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Press Getting Fed Up New City Hall Media Rules

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Photo by Eric Leonard


Photo by Eric Leonard
The city of Los Angeles has four main police departments under its control: the famous LAPD, Airport Police, Harbor Police and General Services Police. The latter, which is proposed to be folded into the LAPD, is in charge of city owned buildings and most parks, but in our experience, it's the policing agency with the most tone-deaf cops. We once witnessed two officers give Councilmember Paul Krekorian a hard time for bringing a guest into City Hall for a meeting during after hours. LAist has tried reaching out to its Chief in the past with no success. Officers manning the entrance to City Hall are usually not paying attention during night hours (walk in and they won't even notice you until you speak up). And today, an officer apparently blocked a reporter from taking photos at a public meeting.

KFI AM 640's Eric Leonard was at city hall when a protest broke out in the city council chambers. While trying to document the event with his camera, officer Michael Johnson apparently stopped him from taking photographs. Leonard told the LA Weekly that "he was taking photos when officers restrained him, ostensibly under a city policy that no photography be taken of citizens who come before the council." Members of the public are shown by the city on Channel 35.

This comes on the heels of newly enforced media rules that have angered the city hall press corps. Many believe the rules, which limit how media interacts with councilmembers during meetings, is retribution for coverage of councilmembers that have left them not in a positive light. Michael Linder of KABC Radio says President Eric Garcetti was willing to meet with media, provided they didn't report on the meeting.