Covid-19 News Cases – An Ex-Employee Recounts a Complaint About Police Tactics
When the Court of Criminal Appeals issues a ruling in a case concerning a case involving a Covid-19 News story, it is important to keep in mind that a reasonable person could find the evidence gathered by the police officers in question was either illegal or unethical. Although the Court of Criminal Appeals can determine if there has been a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, they cannot determine if the police conduct itself was ethical or justifiable.
According to an article published on March 13, 2020, “a member of the Covid-19 News staff recently filed a complaint against the newspaper’s investigative staff after he was approached by two undercover detectives posing as police officers while standing on the sidewalk outside the newspaper’s headquarters. The men asked him to get down from the sidewalk and then walked into an apartment building where the detectives had hidden.
When the men entered the apartment building, they were confronted by the undercover detectives. According to the complaint, one of the detectives said “we need you to come over here. You have a camera that records audio and video for us.”
Another detective then asked the man to “get on the ground” so that he could “roll up his sleeve and place a microphone on you,” according to the complaint. Once again, the man complied and was taken to the apartment building where, he claims, they forced him to take off his shirt and put his hand under the blanket.
According to the complaint, the man was told that if he refused to comply with their requests that they would “take his arm.” Once again, he complied and was led outside of the building where he was subjected to several minutes of the officers tasing him. When the tasing was completed, the man was ordered to walk back to the apartment building.
Once inside, the man was met by the same undercover detective who asked to see what was in his home. When he refused, the detective allegedly said, “you better do what we say or we’re going to find out right now.”
As soon as the man returned to his apartment and was placed in his car, the detective allegedly asked if he “wanted to go to a nearby casino,” according to the complaint. At this point, the undercover detective allegedly began to question the man about his reasons for coming to the Covid-19 News building.
The complaint says that the man explained that he was there to work as an employee for the paper but when the detective pressed him further, he said he “was in the business to investigate a story that had just come out regarding the parents of a missing boy.” He was then taken to a different location and instructed to look around for information that might prove that the child is still alive.
When he returned, the man said he found that his name was not listed in the Covid-19 News case file. This was not the end of the story, however; when he told the detective he had seen the missing boy’s parents on TV, he said the detective asked him how he knew who they were.
According to the complaint, the man says that the detective then said to him, “I’m sure you’re not in this for the money. I just want to know who you really are, why you came to the paper, and why you are doing this?”
In order to corroborate the information, the man says he showed the detective identification from the paper, including his photo and the name Id given on the application. The detective then allegedly stated, “that doesn’t matter. We will find out everything about you and where you work.”