Here’s video that shows the problems news photographers face when covering protests. Viewer discretion is advised because of profanity.

Oakland Tribune videographer Jane Tyska was covering an immigration rights protest by high school students at the Fruitvale BART station on Oct. 31. Tyska’s camera was recording as she was detained by Art Michel, Oakland Unified School District police chief. On tape, he accuses Tyska of hitting his car, orders her into the patrol car’s back seat and at one point accuses her of inciting a riot. She says his car hit her. She also told him that she’s part of the working press, a fact he didn’t find very impressive.

The heated episode lasts about two minutes before Michel takes her video recorder. Police returned the tape to the newspaper three days later.

Michel asked the district attorney to file charges of vandalism, blocking the street and inciting a riot against Tyska. But the DA declined, the Tribune reports.

Troy Flint, spokesman for the Oakland school district, would not say whether Michel will face discipinary action.

Flint also said, “The language that was used was unacceptable, and we certainly do not approve or tolerate that type of behavior from our employees.”

SF Press Club News


  1. We don’t know what really happened, and chances are good that the photographer was instigating poor behavior by overly excited, publicity-seeking youths. We need to gove our police the benefit of the doubt.

  2. What about charging Michel? False imprisonment, assault, theft — those are just a few charges that come to mind. I hope the Tribune doesn’t drop this.

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