Police in North Carolina ordered a news videographer to stop filming a fatal traffic accident because he was “not showing proper respect to the people in the accident.”
When the videographer asserted his legal right to film the accident, the female officer grabbed the camera out of his hands and knocked it to the ground, causing $1,000 in damages.
She then handcuffed the videographer and placed him in the back of the car.
Travis Washington of WBTV was released an hour later without being charged.
Now Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have launched an internal investigation into the incident.
According to WBTV New Director Dennis Milligan:
“A couple CMPD officers started shouting orders at him to stop shooting. And they approached and continued to shout orders to take his camera down.
“He felt like he was doing his job. He asked them why. A female officer stepped up and started to grab the camera out of his hands, and it fell to the ground. She told him, ‘Because you’re not showing proper respect to people in the accident.’”
Washington was filming from an overhead embankment so he was not interfering. The cop obviously had no problem with him standing there. She just didn’t want him to film.
Essentially, she committed a crime.
Washington ended up going to the emergency room to be treated for a minor back injury he received during the confrontation.
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Milligan wants police to pay for the repairs. He should have them pay for a whole new set of cameras for the entire news crew.