Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva introduced Tuesday that his division is focusing on a Instances journalist in a legal leak investigation by which a deputy held a handcuffed particular person for 3 minutes for reporting on the division’s cover-up of an incident. Kneel on the prisoner’s head.
The newspaper instantly condemned the sheriff’s assault on reporter Ellen Tchekmedian throughout a information convention.
“His try and criminalize information reporting is towards well-established constitutional regulation,” Kevin Merida, govt editor of The Instances, stated in a press release. “We are going to vigorously defend the rights of CheckMedian and the Los Angeles Instances in any proceedings or investigations introduced by the authorities.”
The Instances printed a report final month detailing how Sheriff’s Division officers labored to cowl up the March 2021 incident as a result of they feared it might paint the division in a “damaging gentle”. The Instances report was accompanied by surveillance video from a locked-up space of the San Fernando Courthouse, which confirmed the prisoner kneeling on his head after being handcuffed.
Earlier this week, the newspaper and different shops reported on a authorized declare by which a division commander alleged that Villanueva participated in a cover-up, telling the underlings, “We do not want dangerous media presently.”
Villanueva has denied involvement within the cover-up, saying she discovered after eight months of violent detention and instantly launched an investigation.
Within the wake of experiences on the commander’s claims, Villanueva summoned the media to the Corridor of Justice downtown and revealed a legal investigation into how The Instances obtained the video of the detention.
Tchaikmedian to the viewers, he displayed a poster containing giant pictures of him and two longtime enemies, political rival Eli Vera and Sheriff’s Inspector Normal Max Huntsman. Arrows pointed from Vera to Huntsman to Tchaikmedian, implying that two males had been concerned in offering the video to the reporter. Villanueva additionally displayed an inventory of potential felonies below investigation, together with conspiracy, theft and unauthorized entry to the database.
“That is stolen property that was illegally taken away from individuals who had some intent – legal intent – and that may be topic to investigation,” Villanueva stated. Requested if he was particularly investigating the journalist, the sheriff stated, “All elements of this act are topic to investigation.”
It is a creating story.