Apr 22, 2008

"It was a mistake"

This is from a story today in the paper. The Sheriff apologized but the Rodeo officials claim they wanted my photos to help them with the investigation.


A sheriff’s deputy providing security and a Red Bluff Round-Up official interrupted and then prevented Record Searchlight photojournalist Jakob Schiller from taking pictures of the accident until the ambulances had left. State law allows members of the media to enter areas otherwise closed to the public for emergencies.

Schiller said he had been in the sports medicine trailer, photographing a doctor treating a bronco rider with a broken leg, when someone burst in saying a bull had hit the doctor’s wife. Medics already were loading victims onto stretchers when Schiller and others burst from the trailer.

Schiller said he stayed near the trailer, next to the Tehama District Fairgrounds general office, using a telephoto lens. A sheriff’s deputy told him he should not be photographing the accident aftermath, Schiller said.

Told about the incident on Monday, Parker said his deputy had acted incorrectly when barring the photographer from access.

“That’s against my policy,” Parker said. “We know you guys have a job to do. If it happened, it was a mistake and we’ll correct the mistake and it won’t happen again, I hope.”

Shortly after the deputy confronted Schiller, a Round-Up official approached him, put an arm around him and led him to a place where he could not photograph the victims.

Froome said the Round-Up official had asked Schiller to leave a restricted area as part of an emergency procedure.

“We want to control the area to allow the folks that need medical attention to get it and make sure no else is hurt and make sure the animals are not hurt,” Froome said. “We want to assess the whole situation while being protective of everyone’s rights. It’s no different than a fire drill.”

Froome later demanded to see Schiller’s photos. Schiller refused to share them. Asked about that exchange Monday, Froome said he had wanted to review the images to help the Red Bluff Round-Up in its investigation of the accident.

“That whole situation was less than a minute,” Froome said. “If there is no documentation, how can you go back and say, ‘This is how it worked?’ That’s why the FAA investigates plane crashes.”


Lexey said...

Froome is an idiot who doesn't really care what the law is. and I love how the sheriff puts at the end of his apology... "I hope"

"If it happened, it was a mistake and we’ll correct the mistake and it won’t happen again, I hope.”

Anyway, I'm glad your paper wrote it. I'm not sure if our paper would write it. AND I don't think Florida has a state law that says we are allowed to go places where the public can't in order to do our jobs.

This is something we should look in to, for sure. You remember how the Collier County Sheriff treat us. It's awful.

Jakob said...


California is actually quite open in terms of where we get access. As far as I know, we can be anywhere we want at an accident or something like this as long as we are not in the way of the officials. For fires we have even more access. If we want to, we can walk right into the middle of things, again, as long as we are not in the way. During forest fire season, we do not need permission to be on the lines, we just go in. I need to get exact details, however, so I know the rules exactly when it comes up again. This was an experience I need to learn from.

tspinski@gmail.com said...

remember that crazy chinese guy Mimi brought to class who yelled: "If you don't want your picture taken, THEN STAY THE F#@CK AT HOME!" I love that dude. Sometimes I wish I could yell in broken English.

lackofintellect said...

Jakob, hang in there bro, I love the paper's response.

You may want to check into what you have been told about the wildfires. As far as I know if you are on a federal fire you have to have nomex on, and be accompanied unless you are fire qualified and have a fire shelter.

I am of course not positive about this, but this is what I have been told, I have never seen the official documentation, but they will tell you it's for your safety, which I believe full-heartedly.