The Memphis Police Department is investigating a complaint from a photojournalist who was detained by police after he filmed an arrest and whose footage was deleted by the officers, says the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The National Press Photographers Association asked the Memphis police director asking for an investigation and offered help to educate officers on the right of journalists to photograph arrests on public spaces.
Monday morning, Casey Monroe, a photographer with ABC 24 News who was not working and not carrying a videocamera, observed officers placing a restaurant owner in a squad car. The man was cited for a parking violation, but was placed into custody after an argument with an officer. Monroe was watching when officers instructed him to leave. He informed the officer that he was a journalist. Asked again to leave, Monroe said he had a right to be there and was placed into the back of a squad car. He was quickly released. The photographer later started videorecording the scene with his phone. Monroe said an officer told him he could not take photos of the arrest. Monroe again informed officers that he was a journalist and that he had a right to photograph police on public property.