News staffer jailed in Denver amid convention

August 28, 2008 11:30:10 AM PDT
An ABC News producer covering the Democratic convention was pushed into traffic by a sheriff's deputy on Wednesday and then arrested, the network said. Asa Eslocker was arrested on charges of interference, trespass and failure to obey a lawful order.

Authorities said Eslocker repeatedly had been told to stop blocking a sidewalk and an entrance to Denver's Brown Palace Hotel. He wasn't arrested until three hours after the first warning, police said.

ABC said Eslocker and a film crew were trying to photograph senators and donors for a story on the role of corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors at the convention. The network said video of the incident shows a deputy telling Eslocker that the sidewalk is owned by the hotel, then pushing him into traffic.

"We expect to see that kind of thing in Myanmar, not on the streets of Denver," ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said in a written statement.

Denver police Lt. Ron Saunier said he had no information on the claim that Eslocker was pushed into traffic. He urged the network to show the video to law enforcement.

ABC said the video is posted on its Web site,

"The Denver Police Department is committed to looking into each and every allegation of unnecessary force," Saunier said.

Saunier said authorities have tried to accommodate the news media this week. "One instance with the media shouldn't paint the entire event," he said.

Eslocker is the first journalist reported to have been arrested during the convention. More than 100 other people have been arrested during protests.