Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reno | Photog, 60, injured after deputies throw him to ground in dispute over press access to fire

From a story today in Nevada's Reno Gazette-Journal:

A 60-year-old Gazette-Journal photojournalist, Tim Dunn, was thrown to the ground, handcuffed and suffered minor injuries yesterday after sheriff’s deputies allege he obstructed and resisted them while trying to take photographs of a destructive fire in Sun Valley.

Dunn said the deputies accused him of trying to impersonate a firefighter because he was wearing yellow, protective fire gear, a helmet, and goggles. Annual media training recommends wearing these clothes while covering wildfires.

A sheriff's spokesman said he couldn't comment on the incident because written reports on the event hadn't been completed.

Beryl Love, the paper's executive editor, said there have been several instances during the past year where staff were not given access to scenes where they had a right to be.

But he said yesterday’s incident went well beyond simply denying press access.


  1. I worked with Tim at the RGJ and knew him to be passionate about getting the best images to tell the story. Excellent photographer but not a person to cross the line and "impersonate" an official. Insulting to him and bad judgement by deputies.

  2. LEO's across the USA know they can assault working photojournalists and get away with it. There's no union to back the photogs up, the editors won't spend the $ to pursue civil lawsuits (especially Gannett), and the NPPA is toothless.

  3. So what are Reno editors doing about this? The guy is 60 years old and law enforcement is treating him like some sort of juvenile deliquent. Its a fir, not a bank robbery or mirder scene.

  4. I also worked with Tim and was shocked to hear this happened, especially since Tim is a reasonable person and not one to cop an attitude. This isn't the first time something like this happened in Reno. More than 10 years ago, one of the RGJ photographers was arrested for taking photos during a riot that broke out at a car show. However, I don't think that photographer was assaulted like Tim was (but I could be wrong).


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