NYPD Denies Online Journalist Press Pass

Columnist Sues City Over Press Passes

An online columnist who discovered a year ago that the police department would not renew his press pass is suing the city over its refusal to provide him with documents that describe its policy for issuing press passes.

“This is strictly retaliatory,” Leonard Levitt, who is widely read within the police department and is frequently critical of its top officials, said in a video posted on the Web site of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is helping him with the case. “There’s no question about it.”

Mr. Levitt’s Web site, nypdconfidential.com, bills itself as “an insider’s view of the department that the public rarely sees.”

I didn’t know the police department issued press passes. Why are they doing that? Shouldn’t it be a function of the Mayor’s Office?

First it was CES. Then CeBIT. Now this.

Well, it had one unintended consequence the NYPD can’t be pleased with: It’s made me aware of that site and now I’m telling others too.

Don’t mess with the Internet.

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One Comment on “NYPD Denies Online Journalist Press Pass”

  1. Jason Says:

    just had to comment here, while I am not a member of NYPD press i to agree the system is messed up. I and a fellow photographer were visiting NYC for the Macys 4th of july for July 4th 2009, We called a branch known to very few called the DCPI, we were emailed the press release and told that our credentials were not valid NYPD credentials. We were also told where the media would be and that our credentials would be honored for this event as lo9ng as they had our photo and media outlet displayed on them. We were told be TWO people at “DCPI” that we would be ok. On the day of the event the police had “no clue” however after displaying our badges we were slowly let through to the front of the barricades, when we finally reached the front press block we ran into a gentleman (i use that term very loosely) by the name of “Hayes”. This man was UNPROFESSIONALLY ARROGANT and rude towards us, he called our credentials “poorly made fakes” and continued to insult our intelligence. One of the reporters with me wanted to “slap him” and though he deserved it she held back her temper. The end result was to quote hayes ” you tired, you came down here, you lost, your not getting in, exit the area up to 11th ave immediately, if you are caught here you will be cited for trespassing”

    I tried to shake his hand but he brushed me off, its my guess the “DCPI” whoever they are does not look to carefully about who they employ, and as far as hayes he wasn’t the smartest tack in the box either.

    I don’t know about NYC press, but they treat visiting press with disrespect and arrogance, don’t get me wrong the NYPD were very polite, and the people on teh phone were also, but this “hayes” character was a power tripping loser that should not be in a place of authority. My office is filing a complaint with the city of new york, what happens with that will remain to be seen.

    It is a sad day when a city has to deny legitimate journalists and members of the media access, or when we cant do our job because arrogant unintelligent employees take power trips on a daily basis. Research has indicated past events like this with this “hayes” character from press that were visiting from out of state.

    Long story short we went to NJ and the police treated us very well over there and we got the footage we needed. Hope everyone had a happy 4th!

    mental note: rick the NJ press had never heard of the “DCPI” and lots of NYPD didnt know of them either, this hayes guy treated us like common thugs, my assistant almost belted him, when we got to NJ the media had filled up the area, but the NJPD got us into a house overlooking manhattan and since the house was due to be razed (demolished) anyways but had power, a detective that had been in the area looked at our creds and lwet us up to the 4th floor with a beautiful bay window view of the river.

    The nj press reporter who gave us a ride back to kennedy drive (to get a bus back to NYC) said that next time we should call MACYS and ask their pR depaqrtyment for VIP passdes, we MIGHT do that, i wont lie the show was stunning, however our reception makes me think twice about NYC altogether for awhile.


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