Sun reporter covering police is arrested

March 30, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Sun reporter was arrested yesterday as he interviewed people outside a city market targeted by police in an aggressive crackdown on crime.

Tim Craig, 24, was detained for nearly six hours at Central Booking and Intake Center on suspicion of loitering. The city state's attorney's office declined to file formal charges.

Craig was at Avenue Market in West Baltimore about 12: 30 p.m. to document a police initiative to combat drug use and violent crime at the public market on Pennsylvania Avenue.

He was interviewing a group of people outside when Officer Neyland Vaughn Jr. told him to move because he was "impeding the free flow of pedestrian traffic," according to Vaughn's report. The report said that Craig moved but did not identify himself as a reporter.

About 10 minutes later, the report said, Vaughn again saw Craig talking to people outside the market and arrested him. In the report, Vaughn said it was only then that Craig identified himself as a reporter working on a story.

"Tim was doing his job reporting on a matter of public importance -- the effectiveness of drug sweeps in Baltimore neighborhoods," said Sun Managing Editor William K. Marimow. "We regret the fact he was arrested while doing his job."

Maj. Michael Bass, a police spokesman, said Craig most likely would not have been arrested if he had immediately identified himself as a reporter or as any other person conducting legitimate business in the area.

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