A Santa Cruz photojournalist is facing felony and misdemeanor charges arising from his coverage of a building occupation in Santa Cruz last November. Bradley Stuart Allen, a member of the National Press Photographers Association, and an Indymedia contributor, was charged with felony vandalism following his coverage of a three day building occupation by protesters affiliated with Occupy Wall Street.
The KPFA Evening News (Weekend), for March 18, 2012
KPFA Evening News Speaks with Bradley Stuart Allen
DAVID LANDAU: A Santa Cruz photojournalist is facing felony and misdemeanor charges arising from his coverage of a building occupation in Santa Cruz last November. Bradley Stuart Allen, a member of the National Press Photographers Association, and an Indymedia contributor, was charged with felony vandalism following his coverage of a three day building occupation by protesters affiliated with Occupy Wall Street.
Late last week, a Santa Cruz judge threw out the vandalism charge [Count 2] after the Photographers Association had filed a brief on Allen’s behalf. But the judge found that enough evidence exists to try Allen and codefendant Alex Darocy on charges of conspiracy and trespass. Speaking with KPFA, Allen read the texts of the charges he now faces.
BRADLEY ALLEN: Count 1, a felony. Conspiracy to commit a crime, in violation of Penal Code Section 182(a)(1).
Count 2, a felony. Felony Vandalism, in violation of Penal Code Section 594(b)(1).
Count 3, a misdemeanor. Trespass by entering and occupying, in violation of Penal Code Section 602(M).
Count 4, a misdemeanor. Trespass and refusing to leave private property, in violation of Penal Code Section 602(O).
DAVID LANDAU: Allen said he hopes to have these charges dismissed at his next court appearance on March 29th. He said he has no doubt that the charges are motivated by hostility toward independent media.
BRADLEY ALLEN: I had no idea that there was going to be an occupied building. I covered this occupation as a breaking news event. And the DA, District Attorney, Bob Lee and Rebekah Webb [Young] are now arguing, that my coverage of the events, alone, and publishing them on my website and Indybay.org, in and of itself, was an act to promote trespass. That my coverage alone of a news event was a conspiracy to promote trespass. So they are now criminalizing media.
I feel that it is crystal clear that I am being attacked for my political affiliations and media skills.
DAVID LANDAU: That is Santa Cruz photojournalist Bradley Stuart Allen who faces multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for his coverage of an Occupy protest last November. Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment on his case.
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