With complete disregard for the law, an Albuquerque police officer confiscated a camera from a KOB-TV reporter as she was working on a story about a nightclub one Friday night last April.
The officer kept the camera throughout the weekend before returning it to the station the following Monday.
That was when KOB-TV realized the officer may have deleted footage from the camera, specifically a clip showing her making an arrest. Watch some of the surviving footage here.
Nearly a month after the incident, the officer, Stephanie Lopez, filed charges of trespassing against the reporter, Cristina Rodda. Her arraignment is next week.
Lopez was working off-duty, meaning she was being hired by the club, so she was most likely looking out for the interests of the club instead of enforcing the actual law.
Now she is being investigated by internal affairs for possibly deleting the footage, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Rodda was working on a story about the Tumbleweed nightclub because six people had been arrested there in February for selling ecstasy.
She remained in the parking lot the entire time before she was asked to leave. She and another KOB-TV videographer said she was walking back to her car when Lopez called her back, demanding her camera.
Lopez said Rodda was “hiding behind a row of cars,” which sounds like typical police embellishment.
Either way, Rodda gave up the camera without a fight.
Now KOB-TV is trying to see if anybody could help them recover the deleted footage.
The camera is a Sony DCR-SR67 HDD, which means it stores the clips in an internal hard drive. I’m not sure if they have recorded on it since the seizure or whether it is even possible to retrieve the footage from a camera like this.
Let me know if you have any ideas.