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Louisiana Authorities Take Aim at New Orleans Reporter’s Photo

In First Amendment, FOX, Louisiana, New Orleans on March 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

The photo of Lee Zurik used as target practice by authorities. (Courtesy: WVUE)

Using bullets instead of words, deputies in St. Bernard Parish refined their shooting and took aim at WVUE reporter Lee Zurik’s photo.

The discovery of the photo being used for target practice came after a voter fraud investigation by Zurik that involved some members of law enforcement.

In an article on the New Orleans FOX affiliate’s website, outgoing Sheriff Jack Stephens says the intent was not criminal.

“I don’t think there was anything sinister about it. I don’t think it was meant to be a threat,” says Stephens during a recent interview at the Sheriff’s Office. He goes on to say, “But it points out the responsibility of people in this line of work and how their actions affect other people. It’s one thing for a civilian to be doing something like that, but it’s totally different for a commissioned officer to be doing something like that.”

WVUE goes on to report that the discovery raises questions about the professionalism of the officers.

Zurik said he was also shocked at the discovery.

“I was worried my two little girls would see the picture,” Zurik was quoted as saying in the story. “[The first thing that crossed my mind was] how my wife, my parents, my in-laws and my family would react.”

The sheriff has offered a public apology, but has not disciplined the officers responsible.

Zurik said the action will not decrease his First Amendment rights.

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