The New York Times reports today that a Canadian judge found that Brunswick blogger, Charles LeBlanc, did not obstruct justice when he took pictures at a protest rally during the Reaching Atlantica business conference in Saint John last summer.
Police officers deleted all of LeBlanc’s photographs while he spent four hours in jail, LeBlanc told CBC News in Canada. LeBlanc said he was standing beside a CBC cameraman at the protest when police arrested him. "Next thing you know, they handcuffed me right to the ground, and they paraded me in front of all the businessmen and they told me I was charged for obstruction," he told CBC News.
A photograph on the CBC News Web site shows two police officers holding LeBlanc on the ground. LeBlanc yelled, “I'm a blogger, I'm a blogger. I'm just taking pictures!" according to the site.
“Members of the so called mainstream media were taking photographs and filming in the same area without interference from the police,” provincial court judge, William J. McCarroll, wrote in a 20-page decision. “I believe it’s fair to say that the defendant was doing nothing wrong at the time he was approached by Sergeant Parks and placed under arrest. He was simply plying his trade, gathering photographs and information for his blog alongside other reporters.”
LeBlanc also proves that you don’t have to look a certain way or belong to a certain socioeconomic class to work as a journalist. CBC News also reported that the officer who arrested LeBlanc said he didn’t consider the blogger to be a legitimate reporter because he looked “scruffy” and had a cheap-looking digital camera.
Hey! As long as it gets the job done! Big ups to Charles LeBlanc who won a victory for all the bloggers of the world.