Court to rule on police use of TV news tapes

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The Vermont Supreme Court will decide whether television station WCAX must give prosecutors un-broadcast videotape of a disturbance at the University of Vermont. Prosecutors are appealing a ruling that the station has a qualified First Amendment privilege to keep under wraps material that it did not use in its news reports.

The state argues that the videotape would provide the best evidence of students who rioted after the Red Sox beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. The station says that information from the news media should be a last resort for law enforcement, and that police hadn’t exhausted other investigative avenues.

The case will be argued Monday at the Vermont Law School.

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