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October 17, 2018

CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett found himself on the same New York–bound flight as President Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner — both White House employees — on Tuesday evening, and he took the opportunity to ask Kushner a question about Saudi Arabia and the presumed murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Or rather, he tried to ask that question. A Secret Service agent accompanying Kushner blocked Barnett's phone, according to a video of the incident he posted online, and when Barnett showed the agent his press credentials, he said: "I don't give a damn who you are, there's a time and place."

On the CBS Evening News, Barnett explained press-shy Kushner's role as Trump's main envoy to Saudi Arabia — the U.S. doesn't have an ambassador in Riyadh — and centerpiece to Trump's close ties to the Saudi rulers. "The Secret Service officer said to me there is a time and a place for these types of interviews. I have to make the point that it's unclear what time and place that would be to ask Jared Kushner questions."

Blocking a reporter from asking a government employee a question is apparently against Secret Service protocol. In a statement to Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents' Association, the Secret Service said the incident is under review. Peter Weber

August 30, 2018

The Denver Police Department released body-camera footage Tuesday of a July 5 incident between two police officers and the editor of The Colorado Independent. In the video, Officers James Brooks and Adam Paulsen tell the editor, Susan Greene, that she can't photograph a naked, handcuffed black man on the sidewalk, and when she takes out her smartphone to photograph one officer's badge, Paulsen tells Greene, "Stand up straight, let's act like a lady." "Stand up and act like a lady," Brooks adds. Greene asked the officers if they are "f--king kidding me — 'act like a lady'?" And Brooks replies: “There you go, now you can go to jail."

Greene did not go to jail — the officers released her after 12 minutes in a police cruiser. But it appears the cops were in the wrong.

They argued that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) superseded Greene's First Amendment right to photograph the police in action. In July 10 and Aug. 16 internal bulletins, the Denver Police Department reminded officers that the First Amendment gives private individuals the right to record police activity as long as they are legally in a public place, aren't endangering themselves or others, and don't "materially interfere" with the police conduct — and police can't "threaten, intimidate, or otherwise discourage from recording," or "detain or arrest the individual."

Mari Newman, a lawyer for Greene and the Independent, called the HIPAA excuse "ridiculous," explaining that HIPAA is "designed to protect private medical information" and "does not impose any obligations on a private individual walking around on the street." The Denver district attorney declined to press charges against Paulsen and Brooks, and the Denver Police Department says it has an ongoing internal affairs investigation. Greene says she'll sue the city if it doesn't hold the officers accountable, asking: "How exactly should a lady act when being wrongly detained on a public sidewalk for exercising First Amendment rights?" Peter Weber

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