Police Order BBC Journalists to Delete Footage of Virginia Shooter’s Car Crash

BryceCrashBy Carey Wedler

A Virginia State Police officer reportedly censored two BBC journalists following Wednesday’s tragic shooting that took the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. After Vester Lee Flanagan (AKA Bryce Williams) opened fire at a local shopping center, killing the 24-year-old local reporter and the 27-year-old cameraman, he led police on a pursuit before he ran his vehicle off the highway and crashed. Police found him suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Flanagan was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.

BBC journalists Franz Strasser and Tara McKelvey were reporting from the scene of the crash when one of the officers approached the pair and ordered them to delete their footage. “Just at the scene of the suspects [sic] shooting on I-66. Police told me to delete footage or lose camera,” Strasser tweeted. “Reason for confiscating camera was that it was evidence. Threatened to tow the car because it was illegally parked,” he said in a follow-up tweet about an hour later.

Beyond the officer’s reliance on petty parking regulations to threaten the journalists, Strasser’s claims — if true — suggest an inherent contradiction in his demands. If the camera needed to be confiscated because it contained evidence, why would the officers insist that exact same evidence be deleted?

In another tweet, Strasser said the only footage left was unusable iPhone evidence. Still, he said they “…were able to recover photos from the moment police asked us to delete crime scene footage.” “We are working on recovering the video file. Haven’t touched SD card so there’s a small chance,” he added. The reporter also clarified in a picture tweet that of the multiple officers present, there was only one who insisted they destroy their footage.

“One officer in particular (not pictured in any of these images) closed the trunk when I tried to put my camera bag in and said our car would be towed for being illegally parked and my camera seized for containing evidence. He then reversed course and wanted to watch me delete the footage I had gotten,” Strasser posted on his Facebook, along with pictures of the incident.

It is unclear why police would take issue with documentation of their investigation of the scene, however, there has been similar police censorship in the state in the past. Last year, Norfolk police reportedly assaulted a 19-year-old man for filming their interaction with his friend. The ACLU of Virginia has said that filming police is entirely legal as long as the person recording does not interfere with officer duties. The ACLU’s Virginia chapter also says that in the state, “…wiretapping law does not require all-party consent when recording another person or persons. Also videotaping is only illegal if done in a place where the person being filmed has a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Virginia’s ACLU claims there have been instances of police censorship in the state, nonetheless.

The National Press Photographer’s Association has requested a formal investigation of the Wednesday incident. Corrine Geller, a representative for the Virginia State Police, says it is investigating the incident. In a tweet to Strasser, she said, “VSP is aware of this incident and we are looking into it, as such actions violate VSP policy.” In a separate Tweet, Strasser wrote, “But why they are then okay with deleting ‘evidence’ makes one question their reasoning,” highlighting a vital concern in the VSP officer’s attitude and actions against the journalists.

Carey Wedler writes for theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. As a senior editor, her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised. Learn more about Wedler here!

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17 Comments on "Police Order BBC Journalists to Delete Footage of Virginia Shooter’s Car Crash"

  1. Photog,
    First of all, you should have recorded the cop who was violating federal law. Now, you need to report what you saw.

  2. They probably wanted it deleted because it showed something that would prove that this was possibly a false flag even. Everyone is wonder where is all the blood in the live video that shown of the reporter getting shot as such close range with hollow-point bullets and absolutely no sign of injury or blood. Something doesn’t add up. In the video the shooter had, it even shows the cameraman taking the camera off the reporter and filming the marina right when the shooter comes up behind him, so his back is at the shooter, and just tell me this, why didn’t the cameraman turn with huge camera in hand and knock the crap out of the shooter, as the camera would have knocked the gun right out of his hand? The cameraman had plenty of time to do that because 6 or 7 shots were fired as the reporter ran down the hallway. Something does not add up.

    • I would assume there would have been a few rubber necking for some one to walk up with a gun and wave it around and no one shouted???/of the person who just happen to have a photo album of this partner handy merrily showing pics hr after his mate was shot dead,,,even the talking heads back in HQ didn’t seem to be to upset up…one day USA will run out of False Flag poles,

    • I can’t find the whole video anywhere. If you have a link please post it

      • Are you talking about the crash or the shooting? If Shooting, there was one of the original videos posted, and it has been slowed down so you can see what really happened….first they play the original without slowing and then the slowed video….unfortunately when I went back to U-Tube it was taken down. They are eliminating these live videos because they don’t want people to see them because they expose the lies about what happened.

    • Did you also happen to notice there were no cartridges ejected from the gun as he shoots?

      • I remember seeing nothing coming out of gun, you are right. It did not click as I was thinking more about why the reporter did not collapse after the first or second shot. You are absolutely right no cartridges.

  3. Uh oh, False-Flag Alert!!!!

  4. What the police did is totally unconstitutional, which means they are unconstitutional, which means the terror they do comes under the heading domestic terrorist.

  5. The whole thing stinks and is a threat to Freedoms and Liberty of the Journalist and Individual.
    Someone in the police or in a higher elevated position should be brought to book for this.
    Funny how our wonderful BBC never remarked on this incident on their crappy bullshit propaganda cover up news service that us poor gullible types have to pay out every year.
    NO MORE!

  6. This is fishy …. just like the shooter’s white hands.

  7. w/out legal reason, Police make Reporters who were not in on the #VirginiaShooting Hoax Delete Footage of “Shooters Death Scene”

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