Two reporters with Campus Reform were questioned and practically detained by University of Maryland police on Wednesday after they attempted to film an alleged secret government government facility where some think Edward Snowden worked as a security guard in 2005.
Sgt. Aaron Davis, a spokesman for the University of Maryland Police Department, told Campus Reform that his officers were acting at the direction of “NSA security” officials.
“We respond to them,” Davis added.
The Leadership Institute’s Campus Reform explains how the incident went down:
“Do you guys have your ID on you?” officer Minkyu Pak asked Campus Reform reporter Timothy Dionisopoulous.
“Am I obligated to give it to you?” responded Dionisopoulous.
“Yeah if you don’t give your ID… [inaudible] you have to leave the area,” said officer Pak. “So if you don’t want to give me your ID, you have to leave.”
In the Wednesday incident, however, UMD police banned Campus Reform reporter Katherine Timpf and contributor Spencer Schredder from filming on the public road outside the building.
“Don’t film this direction,” an unidentified officer wearing a bulletproof vest who was accompanied by another unidentified officer in a suit, told Timpf.
“You cannot film the area,” Officer “Walker” of the University of Maryland Police Department said several minutes later. “[Y]ou have nothing more to do here except leave.”
Campus Reform’s Oliver Darcy told TheBlaze on Wednesday that while the reporters were never handcuffed, police would not let them know if they were free to go.
Watch some of the video footage of the incident below:
But Davis reportedly told Campus Reform later that he was unaware of any laws or ordinances that would prohibit reporters from photographing the building. He also reiterated that UMD police were simply following the requests of “NSA security.”
NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines did not comment on why NSA security officials called on police to confront the reporters.
“I don’t know. I wasn’t there,” she said.
“Neither Vines or the university would say whether or not the building, which is officially called the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL), located on the school’s main College Park campus at 7005 52nd Avenue in College Park, Maryland, is a covert NSA facility,” Campus Reform reports.
“According to a legal guide published by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), individuals are permitted to photograph federal buildings from public property,” the report adds.