Photographer charged in accident scene that killed 10-year-old girl

May 17, 2017 | News

(Courtesy: Barry Gray (@_barrygray_))

By: Dylan Perego

One journalist is charged and another was released after they were arrested by Hamilton police at the scene of the Tuesday traffic death of a 10-year-old girl.

Global News cameraman Jeremy Cohn and freelance photographer David Ritchie were apprehended at the Evans Road scene north of Dundas Street in Waterdown, Ont., by a Hamilton police officer who responded to the 6:30 p.m. accident.

Both men were later released, but Ritchie is being charged with resisting and obstructing police.

Ritchie is scheduled to appear in Hamilton court June 15.

Hamilton police Chief Eric Girt said he will be reviewing the interaction between an officer and the two cameramen.

“As Chief of Police, I take the arrest of any member of the media seriously,” he said. “As a result, I am reviewing this incident in the context of what transpired yesterday.”

Canadian Journalists For Free Expression released a statement today calling for the charges against Ritchie to be dropped immediately, as well as an investigation into the specifics of both men’s arrests.

“We call on Hamilton Police Services to drop the charges against Ritchie and demand an immediate public inquiry into the circumstances which lead to the forceful detention and arrest of members of the media,” the release stated.

.@HamiltonPolice Mountain Division Inspector Greg Huss updates the media after 2 journalists arrested at fatal crash #HamOnt #Omron #LESM

Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President of news for Shaw Media, released a statement via Twitter on Tuesday regarding Cohn’s apprehension and subsequent release.

“We are deeply concerned by the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a Global News journalist and another photographer in Hamilton today,” Reeb said. “While we are satisfied our employee Jeremy Cohn was unharmed and released without charge, the incident merits further investigation.”

A video of Cohn’s apprehension was posted to Twitter following the incident.

Warning: the video contains graphic language.

Ritchie later tweeted his appreciation for the support he received following the incident, adding he intends to pursue the matter further.

“Thanks for the support, I have great relationships with many first responders. This was an isolated issue and I will be seeking resolution,” Ritchie said.

The girl, whose name is not being released, is Hamilton’s second pedestrian fatality of the year. Police said alcohol is not a factor and the driver is cooperating with investigators. The vehicle struck a 10-year-old girl after she ran into the street, police said. The girl was transported to a Burlington hospital where she later died from her injuries.