Our rights in jeopardy

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues

Matt Lepacek of Infowars confronts Rudy Giuliani pollster Ed Goeas with a question in the spin room after the 6/5/07 Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire while streaming live video. His subsequent arrest is captured by numerous cameras and his live audio continued to feed from inside the police vehicle after video was shut off by police. Later, his colleague Luke Rudowski is led outside by police. Rudowski is let go and explains what just happened.

060607_lepacek2200.jpgReporter Arrested on Orders of Giuliani Press Secretary
by Aaron Dykes & Alex Jones
Jones Report
June 5, 2007

Charged with Criminal Trespass Despite Protest of CNN Staff and Official Event Press Credentials at GOP Debate in New Hampshire

Manchester, NH – Freelance reporter Matt Lepacek, reporting for Infowars.com, was arrested for asking a question to one of Giuliani's staff members in a press conference. The press secretary identified the New York based reporter as having previously asked Giuliani about his prior knowledge of WTC building collapses and ordered New Hampshire state police to arrest him.

Jason Bermas, reporting for Infowars and America: Freedom to Fascism, confirmed Lepacek had official CNN press credentials for the Republican debate. However, his camera was seized by staff members who shut off the camera, according to Luke Rudkowski, also a freelance Infowars reporter on the scene. He said police physically assaulted both reporters after Rudkowski objected that they were official members of the press and that nothing illegal had taken place. Police reportedly damaged the Infowars-owned camera in the process.

Reporters were questioning Giuliani staff members on a variety of issues, including his apparent ignorance of the 9/11 Commission Report, according to Bermas. The staff members accused the reporters of Ron Paul partisanship, which press denied. It was at this point that Lepacek, who was streaming a live report, asked a staff member about Giuliani's statement to Peter Jennings that he was told beforehand that the WTC buildings would collapse.

Giuliani's press secretary then called over New Hampshire state police, fingering Lepacek.

Though CNN staff members tried to persuade police not to arrest the accredited reporter– in violation of the First Amendment, Lepacek was taken to jail. The police station told JonesReport.com that Lepacek is being charged with felony criminal trespass.

Lepacek did receive one phone call in jail which he used to contact reporter Luke Rudkowski. According to Rudkowski, Lepacek was scared because he had been told he may be transferred to a secret detention facility because state police were also considering charges of espionage against him – due to a webcam Lepacek was using to broadcast live at the event. State police considered it to be a hidden camera, which led to discussion of "espionage."

Wearing a webcam at a press event is not an act of espionage. Alex Jones, who was watching the live feed, witnessed Lepacek announce that he was wearing a camera connected to a laptop that was transmitting the press conference live at approximately 9:20 EST. When Lepacek announced that he was broadcasting live, Giuliani staff members responded by getting upset at his questions and ordering his arrest. Read the rest of the story here.

Luke Rudkowski and Jason Bermas contributed to this report.

From Jones Report via Aftermath News and We Are Change.org