LIMA, Ohio – On Friday outside the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, two The Blade reporters were detained and had their equipment confiscated by military police.
Reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser were in the driveway of General Dynamics’ Land Systems, a tank plant, taking pictures for an upcoming story. They both claim they never went past the armed guards or gated area. However, that did not stop military police confronting them, detaining them and confiscating their photography equipment.
“I’m personally shocked by this incident,” Mr. Block, editor in Chief of Blade said. “I believe our people were totally in the right.”
It was not until after U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s office made a call to General Dynamics, that the military police agreed to release the photography equipment but only after the photos were reviewed.
The equipment was in the military police’s possession for seven hours. When the equipment was finally returned, Blade employees examined the equipment to find that all of the photos of the building were missing.
The military police denied deleting the photos and said that a representative from the facility deleted them. However, when Keith Deters, manager of the plant, was asked he said no one from their company had handled the camera. Deters stated that “I would have no idea” who would have deleted the photos.
Ms. Fraser said that she was told that taking photos of the building raised concerns of terrorism.
“I really don’t understand what I was not allowed to photograph. If I can see it from the road, it’s available to the public eye,” she said. “If there is something terribly significant there, then they should probably hide it from the public.”
The Blade is considering legal action.
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