SEJ formally objected to the California Highway Patrol's July 23, 2013, arrest of photojournalist Steve Eberhard for covering an environmental protest of highway bypass construction for the Willits News.
In a letter dated August 7, 2013, to California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joseph A. Farrow, SEJ called the CHP's arrest "unacceptable," saying it "directly contravenes the right to gather news that derives from the First Amendment."
CHP had told protesters at the Willits site that if journalists showed up, the journalists would be arrested first. In an editorial, the San Jose Mercury News said the police were arresting journalists "to stop news of protest."
- Previous Story: SEJ WatchDog of July 31, 2013.
- Text of SEJ August 7, 2013, Letter to California Highway Patrol Commissioner.
- "Mercury News Editorial: CHP Arrests Journalist To Stop News of Protest," San Jose Mercury News, July 24, 2013.