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ABC's Attempt To Film Donors Ends in Arrest

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 28, 2008

DENVER, Aug. 27 -- An ABC News producer was arrested outside a downtown hotel here Wednesday while he and a camera crew tried to shoot footage of corporate donors leaving a meeting with a group of Democratic senators.

Asa Eslocker, who works with the network's investigative unit, was charged with trespass, interference and failure to follow a lawful order. He was released four hours later on a $500 bond.

"We expect to see this kind of behavior in Myanmar, not in Denver, Colorado, at a national political convention where a reporter is trying to videotape big-money donors trying to meet with elected officials," said ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider.

Footage of the incident showed one police officer pushing Eslocker as the producer backpedaled across the street, and another officer placing his hand around Eslocker's neck. Eslocker kept saying that it was a public street and asking what law he was violating. Schneider said Esocker never entered the Brown Palace Hotel, where the meeting was taking place.

The footage was shown on ABC's "World News" last night. Eslocker was working with chief investigative reporter Brian Ross, who does stories on conventions and donors every four years. Schneider said the arrest was initiated by an off-duty sheriff's officer working as a security guard for the Brown Palace.

Jamie Glennon, a spokeswoman for Denver's Joint Information Center, said Eslocker "was advised numerous times by the police before he was apprehended to stop blocking the sidewalk and entryway to the hotel."

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