RUNNING FROM POLICE WITH OUR TAPES...
Sat May 13, 2006 17:56

 
RUNNING FROM POLICE WITH OUR TAPES...

Logan Darrow Clements here, reporting from an undisclosed location on the East Coast: The adrenaline is still pumping through my veins. Today, my camera crew and I attended a street fair in Piscataway, New Jersey. Our purpose was to ask Mayor Brian C. Wahler why he is using eminent domain to take away a family farm from its rightful owners—the Halpers.

We found Mayor Wahler and started questioning him. He walked away. We followed him and kept questioning him. Within a few moments police officers confronted us. The mayor kept walking away and I kept asking him questions. He stopped again and I asked him once more why he was taking the Halper's farm. Wahler's answer was that the farm was being taken for "open spaces". When I indicated that a farm is already an open space he walked off again.

Now a large group of police officers surrounded my two cameramen and myself. The police formed a circle around us and demanded our identification papers. We refused. One of the officers grabbed my arm as if to take me away. Other officers did their best to block the cameras. Someone at the street fair turned up the music to try to ruin our audio. (The song lyrics, by some amazing coincidence were, "It's getting hot, hot, hot") Now the police tried to separate me from the camera men. I guess their plan was divide and conquer.

By now we were surrounded by an even larger swarm of police officers that were demanding our identification papers while at the same time demanding that we leave. I made reference to a once-popular document called the Constitution with its provisions of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. This was of little interest to the police officers surrounding us.

"I'm going to count to twenty and you'd better be out of here" said one officer.

I responded, "I'm going to stay all day at this fair! We are standing on public ground, in public place, and we are representatives of the media covering a story about a public official. Leave us alone!" (or something to that effect, you'll see it in the movie)

The police officers were getting more and more aggressive. Then they switched their tactics. They were determined to detain us! All this time they kept demanding our identification papers. Now I realized we had to get out of there. We had cameras—they had guns. Given the behavior of this mob of police officers it wouldn't surprise me if threw us in jail, took our cameras, or worse yet—got the tapes.

Through careful discussion on my part, and confusion on their part, I negotiated our release. We walked at a brisk pace out of the fair. Once we got behind some trees and out of sight of the police we ran to our cars. I knew they would try to get the tapes. One cameraman and I jumped in the car. The other cameraman got to his car.

Sure enough an officer started running toward our cars. We put the car in gear and peeled out of the parking lot. As we pulled onto the street another police officer ran towards us as if to block our escape. We made it past him. As I looked back in my rear view mirror I could see the officer standing in the middle of the road writing down my license plate number.

But that didn't matter—got the tapes out!

I'm scheduled to appear on FoxNews Channel's Hannity and Colmes program this Monday 5/15. On the show I plan to play short clips of my movie-in-progress. The day before we were in South Bound Brook, New Jersey and caught the police on video right at the moment that they evicted a man from his house and changed the locks. His house will be demolished for a shopping center. Even if you don't have cable TV you can always watch Hannity & Colmes on their website http://www.foxnews.com/hannityandcolmes

However, I might get bumped off the Monday schedule by other stories. If you'd like to see me on Hannity & Colmes please send an e-mail with the subject line, "We want Logan on Monday!" to Colmes@foxnews.com  and also to...
Hannity@foxnews.com


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