Landlord lets media enter California shooting suspects’ home

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Members of the media on Friday swarmed into the home of the suspects in this week’s shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., as many watched in disbelief at the level of access shown on live television.

Reporters for live broadcasts on networks including CNN and MSNBC said the dozens of reporters and camera crews were invited into the townhouse by its landlord.

Reporters were seen on television picking up documents and other materials in the home, and a reporter on CNN said that a woman with a dog was also seen walking into the house.
{mosads}”I have never seen anything like this, and I think it indicates a shocking degree of negligence and really recklessness on the part of law enforcement authorities here,” said CNN legal analyst Paul Callan.
“Let’s say hypothetically, maybe there’s another person who involved in bomb-making in that apartment. You have a contaminated crime scene now,” Callan added. 
“They’ve turned a crime scene in a terrorist mass murder [investigation] into a garage sale,” he added.
A CNN reporter picked up prayer beads while standing next to a bed covered in documents and images, including IDs of family members, before showing the audience a hole in a closet ceiling. 
“Why did you allow the cameras inside?” a reporter broadcasting for CBS asked Doyle Miller, a man identified as the owner and landlord of the unit.
“I didn’t,” the man responded, saying after he moved to open the door, “they rushed.” Later, asked by reporters if they had permission to enter, he said, “Yeah.”
Reporters on the scene said no law enforcement personnel were around as members of the media entered the building. 
Well over an hour later, reporters on the scene reported that the townhouse had been boarded up.  

Reporters on the scene said no law enforcement personnel were around as members of the media entered the building. CNN reported that the landlord had opened the door with a crowbar.  

After approximately two hours, the landlord was escorted from the home in an unmarked car, CNN reported

CNN defended its handling of the apartment search. 

“CNN, like many other news organizations, was granted access to the home by the landlord,” a network spokesperson said in a statement. “We made a conscious editorial decision not to show close-up footage of any material that could be considered sensitive or identifiable, such as photos or ID cards.”

MSNBC, who had a reporter show several photos and IDs on camera, also defended itself.  

“MSNBC and other news organizations were invited into the home by the landlord after law enforcement officials had finished examining the site and returned to control the landlord,” an MSNBC spokesman said in a statement shared with multiple media outlets.  

“Although MSNBC was not the first crew to enter the home, we did have the first live shots from inside,” the statement continued. “We regret that we briefly showed images of photographs and identification cards that should not have been aired without review.”

The FBI handed over control of the townhouse in nearby Redlands after carrying out a search warrant on Thursday evening, David Bowdich, the assistant director of the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles, told reporters during a press conference Friday afternoon near the site of the shooting.

Once that was done, Bowdich said, “we don’t control it.” 

The FBI said it left behind at the townhouse a list of the items seized during the search warrant, with images of the list having emerged on social media as reporters and camera crews swarmed into the house. 

Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Josh Earnest repeatedly dodged questions during the daily briefing about whether media should have been given access and whether it would affect the investigation. 

“You’d have to ask the FBI and local law enforcement about whether the media access granted earlier today will have any effect,” Earnest told reporters at the White House.
Investigators have been examining the area and the two suspects behind the shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured, and had recovered pipe bombs and other materials in the home.
This story was updated at 5:13 p.m. Julian Hattem and Jordan Fabian contributed to this story. 
Tags Josh Earnest San Bernardino shootings

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