Police Abuse

Virginia State Cop Forced BBC Reporter to Delete Footage of Vester Flanagan Crash Site

The State Police are looking into the incident.

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Franz Strasser and two Virginia State Police officers
Franz Strasser & Tara McKelvey

A Virginia State Police (VSP) officer forced a reporter to delete footage of the scene where Vester Lee Flanagan crashed his vehicle on the side of a Interstate 66 on Wednesday after allegedly killing two TV reporters in Virginia. The cop also threatened to have the reporter's car towed.

Franz Strasser, a video journalist with BBC (who, full disclosure, I met at a conference in June), and his colleague Tara McKelvey were en route to Roanoke to report on the shooting when they happened upon the crash site near the tiny town of Linden, Virginia. They pulled over into the median of the highway and Strasser began rolling.

"By the time I came to a full stop I was probably 200 yards away," he explains. "So I took my camera and I went through the brush towards the police cars."

He says about a dozen cop cars, lights flashing, surrounded the crashed silver vehicle, but that the officers were mostly just standing around—until they saw him walking up.

"Maybe half a dozen police officers started running towards me," he says. "I could hear them shouting, 'Get back to the car! Get back to the car!'"

He retreated back through the brush toward his car where McKelvey was waiting, but a number of cops followed, yelling that he needed to "get out of here." One in particular (not pictured) was angry.

"I was about to put my camera back in the trunk when one officer closed the trunk," he says. "I looked at him and just thought, 'What's going on?'" Strasser says the cop then told him his car was going to be towed for being illegally parked and his camera seized because it "might contain evidence." The VSP officer took the camera out of the reporter's hands.

When Strasser said he was willing to go but that he needed his car and camera to do his job, the cop forced him to delete the footage he had just recorded first. "He was very close to me, looking at the screen and looking at every step I took, making sure that I did hit 'delete' and did hit 'submit,'" Strasser says. "Towing the car wasn't brought up again."

Strasser and McKelvey didn't get the name of the officer who insisted the footage be deleted, but their bureau chief has filed a formal complaint and a spokeswoman for the state police tweeted that they were looking into the incident "as such actions violate VSP policy."

As Strasser tweeted right after it happened, "Reason for confiscating camera was that it was evidence. … But why they are then okay with deleting 'evidence' makes one question their reasoning."

He says VSP has already assigned an officer from the internal investigations unit to the case. He'll meet with that officer in person on Monday. "At this point, I don't want to pass any judgment," he says. "I'm really happy that Virginia State Police is looking into this."

A BBC spokesperson also emailed me this statement: "We've spoken to Virginia State Police, who have taken our concerns very seriously, and we are now awaiting the outcome."

Strasser and the BBC are "pretty confident" they'll be able to recover his deleted footage, which, since he kept filming throughtout the confrontation, would at least provide an audio record and may help investigators identify the rogue cop.

After leaving the the scene of the crash, he and McKelvey continued on to Roanoke, where they produced a story for BBC on the shooting. "We honor the work of @WDBJ7 in this video and text feature. Hats off to you and how you handled things amid tragedy," Strasser said in a tweet yesterday when it was released.

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  1. Since there’s no First Amendment in Britain, so this should be OK. Right?

    1. BAM! That’s how it’s done, folks.

  2. I have been informed by reliable sources in this very comments section that immigrants don’t enjoy constitutional protections, so this is probably cool.

    1. So they can have subsidized abortions AND vote?

    2. I have been informed by reliable sources in this very comments section that immigrants don’t enjoy constitutional protections, so this is probably cool.

      As soon as that trooper heard their accent, he was all: “It’s on now, you people have no rights.”

    3. I have been informed by reliable sources articles in this very comments section website that immigrants native citizens don’t enjoy constitutional protections, so this is probably cool.

  3. (who, full disclosure, I met at a conference in June)

    Thank you for that.

    Now if other Reason writers would do similar disclosures for all the little JournoList 3.0 groups they are in….

    1. WHARRRGARBL

  4. The proper response is “Fuck you, throw me in jail and we’ll see who wins.”

    1. Not the best idea for someone who can be easily deported.

      1. We don’t deport anyone now, it’s a uuuuuge issue.

      2. He’s a journalist. It was a career making moment and he missed it.

      3. He just needs to say he’s mexican and has a child born in the US.

    2. Stop resisting. Boom boom.

    3. He was probably afraid he’d get shot in the face for resisting arrest.

      1. Meh. No risk, no reward.

    4. Proper response is right. It just begs the question ..what were they hiding? They wonder why a certain part of the population thinks cops are dicks.

