Nashville Newspaper Demands Apology for Arrest - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Newspaper Demands Apology for Arrest

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by Brent Frazier

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The overnight arrest of an on-duty print journalist threatens this country's right to freedom of the press, according to the CEO of a local publishing company.

Jonathan Meador, 26, an investigative reporter for the Nashville Scene, was arrested Friday night by Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers along Legislative Plaza. Meador was scooped up, along with 25 demonstrators from Occupy Nashville, and charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass.

Meador's boss is demanding an apology from Governor Bill Haslam himself.

"What I simply asked for this morning was for the governor to acknowledge the mistake, apologize for it, and assure the citizens of Tennessee that he would uphold the Bill of Rights," said Chris Ferrell, CEO at SouthComm, the company that owns the Nashville Scene.

Ferrell described an almost ambush-style arrest.

"Jonathan was approached from behind, and taken down to his knees," Ferrell described, based on eyewitness testimony. "He said:  'I'm a reporter!' That wasn't acknowledged, and he was taken into custody."

Ferrell also said that a colleague of Meador's was silenced by threat of arrest when he, too, tried to tell troopers that Meador was, in fact, a reporter on assignment.

The criminal trespass charge against Meador stemmed from troopers moving in to arrest demonstrators from Occupy Nashville late Friday night, Saturday morning.

Governor Bill Haslam last Thursday issued a strict 10:00 p.m. curfew on several State properties, including the Legislative Plaza, and gave officers the authority to arrest violators of the new policy.

As for reporter Jonathan Meador's charge of public intoxication, Ferrell said the reporter admitted to having one drink over dinner earlier that evening; but the claim that Meador was legally drunk, according to Ferrell, is an allegation that would never hold up in court.

Related Articles:

Occupy Nashville Protestors Arrested And Released

Deadline Approaching For Occupy Nashville Demonstrators

Occupy Nashville Protestors Told They Must Leave




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