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Olympian newspaper disciplines photographer

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Olympian newspaper is disciplining a photographer for showing unpublished photos of protester vandalism to police and misleading editors about the photos, Managing Editor Jerry Wakefield wrote to readers in the Sunday paper.
"In the aftermath of violent acts by protest marchers in 2008 and 2010 in downtown Olympia, we stated repeatedly that neither The Olympian nor Tony Overman, our photographer who covered the protests, ever supplied unpublished photos of protesters to police," Wakefield wrote. "That's not true. We regret that we misled our readers."

Overman violated the paper's policy of refusing to give police photos that have not been published.

"We are not an arm of any law-enforcement agency," Wakefield wrote.

George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, on Tuesday declined to say how the photographer would be disciplined, saying "that's a personnel matter and we wouldn't discuss it."

The photos Overman shared with police eventually were published.

"But at the time police viewed them, they existed only on Tony's digital camera," Wakefield wrote. "By omitting those facts, he misled our readers, as well as his editors and colleagues."

The paper again said in June that unpublished photos were not giving to police, after Overman's home was vandalized with a painted anarchy symbol and the words "Overman snitch." The Olympian's building also was defaced.

Overman later disclosed to an Olympian reporter that he had shown the photos to police. The reporter was writing about self-described anarchists, who are involved in protests or who have taken responsibility for vandalism against banks and other businesses or police property.

"The problem that I'm wrestling with is that I did the right thing as a citizen and I did the wrong thing as a journalist," Overman said.

"Over the years he has worked in Olympia, Tony has earned the respect of his colleagues and many people in the community for his excellent photography and his professionalism," Wakefield wrote. "I'm convinced that these incidents represent an aberration in an otherwise unblemished career. Tony will be the subject of a disciplinary action. Then we'll move beyond this, and Tony will be back out again doing what he does best - reflecting our community through the lens of his camera."

House targeted 14.Jul.2011 16:13


Now - Wednesday evening, some neighbors retaliated against someone photographed at that protest by writing graffiti on their house:

 link to www.theolympian.com
OLYMPIA - Several windows of a self-described anarchist's east-side home were broken Tuesday night, and "Get Out of Oly" was spray-painted on the home's exterior, according to Olympia police.

The residence is rented by Daniel Wilson, 20, who was arrested during a May Day protest in downtown Olympia in 2008. He later was convicted of malicious mischief and reckless endangerment for throwing a rock at a bank window.

Olympian photographer Tony Overman took a photo that day that helped police identify Wilson. Last month, Overman's home and The Olympian's building were tagged by graffiti labeling Overman a "snitch." Overman initially denied showing police a photo of Wilson throwing a rock at the bank before the photo was published but later acknowledged that he had.

In an interview, Wilson said he had not called police and that he does not want to press charges.

"I don't want anyone living in cages," he said, adding that he arrived home Tuesday night to find police at his home. Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the Olympia police detective bureau at 360-753-8300.

Read more:  link to www.theolympian.com