Denial of access

New Brunswick RCMP threaten Telegraph-Journal reporter with arrest

RCMP officers prevented a journalist with the Telegraph-Journal from photographing a house fire on the Kingston Peninsula in N.B and said the journalist could be arrested. 

The journalist, Marlo Glass, said on Twitter that she was standing on a public road when RCMP officers told her she “could be arrested for obstruction” if she photographed the scene. 

“The fire chief motioned for the officers to ‘deal with me’ as soon as I arrived on the scene and I was quickly surrounded by the three. Both officers said I could be arrested for obstruction,” Glass told the Canada Press Freedom Project. 

The officers told Glass that they could close the road or “clear the scene if they wanted to,” and told her repeatedly that she couldn’t take photos. 

Glass noted that, throughout the incident, officers said that she “could be arrested” without specifically threatening to arrest her. 

“In dealing with the officers I tried to keep my mouth shut and stay calm. I was keenly aware that I was the lone reporter on this rural scene. My goal was to remain on the scene until they calmed down so I could get my photo,” Glass told the CPFP. 

Glass went back to her car and called her editor. She then asked one of the RCMP officers at the scene to speak with her editor, which he refused to do. 

“I approached the scene again where I again attempted to take a photo and the second RCMP member said I could be arrested for obstruction,” Glass said. 

Glass waited at the scene in her car for about an hour, while her editor spoke with senior N.B. RCMP officers. Her editor eventually confirmed Glass could photograph the scene without being arrested. 

By this point, Glass said new officers had replaced those who had confronted her earlier. Before approaching the scene and taking a photo, Glass wrote her editor’s number on her arm, as a precaution in case she was arrested.