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FCC security guards manhandle reporter, eject him from meeting for asking questions

CQ Roll Call, owned by the Economist Group, publishes a variety of news products focused on policy and politics in Washington. It s known for researched, unbiased reporting. Donnelly, a well-known specialist in defense and military affairs, serves as president of the Military Reporters and Editors Association. He has previously headed the National Press Club s Board of Governors and served on the Standing Committee of Correspondents for the U.S. Congress. Thursday s meeting involved a discussion of a range of proposed FCC rules, including a proposal to roll back net neutrality regulations[7] adopted during the Obama administration. Several pro-net neutrality groups demonstrated[8] outside the FCC s headquarters in the morning.

An FCC spokesman told The Washington Post in an email: We apologized to Mr. Donnelly more than once and let him know that the FCC was on heightened alert today based on several threats. The incident comes at a time of growing and undisguised hostility toward the press in the upper ranks of government. Since taking office, President Trump has called news organizations the enemy of the people[9], and Stephen K. Bannon, his chief strategist, has described the media as the opposition party[10]. On Wednesday, when Trump was presented with ceremonial sword at a U.S. Coast Guard commencement ceremony, Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly told him, You can use that on the press[11].

Just last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price defended the arrest of a reporter[12] who tried to question him about the Republican health care bill in a hallway at the West Virginia state capitol. The reporter, Dan Heyman of Public News Service, was jailed on a charge of willful disruption of state government processes. Price said police did what they felt was appropriate.

. @FCC[13] guards manhandled me, forced me out of building when I tried to ask @AjitPaiFCC[14] & @mikeofcc[15] questions. https://t.co/qQHQ4O82lc[16] 1

John M. Donnelly (@johnmdonnelly) May 18, 2017[17]

Donnelly said he noticed at Thursday s FCC meeting that security guards were following him around the building as if he were a security threat, even though he was wearing his press badge and carrying a notebook and recorder. At one point, he said, guards waited for him outside the restroom.

I thought they were just doing it to prevent anyone from getting too close to the commissioners, which I would understand as a security measure, Donnelly told Mic. But then it became apparent that they were singling me out as if I were someone who was some sort of trouble. The National Press Club s statement identified the guard who ejected Donnelly as Frederick Bucher, head of the FCC s security operations center[18]. According to the National Press Club, Bucher took a press badge from Bloomberg reporter Todd Shields last year after Shields spoke with a protester at an FCC meeting.

FCC security takes visitor pass from Bloomberg reporter Todd Shields for speaking to a protestor at meeting. pic.twitter.com/KzRwGIkIf7[19]

Jim Puzzanghera (@JimPuzzanghera) July 14, 2016[20]

Jeff Ballou, the National Press Club s president, condemned the guards actions on Thursday.

Donnelly was doing his job and doing it with his characteristic civility, Ballou said in a statement. Reporters can ask questions in any area of a public building that is not marked off as restricted to them. Officials who are fielding the questions don t have to answer. But it is completely unacceptable to physically restrain a reporter who has done nothing wrong or force him or her to leave a public building as if a crime had been committed.

Others came to Donnelly s defense as well:

Outrageous and offensive. John is an accomplished veteran reporter and knows how to do his job in DC. This and WV arrest are ominous. https://t.co/DWrT8YADh0[21]

carl hulse (@hillhulse) May 18, 2017[22]

it’s outrageous that a total professional like @johnmdonnelly should be removed under “implied threat of force” for trying to ask a question https://t.co/MytfUNUovh[23][24]

geof koss (@geofkoss) May 19, 2017[25]

Would also like to add @johnmdonnelly is one of the NICEST, most respectful people you’ll ever meet in the press corps or otherwise. https://t.co/6eCgnkfh4q[26][27]

Oriana Pawlyk (@Oriana0214) May 19, 2017[28]

I worked with @johnmdonnelly at CQ when I covered the @FCC for them. This is disturbing news about how a professional reporter was treated. https://t.co/Xg5BB65Vfb[29][30][31]

Alisha Green (@alisha_writes) May 19, 2017[32]

Paul Farhi contributed to this report.