  5. Yea, how many don’t believe that the final decision will be that the cops acted correctly in accordance to procedure. Nothing more convenient than the foxes being in charge of the hen house.

    1. Yea, how many don’t believe that the final decision will be that the cops acted correctly in accordance to procedure.

      The VA State Police have already acknowledged that “such actions violate VSP policy.” So fingers crossed that the offending officer will have to undergo some serious additional training!

      1. They might add a whole SECOND day of desk duty onto his punishment!

        1. And….no donut.

  6. Slightly OT, but I just got around to reading Gillespie’s take on Japan, and his call for economic and immigration liberalization.

    Qualifier: I’m pretty pro-immigration(being the son of an immigrant does that), but his argumentation is just moronic.

    I mean, Christ Gillespie, you could at least take a look at actual Japanese history and its unfortunately somewhat necessary isolationist policiesthat might make Japan a little wary about the ‘open borders’ concept. I mean, nothing says ‘improve your economy’ like the depletion of mineral resources and debasing your currency (which they did anyway to deal with government deficits, but hey, government’s gonna govern).

      1. I’m not sure what your point here is.

        Yes, the Japanese saw this rebellion as stemming from the interference of Christian Europeans, converting the Japanese…

        But this rebellion was kicked off by onerous government taxation.

        When the government charges you a “hole tax” to bury a dead loved one, sorry, you’re going to feel the point of my Katana.

        1. Shimabara is just the end point of a long-time conflict between the shogunate and Christian Japanese, it’s not as simple as ‘the taxes caused the rebellion’. Christianized clans openly ignored the orders of the shogunate, and after over a hundred years of civil war one might understand why the Japanese wished to not have a hundred more. It’s not like Christian daimyos were wonderful people who didn’t tax the shit out of their population either. The point was that yes, the more ‘open system’ that was allowed in the Sengoku period created instability. The Tokugawa shogunage was perfectly willing to trade with Protestant Europeans like the Dutch and British, specifically because they were willing to separate business from religion, moreso than Catholics. These factors apparently don’t exist to Gillespie, who is more willing to just scream ‘xenophobia’ than understand why the Japanese might be cynical towards the concept of ‘open borders’.

          1. Japanese cultural “isolation” goes way, way back. I’m not saying Gillespie was right, but I’m not sure the Japanese cultural isolation of today is a response to the troubles with European Christian traders during the Edo period. I think it largely has to do with a long-running skepticism towards foreigners in general.

            Unfortunately for the European traders– especially the Portuguese– is that Japan wasn’t a primitive jungle tribe easily put down by modern European warfare technique. 🙂

            Remember, after the Shimabara rebellion, the Japanese kicked out most of the European traders, and beheaded the Portuguese delegation that demanded continued trade. Also, the Shogun enlisted (by force) the Dutch into bombarding that castle from the sea to break the siege.

            1. I think it largely has to do with a long-running skepticism towards foreigners in general.

              Eh, somewhat. Japan was heavily influenced by Chinese Confucianism until the Meiji Restoration, and the Sengoku period has a lot of examples of the Japanese embracing foreign concepts (Christianity, modern ship building, firearms of course, hell, one clan sent an ambassador to the Vatican).

              Also, the Shogun enlisted (by force) the Dutch into bombarding that castle from the sea to break the siege.

              I should note that I’m not saying Japan was some autarkic system. Trade stayed at basically the same level in the sakoku period, it was just with other people. My overall point is that we’re apparently trying to convince people that an open border is an improvement. Gillespie declaring this, and utterly ignoring the realities of Japanese history, does nothing to convince actual Japanese of its benefits.

    1. This “unfortunately somewhat necessary” policy led to the island nation being so isolated from the outside world that a handful of warships from a two-bit nation (at the time) completely upended their way of life. Similar policies by the Chinese and Koreans led to them basically being dominated by foreign powers for the better part of a century.

      1. Similar policies by the Chinese and Koreans led to them basically being dominated by foreign powers for the better part of a century.

        And so an improvement would be decades of civil war between Christians and traditional Japanese, coupled with an economic collapse from depleting their silver resources?

