The threat to the free press does not come in a ‘threat package.’ It comes as a charge of ‘disturbing the peace,’ or ‘disorderly conduct’ subjectively applied to reporters by powerful people who do not want the public to know, and have the backing of the police and courts to use these tools to crush on site coverage of breaking stories. What is ‘disturbing’ is how easily that is interpreted by anyone, and then that opinion delivered to a pliable, willing and dominant police authority. What is ‘disorderly,’ as determined by someone who wants to keep secrets from the public, and why should police departments across the land be entitled to issue not only misdemeanor citations, but felony charges as well? Both of these bogus laws were put on the books years ago by powerful people serving in private and public positions with the intent to impede, indict or even harass the press. How can the media’s new war against fake news triumph if the real news is kept hidden by such distorted and unjust laws? Even worse are the provisions of many local, state and national entities to simply make most information secret.
Dick Malmin, a reporter for this paper, a recognized news entity, was charged with Disorderly Conduct on September 18th of this year. Why was Mr. Malmin issued a citation that could possibly be upgraded to a felony, when he is set to appear before Dan Draper in Municipal Court? Because he entered Popeye’s Restaurant after hearing that Demetrius Anagnos had assaulted one of his employees the night before, (assaults serious enough that Anagnos was charged with two felonies at a later date.) Mr. Malmin asked the management where Mr. Anagnos was, but the manager declined to comment. Mr. Malmin tried to ask employees were Mr. Anagnos was, but they declined to comment, as well. Mr. Malmin, failing to get an interview with Mr. Anagnos and not being informed of his whereabouts, left the restaurant and stood talking to another employee. At that point he was arrested, and then charged with Disturbing the Peace. The witnesses were the manager, Mr. Andrew Milligan, and an employee, Mr. David Buehler. They said Mr. Malmin had yelled at them. Mr. Malmin said he did not raise his voice. That’s it.
Mr. Malmin was in the parking lot with Geneva Shore Report associates when he was arrested. Now, what kind of poppycock is this? Not only is Popeyes Restaurant a place where people come and go all the time, but Mr. Malmin is a reporter and was on the hunt for a story. For you. For you, the public who reads this. Now, the question to be answered is what is Dan Draper, Lake Geneva’s city attorney, going to do to resolve this case? Incidentally, no other media organizations were either present, or chose to attempt to track down Mr. Anagnos.
A video of Mr. Malmin’s arrest was placed on the GSR Facebook site, clearly showing Mr. Malmin outside the restaurant of his own volition, before his arrest. Did Mr. Malmin yell at the manager and the employee? And if he is determined to have done that, then what should the punishment be for such theoretically outrageous behavior, in light of what it appears the owner of the restaurant did to a young man working for him the night before?
Malmin Arrested outside Popeye’s
Interview with Dick Malmin after Arrest