More from Morning Mix

Twice Robert Mueller threatened to resign from the FBI. Twice he decided not to.[33]

Jimmy Fallon says people have a right to be mad at his friendly hair-tousling of Trump[34]

I think we re in impeachment territory, says David Gergen, former aide to Nixon and Clinton[35]

References

  1. ^ National Press Club (www.press.org)
  2. ^ tweet (twitter.com)
  3. ^ @mikeofcc (twitter.com)
  4. ^ @FCC (twitter.com)
  5. ^ @AjitPaiFCC (twitter.com)
  6. ^ May 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
  7. ^ roll back net neutrality regulations (www.washingtonpost.com)
  8. ^ demonstrated (thinkprogress.org)
  9. ^ enemy of the people (www.washingtonpost.com)
  10. ^ the opposition party (www.washingtonpost.com)
  11. ^ You can use that on the press (www.washingtonpost.com)
  12. ^ defended the arrest of a reporter (www.washingtonpost.com)
  13. ^ @FCC (twitter.com)
  14. ^ @AjitPaiFCC (twitter.com)
  15. ^ @mikeofcc (twitter.com)
  16. ^ https://t.co/qQHQ4O82lc (t.co)
  17. ^ May 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
  18. ^ head of the FCC s security operations center (transition.fcc.gov)
  19. ^ pic.twitter.com/KzRwGIkIf7 (t.co)
  20. ^ July 14, 2016 (twitter.com)
  21. ^ https://t.co/DWrT8YADh0 (t.co)
  22. ^ May 18, 2017 (twitter.com)
  23. ^ @johnmdonnelly (twitter.com)
  24. ^ https://t.co/MytfUNUovh (t.co)
  25. ^ May 19, 2017 (twitter.com)
  26. ^ @johnmdonnelly (twitter.com)
  27. ^ https://t.co/6eCgnkfh4q (t.co)
  28. ^ May 19, 2017 (twitter.com)
  29. ^ @johnmdonnelly (twitter.com)
  30. ^ @FCC (twitter.com)
  31. ^ https://t.co/Xg5BB65Vfb (t.co)
  32. ^ May 19, 2017 (twitter.com)
  33. ^ Twice Robert Mueller threatened to resign from the FBI. Twice he decided not to. (www.washingtonpost.com)
  34. ^ Jimmy Fallon says people have a right to be mad at his friendly hair-tousling of Trump (www.washingtonpost.com)
  35. ^ I think we re in impeachment territory, says David Gergen, former aide to Nixon and Clinton (www.washingtonpost.com)

Suspect in killing of Boston doctors was a concierge in their building — and may have known them

A Massachusetts man accused of murdering two doctors in their Boston penthouse will be held without bail after a bedside hearing at the hospital where he is recovering from gunshot wounds sustained in a shootout with police, authorities said. (Reuters)

As police continue to unravel the killings of two beloved Boston doctors, investigators are trying to answer a pivotal question: Did Bampumim Teixeira the 30-year-old man accused of carrying out the crime know his victims personally? A Boston police report cited by the Associated Press[1] reveals that Teixeira worked at the complex where Richard Field, 49, and Lina Bolanos, 38, lived, but authorities have made contradictory statements about whether the accused killer and the victims were familiar with one another. An email sent by the complex s management and obtained by People this week[2] confirms that Teixeira briefly held a concierge position at the building sometime before 2016, deepening suspicion that he may have known his alleged victims.

Establishing a link between the suspect and the couple would help authorities uncover a potential motive for the killings, which took place Friday.

If someone would come here and go up to the 11th floor of a penthouse, we gotta believe there was some type of knowledge of each other, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters this weekend, according to People[3].

[Suspect accused of killing two Boston doctors pleads not guilty from hospital bed[4]]

And yet, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley told reporters Monday that there is no evidence whatsoever at this point that proves Teixiera knew Field and Bolanos, People reported. In its email to residents cited by People, the building s management told residents that it was severely restricted from offering more information about the crime because of the police investigation but was trying hard to strike the appropriate balance.

This is an incredibly difficult time for our entire community, the email added, according to People. We are all doing the best we can to help our fellow residents and staff through this, while giving the authorities the space they need to do their jobs. When Boston police entered an 11th-floor penthouse apartment Friday night, they found a gruesome scene: the bodies of a man and a woman bound at the hands, their throats slit and blood on the walls of the luxury condominium. The killer had left cut-up photos of the couple and a message of retribution.

That message has fueled speculation that the two doctors, who were engaged to be married, knew their attacker. Teixeira has been charged with two counts of murder and pleaded not guilty to each count. He was arraigned on two counts of murder at Tufts Medical Center in Boston on Monday afternoon as he lay in a hospital bed with his eyes mostly closed. A judge standing beside Teixeira a 30-year-old from Chelsea, Mass. entered two not-guilty pleas for the deaths of Field and Bolanos.