        This also implies that a more open Japan wouldn’t have also been more open to the colonialist expansion of European powers. Which is a massive point of debate. The British forcing an opening of trade from Qing China just did wonderful things for their economy.

        My point is that if we’re apparently actually trying to convince people of the benefits of open borders, perhaps we shouldn’t be completely ignorant of or just handwave the historical reasons why they have been isolationist?

        1. The British forcing an opening of trade from Qing China just did wonderful things for their economy.

          Why was China in the subordinate position here? You are looking at the “forced opening of trade” as indistinguishable from “general permissiveness toward trade”. If the Chinese had not been so insistent upon isolation, would they have had to bow down before the British? One could just put the shoe on the other foot; the British had no such policy of isolation and consequently bowed down to no one.

          1. Why was China in the subordinate position here?

            Because British trade demand was largely for Eastern silver, which, if exported in massive qualities, would have active negative consequences for Eastern economies?

            If the Chinese had not been so insistent upon isolation, would they have had to bow down before the British?

            Oh well, all the Chinese had to do was embrace trade policies that would have harmed their economy.

            the British had no such policy of isolation and consequently bowed down to no one.

            No, instead they just embraced a trade system that promoted favouritism for British colonies. Should we embrace economic favouritism so we bow to no one?

            1. Oh well, all the Chinese had to do was embrace trade policies that would have harmed their economy.

              I’m pretty sure “being Europe’s bitch for a hundred years” was not so good for their economy in the long run. I don’t even know what you’re arguing about here. You seem to think that British demands were just a policy choice for China and not something forced down their throats. Meanwhile, they somehow had no choice but to isolate themselves for hundreds of years prior and thus end up being subordinate to the British. And then you conflate all of what I’m saying with some kind of endorsement of every single policy undertaken by the British.

              You don’t seem to be reading for content and are instead just trying to find something to argue about.

              1. I’m pretty sure “being Europe’s bitch for a hundred years” was not so good for their economy in the long run. I don’t even know what you’re arguing about here…You seem to think that British demands were just a policy choice for China and not something forced down their throats.

                Where did I suggest that? What I’m pointing out is that Qing China had legitimate reasons for restricting trade for economic reasons. A more open trade policy does not mean that China would not have ended up ‘being Europe’s bitch’. There’s certainly no possibility that colonial powers would take advantage of economic instability or rebellions in a foreign country to expand their control.

                Meanwhile, they somehow had no choice but to isolate themselves for hundreds of years prior and thus end up being subordinate to the British.

                ???

                Qing China wasn’t isolationist. It actively embraced the tributary system and traded with its neighbours, moreso than the previous Ming dynasty. Protectionist, sure.

                And then you conflate all of what I’m saying with some kind of endorsement of every single policy undertaken by the British.

                You presented British trade policy and lack of isolationism as a reason for why they ‘bowed to no one’. I’m just rather sarcastically pointing out that they ‘bowed to no one’ due to their own moderately protectionist behaviour.

                1. To call the economic policies of the British and Chinese both “protectionist” is to elide the great differences between them. The British generally saw trade as beneficial, and the Chinese generally saw it as dangerous.

                  Furthermore, to focus on just one commodity is short-sighted. The Chinese may have found protection of their domestic silver to be of the utmost importance, but it didn’t pay them any dividends in the long run.

                  1. The Chinese may have found protection of their domestic silver to be of the utmost importance, but it didn’t pay them any dividends in the long run.

                    When your currency is based on silver tael, it is of utmost importance.

                    The British generally saw trade as beneficial, and the Chinese generally saw it as dangerous.

                    I wonder why the British saw the import of silk and other goods as beneficial while China viewed the import of opium for a vital precious resource as bad? China recognized bad deals that did not benefit them.

                    1. When your currency is based on silver tael, it is of utmost importance.

                      So? Change it.

                      I wonder why the British saw the import of silk and other goods as beneficial while China viewed the import of opium for a vital precious resource as bad? China recognized bad deals that did not benefit them.

                      Now you’re talking about “deals” and other “big things” rather than the raw exchange of goods and services between individuals. But even so, you’re again losing the thread: I’m not making up the fact that the British and other European powers carved up China. That really happened, the Chinese were really powerless to stop it at the time, and yet if they had been paying attention and not obsessing over their illusions of greatness and self-importance, might have been able to prevent it.

