Reporters Storm Home of Shooting Suspects

'This is going to be a rather extensive chapter in future journalism textbooks'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2015 2:00 PM CST
Reporters Storm Home of Shooting Suspects
Members of the media crowd into a child's room in an apartment shared by San Bernardo shooting rampage suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik on Friday.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

It was a scene of complete chaos and questionable ethics Friday morning, as members of the media stormed into a California townhouse rented by the suspects in this week's mass shooting in San Bernardino. The New York Times reports landlord Doyle Miller let reporters and photographers—many of them broadcasting live—into the home of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, where they showed multiple documents containing personal information—including a driver's license belonging to Farook's mother—on the air. TV crews also went through closets, children's toys, and photographs. Mashable called it "surreal" and claims members of the public entered the home, as well: "One man lingered holding a large soda. A child was seen wandering throughout the home. Another opened the refrigerator and peered inside."

Though the FBI finished its investigation at the townhouse earlier, experts worried the journalists were destroying a crime scene and wondered why it was being allowed, Jezebel reports. The actions set off a wave of criticism from others within the media. "This is going to be a rather extensive chapter in future journalism textbooks titled 'Really though?'" one reporter tweeted. "CNN's law enforcement analyst appears shocked by what CNN's reporters (and other reporters) are doing," tweeted another. According to Mashable, Miller later claimed he wasn't trying to let reporters into the home, but "they rushed." One MSNBC reporter tweeted that a news outlet paid the landlord $1,000 to get inside. (More San Bernardino stories.)

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