A Portland filmmaker and her cameraman could face 33 years in prison and fines in excess of $25,000 after both were arrested while shooting part of a documentary in Burlington.
Lindsey Goodwin-Grayzel and Carl Davis both entered pleas of “not guilty” in a Skagit County courtroom Thursday afternoon.
Both are charged with burglary, criminal sabotage, assemblage of saboteurs and trespassing for shooting video of an activist who broke into a secure Burlington facility and shut off an oil pipeline last week.
That activist – Ken Ward – was charged with the same crimes and faces the same potential penalties if convicted.
The filmmakers’ lawyers argue --- unlike Ward – their clients did not break in and left private property when asked.
Seattle attorney Braden Pence fears being arrested for recording video could negatively impact First Amendment rights nationwide.
“Anyone who’s watching this report and knows, if they go out and film something that they think is going on wrong in this society, and there’s a police officer who decides that that’s a crime, they’re going to end up in court,” Pence told KIRO 7.
However, Skagit County Sheriff Will Reichardt justified the filmmakers’ arrests, telling KIRO 7 Goodwin-Grayzel, Davis and Ward are all “part of a common scheme.”
“It appears from our investigation that all three knew what was happening, were part of it at some level, so that’s why all three were arrested,” Reichardt said.
KIRO 7 asked the sheriff whether KIRO 7 employees would have been arrested for recording the same video.
Reichardt said most likely no, calling the comparison “apples and oranges” because he believes the filmmakers were involved in the planning.
All three have trials scheduled for early 2017.
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