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(Grand Haven Tribune)   Reporter charged with capturing picture of a plane wreck, after the bodies of victims were removed, under law that doesn't allow taking pictures of human remains in graves. Wait, what?   (grandhaventribune.com) divider line 119
    More: Weird, Damien Leist, victims, Lower Peninsula of Michigan  
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8207 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Feb 2014 at 2:34 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-08 02:21:36 PM  
FTFA:  "We didn't ask permission, and no one told us not to go either," Leist told The Detroit News.Officials said that is not the case. Leist, they said, told two reserve sheriff's deputies that he had been given permission to access the scene.

Asshole. It's not just in poor taste, but you misrepresented yourself to gain access to and contaminate an active crime scene, and you're wondering why they are throwing the book at you?

When we lost one of our crews last November, the FAA told us we were absolutely not allowed on the site, as it was a federal crime scene until their investigation was completed. They spent the good part of a month and a half picking up wreckage as far away as a quarter of a mile from the heli.

So this guy is pretty lucky that the feds didn't get involved and charge him with anything they could get their hands on.
 
2014-02-08 02:36:52 PM  
All this so that a bunch of pansies won't faint at the idea of seeing an arm or two laying on the ground. Their poor heartsies!
 
2014-02-08 02:42:16 PM  
Time for a sing along:

d29ci68ykuu27r.cloudfront.net
 
2014-02-08 02:42:50 PM  
www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com

"There are no dead passangers. They are all alive and recovering with stray dogs and kittens on a farm."
 
2014-02-08 02:46:52 PM  
He'll be acquitted or the charges dropped. This is an actual first amendment case.
 
2014-02-08 02:48:34 PM  

hardinparamedic: FTFA:  "We didn't ask permission, and no one told us not to go either," Leist told The Detroit News.Officials said that is not the case. Leist, they said, told two reserve sheriff's deputies that he had been given permission to access the scene.

Asshole. It's not just in poor taste, but you misrepresented yourself to gain access to and contaminate an active crime scene, and you're wondering why they are throwing the book at you?

When we lost one of our crews last November, the FAA told us we were absolutely not allowed on the site, as it was a federal crime scene until their investigation was completed. They spent the good part of a month and a half picking up wreckage as far away as a quarter of a mile from the heli.

So this guy is pretty lucky that the feds didn't get involved and charge him with anything they could get their hands on.


Dude, you should know better.
 
2014-02-08 02:48:58 PM  
If the guy misrepresented himself to gain access to an accident scene, then sure, he should be in trouble for it. If he was just doing the job of a photojournalist and providing pictures of the crash scene, not lingering on "trace remains" (what does that mean, anyhow?), then wtf.
I had numerous assignments where I shot accident scenes that involved fatalities or murder scenes, often while the bodies were still present. I never ran pictures of bodies because that's f*cked up to do that, but those are newsworthy. The law this guy is charged under, and it's use in this case, makes very little sense to me.
 
2014-02-08 02:50:38 PM  
I'm a newspaper editor. That is the most f'ed-up law. That said, any good journalist will not use a photo of a body or body parts even if he or she has one. I've been a panelist in countless media-orientation sessions for law enforcement, and so many people in law enforcement think they can order someone to stop shooting photos of crime scenes. They can't. I bet if that 1997 law were challenged, it would be overturned in a heartbeat.
 
2014-02-08 02:51:07 PM  

cretinbob: He'll be acquitted or the charges dropped. This is an actual first amendment case.


Yep, this.

No idea why those idiots thought they could get away with a law that blatantly unconstitutional.
 
2014-02-08 02:51:27 PM  
$5,000 in fines and possibly two years in jail?

ImOkayWithThis.jpg

Although, to be realistic, all the money it would cost to keep them locked up, eh, just fine'em.
 
2014-02-08 02:52:27 PM  
I'll leave this here

Not having seen the images I can't comment further. Once the bodies are removed, it's on.
 
2014-02-08 02:53:53 PM  
Five Tails of Terror: Like I said above, anyone can shoot photos of crime/accident scenes. One need not be a journalist. Have I shot photos of crime scenes and crashes where a death occurred and the body is still in view? Yes. Have I ever used a photo of the body or body parts? No.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-02-08 02:55:13 PM  
Leist, 38, faces up to two years in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine.

Or a victory on First Amendment grounds.
 
2014-02-08 02:59:35 PM  

Keys dude: and so many people in law enforcement think they can order someone to stop shooting photos of crime scenes.