                    2. It’s just as easy for me to say that opening up China or changing its currency might have resulted in massive rebellions a la Taiping, allowing the European colonial powers the opportunity to take advantage of the instability to carve up China earlier (to protect their trade). Alternate history scenarios are fun like that.

                    3. It’s not about “alternate history scenarios”, it’s about the abject failure of the policy to achieve its stated end. If you set out to avoid foreign influence and end up a goddamn puppet of foreign powers, I might suggest that you ever so slightly didn’t achieve “mission accomplished”.

                      It is also about all of the “unintended” consequences like the vast majority of people remaining penniless serfs, a fact which would turn China into a brutal communist dictatorship and Japan into a rampaging monstrosity.

        2. My point is that if we’re apparently actually trying to convince people of the benefits of open borders, perhaps we shouldn’t be completely ignorant of or just handwave the historical reasons why they have been isolationist?

          The primary reason for isolation is the fear of change. The “justified” example you cited, of the Christians and non-Christians in Japan, just illustrates this point further. Japanese culture was oppressive and stagnant; it was inevitable that reform would come. The problem was that, the more the distance between Japanese culture and European culture grew, the more likely that the ensuing changes would be drastic and accompanied by violence.

          This is not to be conflated with calling the would-be “reformers” noble, moral, or just; they are frequently and nakedly self-interested and don’t get to be excused from their evils by dint of being on the “right side” of history.

          It is foolish to dismiss the reasons why people consider isolation, but having reasons doesn’t excuse them, either. Was it not unjust to consign hundreds of thousands of people to feudal serfdom for two centuries, as occurred under Sakoku, in order to provide political stability for the shogun and his favored daimyos?

          1. Was it not unjust to consign hundreds of thousands of people to feudal serfdom for two centuries, as occurred under Sakoku, in order to provide political stability for the shogun and his favored daimyos?

            Is its opposite, continued instability, warfare and economic stagnation an improvement? Depends on who you ask I suppose. There’s the possibility of a ‘more free’ system emerging from that, but an equal likelihood of the same or a more repressive system being its replacement. I might think the Tsardom was horrible and repressive, but was the Soviet Union an improvement?

            It is foolish to dismiss the reasons why people consider isolation, but having reasons doesn’t excuse them, either.

            That’s my point. I’m just saying that you will never convince anyone of if you’re unwilling to recognize the historical justifications for doing so, which Gillespie does in his article by blatantly ignoring Japanese history and screaming ‘xenophobe’ (which, having been to Japan, is not exactly wrong, but doesn’t help the broader discussion as to why the Japanese have historically maintained a more closed system, or why they should have a more open one now).

            1. Sure, communism would have been (and was) worse than serfdom. But I don’t think Japan was at much risk of going communist in the 17th century (I could be wrong; the French kind of did it before Marx was even born). However, that is a bit like saying we shouldn’t innovate lest we risk somebody somewhere doing something bad with the results; if nothing else, just because you decided not to do it, doesn’t mean no one else will.

              The reason to have a more open system is fundamentally humanistic; the voluntary exchange of goods, services, and ideas generally leads to the betterment of all. That’s as much true of Japan as anywhere else.

              1. But I don’t think Japan was at much risk of going communist in the 17th century (I could be wrong; the French kind of did it before Marx was even born).

                Indeed, it often pops up earlier than you’d think.

      2. For some reason, throughout history and into the modern day, people seem to believe that if a government forces its citizens to isolate themselves from the outside world, then the people can focus inward and expose their inner greatness. This sometimes “works” to some extent, depending on the internal culture and other factors, but it typically leads to stagnation and sometimes even regression.

        It is a bit difficult to extricate the effects strictly arising from the policy itself from the effects of the cultural factors that led to and reinforce the policy; is it lack of trade with foreigners that leads to stagnation, or is it a culture that considers anything “foreign” to be dangerous that does so?

        It is undeniable though that voluntary exchange is the mechanism for the broadest improvements in human welfare, and moreover that new innovations are most often dependent upon prior ones. It is thus practically impossible to avoid stagnation or worse when exchange is heavily restricted and innovation is verboten.

        1. It is thus practically impossible to avoid stagnation or worse when exchange is heavily restricted and innovation is verboten.

          Which wasn’t the case in the sakoku period, where innovation massively improved agriculture and the standard of living?

