DC Police Snatch Camera One Day After Being Commanded to Stop

DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier (left) and Earl Staley (right)

Well, that didn’t take long. Just one day after Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued a directive ordering officers to leave photographers alone (PDF here), a police officer reportedly snatched a man’s camera at a crime scene and later returned it without the memory card. My Fox DC writes,

Earl Staley says he considers what happened to him Friday, July 20, a robbery.

“I know that I could take these pictures of these guys,” Staley tells Fox 5 News. “I know it. Especially when they’re doing something wrong.”

Staley says his smartphone was snatched by a D.C. Police officer last Friday evening along Raleigh Place in Southeast D.C. Staley says he saw police punching a man they were arresting and another plain-clothes officer harassing the people watching.

“So I go and grab my phone and start trying to record it,” says Staley, a 26-year-old employee of a private, non-profit mental health agency in the District. “And once I do that, another vice cop reaches over my back and grabs my phone and tells me he’s not giving my phone back.”

Man claims cell phone taken by DC Police officer at crime scene (via Pixiq)

Image credits: Photographs by the Washington DC PD and My Fox DC

  • gabe sturdevant

    I think the populace of DC would do a better job at policing than the “cops” they have

  • Neoracer Xox

    We’re about to take the dive into full fascism..just waiting for the next ‘big event’ to tighten the final screws..:)

  • Thomas Clothier

    I’m at pains to decide… Which is better? Partial or full daylight robbery.

  • wickerprints

    This is the way authority figures operate. They pay lip service, talk about how they will serve the public interest and follow their own rules, but when it comes to actually walking the walk, they go against their word. Then they turn around and “apologize” after the damage is done. The evidence is gone, or the opportunity to catch them in the act has passed.

    This guy isn’t going to get his property back, and he’s not going to get any money or compensation. The thug who abused his power is not going to get a reprimand, let alone be fired. It’ll be back to business as usual after an “internal investigation” and some weak “apology” that carries no weight or accountability. Meanwhile, the corruption and hypocrisy intensifies, until everyone has forgotten that the people actually have rights. People will become grateful just to avoid being arrested, harassed, or incarcerated. They will come to accept that the police will watch everything and everyone, while being above the law themselves. The courts, stacked with corrupt judges like Scalia and Thomas, will back them up in the interest of “security,” saying that those so-called “constitutional rights” don’t really apply because the Founding Fathers never specifically said anything about cameras as a form of free speech, or some other similar excuse.

    In a police state, the only people who are free are the police and those who have the money and power to control them.

  • Brett Schnaper

    Every day more people are shooting live streaming or web direct stills. i do, and recommend everyone do likewise.

  • 9inchnail

    But it’s just a matter of time until internet censorship is established in western countries just like in China. With your patriot act and all that bullshit, you can be marked as terrorist for little things like this and incarcerated in one of those concentration camps that have been built nationwide. Wake up, fascism isn’t coming, it’s already there and it’s here to stay.

  • rtfe

    but it’s not so much the force of the government as it is the corporate sleaze. google and the like getting your personal data to perform better instruments to make you consume. government paranoia is smoke. buying more crap is reality. buy buy buy

  • Niall O Hara


  • Deyson

    It will be a great day when camera phones can stream live :)

  • F.Eah.Nor

    They do now, Don’t you know babuser?

  • F.Eah.Nor

    Bambuser,com , sorry.

  • Marion Barry

    B**ch set me up!

  • Antonio Carrasco

    Those officers should be arrested and brought up on charges of destroying evidence, witness tampering and assault

  • bajajoes

    When video-ing cops with a smart phone it is recommended to use an app which transmits the video/pics to an offsite secure site than cannot be erased even if memory card is taken. Once the cops realize taking a sim card will not help them they may stop but even if they don’t your video/pics are secure along with the info regarding who took your camera. Next step file a claim with police and show them what happened!

  • Sylvain Pimpare

    The problem is who is going to charge them. Procecutors are corrupt too.

  • Renato Murakami

    Here’s what I’ll say to this: Prepare yourself corrupt cops and those who abuse authority. Because fast internet for smartphones is coming (or expanding), and then all we’ll have to do is livestream it, recording all content somewhere in the cloud.
    And then no ammount of abuse will be enough to quickly take the content down and sweep the dirt under the carpet.
    Of course there’s always the chance of government trying to censor the Internet, but then they’ll have a far bigger war to wage.

  • Jhonte Eskridge

    you right he won’t get the memory card back but I think he will get compensated for the snatching he all ready got the lawsuit filed so they may be paying him something. I know this cause I was with him when this incident happened so now he just waiting on them to give him a settlement.

  • Guest

    well yep there is a suing them and the plain clothes officer has also been push back to a regular beat cop so BOW!!!!!

  • L’Rae Missing-KitKat Yelats

    Thank You for your support.. I am Earl Staley. i am currently fighting this with all guns on deck. these police shouldnt be allowed to do such things to us so i am curretly suing them and the officer is no longer a plains clothes cop he is now he is a beat uniformed cop again

  • Joseph Y Jeanes, II

    When the court suspends from protecting rights, what law do they expect in exchange?