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  • Monday, November 01, 2004


    Journalist Punched and Arrested in Florida

    From Deputy tackles, arrests journalist for photographing voters:
    A widely published investigative journalist was tackled, punched and arrested Sunday afternoon by a Palm Beach County sheriff's deputy who tried to confiscate his camera outside the elections supervisor's headquarters.

    ...A sheriff's spokesman and a county attorney later said the deputy was enforcing a newly enacted rule from Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore prohibiting reporters from interviewing or photographing voters lined up outside the polls.

    ...When Deputy Al Cinque tried to grab Henry's camera, Henry ran about 100 feet across the pavement on the side of the elections office before he was tackled by the deputy.

    Cinque yelled at Henry, "Hold still, stop moving," after he pinned Henry on the pavement, punched him in the back and grabbed Henry's left arm to put a handcuff on his wrist.

    Cinque then jerked Henry, 54, to his feet by his left arm and slammed his body against a parked car, where the deputy punched him again as Henry tried to hand him identification cards that were later found on the pavement.

    ...Assistant Palm Beach County Attorney Leon St. John, who represents the elections supervisor, said Henry had been charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, based on LePore's instructions to deputies.

    He said the charge against Henry was based on new rules LePore implemented Friday, prohibiting reporters from talking to or photographing voters while they are in line outside the polls. He said she made the rule as the result of "numerous complaints by voters about being photographed and interviewed."

    However, The Post and other newspapers and television stations had previously interviewed and photographed voters in line without incident since early voting began Oct. 18. LePore did not mention any new restrictions on interviews and photographs during a meeting with news media representatives Friday.

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