ABC's lawyers have asked the Denver police to drop charges against ABC reporter Asa Eslocker and say they are confident that will happen.
Eslocker was arrested while trying to shoot video on a public sidewalk outside a Denver hotel, according to ABC. He was trying to talk to Democrats leaving a private meeting as part of new piece on corporate lobbyists and donors.
Eslocker was arrested and charged with "trespassing, failure to follow a lawful order, and interfereing with a police officer."
"Mr. Eslocker is innocent of all three crimes with which he’s been charged," said the lawyers in a statement. "He and his ABC News crew were standing on public sidewalks covering an event of public significance and performing a press function protected by the First Amendment.”
Adding “Frankly, we are outraged at the conduct of the individual officers. Their interactions with Mr. Eslocker are captured on tape. Mr. Eslocker was acting courteously and trying to determine where he and his news crew could stand on public sidewalks to report on an event involving some of this nation’s leaders – an event that the public has a right to know about."
ABC attorneys said the case was now being reviewed by the Denver City Attorney's Office. "We are confident that when that office has had the opportunity to review the evidence, including our video tapes, it will decide to dismiss all charges against Mr. Eslocker."
The American Civil Liberties Union joined the call for the charges to be dropped. "Arresting a reporter for simply doing his job is both unconstitutional and un-American," Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, told ABC. "That free speech is curtailed during the Democratic National Convention underscores the need for continued protection of civil liberties, regardless of the party in power."
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