During the arraignment, NBC News reported[5], Teixeira nodded only slightly in response to questions.

[Expert: Boston couples murder was something personal. [6]]

He was ordered to be held without bail, authorities said. If convicted, the maximum sentence Teixeira would face is life in prison without the possibility of parole. On Monday morning, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney s office, Jake Wark, told The Washington Post that Teixeira would be charged with two counts of murder but noted that investigators are still probing whether there was a relationship between the accused and the victims, both of whom were anesthesiologists. The discovery of the bodies with traumatic injuries followed a call to police about an armed person in the building, an apartment complex on Dorchester Avenue in South Boston, police said. When officers arrived at the building about 8:40 p.m. Friday, a man immediately started shooting at them, prompting police to return fire.

Officers struck the man and, after a violent struggle, placed him in custody and took him to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, according to a police statement.[7] No officers were hit by gunfire, but several were treated at hospitals for injuries that were not life-threatening.

I mean, you have a guy here who just killed two people, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told reporters[8]. And he had nothing to lose. Evans identified the armed man as Bampumim Teixeira. Teixeira s ex-girlfriend told the Boston Globe that he was a former security guard who had just finished a nine-month sentence for robbing two banks. In June, Teixeira demanded money at a Boston bank by passing a note. Two years earlier, he had committed the same crime, according to the Suffolk County district attorney s office.

It was unclear whether Teixeira had obtained a lawyer. Evans told reporters that authorities think the victims and their killer knew one another.

That s what we re going on, that they were targeted, Evans told Boston s CBS affiliate. For someone to come here, go up to the 11th floor, to the penthouse, Evans told WCVB[9], we got to believe that somehow there was some type of knowledge of each other.

A key question in the investigation is how the killer gained access to the couple s apartment, which is in a well-secured, upscale building.

You can t get up there without a key, building resident Jack Fu told WCVB. The elevators wouldn t even open the door for you without a key. So there s no access unless someone lets you in.

MORE READING:

Black people in a Mississippi county are under a permanent state of siege, according to an ACLU lawsuit[10]

Y all see why I voted for him? : Jimmy Carter says he was a Bernie Sanders supporter[11]

Muslim ban language suddenly disappears from Trump campaign website after Spicer questioned[12]

References

  1. ^ cited by the Associated Press (hosted2.ap.org)
  2. ^ obtained by People this week (people.com)
  3. ^ according to People (people.com)
  4. ^ Suspect accused of killing two Boston doctors pleads not guilty from hospital bed (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ NBC News reported (www.nbcnews.com)
  6. ^ Expert: Boston couples murder was something personal. (www.washingtonpost.com)
  7. ^ police statement. (bpdnews.com)
  8. ^ told reporters (boston.cbslocal.com)
  9. ^ WCVB (www.wcvb.com)
  10. ^ Black people in a Mississippi county are under a permanent state of siege, according to an ACLU lawsuit (www.washingtonpost.com)
  11. ^ Y all see why I voted for him? : Jimmy Carter says he was a Bernie Sanders supporter (www.washingtonpost.com)
  12. ^ Muslim ban language suddenly disappears from Trump campaign website after Spicer questioned (www.washingtonpost.com)

National Arboretum criticized after guard ‘yelled at the children’ playing on grass

Local lawmakers are demanding an apology from the U.S. National Arboretum after a security guard allegedly yelled at the children and called an armed officer because a group of first-graders was playing in a restricted area. On May 1, a group of Two Rivers Elementary School first-graders visited the arboretum as part of their annual study on spiders, according to a letter sent from Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) to Richard Olsen, the arboretum s director. The children were playing on a grassy area near some picnic tables when a security guard yelled at the children through her car window, and then called an armed guard. The incident caused the field trip to end early because the teachers and chaperons felt uncomfortable, according to the letter.

These actions are extremely troubling, Grosso wrote.

Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the National Arboretum, said the department is assessing the incident.

At this stage we are reviewing the letter, and we are reviewing everything associated with it, and we will take future action as warranted, Bentley said. Chantele Martin, a spokeswoman for the school, said Two Rivers values its relationship with community partners and looks forward to working with the arboretum to reach a solution so that all students are made to feel welcome.

We appreciate the public support for our students regarding the situation last week at the arboretum, Martin said. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) also sent a letter asking that the arboretum apologize to the school and develop an action plan within 30 days to determine how the U.S. Arboretum will train its staff and volunteers to ensure all visitors feel welcome.

Perry Stein contributed to this report.

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