U.S. government settles with Ohio newspaper over detention of journalists

(Reuters) - The U.S. government agreed to pay an Ohio newspaper $18,000 to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the organization after a reporter and a photographer were detained after taking photos of a tank manufacturing plant. Toledo Blade reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser were detained and had their equipment confiscated on last March by armed military police after Fraser took pictures from the road of the Lima Army Tank Plant, the complaint said. The suit added that the guards handcuffed Fraser and repeatedly referred to her as a man, and when she objected one of the guards said, "You say you are a female, I'm going to go under your bra." The pictures were destroyed while their equipment was in the government's possession, the complaint said. The government admitted no liability or fault in the incident, according to the settlement document. "The harassment and detention of The Blade's reporter and photographer, the confiscation of their equipment, and the brazen destruction of lawful photographs cannot be justified by a claim of military authority or by the supposed imperatives of the national security state," said Toledo Blade attorney Fritz Byers, according to the paper. "The Blade is pleased with this resolution of the crucial First Amendment issues at stake in this matter," Byers added. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Nick Macfie)