He falsified credentials and gained access to a federal crime scene that was active.

I'm surprised they're not trying to nail him on that, and rather trying to nail him on something like this.
 
2014-02-08 03:01:01 PM  
Where did they bury the survivors?
 
2014-02-08 03:06:10 PM  

TV's Vinnie: All this so that a bunch of pansies won't faint at the idea of seeing an arm or two laying on the ground. Their poor heartsies!


The article says it was only footage.
 
2014-02-08 03:06:28 PM  
Why do they always list the maximum possible penalties? There's very very little chance of him facing that kind of penalty.
 
2014-02-08 03:07:49 PM  
Sounds like the sheriff got his panties in a twist to me.
 
2014-02-08 03:10:20 PM  
Russ1642
Why do they always list the maximum possible penalties? There's very very little chance of him facing that kind of penalty.


The reporter hurt the sensitive ego of a cop. It is a contempt of cop charge.
 
2014-02-08 03:10:32 PM  

Keys dude: Five Tails of Terror: Like I said above, anyone can shoot photos of crime/accident scenes. One need not be a journalist. Have I shot photos of crime scenes and crashes where a death occurred and the body is still in view? Yes. Have I ever used a photo of the body or body parts? No.


Exactly. I had a roll of film from one accident scene that, after I had it developed, I realized had the very dead driver in full view in most of them. Kept the wide shots with no body visible, burned the rest instead of keeping them in my files. People don't need to see that in their paper.
 
2014-02-08 03:14:06 PM  

bearded clamorer: TV's Vinnie: All this so that a bunch of pansies won't faint at the idea of seeing an arm or two laying on the ground. Their poor heartsies!

The article says it was only footage.


Comedy!
 
2014-02-08 03:15:10 PM  

ZAZ: Leist, 38, faces up to two years in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine.

Or a victory on First Amendment grounds.


If the prosecution senses this, they will try for a plea on lesser charges or  drop then all together. They don't want to give up their tools to intimidate honest, law-abiding citizens they don't like..
 
2014-02-08 03:18:50 PM  

hardinparamedic: FTFA:  "We didn't ask permission, and no one told us not to go either," Leist told The Detroit News.Officials said that is not the case. Leist, they said, told two reserve sheriff's deputies that he had been given permission to access the scene.

Asshole. It's not just in poor taste, but you misrepresented yourself to gain access to and contaminate an active crime scene, and you're wondering why they are throwing the book at you?

When we lost one of our crews last November, the FAA told us we were absolutely not allowed on the site, as it was a federal crime scene until their investigation was completed. They spent the good part of a month and a half picking up wreckage as far away as a quarter of a mile from the heli.

So this guy is pretty lucky that the feds didn't get involved and charge him with anything they could get their hands on.


The FAA is slow to charge, they generally wait for locals to be done and mail a summary $10k fine.
 
2014-02-08 03:19:41 PM  
The dead are dead.  All this heartstringy crap doesn't mean a damn.  We waste our respect and concern on the stupidest things.  I have kids, a wife, a family, and I can't imagine that once their life and humanity is gone, I am going to fetishistically worship their destroyed remains and yell at people about it. I do not understand giving a crap about this. The dead are dead: all your controlling police/victim bullsl**t won't bring them back.
 
2014-02-08 03:21:17 PM  
State troopers arrested Leist at his Boyne City home on Jan. 29. The Petoskey News-Review said he is charged under a 1997 law enacted after a film crew captured images from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the ore-hauling ship that mysteriously sank in Lake Superior in 1975.

So, by the MI law, this would be illegal:

www.westernsun.us
 
2014-02-08 03:22:54 PM  

hardinparamedic: FTFA:  "We didn't ask permission, and no one told us not to go either," Leist told The Detroit News.Officials said that is not the case. Leist, they said, told two reserve sheriff's deputies that he had been given permission to access the scene.

Asshole. It's not just in poor taste, but you misrepresented yourself to gain access to and contaminate an active crime scene, and you're wondering why they are throwing the book at you?

When we lost one of our crews last November, the FAA told us we were absolutely not allowed on the site, as it was a federal crime scene until their investigation was completed. They spent the good part of a month and a half picking up wreckage as far away as a quarter of a mile from the heli.

So this guy is pretty lucky that the feds didn't get involved and charge him with anything they could get their hands on.


Then charge him with that. Don't charge him on some BS law that doesn't even apply to this case.
 
