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WDAM Airs Abuse Video After Supreme Court Lifts Ban

In Censorship, Hattiesburg-Laurel, Mississippi, NBC on January 28, 2011 at 5:42 am

WDAM-TV

The Mississippi Supreme Court has lifted an injunction which banned Hattiesburg-Laurel market television station WDAM from airing a video that allegedly shows abuse within a juvenile detention facility.

After the ruling, WDAM says it aired the footage Thursday night.

From WLBT-TV:

A former detention center employee provided WDAM with more than two hours of video showing alleged abuse involving at least four inmates. Youth Court Judge Mike McPhail barred the station from airing the tapes claiming it would jeopardize the teen’s privacy.

“The public needs to know what’s going on in that detention facility,” said attorney for Raycom Media Leonard Van Slyke. He took the case to the Mississippi Supreme Court arguing the television station has a First Amendment right to broadcast the video.

Score one for free speech, although the AP says there was another issue with this debate as well.

The Forrest County sheriff’s department says the videotapes given to the station by a former employee were illegally obtained.

Officials there say they’re “disturbed” the Supreme Court didn’t address that point.

 

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