VIDEO: The Gadi Schwartz Incident (new punk band or video from police investigation?)

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I picked up a video from the Department of Public Safety today after a records request I filed last Monday.

The disc reads “The Gadi Schwartz Incident” which I figured was either music from a new band or video of an incident state police are investigating in which a state employee tried to physically remove Schwartz, a KOB-TV reporter, from state property.

The video shows there was more than one state employee apparently unsure about the public’s right (that includes journalists) to be on state property. The man has not yet been named by state police, but the video says plenty.

Here is last week’s story about the incident: TV reporter, state worker in public tussle

And here is the video obtained through a public records request:

UPDATE… Sorry, but I’ve been instructed to take the video down.

  1. Tony says:

    Gadi Schwartz was clearly out of line. Even journalists have to abide by certain rules and not behave in such an arrogant manner. Mr. Schwartz acted like a spoiled punk.

  2. Sap says:

    Are you kidding? Schwartz obviously kept his cool after getting attacked by an old pitbull. If I was rushed and then harassed like that by a mob of incompetent power hungry fascists I would have been yelling and cussing my head off and probably throwing some punches! Has this video been edited?

    • Tony says:

      From what I saw on the video it looked like Gadi Schwartz was the one who shoved the older state or city worker down…I’d file an assault charge and sue if I was the old dude…just another arrogant tv reporter thinking he can push people around and by the way gov’t workers have to protect public property in certain instances–it happens all the time; I’m not sure what Schwartz was even doing at this site or what the site is all about since the video did’nt explain it…just looked like something was being dug…it was probably a sewer line since the press was there!

      • geoffgrammer says:

        @ Tony, State Police are the ones who reviewed the video and determined the state employee was the aggressor who was out of line and committed the assault. The state employees agreed, actually, and have apologized through a spokesman. From the article, which is linked above:

        “This is a very unfortunate incident and the employee realizes he made an error in judgment,” General Services Department spokesman Alex Cuellar said. “If it is going to advance to charges being filed, there isn’t much more we can say at this time, but I can tell you we are also conducting our own investigation into the matter and will make a determination after that about appropriate disciplinary action.”

        As for what Gadi was doing there, under state law that applies to you, me, journalists, even those state employees, it doesn’t actually matter why Gadi was there (unless he was committing some crime). It is a public sidewalk on state property (which is public property). He had a right to be there. You have a right to be there. Period. State employees are supposed to be trained to know that and they will be now as special training videos from this video are being made for state employees because it is so clear the state employees were in violation of state law, according to state police.

        As for what Gadi was shooting there, again it doesn’t matter. But for the sake of argument (it was on that night’s KOB news and in the article we wrote that is linked above)… There were human bones found at the site. The construction crew was digging for some generator work and came across bones that are being reviewed by the office of the medical investigator. If it is determined that somebody buried a body there, would that change your mind about a journalist trying to let the taxpayers know about a body being found buried on state property?

        Its one thing to think Gadi’s actions were wrong in tone or approach. That’s your call. But there isn’t any legal reason to suggest he wasn’t doing anything but his job and the notion that state employees feel they have a right to order a taxpayer or journalist (or both) off public property is a crime in itself. There can not be a constant notion of remove people and deny records request first and ask questions later. Anyone who works for the government (city, county, state or federal) should err on the side of openness and accessibility and know the law.

        Geoff Grammer

      • Tony says:

        As you should know, there are instances when the public is not allowed on public property for certain reasons, i.e., security, secrecy, etc. such as if a reporter tries to barge into the governor’s office, which is public property, he/she is going to be escorted out or not allowed in, same at Kirtland AFB or Los Alamos Labs, both of which are public property, supported by you and me and every other taxpayer…you can take the side of Gadi Schwartz and that’s your prerogative but don’t try acting like reporters and Mr. Schwartz in particular are “always in the right” we all have rules which apply to us, whether we’re cops, reporters or state workers or whatever…Again, it did appear to me that Schwartz pushed the old guy down and I did not see the old guy assault Schwartz…there should definitely not be charges against the state worker who was just doing his job and perhaps Schwartz did not properly identify himself which is a very good possibility…by the way why did you have to pull the video off your blog?

      • geoffgrammer says:

        We certainly see this matter differently, and that’s OK.

        State law is clear, however, that people have the right to be in public places (governor’s offices, crime scenes, national labs, Kirtland AFB, etc., all fall under very specific exceptions to the law). A sidewalk next to a parking lot outside the PERA building falls under no exception if he was not soliciting or vending. He was doing neither. He was collecting news.

        That said, I feel I may have already been kicked out of the newspaper journalists club by defending the dark side of TV journalism as much as I have.

        As for the video being pulled down, even though this is my blog, that decision was not mine. You would have to talk to people who get paid way more than I do about that decision.

        Geoff Grammer

  3. Eideard says:

    I like the northern NM metal band idea. The arrogance of hacks in government jobs who consider state property their personal property is no surprise.

  4. geoffgrammer says:

    @Sap, I can’t tell you how much, if any editing has been done to this video, but it is my understanding police observed it pretty quick once they got to the scene. I don’t know that there would have even been time to edit it had someone wanted to.

    As for me, I didn’t edit it once I got it from the DPS offices on Tuesday.

    Geoff Grammer

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