NEW YORK —Journalist Daryl M. Khan is suing New York state court officers on charges of false arrest and malicious prosecution. His complaint charges that the officers arrested, handcuffed and detained him while he was in the hallway of a courthouse and taking a 28-second video on his cellphone.
Khan, the chief of the New York bureau for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and Youth Today, was covering a sentencing hearing in June, the latest chapter in a saga about rival Harlem gangs he had been covering for more than two years. He has been bureau chief for four years, has written for the New York Times and Newsday and is a teacher at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
“I was at the courthouse that morning, like so many other reporters, doing my job and covering an important story,” Khan said. “I was trying to tell the story of what violence does to families in this city. I was bearing witness — exactly what we ask reporters to do. And I ended up in handcuffs and a cell. These officers need to be held accountable for their arbitrary and baseless assault on freedom of the press.”
While he was standing in the courthouse hallway, taking a brief video for his story, multiple court officers forcibly grabbed him, hustled him out of the hallway, tossed him into a cell and threatened him with contempt and felony charges if he did not delete the video. They issued him a citation for disorderly conduct that was dismissed after he appeared in court. He wrote about his experience in July.
Khan is being represented by Andrew G. Celli Jr. and Emma L. Freeman of Emery Celli Brinkerhoff & Abady, LLP.