N.Y. Fed Judge Refuses to Block Media From Using Perp Walk Photo of Politician

File photo/istock
File photo/istock

Federal law enforcement has often accomodated the press and paraded suspects past the cameras. It’s been going on a long time around the country and apparently it’s not going to stop now.

By Vesselin Mitev
New York Law Journal

A Long Island, N.Y., politician charged with tax evasion cannot prevent media outlets from running photographs of him in handcuffs, a federal judge decided on Friday.

Ruling from the bench, Eastern District of New York Judge Arthur D. Spatt in Central Islip denied a motion by Nassau County Democratic legislator Roger Corbin to enjoin Newsday and cable channel News 12 from running pictures of him taken during a “perp walk” following his May 6 arrest.

Judge Spatt said he was “troubled by [the] repeated use” of Corbin’s photograph with his hands handcuffed behind his back, when there were “numerous photographs” of him available from his 14 years as a lawmaker. But the judge said he lacked the authority to “censor the press in this matter and cannot instruct the press as to what images are newsworthy.”

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