North Carolina Cop Assaults Citizen Recording Him


A North Carolina cop who did not want to be video recorded stepped out of his car and assaulted the man with the camera in front of a Walmart.

The cop’s name is C.A. Autry, according to his name tag, and he works for the Dunn Police Department.

Not much information is available to the video that was published May 1 and has only received 24 views so far.

But it’s obvious Autry was completely out of line in his actions. The last thing we hear is the videographer saying, “give me my phone” as Autry is telling him to “turn it off.”

The Dunn Police Department, which has published a list of all its officers on its website, lists an officer identified as C. Autry who can be reached at (910) 892-2399, which appears to be the department’s main number.

However, he can be emailed at

J.D. Pope, the department’s interim police chief, can be reached at (910) 230-3533 and can be emailed at

Dunn police officer C.A. Autry

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • sickntired

    well since i live in NC and have travel thru Dunn many times I can tell you all the Cops think they can do what ever they wish..

    • John Drabble

      And they probably can.

  • Dinkman

    Cops anywhere think they can do whatever they wish.

    Fuck ’em all
    All cops are bastards.

    • gg

      All cops are not basterds…its like any other job,some plumbers are bad,some accountants r good somne r bad..its all jobs and we are all humans not machines!!

      • John Drabble

        How about “most?” Or a higher percentage than any other profession except pimps and preachers?

        • Uncle Arty

          I think pimps might actually have a tad bit more credibility today than the cops

      • JdL

        All cops are not basterds [sic]…its [sic] like any other job

        No it’s not. Cops have a particular attitude problem that no other profession is plagued with. They think they’re above the laws they enforce, because … they’ve gotten away with being above the laws they enforce for the last several decades, and it’s gotten worse as time has gone on.

        We need to show them, without any doubt or ambiguity, that this kind of attitude will not be tolerated.

        • me

          that’s why u have to complain..this website is great exposure and evidence.People need to do lawsuits against the agenciys.I know several Lawyers in florida who would do a lawsuit in a second for civil right violations,false arrest like I keep seeing on here.Police chiefs are scared of the mayor and press.His job is appointed by the mayor.A sheriff is petrified of the press with this exposure as hes an elected official and would hang out a deputy in a second to protect his image to get relected.Call the Internal affairs dept #1 then call the state prosecutor in your location and prosecute!!

          • me

            and ur right jdl,some coworkers I worked with did think they were superman.Lots of cops with these atitudes were picked on as kids like having there ears flicked etc and now its revenge time.Most of the ones I seen like this ended fired because use of force or civil right violations

          • bvl

            who are the lawyers in Florida that would do these suits in seconds. I know plenty of Floridians whose civil rights have been violated according to FL Statutes and can not seem to find one of them Florida Lawyers you are talking about?

        • butcherbird

          I couldn’t agree more JdL

      • Uncle Arty

        that’s bullshit, if I go to work one day and find out that a co worker is breaking the law and I don’t rat him out, I can be charged for withholding information and obstruction, so why the double standard? Oh right because all cops are bastards, either through willful actions or their willful in-actions


      until we all start pushing back….they cant arrest all of us and they will never beat all of us should we unite against a tyrannical govt

  • ExCop-Lawyer

    Although recently posted, this may be old. The insignia on the officer’s collar indicates a rank of police officer, while the website indicates that Autry is a sergeant.

    • Carlos_Miller

      There are two Autrys. The sergeant has a different first initial

      • ExCop-Lawyer

        My bad.

  • James M Morriss

    No it’s not assault. It’s assault and battery. But wait it’s a cop so it’s no big deal. The guy recording was resisting an arrest for resisting arrest and interfering with a cop being an asshole.

  • Guest

    I think the better strategy with these cases is to go right to the district attorney’s office for comment and get them on record regarding the incident. Notice that it was the county/district attorney giving the press release on bringing charges against the Nebraska cops recently. The police departments are just going to stall and cover up. The DAs won’t want to press charges either. But they’re the ones the pressure should be on.

  • Matthew Minard

    ummm… wtf was that? You are a cop in a parking lot with walmart’s cams, and you assault the dude with a cell phone?

