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Crime & Justice

Court Affirms Reporters' Access To Hearings Amid Pandemic

Alamance County Courthouse
Warren LeMay
Wikimedia Commons
Alamance County Courthouse

GRAHAM — Judges in a North Carolina county have announced new procedures for reporters to access hearings less than two weeks after a newspaper publisher was handcuffed and ordered out of a courtroom.

The News & Observer reports that Alamance County judges announced the policy after the newspaper and two other news outlets, the Alamance News and Triad City Beat, asked the North Carolina Court of Appeals to force the courts to let in journalists.

District Court Judge Fred Wilkins barred reporters from attending a recent plea hearing for a white woman accused of driving her pickup truck at two 12-year-old Black girls.

Alamance News publisher Tom Boney Jr. was handcuffed and ordered out of a courtroom as he objected.