Free Press photographer videotaping arrest taken into custody - KMSP-TV

Detroit Free Press photographer shooting video of arrest taken into custody by DPD

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Mandi Wright Mandi Wright
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit Police made an arrest Thursday afternoon. Detroit Free Press photographer Mandi Wright saw the action and started shooting it with her iPhone when suddenly a man was in her face.

The stranger did not identify himself as an officer, but snatched her phone. Wright, a veteran photojournalist, struggled briefly to get it back.

"She still at that point doesn't even know that this is a police officer. She found out a few seconds later and apologized," said Free Press attorney Herschel Fink.

He took her camera and took her into custody, but her attorney said she did nothing wrong, and it was a clear violation of her civil rights both as a journalist and as a citizen.

"Any citizen has a right to photograph police conducting activities in public," Fink said. "This thing just spiraled out of control."

Wright was left with the man police arrested, a guy they cuffed for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

"She was placed in a room with him, and if you thought it couldn't get any worse, the officers left the room and left her alone with this individual," Fink said. "That had to violate every rule in the book."

When Wright finally got her phone back late Thursday night, the SIM card had been removed. Fortunately, the video she had been shooting was saved on the internal memory.

"Someone in the department had attempted to destroy some evidence that might and I think have turned out to be embarrassing to the department," Fink said.

Internal Affairs is investigating. Detroit Police are only saying it is an ongoing investigation. Fink told us Wright did nothing wrong, and the only wrongdoing was on the part of DPD.

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