Thursday, June 5, 2008

LETTER: Watching F & M Security Officers Was Like Kafka

Watching my friend and partner, Ron Harper, Jr. physically brutalized for writing a story that offended John Fry was shocking enough. But when my digital camera was confiscated by the F&M cops and returned with several pictures deleted, it felt I was living in a different country, in a different age, a different world.

I was thinking Kafka as it was happening. I was fully within my legal rights to be doing what I was doing as a journalist; that is, reporting what I saw with my camera, yet I [was detained] and my documentation [was] confiscated. There was no injunction against me to be where I was.

Yet it was exactly as if my notebook was taken for a couple of hours, and returned with several pages missing. No charges. No crime. They just destroyed my reporting.

Is this the United States?

Christiaan Hart Nibbrig

Editor's Note: Given the subject of the letter, the writer intended to be identified.