2014-02-08 03:23:04 PM  

Five Tails of Fury: Keys dude: Five Tails of Terror: Like I said above, anyone can shoot photos of crime/accident scenes. One need not be a journalist. Have I shot photos of crime scenes and crashes where a death occurred and the body is still in view? Yes. Have I ever used a photo of the body or body parts? No.

Exactly. I had a roll of film from one accident scene that, after I had it developed, I realized had the very dead driver in full view in most of them. Kept the wide shots with no body visible, burned the rest instead of keeping them in my files. People don't need to see that in their paper.


People like you are the reason why the characters in GI Joe always managed to jump out of their hit vehicles just before it explodes. The idea that a wrecked vehicle only means collateral damage and no human toll. The very idea that people are too snowflakey to see the occasional casualty is an insult.
 
2014-02-08 03:27:13 PM  
This law has to do with some film crew making footage at the Edmund Fitzgerald site. I wonder what it was that the Powers That Be don't want to masses to see down there?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-02-08 03:27:24 PM  

Here is the law:

750.160a Photograph of decedent located in human grave prohibited; exceptions; definitions.
Sec. 160a.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person shall not knowingly photograph or publicly display a photograph of all or a portion of a decedent located in a human grave.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person acting pursuant to a court order, to a person who has obtained the written consent of the decedent's next of kin if the decedent's death occurred less than 100 years before the photographing or public displaying, or to a person who photographs or publicly displays a photograph described in subsection (1) for law enforcement, medical, archaeological, or scientific purposes.

(3) As used in this section:

(a) "Bottomlands of the Great Lakes" means bottomlands as that term is defined in section 76101 of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.76101.

(b) "Decedent" means a dead human being.

(c) "Human grave" means any of the following:
(i) A site in this state intended for the permanent interment of all or a portion of a decedent.
(ii) A location in this state, including the bottomlands of the Great Lakes, that contains all or a portion of a decedent who died in an accident or disaster and from which it is impracticable or not intended to remove all or a portion of the decedent. A location under this subparagraph includes a shipwreck and a site in the immediate vicinity of a shipwreck in which all or a portion of a decedent is located, and a mine or other underground location within which all or a portion of a decedent is located.

(d) "Photograph" includes an image on videotape, motion picture or other film, or an image captured by digital means.
 
2014-02-08 03:28:07 PM  

umberto: I have kids, a wife, a family, and I can't imagine that once their life and humanity is gone, I am going to fetishistically worship their destroyed remains and yell at people about it


I'm not discussing legality with this. Yes, I know First Amendment. I'm discussing Journalistic Ethics and Morals here.

So, just to be clear here. If your wife and kids are torn apart and mangled, it's totally cool if we take pictures of the ensuing gorefest and post them on CNN.com for no reason other than shock entertainment?

You'd really be cool with that?
 
2014-02-08 03:28:19 PM  

Prey4reign: Time for a sing along:

[d29ci68ykuu27r.cloudfront.net image 450x650]


God I hate that song.
"whine-whine-whh-whine-whine-whu-whu-whuwhu-whine. Whu-whu-whine-whine-whine-whine-whu-whiiiiiine".  And repeat. Twelve times.
 
2014-02-08 03:28:41 PM  
hardinparamedic
Asshole. It's not just in poor taste, but you misrepresented yourself to gain access to and contaminate an active crime scene, and you're wondering why they are throwing the book at you?
When we lost one of our crews last November, the FAA told us we were absolutely not allowed on the site, as it was a federal crime scene until their investigation was completed. They spent the good part of a month and a half picking up wreckage as far away as a quarter of a mile from the heli.
So this guy is pretty lucky that the feds didn't get involved and charge him with anything they could get their hands on.


[per the article]
"We didn't ask permission, and no one told us not to go either," Leist told The Detroit News.
Officials said that is not the case. Leist, they said, told two reserve sheriff's deputies that he had been given permission to access the scene.
"(Leist) told them I personally gave them permission to go back to the crash site," Undersheriff Chuck Vondra said. "I never spoke with him."


Sounds like the reporter is using the same human engineering police legally use all the time to win. But it it ok when the police do it?
 
2014-02-08 03:29:10 PM  

Russ1642: Why do they always list the maximum possible penalties? There's very very little chance of him facing that kind of penalty.


Scare tactic to someone else.

