Over the weekend, a journalist from the Nashville Scene alt-weekly was arrested while covering the Occupy Nashville protests here in town.
The Tennessee state trooper who arrested Scene reporter Jonathan Meador last night on Legislative Plaza during the THP’s second late-night crackdown on the Occupy Nashville protests was kind enough to slip the small video flip-cam Meador was carrying back into his pocket. Thanks to him, Meador was able to produce this unedited video of his own arrest — or to be more accurate, the audio, since with troopers slamming Meador to the ground from behind and rendering him helpless, the image isn’t so hot.
No matter. The sound speaks volumes.
What you will hear, very clearly, is a trooper telling another officer to book Meador for resisting arrest. You will also hear, very clearly, audio evidence of Meador’s contention: that he was simply doing his job as a reporter and tried to get off the plaza to comply with the law — but the troopers wouldn’t let him off that easy.
What you will not hear, in any form or fashion, is the slightest mention of public intoxication — the specious charge against Meador the THP has broadcast to the world. If that charge was made up later to discredit Meador — or even more appallingly, to divert attention from what a Metro Night Court judge last night told officers was a blatantly unconstitutional overstepping of government and police authority — nobody who cares about their First Amendment freedoms should sleep in Tennessee tonight.
The publisher is demanding an apology from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Article also includes a quote from conservative blogger Bill Hobbs, who also says Meador didn’t appear at all intoxicated. Here’s the video. Or mostly audio: