Members of a group called We Are Change had video footage seized after a scuffle at the National Rifle Association meeting Sunday.
Four members of the group, all of whom had media credentials, were asked to leave the Kentucky Exposition Center after asking Oliver North questions after his presentation.
Cody Deitz, a member of the group, said he was ordered to turn over memory cards from the equipment they were using or risk being arrested.
"It is our policy to remove anyone who becomes disruptive, whether they are media or not," Arulanandam said.
Several off-duty police officers working security for the event escorted the four men, including Deitz, from the property.
Three of the officers are employed by Louisville Metro Corrections, said Tom Campbell, corrections director. They were not on duty at the time and their names were not released. A written report on the incident was not available yesterday, but Campbell said it began when members of We Are Change were asked to stop taping at the North event and refused.
"Our officers were asked to escort them off the property," Campbell said.
At some point during the incident, Campbell said, his officers were asked by either NRA security staff or North's security team to confiscate the video footage for their review. Campbell said his officers complied.
Arulanandam said, however, at no time did anyone with the NRA ask for the video footage.
"No one from the NRA requested that their footage be seized," Arulanandam said. "And when we found out, we asked for the footage to be returned."
Deitz tells a different story.
He said his crew politely asked their questions of North, including one about the Iran-contra affair, a political scandal in the mid-1980s in which the United States secretly sold weapons to Iran and sent some of the proceeds to rebel groups in Nicaragua. As the We Are Change people were leaving, Deitz said they were accosted by a security team.
"They just threatened us with everything," he said.
Deitz said his group, which has chapters throughout the country, is trying to question government corruption. Their Web site indicates they have been calling for further investigation into what happened in the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We're out there trying to show the corruption and the evils our government is involved in," Deitz said.
For the past several days, Deitz said, he has been trying to get the video footage back. He said four memory cards and several batteries were taken.
After the incident, the corrections officers turned over the footage to an Audubon Park Police Department officer who also was working off-duty, said Sgt. Keith Ferriell of the Audubon Park police.
That officer was told that the NRA security wanted to review the footage, but they never did, Ferriell said. He did not name the officer.
The Audubon Park officer logged the footage into the property room at police headquarters, where it has remained, Ferriell said.
Yesterday, Ferriell said he consulted with metro corrections and was told that no criminal charges were going to be filed against Deitz or the other men so the footage could be returned.
Ferriell said a letter will be sent to We Are Change telling them how to can get their property back.
Reporter Jessie Halladay can be reached at (502) 582-4081.
WeAreChange Assaulted by Police in Louisville
Lt. Colonel Oliver North, a FOX News host, was confronted by a combination of activists from WeAreChange Ohio and Kentuckiana Change. Cody Deeds stood up during a question and answer session and asked North to explain exactly what the Continuity of Government was, at which point North went into his involvement with REX 84 during the Reagan Administration. North explained that at the time it was a plan to continue the government in the event of a Soviet attack. As a follow-up question, Deeds asked, "Given the knowledge of secondary devices in [World Trade Center] building 7, would you support a new investigation of 9/11.” North initially scoffed at the notion of government involvement, but Deeds reiterated that he had not mentioned the government and only wanted know if given knowledge of secondary devices, would he support a new investigation. At which point, North replied, “Investigate everything."
On North’s way out of the forum, Sam Logulo asked North about the Iran Contra hearings and the presence of concentration camps in America. North claimed that American concentration camps were shut down after World War II. Logulo replied, “Some of them are being reopened," at which North responded, “show me the proof.” Logulo specifically mentioned the suburban town of Beech Grove, outside of Indianapolis. North told Logulo to send the evidence to his email address.
On the way out, the members gave a variety of DVDs including TerrorStorm and Blueprint for Truth to North. In addition, the members gave a Patriots Question 9/11 flier to North and an article about ex-Congressman Daniel Hamburg regarding evidence that the U.S. government created Al-Qaeda and was involved in 9/11.
Later, Logulo told North that he would send him the information on the camps, but at this point, police surrounded the WeAreChange members. The officers told the members to shut off their cameras. Adam Covington from Kentuckiana Change asked an officer, “Why can’t I record this when I have a press pass, and this is a second and first amendment venue?” Despite the lack of explanation from the police, the members shut off their devices and proceeded to walk out of the building.
While being escorted out, a plainclothes officer yelled “Give me your camera,” and tried to snatch Logulo's camera from behind. Four officers tackled Logulo, and drove him to the ground. One officer put Logulo into a headlock.
“Easy, easy, easy!” Logulo exclaimed. “I’m not resisting.”
As Logulo was being assaulted, Deeds was filming his fellow WeAreChange member in order to record the abuse. He was told to stop filming at which point he did not comply and continued filming anyway.
“Get him!” yelled a plainclothes officer as he ran at Deeds. Three officers took Deeds down to his knees as they ripped the camera out of his hand. Deeds tried to take the memory stick out of his camera, and was accused of “tampering with evidence,” a Class D felony according to officer Rehm. Deeds later explained, “The footage was my only defense.”
If you would like to see the video footage, call the Louisville Metro Police at (502) 574-7111 or write:
Louisville Metro Police Department
633 W Jefferson St
Louisville, KY 40202