Toledo Blade lawsuit over detention of two journalists by military security goes to mediation

From The Blade A federal lawsuit filed by The Blade against a variety of government officials over the detention of two journalists by military security outside a Lima tank plant was referred Monday for a mediation meeting.

Blade reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser were detained outside the General Dynamics plant March 28 by military security personnel, who confiscated Ms. Fraser’s cameras and deleted pictures. The lawsuit states that Ms. Fraser and Mr. Linkhorn were unlawfully detained, that Ms. Fraser was unlawfully restrained and received unlawful threats of bodily harm, that the cameras were unlawfully confiscated and pictures unlawfully destroyed, and that the pair’s Constitutional rights were unlawfully prevented from being exercised.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court claims Ms. Fraser and Mr. Linkhorn’s First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights were deprived, as were their rights under the First Amendment Privacy Protection Act.

A conference on the case was held Monday and it was referred for mediation to Magistrate Judge Vernelis K. Armstrong on Oct. 9. If case is not settled on or before Oct. 15, another conference is set for Oct. 20 before Judge James G. Carr.

“At all material times, Plaintiffs Fraser and Linkhorn were present in places that were open to the public and in which Plaintiffs had a lawful right to be,” the lawsuit states.

“At all material times, Plaintiffs Fraser and Linkhorn were engaged in fully lawful and constitutionally protected conduct, observing and photographing subjects that were and are open to public view and that Plaintiffs had full legal and constitutional rights to observe and photograph.”

Blade attorney Fritz Byers declined to comment.