Labeling People as “Robbers” When Police Said They “May Have Been Involved” in Robbery May Be Defamatory
From Anderson v. WBNS-TV, Inc., handed down last week by the Ohio Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Judge William Klatt joined by Judges Betsy Luper Schuster & Jennifer L. Brunner:
Jason A. Bolt, a detective with the Columbus Division of Police, prepared [and sent the media] a “Media Information” report regarding a robbery that had occurred at the Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark on November 26, 2015. At the top of the report, Detective Bolt indicated that the individuals the police suspected of committing the robbery were “[u]nknown,” and Detective Bolt did not supply any identifying information, such as sex, race, or age, regarding the suspects. In the narrative section of the report, Detective Bolt wrote:
The victims were walking in the parking lot of Fort Rapids [W]aterpark watching their eight[-]year[-]old daughter ride her “hoverboard.” The suspects approached her on foot, put a gun to the eight year old[‘]s head and demanded her hoverboard. The suspects then ran to a white PT [C]ruiser and fled out of the parking lot.
Anyone that can help identify the persons in the attached photographs who may have been
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