A New York TV crew was threatened with arrest by a corrections officer as they attempted to film at a historic site on the grounds of an empty state prison.
Officers claimed the crew had not gotten permission to film on prison grounds and ordered them off the property while demanding their footage.
The last inmates were moved out about three months ago and the prison is closing.
The crew was blocked from getting closer to the cottage by another officer in a car.
State police were notified and asked to take the recording.
In a statement, the state Department of Correctional Services told the station it regretted the encounter had “escalated,” but the news crew “blatantly disregarded a state officer who informed them they were trespassing.” It also said Mulholland violated a policy intended to ensure the safety of all staff, visitors and prisoners.
“The actions of the Department of Corrections officers were an infringement on their First Amendment rights to report the news,” NYSAPA President Ken Tingley said in a letter to journalists across the state Friday. “We believe that the Channel 13 crew is owed an apology and that news media across the state need to be assured by Department of Corrections officials and Gov. Cuomo that this incident will be investigated and disciplinary measures taken to ensure that people’s rights to a free press are not infringed.”