Free Press

Florida Senator Knew I Was A Journalist Doing My Job. She Called The Police Anyway

What’s News In This Story?

Published: 8-9-18 at 4:25 PM EST

–State Senator Daphne Campbell (D-North Miami Beach) called the police on a RISE NEWS reporter for filming her during a Miami Shores Village Council meeting. 

–A police report shows that Senator Campbell knew that the man filming her in the public place was a reporter. 

–Campbell also called the police on a Miami Herald reporter earlier today while she was debating her primary opponent Jason Pizzo in North Miami Beach. 

–The Executive Director of the Radio Television Digital News Association- an advocacy group for broadcast stations and online publications, blasted Campbell for trying to intimidate RISE NEWS. 


Statement from RISE NEWS Publisher Rich Robinson:

“State Senator Daphne Campbell called the police on me for committing an act of journalism.

While we’ve known that this took place for over three months, we only received a copy of the police report today.

Coincidentally, Senator Campbell also called the police on Miami Herald reporter Sarah Blaskey ‏today.

In both cases, police did not take Senator Campbell’s claims to be credible.

On May 1, 2018, I attended the tail-end of a public meeting of the Miami Shores Village Council.

I knew that Senator Campbell would be there and I wanted to get some more b-roll shots of her in action in the community for possible use in future stories.

I filmed Senator Campbell interacting with members of the Miami Shores council and filmed her as she left the building.

I also filmed her while she was driven away in a car.

All the while, I stayed on a public sidewalk.

I’ve been trained to report the facts and hold the powerful to account.

I’m allowed to do all of this thanks to our nation’s First Amendment.

Senator Campbell doesn’t seem familiar with the protections for members of the press laid out in the Constitution, so she called the police.

The police didn’t seem to take her claims seriously.

Sen Campbell Police Report by Rich on Scribd

They never contacted me or reached out to RISE NEWS for information on this matter.

I’m a journalist who is working hard to create another way for South Florida to receive its news in this rapidly-changing media world.

I’ve been trained to report the facts and hold the powerful to account.

But I’ve also been trained to follow the law while doing it.

In 2015, I was one of a handful of young journalists to have been invited to the University of South Carolina’s Media Law School.

During that training program, we had a crash course in how to aggressively report while remaining on the right side of the law.

Like all trustworthy news organizations, RISE NEWS hems to a set of ethical guidelines laid out by trade organizations.

We follow those laid out by the Radio Television Digital News Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Press.

We will follow the law.

But we will not be silenced.”


Statement from Radio Television Digital News Association Executive Director Dan Shelley:

“The fact that any elected official would summon the police simply because a journalist is performing his or her lawful, constitutionally-guaranteed duty to seek and report the truth is as reprehensible as it is absurd.

While I certainly can’t read Sen. Campbell’s mind, it’s hard to draw any conclusion other than her calling the police on RISE NEWS Publisher Rich Robinson was direct retribution for previous stories RISE had responsibly reported regarding her admitted attempts to seek special treatment from Florida Power & Light in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma last year.

One of the most important jobs of journalists is to hold the powerful accountable.

We commend RISE and Robinson for doing just that in September 2017, and defend their right – no, their obligation – to report on the public activities of Sen. Campbell and other elected officials in the communities they serve.”


For third-party reporting on what happened, read this piece from the Miami New Times:

—Here’s Something Else To Watch—

Opinion: South Dade Needs Rail Not More Buses

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital TV news network. Sign up for our awesome email newsletter to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to [email protected]

Scroll to top