An Oklahoma photographer was thrown in the back of a police car last week and threatened with arrest if he did not delete the images he took of a crime scene.
Chris Owens, who was able to retrieve the photos using recovery software, is now considering a lawsuit.
The incident began last Monday in Oklahoma City when Owens, who was riding his scooter, encountered a high speed chase which ended in a crash.
As officers were making an arrest, Owens started snapping away, according to www.news9.com.
“That black SUV passed me doing about 120,” Owens said. “I stopped, pulled off on the median, had my camera and just walked around and shot a few pictures.”
Much to Owens’ surprise, when police saw him taking the pictures, they demanded he hand them over or go to jail. Owens said three troopers and an Oklahoma City police officer were present during the incident.
“I quickly opened the scooter seat, dropped my camera in and locked it, and said ‘No, I won’t give it to you,’ Owens said.
As professional photographer and a teacher at Casady School, Owens stood his ground, telling police they were violating his civil rights.
Finally, they handcuffed him and placed him in the back of a police car while police took his keys, unlocked the scooter and removed the camera. Then they passed it amongst themselves, pushing various buttons until they were content that they had deleted the images.
Thanks to recovery software, we can see the photos in the following news video.