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Napa Sheriff goes to KGO to explain incident

The Napa County Sheriff has issued a memo to all field officers that reminds them of the rights of journalists when it comes to access at disaster scenes. This comes in the wake of the sheriff department’s brief detainment of KGO ABC7 reporter Wayne Freedman and photographer Craig Southern while they were covering a brush fire on Wednesday. News Director Kevin Keeshan says in his blog that Sheriff Doug Koford personally met with him at KGO-TV to explain the situation and tell him that it was being investigated by two lieutenants. Joning Koford in the meeting were were Capt. John Robertson and Napa County Risk Manager Kerry Whitney.

In the memo to officers, Capt. Robertson bold-faces the part of the statute (PC 409.5 (d)) that gives the media access to disaster scenes:

But Robertson also says in the memo:

Freedman has posted his recollection of the incident. He concludes by saying:

The Napa Valley Register has a story this morning that gives both sides of the clash. It also has a link to the complete memo issued by Capt. Robertson.

(Photo credit: Kim Komenich, Chronicle. Click here to see additional photos. Click here to see KTVU’s raw video of the incident. Click here to see ABC 7’s report of the arrest.)

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