          1. That’s a link to a market page for a book, and not a cheap one, either. Would you care to summarize the relevant content or provide an alternate way to research it?

            1. I couldn’t find an internet source that covers it as well as Gordon’s book. Long story short version: The sakoku period is when you see Japan’s massive population expansion begin to occur. Complex irrigation systems and harvest cycles were developed. Metallurgy improved. Peasants who were historically forced to farm with largely primitive tools started to have greater access to iron and steel, as well as complex ‘machinery’ that cut down on labour. Land rights were also renegotiated, allowing peasants more freedom and wealth than the previous period. Despite being more restricted in foreign trade, merchants were less restricted in domestic markets. Certainly not a libertarian system, but not a stagnant one.

              1. But you’re describing the 1700s like they were the 1400s and there’s nothing wrong with that; while Japan was catching up to the Renaissance, the Europeans were entering the Industrial Revolution.

                1. I’m describing the 1600s as well, when Europe was busy killing 10% of the German population, putting down numerous peasant rebellions, and engaging in some very questionable trade practices of their own. And during the Sengoku period numerous European visitors to Japan actually saw it as more advanced than their own countries. If you read 16th century European accounts of Japan, they’re utterly shocked at the level of hygiene and public sanitation.

                  1. While that’s just fascinating, it doesn’t change the fact of Perry’s arrival in Japan. You keep losing the thread, which is that Japan was unprepared for the arrival of advanced foreigners. It doesn’t matter all the good intentions of Japanese leaders nor the relative advancement of their sanitary system, if they can’t hold that policy past the first ballsy American to show up with a couple of ships.

                    1. if they can’t hold that policy past the first ballsy American to show up with a couple of ships.

                      I don’t think you’ve meant to imply this, but that’s a ‘might equals right’ argument. The society that finds the most efficient way to kill people and force people to do what they want is inherently better off? To repeat, I don’t think that’s your argument, but that’s the natural consequence of what you’ve stated. I get that you’re talking about the industrial revolution but here’s the thing: Europe had inherent resource advantages that made industrialization a lot easier, particularly in regards to easily exploitable iron deposits (also, the metallurgy and large scale furnace processes that emerged in the 14th century as a result of this easy access). Japanese innovations tended to focus on scarcity of goods, while European innovations focused on mass production, both as a product of their environments. I have no doubt that if you threw a free, capitalistic, pre-industrial society on Japan you’d be unable to be industrialized before say, an absolute monarchy a la Old Russia that had a great deal of iron deposits.

                    2. And it’s not just sanitation. Off the top of my head, in comparison to (most) of Europe until the 19th century, Japan had higher literacy rates, less crime, longer life expectancy, and an oddly surprising tolerance for homosexuals (not to mention in comparison to the modern world, legalized prostitution and gambling) But clearly they were backward in comparison to Europe because they were unprepared for gunboat diplomacy because they hadn’t used their military offensively in two centuries 😛

                    3. Also, it’s important to note that when Japan did embrace Western technology and nation-state style governance the results were this. And this. And this. Japan didn’t really get the ‘humanist’ part of the deal (but then again, there were plenty of times when Europe didn’t as well). Is that an improvement? I guess it depends on whether you ask the Japanese or the Koreans.

                    4. You are completely missing the point. The isolation of Japan and China did not do them any favors. For me to point out that there exist aggressors in the world does not constitute any endorsement of aggressive action. I didn’t order Perry to storm into Japan and I don’t condone him or his methods.

                      You are saying “teach people not to rape” and I am saying “don’t put yourself in situations where you are vulnerable to being raped”. At no point did I ever say China or Japan deserved what the foreign powers did to them; what I am saying is that the strong-arm influence of foreign powers was foreseeable.

                      Furthermore, the totalitarian and monstrous regime of Imperial Japan is an example of a different kind of beast altogether and is not the product of organic trade but rather the centralization of power and the control of the populace. It wasn’t foreigners or their damnable influence that birthed the Empire of the Rising Sun; it was Japanese people themselves.

  7. “I was about to put my camera back in the trunk when one officer closed the trunk,” he says. “I looked at him and just thought, ‘What’s going on?'” Strasser says the cop then told him his car was going to be towed for being illegally parked and his camera seized because it “might contain evidence.” The VSP officer took the camera out of the reporter’s hands.

