Charges dropped against PG reporter arrested during G-20
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The Allegheny County district attorney's office has dropped charges against a Post-Gazette reporter arrested while covering a protest in Oakland during the G-20 summit.
Sadie Gurman, 24, was one of more than 100 people, including many students and several other journalists, swept up by police on the night of Sept. 25 near Pitt's Cathedral of Learning. She had been charged with failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.
After reviewing evidence and consulting with police, officials with the district attorney's office determined that Ms. Gurman was "apparently working as a credentialed journalist at the time of her arrest. Thus we are withdrawing the charges," said Mike Manko, a spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.
Efrem Grail, an attorney for Ms. Gurman, was informed of the decision yesterday by Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney Dan Fitzsimmons.
"We are delighted that Sadie Gurman, who was only doing her job and who was doing it well, no longer faces these charges," David Shribman, the Post-Gazette's executive editor, said in a statement. "The debate about what happened that evening will go on for some time, but Sadie's commitment to her craft and her professionalism are beyond debate. We're proud of her work, proud to have her on the Post-Gazette and relieved that the record now has been clarified and rectified."
Mr. Zappala has said he will drop charges against at least four students who were arrested during the summit, and his office is reviewing all other arrests on a "case-by-case basis," Mr. Manko said.
"If anybody wants to bring us any evidence on any case, we'll take a look at it," he said.
Nearly 200 people were arrested during the two-day summit last month. Dozens of preliminary hearings are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday of next week.
First Published October 14, 2009 10:36 am