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Susie Cagle charged with “present at raid” misdemeanor

Susie Cagle, the lone comic/graphic journalist reporting in the Occupy Oakland protest, has been released from jail last night after being charged with a misdemeanor “present at raid”. She has been covering the protests for the last three weeks and despite having her credentials out in plain sight and even recognized by one of the police officers, she was still arrested. The police department reports they arrested 103 people last night. Approximately seven other journalists were also scooped up in the mass arrests.

Here is Susie being interviewed by the local TV news about her experience.

Once released, Susie began tweeting again. Here is her stream in chronological order. You can follow here at @susie_c

I am out and charged. I had my press pass in full view at arrest. One OPD officer recognized me, knew my comics.

#occupyoakland OPD is holding my backpack and house keys hostage. Need an appt to pick up & report number for appt. No report # on my papers

#occupyoakland charged with misdemeanor ‘present at raid.’ arraignment not for a month seems like scare tactic to make me stop reporting

#occupyoakland 14 hours under arrest and two jails and I don’t know if I will be able to get my house keys back tonight.

#occupyoakland Sweet irony: I was supposed to meet with OPD spokesperson this morning before all this. We have even more to chat about now.

#occupyoakland did a brief spot with ABC7 at Santa Rita, should air 11ish.

@iamstevenhale here is my list of journalists’ arrests at Occupy protests: sfy.co/Luw I still need to add @susie_c

#occupyoakland last night was first time I saw police use strobes to block cameras here. Didn’t work on mine…

#occupyoakland paint already cleaned from Whole Foods. I bet they finished that long before Alameda co processed me.

#occupyoakland Demonstrators arrested last week were arraigned within a few days of arrest. One month from now is a big change.

#occupyoakland Officer Frye at OPD says none of us can have any of our property until tomorrow 8am. “but we’re homeless!” shrug.

#occupyoakland many here going to be homeless tonight. Including me.

Thanks to everyone who has offered help with a place to stay. I will be okay tonight, hopefully get my keys & wallet back from OPD in morn.

More important, thanks for following me along on this f***ing crazy ride.

#occupyoakland #oakmtg 103 arrested in overnight disturbances, property damage in Ogawa estimated b/t$20-25k http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca/groups/cityadministrator/documents/pressrelease/oak032053.pdf

I’m getting weird blowback from local press with chips on their shoulders.

Community Comments

#1 Kelly McNutt
November/4/2011
@ 7:30 am

What’s the point of a press pass, then?

#2 Dan Collins
November/4/2011
@ 8:25 am

So they can ID you and arrest you first.

#3 Keith Brown
November/4/2011
@ 2:41 pm

Ok, why would they feel the need to stop cameras? Does that scare the hell out of anyone else?

#4 mikecrachiolo@gmail.com
November/5/2011
@ 10:59 pm

THEY HAVE OCCUPY LONG BEACH ALL I SEE ARE PEOPLE SITTING IN THE PARK AND SOME SIGNS I DON’T GET IT HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED 2 CHANGE ANYTHING? I HAVE SEEN ONLY ONE COP AND HE WAS TALKING 2 ONE PERSON AND NOBODY GOT ARRESTED THE PARK IS A HANGOUT FOR WINOS AND HOMELESS PEOPLE GRAB A SIGN AND JOIN THE FUN

#5 Mike Peterson
November/6/2011
@ 4:34 am

Press cards contain no magic. They simply verify that you have a reason to be on the scene. Doesn’t mean your reason is going to override other considerations.

Outside of admission to closed events like press conferences and previews, and free admission to some events (ethics policies vary on whether you should accept this), a press pass merely lets the police, fire and other people know why you are there.

It’s not a guarantee that you’ll be allowed to go places the general public isn’t allowed and this leads to conflict, for instance, when you’re trying to get pictures at an accident or fire and they want to keep everyone farther back than might be necessary. Until you’ve seen a propane tank explode in a fire and then you have a little more sympathy for the firefighter who chased you back to the yellow tape.

Generally, if you are respectful and cooperative and stay out of the way, you’ll be allowed closer than members of the public. But when all hell starts breaking loose, you will be ordered off the scene along with everyone else. And you may be arrested if you don’t comply, either because it’s a serious situation or because somebody is being a dick. Or both.

At that point, the press pass may get you a lighter fine or cause the judge to drop the charges entirely, though you’ll likely get a tongue-lashing and they may meet with your editor to re-state the ground rules. And that can mean reporters being told to cool it, or it can mean cops being told to cool it.

As I said in another thread, if the story is “What’s the big picture?” you get it from a distance. If the story is “What’s the average experience here?” you go up close and then you pretty much experience what everyone else does. It’s a very conscious choice a journalist needs to make — and live with.

#6 Dan Olson
November/6/2011
@ 1:50 pm

The charge ?present at raid? really bothers me. It basically is a charge of being at the wrong place at the wrong time irregardless of what you were doing, or we want to arrest you but don’t have a legal reason. I miss the fourth amendment.

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