Kentucky State Police to news outlets: Wait for news release

March 8, 2018 GMT

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky newspaper and radio station have been ordered not to report on Kentucky State Police investigations before receiving a state police news release, under threat of being taken off the agency’s media distribution list.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports an email from a state police spokesman was sent last week to The Mountain Advocate newspaper in Knox County and a Bell County radio station.

Kentucky Press Association general counsel Jon Fleischaker told the newspaper the order constitutes a violation of the First Amendment and that state agencies can’t withhold information from certain media outlets if they don’t like what is written.

State police Capt. Ryan Catron said the email was to ensure accuracy and that police don’t plan to withhold information from either outlet.