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Street cops

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Here's a fuller Maumelle Monitor story on a state trooper's arrest of news reporter/photographer Bill Lawson who was trying to cover a house fire. According to what I've learned, the cop, Thomas Weindruch, happened to live in the area, apparently had no official purpose for being on the scene, arrested a legitimate news reporter who hadn't come as close to the fire as a couple of little kids watching the blaze and apparently decided that taking a photograph amounts to obstruction of governmental operations. Lawson got some rough handling in blog comments yesterday, which he takes philosophically as someone who's been in the public eye before. But, note, the trooper in question has been the subject of questions about his professional behavior before.

This is looking like a case where 1) the "obstruction" charge should be dropped, pronto 2) an abject apology should be issued 3) the State Police should pray that Stephens Media and Lawson are willing to settle for an apology, and 4) there needs to be a thorough personnel review of Trooper Weindruch.

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