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