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Another day, another incident of police arresting someone for filming them in public. This time it was Mandi Wright, a photographer from the Detroit Free Press:
As two officers walked the suspect to a cruiser, Wright approached with her camera rolling. As an officer begins searching the suspect’s pockets, a man wearing a black-collared shirt, green pants and a ball cap comes into view on Wright’s left and and says, “Back up. ... Back up.” He points into the camera and says, “No. Turn it off.”

Wright, taking a step back, says, “I’m with the Detroit Free Press.”

“OK,” the man responds.

“I’m a journalist, working journalist,” Wright says.

“OK. I don’t care who you are,” he says.

As the camera is jostled, Wright says, “Wait. Are you touching me? I’m sorry —”

Then the recording cuts off.

Even though Wright was wearing a badge identifying her as a journalist, she was still arrested, phone and SIM card confiscated. Six and a half hours later she was released and the phone returned, minus the SIM card. Nevertheless, the video remained in the phone's internal memory and can be seen here:

The Detroit Police Department is said to be conducting a thorough investigation.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig confirmed Monday that an internal affairs investigation is being conducted. Deputy Chief James Tolbert said no conclusions have been drawn, but if that investigation verifies that she was put into a room with the suspect and then left alone, “that could be a serious breach of department policy.”

Tolbert said Monday he expects a department-wide directive will go out soon to remind officers they cannot prevent anyone from videotaping them in public.

Let's hope police officers in Detroit get the message.

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by The First and The Fourth and Police Accountability Group.

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