Journalist recording drug arrest claims she was harassed by MPD - WNEM TV 5

Journalist recording drug arrest claims she was harassed by MPD officers

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Deborah Robinson from Little Rock, Ark. is based in Las Vegas. She describes herself as a filmmaker and freelance journalist. Deborah Robinson from Little Rock, Ark. is based in Las Vegas. She describes herself as a filmmaker and freelance journalist.
But Robinson says she was ordered by police to put her camera away. But Robinson says she was ordered by police to put her camera away.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - An Arkansas freelance journalist pulled out her phone at a Memphis bus station when two men on her bus were being arrested for drugs.

She filed a complaint against Memphis Police Department for how officers treated her during the arrests.

Deborah Robinson from Little Rock, Ark. is based in Las Vegas. She describes herself as a filmmaker and freelance journalist.

She says Memphis police harassed her when she pulled out her camera and started recording when she got off of a bus.

Robinson had taken the MEGAbus from Little Rock to Memphis and saw two men being arrested in a drug sting by the organized crime unit at the bus terminal downtown. She said she was shooting a documentary on what happens on Greyhound buses. WMC Action News 5 blurred the faces of police officers and the two handcuffed suspects in Robinson's video, which was shot May 12.

"When I saw that the first thing I thought was this is great because part of our Greyhound piece is how easy it is to move drugs," said Robinson on the phone.

But Robinson says she was ordered by police to put her camera away. She told the officers she didn't have to because she was not interfering.

Robinson says the officers asked her to show her ID. Robinson says she showed her ID but was still told to stay put and not take her camera out again.

Robinson says when she eventually tried to walk away, an officer grabbed her arm and yanked her back. She says a man who looked like a security guard started going through her backpack.

She was eventually allowed to leave. Memphis police confirm she filed a complaint with internal affairs.

Last year, police released a policy instructing officers not to interfere with citizens recording them in public unless they are interfering with police activities. Police were professional and spoke calmly in the video Robinson recorded.

She says she plans to file a lawsuit because her first amendment rights were violated. Police say the matter is under investigation.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

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