Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Reporter Sara Sheffield and photographer Cliff Erwin were detained and issued citations for "failing to obey the reasonable direction" of a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper. The crew was in Clinton, reporting live from the scene of a Monday night building collapse, when they were ordered to move.

The Associated Press story says Sheffield was about to do a live shot on the noon news when she and Erwin were told to move. They got to a public area and, as AP reports:
Erwin was arrested while Sheffield continued with an on-air report before also being arrested.

"They were asked to leave repeatedly and apparently didn’t heed those requests and were subsequently arrested and transported to the Henry County Jail," said Sgt. John Hotz, public information officer for the patrol’s Troop A.

KYTV news director Jeff Benscoter said he hoped no formal charges would be pursued against the crew, which had been at the same location since 3:30 a.m.

Jean Maneke, a Kansas City attorney who specializes in media law, said journalists may have a difficult time fighting such citations.

"The law recognizes police power," she said. "In times of emergency, they are allowed to exercise police power. ... They have the ability to tell people `You must leave now.’ If they don’t, (the police) have the ability to arrest them."
Maneke's quotes don't make it sound good for Sheffield and Erwin. Every media person we know is buzzing about this one because they all have similar war stories. An interesting thread about the arrests is ongoing at Missouri Radio.


Anonymous said...

I guess the 5 p.m. "brief mention" of the reporter's arrest was good enough. They made no mention on the 6 p.m. cast. Sould have; it's a story.

Anonymous said...

I agree. It's very newsworthy and unprofessional of KY-3, and any other Springfield news outlet, to omit.

Anonymous said...

Your car blows a tire.
You stop the car, parking it on the side of the road out of the traffic flow to change the tire.
An officer pulls up and says, "Move your car."
You ask, "Can I change the tire first so that I don't damage the rim?"
The officer says, "Yes."
You change the tire, then move the car.
The officer then arrests you for failing to obey an order.

Should you have been arrested?
Does that arrest make it on the evening news?

Discuss you shall.

Anonymous said...


Don't you know? It's National Beat Up the Media Week! Let's revoke the press credentials of KY3! How dare they report news live from the scene! Damn the media! I only want government-approved officially-sanctioned news!

Oh, and KY3 DID include a report on the arrests in their 10 p.m. cast.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Doc, but you and anonymous#1 are both wrong.

KY3 reported the misdemeanor arrest on its five news AND its six news but not on its ten news.

And, on a separate issue, who else has seen that new Ford commercial?
I can't believe Taylor Hicks sold out.


Anonymous said...

Why did they arrest poor Sarah Sheffield when (ready gang) Vincent David John Jacob Jingle Himerschmit Shotenkirk Shimmy Shimmy Ko-ko Bop Ramma Lama Ding Dong Do Wah Diddy Diddy Gidyup Ooomp Pompa Oooomp Pompa Mow Mow Hiyo Silver Away Banana Fanna Fo Fanna Azuza Anehime Koo-ka-monga 2 all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onion Itsy Bittsy Tiny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Jericho IS STILL WALKING THE STREETS A FREE MAN! This country will never be great until THAT GUY is behind bars.

Desdinova the Eternal Light

Anonymous said...


Yeah, the six. That's what I said. Quit misreading my writing. I refuse to admit I'm wrong. Just like the president.

Anonymous said...

If the arrests were mentioned at 6, it wasn't right after the story of the collapse; seems like the natural place for it to go. Was it after sports - or Wheel of Fortune?

Anonymous said...

Better Sheffield go to the clink then her boyfriend Ethan Forhez-- he's too pretty for prison!

Anonymous said...

The report on the arrests were indeed right after the story of the collapse.
Yes, the natural place for it to go.

Anonymous said...

And please disregard the noun/verb disagreement in the previous post, Ron.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with JJ on this one. I saw the report on the arrests right after the multi-part/multi-reporter story of the collapse. Thought it was the ten, but it was the six.

However, JJ deserves 50 lashes with a wet noodle for his grammar.

Anonymous said...

I would go to jail with Sara Sheffield. In a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who was right and who was wrong, a journalist should cover the story and not become the story. I feel sorry for the station and I would hope that the people involved realize that being arrested is not a battle wound but a scar to the industry.

Anonymous said...

maybe the next time someone tells them to move their ass, they'll listen out of their good ear.

Look at the bright side, they weren't arrested for leaking. said...

Pretty worthwhile piece of writing, much thanks for the post.