/seriously
 
2014-02-08 03:29:18 PM  

wambu: ZAZ: Leist, 38, faces up to two years in prison and as much as a $5,000 fine.

Or a victory on First Amendment grounds.

If the prosecution senses this, they will try for a plea on lesser charges or  drop then all together. They don't want to give up their tools to intimidate honest, law-abiding citizens they don't like..


Given that the ACLU will jump in if his paper doesn't, there's no reason to take a plea on such an easily winnable first amendment case.

They'll have to drop charges if they want it to go away, and they're probably looking at a civil rights lawsuit anyway.
 
2014-02-08 03:31:25 PM  
Wait.  You're not allowed to take pictures of a 100 year old ship wreck?
 
2014-02-08 03:32:02 PM  

Enemabag Jones: Sounds like the reporter is using the same human engineering police legally use all the time to win. But it it ok when the police do it?


Mmmm. Right.

Because lying to someone controlling access to an active crime scene who's investigative findings could be altered by you meddling in it to get photographs which serve no public interest, and are only for shock value is TOTALLY the same as the cops lying to a suspect about evidence to get more information out of them about a crime. (Hint: Ask for a lawyer, don't talk to them no matter what.)
 
2014-02-08 03:33:24 PM  

ZAZ: Here is the law:750.160a Photograph of decedent located in human grave prohibited; exceptions; definitions.
Sec. 160a.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person shall not knowingly photograph or publicly display a photograph of all or a portion of a decedent located in a human grave.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person acting pursuant to a court order, to a person who has obtained the written consent of the decedent's next of kin if the decedent's death occurred less than 100 years before the photographing or public displaying, or to a person who photographs or publicly displays a photograph described in subsection (1) for law enforcement, medical, archaeological, or scientific purposes.

(3) As used in this section:

(a) "Bottomlands of the Great Lakes" means bottomlands as that term is defined in section 76101 of the natural resources and environmental protection act, 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.76101.

(b) "Decedent" means a dead human being.

(c) "Human grave" means any of the following:
(i) A site in this state intended for the permanent interment of all or a portion of a decedent.
(ii) A location in this state, including the bottomlands of the Great Lakes, that contains all or a portion of a decedent who died in an accident or disaster and from which it is impracticable or not intended to remove all or a portion of the decedent. A location under this subparagraph includes a shipwreck and a site in the immediate vicinity of a shipwreck in which all or a portion of a decedent is located, and a mine or other underground location within which all or a portion of a decedent is located.

(d) "Photograph" includes an image on videotape, motion picture or other film, or an image captured by digital means.


No part of that passes constitutional muster.
 
2014-02-08 03:33:41 PM  

Russ1642: Why do they always list the maximum possible penalties? There's very very little chance of him facing that kind of penalty.


So it will deter you from running out and taking photos of blood stained aircraft wreckage.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-02-08 03:34:06 PM  
By the time Leist arrived at the site, the victims' bodies had been removed, but trace remains still were in the wreckage, Vondra said.

By the undersheriff's admission, the photographs did not violate the letter of the law. The law does not prohibit all photography of sites with dead bodies. It prohobits photographing the dead bodies, specifically photographing "all or a portion of a decedent." The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the photographs show a portion of a dead body. If only trace remains were left, the evidence should not be sufficient to convict.
 
2014-02-08 03:35:45 PM  

ZAZ: By the time Leist arrived at the site, the victims' bodies had been removed, but trace remains still were in the wreckage, Vondra said.

By the undersheriff's admission, the photographs did not violate the letter of the law. The law does not prohibit all photography of sites with dead bodies. It prohobits photographing the dead bodies, specifically photographing "all or a portion of a decedent." The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the photographs show a portion of a dead body. If only trace remains were left, the evidence should not be sufficient to convict.


Well what are you doing here, man.

You should be offering to represent this brave man pro bono. Our rights as Americans are in danger because of his inability to execute European-style Tabloid Journalism!
 
2014-02-08 03:35:51 PM  
hardinparamedic,
I'm not discussing legality with this. Yes, I know First Amendment. I'm discussing Journalistic Ethics and Morals here.
So, just to be clear here. If your wife and kids are torn apart and mangled, it's totally cool if we take pictures of the ensuing gorefest and post them on CNN.com for no reason other than shock entertainment?
You'd really be cool with that?

That has never been done before:
Link
Link

Link
assets.nydailynews.com

Are you really arguing that this is an unacceptable practice?
 