    When Strasser said he was willing to go but that he needed his car and camera to do his job, the cop forced him to delete the footage he had just recorded first

    Cops are liars. To a fucking one. Liars. If a cop’s lips are moving, he/she is lying. Lying through and through.

    Lying fucking lying liars tell lies. What’s fascinating is they’re too dumb to realize they contradict their own lies from sentence to sentence.

    Cop says that what’s on his camera is evidence, then orders the guy to destroy said evidence.

    Why is this cop not in a fucking orange jumpsuit in shackles doing the perp walk right the fuck now?

    1. He just needs more training

    2. There’s no sugarcoating it – Paul has some concerns with the police.

      1. I think he’s just crazy…

        Uh oh,

        Sorry about that…

        1. You know who else was crazy?

          1. Speaking of crazy, I saw this lady the other day, tell me she ( I think) doesn’t look like Gary Busse?

      2. To be fair to Paul, I really didn’t think much of Synchronicity.

    3. Tell us how you really feel about cops.

    4. It’s unreasonable to hold cops to the same standards as us lowly ‘civilians.’ We deserve to be punished for our crimes/mistakes, they do not.

    5. Paul,
      “If a cop’s lips are moving, he/she is lying. Lying through and through.” Your comments are getting uncomfortably close to racism. You understand the statement you made is similar to comments that racists are notorious for saying?

      The police work for people who often for national security purposes need to do things that the public doesn’t “need to know about”…it is for the good of the country…perhaps you can’t handle the truth. Don’t worry your pretty little head about this stuff….just wait for the official investigation and the proper authorities to decide what needs to be reported and what the public needs to know about. I have a feeling some officers might even get a promotion out of this!

  8. “would at least provide an audio record and may help investigators identify the rogue cop”

    You mean identify the lucky gentleman who’s getting a paid vacation?

  9. “I need that camera. There’s evidence on it. But- if you destroy that evidence, you and the camera will be free to go.”
    .
    Makes me wonder just what sort of evidence, of what sort of crime, the cop believed was there. Were those cops “standing around” watching the guy bleed to death, rather than rendering reasonable aid?

    1. Were those cops “standing around” watching the guy bleed to death, rather than rendering reasonable aid?

      Unheard of!

      1. Hey, that’s why pencils have erasers.

    2. Go read his twitter feed, @franzstrasser and read what he tweeted right before the cops came over and demanded the camera, and when he refused, demanded that he delete the video. Ah hell, I’ll paste the tweet here for you;

      “Saw about 20 police cars in the middle of I-66 E, the silver suspect car and what appeared to be a coffin.”

      A coffin? What does this even mean?

      1. was it one of the FEMA coffins? People, let me warn you, this story is big news being pushed on all the morning “news” shows for a reason. Don’t start creating conspiracy theories and questioning your government or your media. We are here to promote goodness. Just listen to the good news people and do what they say.

        1. No conspiracy, it’s this BBC reporters own tweet, which was right before the cops came and destroyed his footage. His words, not mine.

          I don’t know why there’s a coffin on the scene, and I never speculated about any thing about a FEMA coffin. That Red Herring was injected here by you, not me.

        2. Don’t start creating conspiracy theories and questioning your government or your media.

          I’m really struggling to understand if you’re being sarcastic here, or if are you for real.

          1. How many nutcases have you heard trying to tell us that “the BBC even reported the WTC 7 building had already fallen before it had fallen, then tried to deny it …I swear!!”

            blah blah blah. If there was a cover up then obviously the competitive free-market media and one of the thousands of good elected politicians would figure it out and tell the people. There is no reason to worry about “teh coverup, teh coverup!” just wait for the official investigation and shut up with your theories.

            Everyone knows that all highly publicized murders end with a guy killing himself and/or being dumped from a helicopter at sea under the traditional rules for correct islamic burial. no reason to doubt these narratives.

            1. lol..I like you.

      2. I expect that it was a trunk of equipment that he mistook for a coffin. Or a body bag being staged by someone who didn’t realize the guy was alive.

        1. sounds reassonable..one thing is certain…the cops don’t just lie to the public…if they did it was like on rogue dude…chill out and lick the boots with more tounge next time.

        2. I’m flabbergasted by the number of people who will not take this professional journalist at his own word, and believe him when he said he saw a coffin.

          He’s trained to report what he sees, he’s not some random person. As strange, and un-explainable as it is, he still said coffin, not trunk equipment, not a body bag, but a coffin.