  • James

    Assault.. get on the horn to the district attorney and file a complaint.

  • steveo

    The videographer is at the WalMart which is private property, so the leo could have given the citizen a trespass warning, although a trespass warning might not be appropriate unless the store mgr asks him to do it.

    Walmart is pretty protective of trespass warnings, they don’t normally give the local leos the power to give warnings on their own, however they management will stop people from recording in the parking lot, if they see you, they don’t try to tackle you or anything, they politely ask you to put the camera away. They would never authorize a leo to do what is done in the above vid.

    Seems like where I live there is always stuff going on in the Walmart parking lot, so I’ve recorded there a few times and once I was asked by a manager not to record, even though he thought the event was newsworthy. Plus, they have cameras everywhere.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      I’m curious how they could grant the power to give trespass warnings on there own. Never seen that done legally..

      • Zell Faze

        From what I have gathered it involves filing a letter of intent with the police department. The letter says that you intend to prosecute all trespassers, which pretty much give LEOs free reign.


        • steveo

          In FL, we don’t have trespass per se, our law is trespass after warning. You have to be given a warning that you will be arrested if you don’t leave and most times the leos have the right to give you the warning depending on the business. That’s why I like that Louisiana guy who goes into the convenience store and asks if he can stand outside for a while, because that would require the leo to go in to the store to get the permission rescinded.
          Unlike that Grand Rapids story, our judges get pretty pissed off if leos arrest people without warnings for trespassing. This has a lot to do with the reliance on the tourist trade here, you don’t want to do anything to make the tourists upset.

          • me

            In FLorida,yes u have to given a warning first and they will usually document it on a f.i.r. card..filed interview report and it would say trespass warning.then if ur caught again then u take a ride to jail..just retired leo in florida

        • Elliott Whitlow

          Fair enough..

          • me

            a trespass warning cant be on a cops own.A representative of the store or plaza or employee would have to give u a treass pass warning in front of a cop in person in florida or its no good!!

      • steveo

        I’m not sure about other states, but many proprietors have signs outside their businesses that say that agencies of the LE have been given the same rights as the owner of the property and can issue trespass warnings on their own. That’s because the landlord is never there, so they designate the police to act as the property owner in their absence.

        A huge beef erupted in downtown Sarasota by the Whole Foods because they have these signs on the outside of their building and leos were using the signs to arrest homeless people on the public sidewalk. Even though Whole Foods had nothing to do with the public sidewalk. The ACLU made them take the signs down.

  • Haeshu

    I wish people had a second recorder on them when things like this happen. I would love to hear what the cop says to him when he takes the phone and thinks he is ‘off the record’. Those are the videos that put these criminal cops in jail.

    • Difdi

      Or the photographer, in some states. The Glik decision, for example, didn’t affect the law against spy cameras in Massachusetts.

      • ExCop-Lawyer

        That’s correct. In some states the open recording is OK, but covert recording is a criminal offense.

        • JdL

          In some states the open recording is OK, but covert recording is a criminal offense.

          I wonder what those laws would say about an open recording backed up by a covert recording, after some thug confiscates the device doing the open recording?

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            I actually tried to look that up, but there were no cases on point.

            I did find one on the internet, from the Copblock people, but I wouldn’t make any predictions based off of one case at the trial level.

          • Carlos_Miller

            The case law would only come into question in Massachusetts, which is the only state that makes it illegal to secretly record people who have no expectation of privacy and I’ve written about a D.A. who threw a case out where a citizen was secretly recording a cop from inside her home.


          • steveo

            COMMONWEALTH v. Michael J. HYDE 434 Mass. 594 (2001)

            case law that the MA prosecutors cite for covert recording of leos.
            This case raises the issue whether a motorist may be prosecuted for violating the Massachusetts electronic surveillance statute, G.L. c. 272, § 99, for secretly tape recording statements made by police officers during a routine traffic stop. Big word here is “Secretly”.

            The way around this is to openly record which I always promote. No reason to hide it. As far as I know, this only covers oral communication and only in MA. They tried to use this against Simon Glik, the leos said they saw the recording device, but Glik never told them that he was recording audio. The court said that when the recording device is in plain view that the leos should just assume they are being recorded and it isn’t necessary to tell them. Although, in MA, I might put a bumper sticker on my car that says, “All conversations are recorded”.

            Also, if you have say your smartphone going, and are also recording them say with another device that they can’t see, and you tell them that you are recording and they take the smartphone and turn it off and confiscate it, you probably don’t have to tell them about the second one. Make a good case though. It’s like Mahatma Gandi said “tyranny usually doesn’t last no matter how hard they try.”

    • Wandering_Bard

      I always have multiple recording devices going when I’m filming in public.

      I have my primary camera rig, which is usually on a tripod (because it’s heavy as all hell), I have my cellphone that I can flip on at a moment’s notice (and is password-protected), and I have another clandestine video camera that I can turn on without anyone noticing.

      Always be prepared.

      • JdL

        I always have multiple recording devices going when I’m filming in public.

        I do as well. At minimum, a camera with video capability and a small audio recorder I can slip into my shirt pocket. If some criminal (cop or otherwise) takes my camera, I’m still making an audio recording.

      • Turnkeys

        What kind of hidden cam do you use? I’d be interested in having a backup. Thanks.

        • Wandering_Bard

          My wife -despite constantly calling me paranoid- was sweet enough to get me a pair of HD video glasses for Christmas this past year.

          I keep them on me all the time, so if I get pulled over, or -God forbid- have an unpleasant dealing with an authority figure, I can have a video record in the event that I’m forced to turn off my main camera / phone.

  • mj

    I would call the fbi for a civil rights violation and the cop will be arrested.I am a retired leo and this stuff gives the good leos a bad name.Shame on him

  • mj

    First thing u do is call the highest supervisor available and if its in the daytime u call and ask to speak to the internal affairs division.U then say a crime has been committed against you and u want an internal affairs investigation done and u want to have the officer prosecuted!!then also call the local news.Police chiefs and sheriffs are petrified of the news as the mayor will instantly boot the chief out..politics my friends,,and to all cops out there,I am not a trader but a newly retired leo who believes u need to act proper and do ur job!!

    • David Myers

      It’s Dunn, NC. They don’t have an internal affairs division. We should bombard their news stations and the city council and mayor’s office with a link to this video over and over again.

  • John Drabble

    I sent the video to the local newspaper editors and those in the Dunn, NC city government for whom I could find email addresses. The DA and Mayor and City Council don’t provide email addresses. It may be 2013 in the rest of America but not in NC.

    • David Myers

      I also used the City of Dunn website’s contact form and requested my message be delivered to the Mayor and City Council, linking to the YouTube video and quoting the NC law regarding recording of conversations in public where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. I also sent it to the Interim Police Chief. E-mail addresses for mayor and city council aren’t listed, but you can call them at their home or office addresses, whichever it says is listed.

    • Turnkeys

      Did you D/L a copy? The youtube link is dead.

      • John Drabble

        Got a response from a newspaper editor. She said the police told her they had seen the video and were conducting an investigation.

  • Uncle Arty

    it’s come to the point where communities are going to have to take matters into their own hands and get rid of the bad cops that are protected by the union, the prosecutors and that thin blue line of silence. if they can’t police themselves they have no business policing the rest of us

  • Alexander Sears

    If that cop didn’t want to be recorded, he shouldn’t have taken a job that
    requires him to drive a car outfitted with a dash cam that records him
    during every traffic stop. You can’t record others every day you work,
    and presume you have the right NOT to be recorded. You can’t work a job
    in the public, and demand privacy. Public and Privacy are polar
    opposites. Officers are public servants, working in public spaces, and the public has the right to record them. Also, did anyone notice the cop was parked in a clearly
    labelled NO PARKING zone?

  • Michael

    I only live 30 minutes away and it’s amazing that no major news network in this market has not picked up this story. Only the local newspaper and an AM radio station’s website has this story up. I thought the news was suppose to help keep government accountable.