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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Reporter Barred Press Entrance by Police

police

by Reta Moser

Police barred this reporter entrance to the Westchester/Playa neighborhood council that was to vote on the controversial “road diet” in Playa, Tuesday night. Officers said press had to have a press badge authorized by someone in city, downtown. Business card was insufficient. Told me to go to end of line.

Didn’t know what the law was regarding such in LA since I had never had this happen with Venice Update reporting of events in Venice and surrounds. I was shocked to see that my business card of Venice Update was insufficient for the two dressed police at the door.

I thought the first amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press was sufficient. I just wasn’t aware of any other law governing local press entrance for public proceedings.

Hey, I was wearing orange and was completely ignorant of the fact that orange is the designated color for those wanting the roads back open. Sorry about that one. Will try to be more aware of being unbiased. Also I was dressed casually in shorts and crocs. Don’t know what a local reporter uniform would be or should be.

The officers proudly posed for photo and Casandra stated her name when I tried to read her badge.

I stepped back and there crossing over the landscape was Debbie Dyner-Harris, district chief of staff for Councilman Mike Bonin, better known to me at that point as “freedom of the press advocate.”

(This road diet in playa is very controversial. I should have been covering the Venice Neighborhood Council but reporters go where the story is. This was big for area.)

“Hey Debbie, they won’t let me in.”

“Follow me,” as she crossed over to another door.

I explained to her that the officers said I had to have a press pass issued down town. Do you know where?

“Never heard of such a thing,” she replied.

We went to the back of the building and entered through the patio.

Debbie left me and called the name of the officer standing at the door and said he “would help me.” He turned and stepped aside to let me in.

I was in.

It would have been a sad day for freedom of the press had I not had Councilman Mike Bonin’s Chief of Staff Debbie Dyner-Harris get me in. I understand credentials being checked out for more important events in this day because of crazies but for local public events, no.

What an interesting experience for me but sad experience for America, for Americans.

Comments (3)

  1. Jack Kelly

    If you don’t have a Press Pass you’re not a real journalist.

  2. Billy Zanatakos

    White supremacy reporters should be barred period.

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