ABC7 photographer Craig Southern and reporter Wayne Freedman were detained by Napa County Sheriff’s deputies while cover a grass fire in Napa’s Silverado Country Club on Wednesday afternoon. Both were stopped at a checkpoint by Sheriff’s deputies where were told to stop taking pictures of the fire from that location.
When Southern and Freedman questioned the officer’s orders, Southern’s camera and tripod was confiscated and cell phone broken. Both were handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car for 15 minutes.
Sheriff’s Department Captain Gene Lyerla later apologized and were both released without being charged.
State law allows the media to report and take pictures from with police lines. ABC7 plans to file a complaint against two deputies and plans to pursue all legal options.
State law 409.5:
KGO story, video and still photos: