East Haven (Conn.) Police claimed they feared for their lives when an activist priest began filming them as they frisked an immigrant in an Ecuadorian-operated store last month.

Police stated they did not know whether Father James Manship was “holding a camera or a possible weapon” when he approached them during the incident, which is why they arrested him.

However, the confiscated video, which was obtained by Manship’s lawyer two weeks after the incident, contradicts police statements.

Shocking, isn’t it?

According to the New Haven Independent:

The police report, David Cari, one of two arresting officers, states that he didn’t know what the New Haven priest was holding. He wrote that he saw an “unknown shiny silver object” that Manship had “cupped” in his hands, and was afraid for his safety.

The footage clearly shows that the arresting officers knew that Manship was holding a camera, not an “unknown shiny silver object.”

In the video, the Officer Cari twice refers to the object as a camera.

“Sir what are you doing? Is there a reason that you have a camera on me?” says Cari, in the video.

Thanks Andrew for the heads up on this story.


I am a multimedia journalist who has been fighting a lengthy legal battle after having photographed Miami police against their wishes in Feb. 2007. Please help the fight by donating to my Legal Defense Fund in the top left sidebar. To keep updated on the latest articles, join my networks at Facebook, Twitter and Friendfeed.