Police seize riot photos from James Madison University student paper

Harrisonburg Police officers and the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Rockingham County, Va. executed a search warrant in the newsroom of the James Madison University student newspaper April 16, seizing photographs of a recent riot near campus.

The Breeze’s Editor-in-Chief Katie Thisdell said she received a call from the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Rockingham County on Thursday asking for photographs of the April 10 “Springfest” rioting. Thisdell informed them that it is the Breeze’s policy to release only photos already published on its Web site.

Friday morning, Thisdell arrived at the Breeze’s office to find Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst and about 10 police officers with a search warrant, threatening to take all cameras, computers and documents unless students released the photographs they sought.

SPLC View: It is hard to know exactly where to begin with this. Do we start with Commonwealth Attorney Marsha Gars showing up with nearly a dozen armed Harrisonburg police officers to execute a warrant for news photographs that, let