The Toledo Blade is threatening to take legal action after its reporter and photographer had their equipment confiscated by military police on Friday.
Blade reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser were detained and stripped of their equipment while outside the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio. The Blade wrote Friday that it is "considering legal action."
"I'm personally shocked by this incident,” Blade’s publisher and editor-in-chief John Robinson Block said. “I believe our people were totally in the right.”
The staffers were reportedly standing "outside the plant’s gate and did not pass an unmanned guard shack" before being approached by police on their way out, the Blade said. Although Linkhorn and Fraser were standing well within a range viewable to the public, they were told that photography of the plant was not permitted and that her cameras would need to be confiscated.
“I really don’t understand what I was not allowed to photograph," Fraser said. "If I can see it from the road, it’s available to the public eye.... If there is something terribly significant there, then they should probably hide it from the public.”
While both reporters were released, military police kept the cameras for about seven more hours so that a plant security coordinator could review the images. The cameras were eventually given back to the newspaper, but "about a half dozen" photographs taken by Fraser of the outside of the plant were missing.
There have been several instances of aggression against reporters in the past year alone. Earlier in March, a photographer for the Baltimore Sun was "forcibly" pushed out of a crime scene in what led to an internal investigation. Photographs taken at the scene show police physically handling the photo editor, and this was not the first police threat against reporters in the area.
(h/t: The Blaze)