TMZ’s Levin blasts Sheriff’s Dept. for searching phone records

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Harvey Levin, the founder of TMZ, blasted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday for obtaining a warrant for his personal cell phone records.

“This is a blatant assault on the freedom of the press,” said Levin, who called the department’s efforts to search his cell phone records a “horrible and indefensible offense.”

Levin, whose company moved out of its Glendale offices two years ago, made his first public comments on the department’s actions at UCLA  during a meeting of the Radio and Television News Assn. of Southern California.

The department sought the phone records in response to TMZ reports that actor Mel Gibson made profane and antisemitic comments and attempted to escape custody while being arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2006, according to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported on the search warrant.

The department sought the warrant to identify who leaked information to TMZ, the Times reported.

“First of all, do you realize how absurd that is?” Levin said. “Do you think about how many documents the police department has leaked to a lot of people in here. Right? Myself included. How many hundreds of police reports have been leaked by law enforcement? And suddenly, when they don’t like it, they get a search warrant? It is unbelievable what they did.”

Written by Zain Shauk

October 20, 2009 at 10:00 am

Posted in L.A. Times

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