(Partial repost from the Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and the Freedom of the Press)
Michigan Citizen newspaper reporter, Diane Bukowski, continues her fight in court to protect her 1st Amendment right to freedom of the press.
On April 17th, Wayne Co. Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway partially granted the prosecutor’s motion to preclude testimony in Ms. Bukowski’s criminal trial that she was acting in her capacity as a reporter during the 11/4/08 high speed chase by Michigan State Troopers that ended with the death of two men.
She faces two false felony charges of “assaulting, battering, wounding, resisting, obstructing or endangering” police while covering the chase. The refusal to recognize her role is outrageous!
Neither of the troopers, John Hetfield and James Wojton, have been charged with the deaths of the victims, James Willingham and Jeffery Frazier, although they violated many MSP vehicle pursuit rules, including conducting the chase in a densely populated area without a siren.The Michigan Citizen is recognized as one of the only Detroit newspapers that covers stories about Black and poor citizens, including issues of police brutality.
Please support this grassroots reporter by attending Friday’s 4/24/09 Press Conference and Rally at 12pm at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. Call Wayne Co. Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, and ask her to end this unjust prosecution! (313) 224-5777.
On Monday, 4/27/09, help us pack Judge Hathaway’s court room for Diane Bukowski’s trial: 9am, Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, Room 501.
Download flyer with Bukowski details and defense committee endorsements. Read the Detroit Metro Times for a good account of this story.