The National Press Photographers Association says it appears police violated the First Amendment rights of a Detroit Free Press photographer when she was arrested after trying to get her iPhone back from a police officer who told her to stop filming on a public street and took her phone. The Free Press says that Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the association, wrote to Detroit Police Chief James Craig, expressing concerns over photographer Mandi Wright's arrest and the fact that the SIM card went missing from her phone after police confiscated it.
Wright was arrested Thursday after briefly filming the arrest of a suspect on a public street. Wright said she didn't know the man approaching her at the scene was a police officer because he wasn't in uniform and didn't identify himself. “It may be understandable that law enforcement officers have a heightened sense of awareness after pursuing an armed suspect, but that is no excuse for blatantly violating a person's First Amendment rights — as appears to be the case here,” Osterreicher said.