A King County Superior Court judge is granting a 21-day stay on a subpoena issued on behalf of the Seattle Police Department to acquire raw video footage taken by a handful of media outlets during a late-May protest.
Seattle councilmember: SPD compelling media to hand over footage is ‘abhorrent’
News organizations included in the subpoena — the Seattle Times, KING 5, KIRO 7, KOMO, and Q13 — have pushed back on it in recent weeks, claiming that it would set a dangerous precedent for the freedom of members of the media to cover protests. SPD argued in its subpoena that it only intended to use the footage to investigate a specific pair of crimes: An arson and a firearm theft, in hopes of identifying a suspect for both crimes.
According to SCC Insight’s Kevin Schofield, Judge Nelson Lee has originally ruled to allow SPD’s subpoena to move forward, before modifying it Thursday to make so that he would review all of the submitted footage first, and then only distribute the parts related to those specific crimes to SPD.
Listening in on a hearing on SPD’s subpoena of local media companies for protest footage. In a surprise to everyone, Judge Lee has modified his earlier ruling, now saying that he will review all the footage submitted and only pass on to SPD the parts with evidentiary value.
— SCC Insight (@SCC_Insight) July 30, 2020
Schofield reports that on Friday, both SPD and the media outlets challenging the subpoena agreed to a 21-day stay of the order to