On September 22, 2020, journalist April Ehrlich Fonseca was reporting for Jefferson Public Radio in Hawthorne Park, a public park in the City of Medford, Oregon. The Medford police evicted nearly 100 unhoused people living in the park, many of whom were displaced by the Alameda fire. Police attempted to force all press into a specific staging area away from where they could not effectively see or hear the police activities.

Ehrlich remained in the park to monitor the police anyway.

The City of Medford charged her with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. The ACLU of Oregon partnered with Reporters Committee for Freedom of the press and 50 other news outlets and advocacy organizations to decry the City’s criminalization of the press and advocate that the charges be dismissed. On August 17, 2022, these same organizations filed a motion to appear in court in support of Ms. Ehrlich’s constitutional rights. On August 26, 2022, a Medford municipal court judge granted Ms. Ehrlich’s motion to dismiss the trespassing charge as unconstitutional. On September 8, 2022, the City voluntarily dismissed the remaining resisting arrest charge.

Date filed

August 16, 2022