CAJ welcomes dropped charges for Winnipeg cameraman



    OTTAWA, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is
pleased with a decision by the Manitoba Crown attorney's office to drop
charges laid against a CBC Winnipeg cameraman who filmed an incident last
month.
    Winnipeg Police on Dec. 12, 2007, arrested and charged Don Scott, a
21-year veteran with the CBC, with obstruction of a peace officer after Scott
filmed a police incident that afternoon. Scott's camera and tape were
confiscated and have yet to be returned.
    "We're happy to see that the police have finally come to their senses and
dropped charges against Don Scott," said CAJ President Mary Agnes Welch. "It's
a de facto admission that they should never have arrested and charged him for
doing what journalists do every day: Bear witness to events."
    The CBC says Scott did not film any undercover officers or cross police
lines as he filmed the incident, and complied with a police request to step
back from the incident but declined to stop filming.
    Winnipeg Police had alleged Scott refused to heed instructions to move
beyond a police perimeter.
    The CAJ is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists
from all media, with about 1,500 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary
roles are to provide high quality professional development for its members and
public-interest advocacy.





For further information:

For further information: Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president, (204)
943-6575, Cell: (204) 470-8862; Paul Schneidereit, CAJ past-president, (902)
426-1124; John Dickins, CAJ executive director, (613) 526-8061, Cell: (613)
868-5442


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