Washington D.C. cops were more concerned with preventing a news videographer from recording the aftermath of a carjacking last week than they were in trying to find the suspect.
As a result, the carjacker is still at large.
But at least D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier apologized to photojournalist Alan Henney for the way her officers threatened him with arrest.
According to WTOP:
“There is no policy against videotaping in public space. This is a clear violation by our members and we will have it addressed – you have my apologies,” (Lanier) wrote in an email to Henney.
Lanier also wrote the department “will continue to work with our members to ensure they are clear about what is and is not permissible.”
Several times over the past year D.C. police have detained photographers and even confiscated a women’s cell phone and deleted all her video after she recorded police making an arrest.
D.C. Police policy on videotaping states (emphasis not added) “News media members may photograph or videotape police officers performing their official duties. Officers will not physically block or cover the lenses of cameras or video taping equipment. Members in accordance with General Order 204.1 will not assist nor hinder camerapersons at scenes. Members will not bring the media into private residences as part of a crime scene or police raid. COURTS HAVE RULED THAT MEMBERS MAY BE HELD LIABLE TO CIVIL SUIT FOR SUCH ACTIONS.”