MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A freelance journalist plans to file a lawsuit against Memphis Police for violating her First Amendment rights.
Deborah Robinson was traveling to Memphis to meet with a client.
She says she’s also working on a story regarding drug trafficking on buses.
Robinson arrived in Memphis as police were making a drug arrest on her very bus.
She said she grabbed her camera to record the incident, but officers stepped in and demanded she stop recording video.
The act is in violation of Police Director Toney Armstrong’s new policy giving officers specific instructions not to stop anyone from recording video.
The policy was enacted after several complaints from Memphis residents saying officers were abusing their power and threatening citizens who tried to document it and demanded action.
Robinson says she was ordered to stop recording, show press credentials, and was physically detained, which are all violations of the police.
Robinson stated officers also refused to let her leave the area until she spoke with Alyssa Macon-Moore on the police director’s staff.
She says Macon-Moore also wanted to know who she was, and why she was recording video.
Robinson plans to sue the city in hopes that changes are made to truly protect First Amendment rights in the city.
The mayor and police director were both reportedly out of town and unable to address the situation until tomorrow.
You can read her Robinson’s version of the incident here.