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Phoenix Police Investigating Their Detainment Of Reporter

Phoenix police are investigating their detainment of a Wall Street Journal reporter. Weeks after the incident, Journal reporter Dion Rabouin told ABC15 that he received a call from a police officer saying they had reviewed what happened and found nothing wrong. The newspaper’s editor asked Police Chief Michael Sullivan to review the matter. Journal Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray told Sullivan after a November 23 incident involving an officer and Rabouin, “I am appalled and concerned that officers at your department would attempt to interfere with Mr. Rabouin’s constitutional right to engage in journalism and purport to limit anyone's presence in a public location.” Rabouin, who’s based in New York and covers markets, was in Phoenix to visit family during the Thanksgiving holiday. He went to a Chase Bank branch in north Phoenix to conduct man-on-the-street interviews for an ongoing story about savings accounts. As he was standing on a sidewalk outside the building, Rabouin said a pair of employees asked him what he was doing and then walked back inside.

Rabouin didn’t know the sidewalk was private property, and the bank did not ask him to leave. “I saw a police car pull up ... He asked me what I was doing ... I said, ‘I’m Dion Rabouin. I’m a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. I’m working on a story. I told the people in the branch what was going on.’ And he said, ‘Well you can’t do that.’” Officer Caleb Zimmerman wrote that bank employees claimed Rabouin refused to leave and that the reporter initially refused to identify himself. Rabouin said he told the officer, "If this isn’t public property and I don’t have a legal right to be here ... fine, I’ll move. And he literally, kind of, shifted his body to keep me from moving or going anywhere.,” Zimmerman walked Rabouin to his police car and attempted to place him in the back. Rabouin said he didn’t want to get in. “I didn’t trust what was going to happen, he told ABC15. “Once he closes that door, he could take off, He could take me somewhere. I could be placed under arrest.” Other officers arrived, Zimmerman took the handcuffs off Rabouin and released him. , and he’s released. In addition to the letter sent by the Journal, Rabouin filed an internal complaint. Rabouin said,. “I think it’s important to talk about. This is a department that’s under DOJ investigation for excessive force, under investigation for the way they operate and handle business, and despite that, they continue to operate this way.”


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