Nearly 40 journalists have been killed in the line of duty this year reporting from dangerous places like Afghanistan, Syria, and Mexico.
They are remembered and honored by the Committee to Protect Journalists for taking major risks and making the ultimate sacrifice to report about death and destruction around the world.
But who will be there for Susan Greene, a Colorado Independent editor who was handcuffed by police and told to act like a lady?
Lawyers, that’s who. Lawyers who are coming to her defense and threatening to sue the city for
her retirement fund violating her First Amendment rights to free speech. Which in this case, is her right to take pictures of half-naked mental patients in distress on a public sidewalks.
Greene was detained by police after positioning herself by the ambulance door to take pictures of the mentally distressed, nearly naked man.
An officer initially approached her and was clearly trying to block the camera view of the nearly naked mental patient.
Nowhere in her original article did Greene say she identified herself as a reporter.
Once additional video was released this week, some articles suggested she did so and believe portions of the audio was muted on purpose.
We flat out do not believe she did, and not just because she’s an editor now. From the video, we clearly see she is behaving in an obnoxious manner to take pictures of a nearly naked man on the sidewalk who police believe is suffering with mental issues.
Police don’t know her from Adam, and for all they know, she’s just trying to get salacious pictures or video to put on social media and spin wildly out of context.
We also don’t know if police believed the suspect might prove to be a danger, and were removing the pedestrian from the scene as quickly as possible.
If she had respectfully identified herself as a reporter, like most do, and pulled out her credentials and asked the officer what was going on, we sincerely doubt this incident would have occurred.
But that’s not what she did.
She kept jumping with her camera to get a shot of the patient, dropped the f-bomb and started demanding constitutional rights. She did not behave professionally, as a reporter or editor.
We’re not proud of how the police handled the situation, either. We don’t think they broke the law, but they acted like buffoons. Sadly, that’s what we’ve come to expect from the Denver Police Department.
It looks like they were just pissed because she took a picture of their badge.
Memo to police: You aren’t their daddy, don’t tell women to act like a lady.
Memo to the media: She is not a hero. She was taking pictures of a nearly naked man with mental problems and inserted herself into a non-story to create a story.
If Greene was really being a police watchdog as she claimed, she should have been videotaping from a safe distance so as not to interfere or get run off by the cops.
Camera or not, as a reporter, she stood witness to the events unfolding around her and should have stuck to those duties, not inserted herself into the story.
There are so many better ways she could have handled the situation in order to keep doing her job, but now the story is all about Greene.
She was handcuffed and called a lady, and lived to tell the tale.