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.”