Editorial: Out of bounds

David Pradel, Sports Editor

At a time where race and law enforcement seem to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, yet another was possibly added here in San Diego as students for the broadcast news show “Newscene” may have experienced a racial profiling incident that has caused an extreme load of stress and worry.

Earlier last month, student journalists were recording footage outside the FBI building in Mira Mesa, and one student in particular is of Middle Eastern descent and the three students were forced to leave the public area as they were repeatedly question on what they were doing.

The students were well in their rights to be filming outside the building for a news story. They weren’t interviewing anyone from the FBI but it seemed as if the FBI officers wanted to get involved when there was no need to. They required the students to give them their driver’s licenses and made copies without their knowledge, according to the students.

One student in particular had a police detective from the San Diego Joint Terrorism Task Force show up at her house demanding the footage they were recording and also asking for the whereabouts of the other students, two of the three identified students said. Red flag right there. First of all, they need a warrant to do so and did not have one, according to the student journalists.

So why were they harassing and intimidating the student journalists when they were well in their rights to be filming outside a federal building? And after all this, with various calls and emails from City Times and other campus representatives, as well as the students, to the San Diego Police Department and FBI, there has been little response.

So what was their reasoning for harassing the students and wanting the footage if now they have been elusive in explaining why they arrived at a student’s house?

Could it be that law enforcement overreacted because one student was of Middle-Eastern descent? It seems to us that the root of the problem may just be because of one student and his ethnicity. The students are being left in the dark without a clear response about whether law enforcement will need to continue their investigation, in which there was nothing to investigate, yet they seemed to have thought so by several knocks on a door during the night.

Local TV news outlets and other publications have not caught wind of this just yet, and most likely the police department and the FBI are hoping this incident stays off the radar because they were not only violating journalists’ and the public’s right to film in a public area, but it’s very possible they were racial profiling a student and now realize they struck a few red flags during their investigation.

Editorials represent the opinions of the City Times Editorial Board and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire staff or San Diego City College employees and representatives