Columbia reporter denied credentials





\nNEW YORK - Daniel Sorid's fight for press credentials\nas a reporter for the Columbia Daily Spectator remains\nunresolved, as his application was once again, and officially,\nrejected.

This is Sorid's third attempt at getting press credentials\nfrom city police, which would allow him to attend press conferences\nand go beyond police lines or barricades. He was previously denied\nworking press credentials last summer and again in September.\n

In the denial, the New York Police Department claimed that\nthey could not process his request because, "It is currently\nthe policy of the department that newspapers covering only one\nor two precincts be referred to the local precinct commanding\nofficer ... for access to police-related incidents."

Sorid said that despite his daily efforts to remind them via\ntelephone of his request, the NYPD was "consistently sluggish,\nif not remiss, in its handling of this issue."

The denial did note that Sorid had the right to appeal the\npolice department's decision, "within ten days of this letter."\nSorid said the letter was dated Jan. 11, but was not postmarked\nuntil Feb. 4, making it impossible for him to appeal within ten\ndays.

"After working for nearly a year on this issue, I'm confident\nthat I won't rest until either my efforts have come to fruition\nor the legality of the NYPD's policies are properly judged,"\nSorid said.

NYPD officials refused to comment on the current action.

In a press release written last May by Sorid, he claimed, "On\nseveral occasions, I have been hindered in my ability to report\nbecause I had no press credentials to present. I have had to\nmake do with a student identification card and a verbal plea."\n

Sorid also claimed that his denial was discriminatory and unconstitutional.\n

"Why is it that because I am a student I am immediately\ndisqualified from my attempt to gain press credentials?"\nsaid Sorid.

New York City media attorney Richard Winfield said that Sorid\nmight not have a clear-cut case should he continue with a lawsuit\nagainst the NYPD.

"The odds are that (the New York City Police Department)\nwill survive a challenge," Winfield said. "That is\nassuming there is a rational basis for denying [Sorid] the credentials."


reports, Spring 1999