2014-02-08 03:37:54 PM  

Enemabag Jones: Are you really arguing that this is an unacceptable practice?


i.imgur.com
 
2014-02-08 03:40:11 PM  

hardinparamedic: Keys dude: and so many people in law enforcement think they can order someone to stop shooting photos of crime scenes.

He falsified credentials and gained access to a federal crime scene that was active.

I'm surprised they're not trying to nail him on that, and rather trying to nail him on something like this.


What makes a plane crash any different than a car accident, train wreck, etc.?  News crews take photos of them all the time during investigations, and nobody says anything.  And the law stemmed from filming the Ed,und Fitzgerald?  Did someone go inside wher the crew was?  If not then this law is unbelievably stupid.  Good thing it can't exist for the Titanic, Bismarck, Kursk, etc.  The only thing these guys did wrong AFAIC is to falsify credentials, which would not surprise me if it happens frequently.  Condolences to the people you lost, but how is one accident scene different from another other than tagging the word "federal" onto it?
 
2014-02-08 03:41:00 PM  
Sounds rotten

/.com
 
2014-02-08 03:42:49 PM  
hardinparamedic
[posts pic with no gore as proof]


[per the article]
By the time Leist arrived at the site, the victims' bodies had been removed, but trace remains still were in the wreckage, Vondra said.

Trace amounts... what are trace amounts. Show me a pic with huge blood spatter or skull fragments. Until then I bet it is a contempt of cop charge based on the human engineering.

\I think we have had this conversation before, but my gut says trace amount is bullshiat, your bullshiat detector may differ.
 
2014-02-08 03:43:30 PM  

Dr Jack Badofsky: What makes a plane crash any different than a car accident, train wreck, etc.?  News crews take photos of them all the time during investigations, and nobody says anything.  And the law stemmed from filming the Ed,und Fitzgerald?  Did someone go inside wher the crew was?  If not then this law is unbelievably stupid.  Good thing it can't exist for the Titanic, Bismarck, Kursk, etc.  The only thing these guys did wrong AFAIC is to falsify credentials, which would not surprise me if it happens frequently.  Condolences to the people you lost, but how is one accident scene different from another other than tagging the word "federal" onto it?


Any plane crash is considered a federal crime scene by the NTSB and FAA Investigators until the investigation is complete and the wreckage removed. They can, and will have you carted off to jail if you try to interfere or remove anything from the scene. To be quite frank, other than interventions to extinguish fire and save lives, the first responding officer on scene is not supposed to let anyone near it.

If they happen to be in plain sight from a road, more power to you. But bluffing your way into an active investigation site and violating a crime scene is not covered under the First Amendment, and those rights are not absolute.
 
2014-02-08 03:46:10 PM  
Minimum penalties include notoriety and a kick-start into fame as is any journalists' intentions.

A journalist in trouble for journalising! Noway.gif
 
2014-02-08 03:46:31 PM  

hardinparamedic: Keys dude: and so many people in law enforcement think they can order someone to stop shooting photos of crime scenes.

He falsified credentials and gained access to a federal crime scene that was active.

I'm surprised they're not trying to nail him on that, and rather trying to nail him on something like this.


He hasn't been charged with lying to the cops, and he denies having done that.  That would lead me to believe that it's a fabrication, given police tendencies to charge with anything they think they might be able to make stick at all.
 
2014-02-08 03:50:36 PM  

Keys dude: I'm a newspaper editor. That is the most f'ed-up law. That said, any good journalist will not use a photo of a body or body parts even if he or she has one. I've been a panelist in countless media-orientation sessions for law enforcement, and so many people in law enforcement think they can order someone to stop shooting photos of crime scenes. They can't. I bet if that 1997 law were challenged, it would be overturned in a heartbeat.


Subby's tag says the bodies were removed, so I'm assuming there were no bodies anywhere in view.  All that was being photographed was a wrecked, empty plane.
 
2014-02-08 03:51:41 PM  

DarkVader: hardinparamedic: Keys dude: and so many people in law enforcement think they can order someone to stop shooting photos of crime scenes.

He falsified credentials and gained access to a federal crime scene that was active.

I'm surprised they're not trying to nail him on that, and rather trying to nail him on something like this.

He hasn't been charged with lying to the cops, and he denies having done that.  That would lead me to believe that it's a fabrication, given police tendencies to charge with anything they think they might be able to make stick at all.


Logic impossibility.
The cops are lying to cover what they should have known in the first place.
Do the math.
 
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