Detroit journalist convicted of crossing police tape and taking photos
Detroit journalist Diane Bukowski is facing four years in prison after she was convicted last week of crossing a police line to photograph an officer-involved traffic fatality that left two civilians dead.
Meanwhile, the officer who allegedly caused the crash is still on the force.
Bukowski, who was convicted of two counts of resisting and obstructing an officer, will be sentenced June 1st, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The above video shows Bukowski behind the yellow police line – although she could have entered from another side that did not have the tape up – but it does not show her physically resisting any officer. Her arrest begins at 3:48 into the video. Before that, an unrelated fight between a teen and an older man can be seen.
In fact, when police initially arrested her – and deleted her images – they only charged her with a single misdemeanor charge of obstructing justice.
It was until three days later when an overzealous prosecutor named Kym Worthy decided to slam her with five felony counts of assaulting, resisting and obstructing a police officer, which were later reduced to two counts.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy
Prior to the arrest, Bukowski has been extremely criticial of Worthy’s office in her reporter, according to the Detroit’s weekly alternative newspaper, The Metro Times.
Her work has frequently focused on allegations of police misconduct. She was the first reporter to shed light on Detroit police officer Eugene Brown. In seven years, Brown shot nine people, killing three.
He subsequently became a focus of coverage in these pages and in mainstream media as the issue of questionable police shootings in Detroit came to the fore. Eventually the U.S. Justice Department stepped in and ordered the department to make changes.
Over the years Bukowski has also been critical of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for not bringing criminal charges against officers involved in cases where evidence indicated shootings were unwarranted.
The felony charge requires that the defendant use extremely aggressive physical tactics to obstruct or resist, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence to support that.
Bukowski was on assignment for The Michigan Citizen, which covers Detroit’s black communities.