City of Sanford backs off on threat to arrest reporters

On Wednesday, the City of Sanford issued a press release asking the media to “refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens” and warning that “law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking.”

On Thursday, the city said that “upon reevaluation, it is clear that portions of that Advisory were improvidently issued” and that the warnings are rescinded.

The Orlando Sentinel points out that “the change of heart … came shortly after an attorney representing the Orlando Sentinel and WFTV-Channel 9 wrote to City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. contending that the directive was unconstitutional.”

The first release:

For Immediate Release, March 29, 2012
For Further Information Contact: PIO@sanfordfl.gov

Sanford, Fl – March 29, 2012 —

On March 28, 2012 the City of Sanford issued Media Advisory Number 23 (Press Release 23). Upon reevaluation, it is clear that portions of that Advisory were improvidently issued. The first two paragraphs of that Advisory are hereby rescinded. The contact telephone numbers in the last paragraph of the Advisory remain valid. The City of Sanford regrets any inconvenience caused by the improvident wording of the Advisory.

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Press Release 23:

From: “One, PIO” Date: March 28, 2012 4:12:54 PM EDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Public Information Release

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release, March 28, 2012
For Further Information Contact: PIO@sanfordfl.gov

Sanford, Fla – March 28, 2012 — The City of Sanford kindly requests that members of the media refrain from approaching, phoning or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens. It has come to light that there have been a few incidents where city staff were followed and approached at their home or in settings outside of working hours.

Law enforcement officials will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking.

Comments

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1 comment
  1. Arthur said:

    They won’t arrest a thug who guns down a kid, but they’ll arrest reporters?