Reno Police Commander Joe Robinson yesterday informed City of Reno officials of a new hashtag in reference to us: Fuck Off This Is Reno.
The remark was made following the city’s dedication of the Locomotion art mural downtown.
Robinson walked up to city Parks Director Jaime Schroeder and Neighborhood Services Director Rebecca Venis and chided one of them for not calling him back about the hashtag.
The comment was in reference to This Is Reno photojournalist and Reno street photographer Eric Marks being threatened with arrest early Saturday morning after documenting a shooting downtown.
Phone calls to the city officials were not returned today other than city PR spokesperson Matt Brown wanting to know what we wanted to talk about and to say Venis was too busy to talk.
A question as to why Robinson was not wearing a bodycam made to the Reno Police media line went unanswered. RPD policy is to activate body cams when interacting with the public.
Marks called the incident “extremely disturbing,” adding the only reason Robinson apologized at the end of the video above was because he realized he was being filmed.
Marks was also one of the volunteer artists who worked on the mural.
Police deny release of bodycam footage
This Is Reno ordered bodycam footage from the Saturday incident, which RPD denied within minutes of the request having been made.
The matter is “under investigation,” somebody from the records division wrote. “This is an active/open case and cannot be released until the investigation is closed through the Reno Police Department & the courts.”
A woman who was at the scene downtown Saturday morning contacted This Is Reno and verified Marks’ version of events.
“Not one officer approached me while suspiciously parked with my flashers on, yet they found it necessary to harass Eric for actually doing his job,” the person wrote. “It begs to question whether I … would have gotten the same heat if I had my camera at the ready. I was just chillin’ in the thick of it surrounded by squad cars with my laptop and binoculars but they didn’t consider me to be impeding or in the way.
“I’m appalled any time a journalist is harassed by ignorant people or threatened by the law.”
This Is Reno filed a lawsuit against the city and Reno Police Department for failing to respond to public records orders in accordance with Nevada public records laws. The city has not responded to the lawsuit either.
Help us Fuck Off
We are pleased to announce our new line of #FuckOffThisIsReno merchandise. We offer travel mugs, water bottles, notebooks and T-shirts.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time research appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.