March 13th, 2009 18:12 EST
ABC, Inc. Suit for Assault for "Stop Bush" Sign
A lawsuit filed by an anti-war activist against ABC, Inc. after he was assaulted on March 14, 2003 during a live broadcast of the 5 O`Clock news is heading towards trial. During anti-war demonstrations a week before the US invasion of Iraq, Robert Jereski, a businessman residing near the United Nations in Tudor City in New York, was tackled on live TV news. The assailant wasn`t your typical pro-war goon. He was and remains an ABC News employee. Mr. Jereski was holding a sign saying "Stop Bush".
Jereski explained that his assault by an irate ABC, Inc. employee indicates how the news corporation actually manipulated events contributing to building of pro-war sentiments and leading the United States to war. "Six years later, our country has been led down a disastrous path," Mr. Jereski says. "Estimates of over a million people killed and 4 million displaced. Our country will have lost more than $2 trillion to pursue and illegal war. And all the way, the Bush Administration was aided and abetted by the national network news."
After 5 years of delays, Raymond Ragues, esq., representing Robert Jereski, deposed ABC News announcer Joe Torres on March 4th, 2008, On that broadcast n ABC News cameraman, a week before fmr. President George Bush ordered the illegal invasion of Iraq, Mr. Jereski and others held signs urging the country to "Stop Bush".
At the time, ABC reporter Joe Torres was a witness to the assault and apologized for it. Neither the cameraman nor ABC News has apologized.
The Tudor City Place resident, a business man and former candidate for U.S. Congress, is seen in the video holding an orange sign This guy felt completely within his rights to shape the news by getting a U.S. citizen with anti-war views out of the shot. What happened to objective reporting?" Mr. Jereski said he tried to calm the irate camera man immediately after the assault by letting him know that he had stood on the picket lines with striking ABC, Inc. workers two years earlier.
"It`s quite surreal that ABC, Inc is denying what their own news show caught on film!" Jereski quipped.
Background of Lawsuit and Assault
What: Robert Jereski was assaulted by an ABC News camera technician while said employee of ABC, Inc. was at work. The assault sent Mr. Jereski into metal barricades, which fell over as Mr. Jereski himself was sent hurtling to the ground Mr. Jereski sought treatment at the emergency room of NYU Medical Center.
When: Approximately 5:05pm, on March 14th, 2003 (one week before Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched) during the ABC Nightly News broadcast.
Where: The media pool area at United Nations, 45th Street and 1st Avenue, where media representatives park their trucks and set up their camera equipment. The assault was filmed by ABC News and was witnessed by another film crew, and 3 additional known witnesses.
Why: I am suing for compensation for medical costs and for punitive damages against ABC, Inc. An ABC TV technician was so incensed by my exercising my free speech rights that he assaulted me. What has happened to the First Amendment? What principles guide ABC-TV News?