The problem with the mainstream media is that too many reporters don’t know the actual law when it comes to police confiscating cameras or deleting photos.
And they think the only way to find out the law is to ask police.
Take the recent case of Memphis police confiscating a cell phone from an ABC news photographer and deleting his photos after he snapped photos of them issuing a parking ticket to a local business owner.
The writer of the story insinuates that this is common practice and warns readers that this could happen to them, which is actually true as unlawful as it may be.
The writer also contacted an attorney who said that police are not allowed to delete your photos.
But the writer still didn’t appear convinced.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this but I wish she would have been a little more authoritative with this story rather than take a passive approach, which doesn’t do much to educate citizens and police on the actual law.
It’s not an opinion. Police cannot delete your photos. So she shouldn’t treat it as if it were an opinion.
Fortunately, the National Press Photographers Association is not treating it as an opinion and fired off a letter to Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong, informing him that the incident was a “blatant abridgement of (the photographer’s) First and Fourth Amendment rights.”
The ABC reporter, meanwhile, is still waiting for Armstrong to confirm whether it is legal for police to delete footage.
ABC 24 News is still waiting to see if MPD Director Toney Armstrong will comment on whether or not it’s legal for officers to delete photos.
We already know it’s not legal. What we need to do is ask Armstrong how he plans to deal with the officer who broke the law.