. His cheek has a large scrape on it.

Dunn said deputies claimed he was trying to impersonate a firefighter by wearing similar protective gear, which is the kind of thing you should wear when you're near a fire, which is why firefighters wear them in the first place:

Beryl Love, Gazette-Journal executive editor, said there have been several instances during the past year where staff were not given access to scenes where they had a right to be.

But Love said Monday's incident goes above and beyond press access.

"The brutal nature in which Tim, a veteran photographer with more than 20 years experience, was treated by sheriff's deputies is beyond comprehension," Love said. "Their use of excessive force on a fellow professional who also has an important job to do is shocking. His rights were clearly violated."

Love said the newspaper is preparing a formal administrative complaint and is advising Dunn on possible civil actions related to his injuries.

Hat tip to Thomas Lucente Jr.

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  1. The comments are priceless.
    “That’s what you get for raising the price of a subscription!!!”
    I still maintain that y’all are gonna miss us when the newspapers are gone.

  2. good thing the did not bring a dog along.

  3. On the upside, the Reno Gazette-Journal will be sure to follow up on this story. On the downside, many of their readers will just think they’re being petty.

    1. Also on the downside, they will fail to follow up on many similar assaults on real people, instead devoting a full page to coverage of the baby carriage parade.

      1. Ah familiar with the Reno Gazette are you?

  4. Dunn said deputies claimed he was trying to impersonate a firefighter by wearing similar protective gear, which is the kind of thing you should wear when you’re near a fire, which is why firefighters wear them in the first place:

    During the feudal era in England, it was a crime to wear clothes that one’s class and profession did not entitle them for: eg for a peasant to wear clothes of a nobleman, for non clerics to dress like clerics, etc.

    I am increasingly of the opinion that progressives and conservatives are between them recreating feudalism here in the U.S.

    1. I’ll take “Class Warfare in the 21st Century” for $400, Alex.

    2. Did you just now notice that?

      1. No…

        The idea first occurred to me in 2005 when I was completing my transformation from Goldwater conservative to libertarian anarchist.

        1. So hipsters are safe, cause only hipsters actually don hipster-wear.

          All those college chicks doing “80’s Party ZOMG!!” – be careful…

        2. …my transformation from Goldwater conservative to libertarian anarchist.

          Hey, me too! Mine was around 2007, though.

          1. Slowpokes, my conversion was complete on April 19, 1993.

  5. I hope that Lt. Dangle didn’t straddle the poor photographer. That’s like getting leg humped by your Yorkie.

    1. Hat tip to Thomas Lucente Jr.

      I must say, I first read that as “Hat tip to Thomas Lennon.”

  6. So which is worse? Picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel or someone who buys military surplus armement?

  7. “The brutal nature in which Tim, a veteran photographer with more than 20 years experience, was treated by sheriff’s deputies is beyond comprehension,” Love said. “Their use of excessive force on a fellow professional who also has an important job to do is shocking. His rights were clearly violated.”

    More of this please. Please cops, attack journalists doing their jobs. Maybe that will help end the practice of the media downplaying crimes/assaults committed by cops and maybe just maybe the passive voice will start go away.

    Also, does that quote seem to imply that they wouldn’t be as outraged if the cops assaulted someone who is not a fellow professional?? Or am I reading too much into that?

    1. Yeah, I find it interesting that cops feel so bold in their assholiness that they’re now assaulting the people that report the news. Why shouldn’t they feel that way though, no one has stopped them yet. Need a couple congressmen to hog tied, tazed, and beat I guess.

      1. To be

  8. This is the fourth physical assault chronicled here in the past two days, but Tulpa said I was over the top when I suggested on Sunday that these kinds of assaults happen on an almost daily basis here in America.

    I guess the media are banking the extra ones away in case of a slow week or two.

  9. This is coming to a head that wont be pretty. The cops feel as if they are the predators in an open season era, but they are not natural born predators. They are insecure sheep with an extremely loud bleat. And that is no way to sustain public order as the Tsar’s police found out hard way.

    1. No it will not. ‘Mericuns are some the most finely bred sheep in the fucking world. Nobody can suck cop cock like us. Just make sure that they have some KFC, American Idol, and a cheap upgrade plan for their cell phones, and these fat fucks will let you fuck with them until no end.

  10. Is there even any rhyme or reason to police brutality anymore? Before it made sense from the perspective of forcing powercock into the populace. Now it just seems to be random. I can’t wait until a serious fightback occurs.

  11. I never thought about that before. Wow.

    http://www.Anon-Browser.tk

  12. Dunn said deputies claimed he was trying to impersonate a firefighter by wearing similar protective gear, which is the kind of thing you should wear when you’re near a fire, which is why firefighters wear them in the first place:

    No. Firefighter gear is what you wear when you’re actually fighting a fire. You don’t need it to be near one, even if as a photographer you decide that your Pulitzer requires a 10mm lens and a distance of a few yards, which is more than slightly unlikely.

    Photographers generally wear EMS/Fire gear specifically so they can be mistaken for said personnel and get inside police and fire barricades, where the photos are generally juicier. Often literally. It is a common practice, and quite understandably, the cops don’t like it much.

    The other part of the story which is significant is what happened after the cops figured this out and told the photographer to bugger off. I’m willing to bet it was something other than compliance.

    Did the cops overreact? Maybe. The trend towards police “militarization” and the attitudes that come with it suggest that they no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt.

    However, the simple fact here is that the photographer in question broke the law. Putting on FD gear and swinging a camera around while a duly employed member of the press doesn’t exempt one from the law.

    1. Photographers generally wear EMS/Fire gear specifically so they can be mistaken for said personnel and get inside police and fire barricades, where the photos are generally juicier. Often literally. It is a common practice, and quite understandably, the cops don’t like it much.

      Complete and total bullshit.

      1. Right, so I guess this guy was just on his way to a costume party.

        1. Wow, one example totally characterizes a common practice.

  13. When MSM newspapers FINALLY start pushing back, there will be cause for relief from the police state.

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