Cincinnati, Ohio – An Ohio journalist/blogger Lloyd L. Jordan, 39, was found guilty of three charges while filming near a tow truck.
Jordan graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and only lacks the credentialed Bachelor’s of Journalism degree based on the lack of internships.
Jordan is upset because he cannot pursue his career path as a citizen journalist being arrested for hampering police at emergency scenes while news gathering.
The three charges are Misconduct at an Emergency, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Official Business for a video that he shot in public. Disorderly Conduct was dropped.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015, Hamilton County Municipal Honorable Judge Cheryl Grant heard testimony that Mr. Jordan:
- Did receive a settlement for previous arrest through the City of Cincinnati for conducting photography in 2011.
- The prosecutor accused Mr. Jordan of placing himself in danger to bait Cincinnati Police Officer Anthony Dawson.
- Judge Grant stated that Officer Dawson’s traffic duties were hampered by Mr. Jordan’s proximity by standing nearby a flatbed tow truck by placing himself in danger.
Mr. Jordan’s sentencing is scheduled for February 26th, 2015. At this time, Mr. Jordan has no comments on the decision.
On May, 9th, 2014, the first five minutes of video footage contain the moments leading up to the arrest near Hughes High School where he filmed a crash scene in public thirty minutes after a car accident.
Mr. Jordan headed to a nearby convenience store when he filmed what happened and Mr. Dawson apprehended him when he refused to move.
In the video, Officer Dawson approached Mr. Jordan and proceeded to arrest Mr. Jordan for an unlawful activity after he refused to move while he stood by a flatbed tow truck and filmed.
Judge Grant decided that Mr. Jordan’s unlawful proximity by filming the scene news gathering hampered the traffic duties of Officer Dawson and that his filming wasn’t unlawful. His proximity to the flat bed tow truck is unlawful and placed himself in danger.
Since starting Take the Gate, it has been 6 months. In that time, the blog hasn’t captured very much video but what news we’ve tried to capture will surprise a few people for the resources we utilize.
Out of the limited number of events the editor Lloyd Jordan, 39, of Clifton had attended the Cincinnati Police are generally cordial, this changes when shooting video as an individual.
A history of harassment by the CPD for Jordan goes back to November 16, 2011. In 2011, the Take the Gate editor had gotten arrested and separated from his photography equipment by two undercover Cincinnati Police Officers, names withheld.
At that time, Jordan had documented the Occupy Cincinnati encampment with photographs. These images have only been seen by several individuals. He had been located on the sidewalk when the officers approached and arrested Jordan. Officers had thrown him against a metal girder wall of planters. Before being taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center.
Hamilton County’s Prosecutor Office dropped all of Jordan’s charges of: public intoxication, disorderly conduct and obstruction of official business. While the enquirer calls this a “Payout” Jordan entered a settlement with the City of Cincinnati and was instrumental for a new photography policy for the CPD.
The new photography policy for the city is created with Stanten and Hughes Law Firm Attorney J. Rob Linneman, the City of Cincinnati’s Solicitor’s office and Jordan in 2013.
With all that behind Jordan fast forward to 2014, Jordan had been walking in Clifton. He became curious when an unusual car crash had happened and he saw the incident as newsworthy, when no other news crew had covered the accident. An approximate hour had passed before Jordan had arrived seeing the damage of two parked cars and an SUV wedged into a tree by Hughes High School off McMillian Ave., near the University of Cincinnati.
Jordan had overheard some college age students at the coffee/bar Baba Budan, who had exclaimed that police tazed the driver of the crashed SUV multiple times, dragged out and he tried to swallow drugs. Upon hearing this he had approached the scene of the wreck to further document the crash. Jordan had noted no crime scene tape was distributed and police neglected to block roads for a car detour while none of the officers at the scene directed people away from the crash.
It is not until Jordan shows up that the police officer, named Anthony Dawson, confronted Jordan on the advice of a tow truck driver. Jordan was the only media present.
“Get this moron out of here!” unnamed tow truck driver yelled. “I asked him to move three times.”
“Get across the street.”
“Hello,” Jordan said. “Mr. Dawson, I’m good, thank you.”
“If you don’t go across the street right now, I’m going to arrest you for obstruction of official business.”
“If you arrest me I’ll take you to court,” replied Jordan. “You better call your commanding officer before you make a mistake and lose your job.”
Jordan was again arrested. He again believes he was unlawfully arrested.
Policy for Photography for the Cincinnati Police Department States the following:
Part A.) When an officer observes a citizen taking photographs or video/audio recording, the officer shall not:
Order the citizen to cease recording;
b. Demand the citizen’s identification;
c. Demand that the citizen provide a reason for recording;
d. Detain a citizen solely for recording or for investigation of a recording;
e. Intentionally block or obstruct recording devices; or
f. In any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording.
Part B.) Recording That Interferes with Police Activity or Imposes Safety Risk
Sec. 1. Engaging in photography, video or other recording does not grant a citizen the right to interfere with police activity.
If a citizen is recording from a position that threatens public safety, imposes a risk to the safety of an officer, or interferes with an officer’s ability to perform their duties, an officer shall direct the citizen to move to a position that will not interfere or where the safety risk is mitigated. An officer shall not order the person to stop recording.
A person’s recording of CPD activity from a safe distance, without any affirmative act to obstruct the police activity or to threaten the safety of an officer, does not constitute interference as set forth in paragraph B.1.a. above.
Jordan was charged with Misconduct at an Emergency, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct and Obstruction of Official Business.
ORC 2917.13 Misconduct at an Emergency law states the following:
(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:
(1) Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other
authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot, or emergency of any kind;
(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative’s duties.
ORC 2909.04 Disrupting public services.
Sec. (3) Substantially impair the ability of law enforcement officers, firefighters, rescue personnel, emergency medical services personnel, or emergency facility personnel to respond to an emergency or to protect and preserve any person or property from serious physical harm.
Jordan’s injuries and other arrests and injuries are also seen on the tape. One of the incidents of false arrest by the Cincinnati police is a bomb threat call to a Kroger’s grocery store in Hyde Park, where at the time Jordan was the only media present.
Another episode of police documented harassment is a tow truck pulling a vehicle out of a lot in Clifton, where Jordan was the only media present. This episode highlights the good works of Cincinnati Police until one officer tried to prevent Jordan from filming with intimidation tactics.
A third incident involving police intimidation and harassment is the filming of students in Clifton while police have pulled over a group of students and were ticketed by the CPD. Jordan says the officers were respectful of his right to film but, stated that news media carry lights for cameras and that even asking him to turn off his flashlight was a form of intimidation.
Jordan’s next court date is June 23rd, 2014 at 9am in rm 220 of Municipal Judge Cheryl Grant.
A search of Cincinnati Police Officer Anthony Dawson found that he has had two complaints sworn on him by the public that were dismissed and a possible prior demotion for dereliction.
He is represented by H. Louis Sirkin of Stanten & Hughes.
Update: The demotion was overturned against the Chief of Police, then Thomas Streicher, citing the need as excessive.
‘Citizen journalist’ lawsuit dropped for $40K payout
City OKs right for public to photograph, record police
Cincinnati Police Procedure Manual
ORC 2917.13 – Misconduct at emergency.
ORC 2909.04 – Disrupting public services.
City overturns cop suspensions
Mar. 21, 2008
Cincinnati Police Department officers attacked a Take the Gate editor Lloyd Jordan.
Note: Updates reflect pertinent details and corrections. Layout.