After arresting a man for recording a traffic stop, Pittsfield police officer Dale Eason allegedly did the only thing he could to stop himself from becoming the latest officer exposed on video on the front page of PINAC – he deleted the video.
In the wake of the news out of Ferguson, Keith Stringer decided to do some cop watching in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and recorded Eason conducting a traffic stop from a nearby sidewalk.
When Eason noticed that he was being recorded by Stringer, who was sitting on his bicycle, he asked Stringer what he was doing.
“I’m recording you because of that thing that’s going on in Missouri,” said Stringer, referring to the now-infamous police killing of hands-raised teenager Michael Brown, according to the Berkshire Eagle.
Eason unlawfully ordered Stringer to stop recording him and move on. When Stringer refused to obey, Eason grabbed his camera phone arrested him on a charge of disorderly conduct and took him to the police station.
In his police report, Officer Eason claimed Stringer smelled of alcohol, caused traffic to stop on the road and interfered with his police investigation. Of course, PINAC readers know exactly what Eason really means when he claims that his investigation was being interfered with – Stringer was capturing Eason’s actions on camera.
After being released from the police station, Stringer was given his phone back and discovered that the video he took of Eason had been erased. Eason has since testified that he didn’t delete the video and to his knowledge neither did any other police officer.
PINAC readers, learn from Keith Stringer’s mistake. If Stringer had used a live-streaming app, he could have caught Eason perjuring himself. Instead, Stringer is now headed to trial on March 20 to defend himself against the criminal charge Officer Eason created. Judge William A. Rota threw out Stringer’s motions to dismiss the charge. Without video evidence, Stringer’s fate is left to judge and jury.