NAJA Statement regarding Sawyer County Sheriff Deputy

Native American Journalists Association

A statement from the Native American Journalists Association regarding the actions of Sawyer County (Wisconsin) Sheriff Deputy Brian Knapp towards news reporter-cameraman, Paul DeMain at an automobile crash during the evening of August 7, 2008 on Gurno Lake Road, and on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Nation.

The Native American Journalists Association must voice serious concern over the way Paul DeMain was treated by a deputy of the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department during the course of Mr. DeMain's report coverage the evening of August 7, 2008.

The actions taken by Deputy Knapp grasp the attention of the Native American Journalists Association because his actions relates to the working expectations, protocol and mutual respect between the public safety sector and the news media.

The reported treatment suffered by Mr. DeMain is a negative strike to the entire journalism world.

There seems to be varied receptive levels for journalists in that part of the world. I hope that Mr. Knapp's actions are not indicative of the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies located in that part of the world.

The Native American Journalists Association expects that, after complete and impartial review, steps are taken to assure Mr. DeMain that the negative action surrounding his news coverage will be addressed as deemed necessary and that he can continue to serve the public as a journalist, confident in doing his job without apprehension.

Journalists would rather cover the news rather than become the news - and I am confident that the same goes for deputy sheriffs too.

On behalf of NAJA, this statement is made by Ronnie L. Washines, President, Native American Journalists Association; telephone (509) 865-5121, extension 4717; cellular at (509) 945-5213; or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Contact:Jeff Harjo, NAJA Executive Director
405 325-1649 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

See Related Story: Deputy Sheriff strikes reporter at LCO accident scene

See Related Story: Your Right to Know: Respect the rights of news photographers

See Related Story: Sometimes, even good cops overreact

 

 

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