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Where the media can (and can't) gather at Denver federal facilities

byronrogerscourthouse.jpg
The Byron G. Rogers Federal Courthouse.
"Channel 4 to Fight Citation Against Cameraman Covering Zazi Terror-Investigation Story" looks into the case of Glenn McReynolds, who was handcuffed and cited for failure to obey an order yesterday after asking why he couldn't wait in the lobby of the Byron G. Rogers Federal Courthouse until terror-probe subject Najibbullah Zazi emerged. Tim Wieland, Channel 4's news director, believes federal agents went too far -- but he emphasizes that the station has a good relationship with the Federal Protective Service, which meted out the punishment McReynolds received. In fact, back in 2007, Channel 4 was among several local news operations that worked with the FPS to develop press and media access areas for Denver's federal facilities -- and Wieland believes the document shows that McReynolds didn't violate the tenets of the agreement. For instance, the opening paragraph states, "The most significant issues are to protect the access in and out of these facilities and to maintain a safe environment for the public to conduct business." And while McReynolds did venture into the building's lobby, he left all of his equipment outside, where it couldn't impede anyone or anything. Unless, for some reason, the sight of him sitting in a chair reading a newspaper was overly distracting.

Look below to read the entire document and see a map showing the designated press areas.

MEMORANDUM FOR INSPECTOR's/FPO's/SA's (8PS) FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE

FROM: STEVEN J. SCHADD
REGIONAL DIRECTOR
OFFICE OF FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE (8PS)

SUBJECT: Press and Media Access Federal Facilities Downtown Denver

1. Purpose: This policy is to provide operational guidelines for FPS law enforcement personnel in their interaction with news media and the press. This memo will also address the location for press personnel to conduct interviews. It is the objective of FPS to accommodate the needs of the media and the press without compromising security requirements. The most significant issues are to protect the access in and out of these facilities and to maintain a safe environment for the public to conduct business.

2. The following is an outline for press personnel to conduct interviews:

a. Byron White Court of Appeals, 1823 Stout St.:

i. Reporters will be allowed to conduct interviews and photo shoots from the steps, provided they are not in the area between the front doors and the guardrails (see attached map), and are not creating a safety/hazardous situation.

ii. If there is a major media event, and a large number of reporters are expected, a location for reporters will be designated on the plaza area by a supervisor from the Federal Protective Service.

b. Arraj Federal Courthouse, 901 19th St.:

i. Reporters will be allowed to conduct interviews and take pictures on the plaza provided they remain thirty feet from the entrance (see attached map), and are not creating a safety/hazardous situation.

ii. If there is a major media event, and a large number of reporters are expected, the location will be designated at the sidewalk leading up to the Courthouse, in the area of 19th and Champa by a supervisor from the Federal Protective Service (see attached map).

c. Federal Courthouse, 1961 Stout St./Federal Office Building, 1929 Stout Street:

i. Reporters will be allowed to conduct interviews and take pictures on the plaza provided they remain thirty feet from the entrance (see attached map) and are not creating a safety/hazardous situation.

ii. If there is a major media event, and a large number of reporters are expected, an area for reporters will be designated on the plaza by a supervisor from the Federal Protective Service.

d. New Customs House:

Due to safety and security concerns, members of the news media will not be allowed to conduct interviews on the steps or on the front sidewalk. Interviews and photo sessions should be conducted in the grass area adjacent to 19th street (see attached map).

If there is a major media event, and a large number of reporters are expected, an area for reporters will be designated by a supervisor from the Federal Protective Service.

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