LOS ANGELES —The 2017 9th
Circuit Central District of California Media Conference was designed to bring together judges, lawyers and journalist to discuss the complex issues
surrounding when police shootings or excessive force is caught on
The conference was scheduled for March 27 at the new federal
courthouse in Los Angeles. Journalists, members of the State Bar of
California and law-enforcement community were expected to attend.
panel of judges, lawyers and journalists were scheduled the
complicated relationship between video of police, media and the
“The idea is to talk to the people that are talking to
the people,” David Madden, assistant circuit executive, told the
Northern California Record. “So we put together programs for
the the media that help them better understand the judicial
processes, the limitations on judicial speech, but also to enlighten
our judges on as to what the nature of what journalists do and how
they approach the subject and their needs in this process.”
list of panelists was to include U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte
Jr., Arif Alikhan with the Los Angeles Police Department, attorneys
Dale K. Galipo and Thomas C. Hurrell, and journalists Beverly White
and Jim Newton.
Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Chief Judge Virginia A.
Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California were scheduled to speak during the luncheon portion of the
program on topics related to video and court proceedings including
the appellate court’s use of live audio and video streaming.
you delve into it, you learn that it’s a very complicated subject
and there are multiple interests involved,” Madden said. “The
idea is to make that more understandable to the public and that
recognizes that the general public gets most of its information about
the courts from the media.”
Video has been used as evidence in
incidents like the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in
Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, according to The
Advocate. However, video evidence also proves to be a complicated
matter in civil suits.
In February, a three-judge panel of 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed
the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena claim that a judge prematurely
released video of a fatal police shooting of an unarmed man.
Stephen V. Wilson ordered the Gardena Police Department to release
dash-camera footage of the shooting after the Los Angeles Times, the
Associated Press and Bloomberg requested the video arguing First
Amendment right to access court documents. Later, the city appealed
the case saying Wilson abused his power as a judge by not delaying
the release of the video until they could get a temporary stay and
was pursuing the issue to change any similar future events.
the past several years, there’s been plenty of incidents involving
excessive force and they often are caught on video, and this is an
opportunity to examine the competing interests at play when video
exist,” Madden said.
According to Madden, the circuit used to
hold similar conferences and media programs, but this is the first
one since 2011. He said they would like to take this program to other
parts of the district and utilize regional experts in each area.