          Until he clarifies that tweet, what he saw was a coffin. period. end of story. This makes the most logical sense as to why the police came over and demanded the camera because of “evidence”, then destroyed that “evidence” when he refused.

          Besides this all went down before the paramedics even showed up, so a trunk of equipment or a body bag doesn’t really make much more sense then a coffin at this point.

          It doesn’t make sense why there’s a coffin on the scene, I agree. But it also doesn’t make sense why the police deleted his camera, unless they were doing something they weren’t supposed to be, and got caught either.

          1. Anyone who has ever been interviewed by a journalist knows how often they make mistakes.

          2. I’m flabbergasted by the number of people who will not take this professional journalist at his own word, and believe him when he said he saw a coffin.

            I take it you’ve never actually encountered a professional journalist in person then.

            I have. Several. They weren’t bad people. They were clearly baffled by much of life though.

            1. For some people, “professional journalist” seems to mean something akin to Heinlein’s concept of the Fair Witness. To me, “professional journalist” means paid liar. I do what I’m told at work; why would I expect a journalist to be any different?

            2. Even the most professional journalists make mistakes. They’re human. I’m not saying they are careless or purposefully deceitful, but they DO make mistakes.

              It’s not reasonable to simply assume the journalist is 100% correct, especially when the reported sighting of a coffin doesn’t make sense in the context of the story, when the journalist was in a hurry, and when there are plausible explanations.

              Or, all that can be ignored and the assumption can be made that there is a massive conspiracy to quickly deliver coffins to crash sights…

  10. He’ll meet with that officer in person on Monday.

    So, the cops know who it is. And that it violated policy.

    Yet still don’t release its name.

    1. Strasser will be meeting with the officer from the internal investigations unit, not the officer who made him delete his footage. Just to clarify.

    2. yes….and the cops bosses know and their bosses bosses know….and they approve…or it wouldn’t be going down like this.

      And this is a democracy…we all approved of the bosses bosses through the legitimate voting proccess that we have in place by law. So you lose all rights to bitch and whine. Your only action going forward will be to one of two candidates next year…afterwards anything you to do that is disobedient will make you a “enemy combatant” under the lawful patriot act. do you hate america or something?

  11. Yet still don’t release its name.

    That officer has a right to privacy, same as you or I.

    1. No he doesn’t. He was acting in official capacity – his name badge number home address and phone numbers should all be made public.

  12. Cops cannot be trusted. Cops lie all the time and everywhere. They lie for no reason other than that they can get away with it. They lie, lie, lie, and lie again. They lie on their arrest reports, they lie in court, they lie to get a brother cop out of a jam. They lie with abandon. They lie with aplomb. They lie with sincerity. It’s the first lesson in police academy: “How to lie sincerely.” This is the reason you never, never trust a cop. Every word out of their mouths is a lie.

    1. Agreed. My question here is, what did this reporter see? The cop comes over and demands his camera because there’s “evidence” on it, when he refuses, the same cop then deletes that “evidence”. Logically speaking, what other possible scenario could there be, other then the “evidence” which was deleted implicated the cops in something?

    2. Yes, and this holds true whether the pig is on duty or off duty. Never, ever trust a cop, and don’t teah your children to trust them either.

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  14. “rogue cop”, that’s somewhat redundant…

  15. I want to know why in all of these follow up reports on this, why nobody is asking Franz what he saw when he tweeted this? This is very unnerving to me to read this tweet about him seeing a coffin, then minutes later the Virginia State Police demand he turn over his camera because it has “evidence”, then when he refuses, demand that he then delete this same “evidence”. Is this what he really saw? If so, this is a huge story.

    The tweet he made right before was:

    “Saw about 20 police cars in the middle of I-66 E, the silver suspect car and what appeared to be a coffin.”

  16. Very odd behavior by the police. I don’t understand why they were so jumpy.

    1. I agree, it’s not normal behavior. It makes me think of the behavior people have when they are caught doing things they aren’t supposed to.

      1. It IS normal behaviour. Cops are thugs, that is how they act. Nothing will come of the phony investigation. It is a whitewash in progress.

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  18. Can’t wait to see the recovered footage.

  19. I wonder if an American journalist might have been more defiant and refused to delete the video and call the officer’s bluff on towing. Or, better yet, have the car towed and get another story out of it.

    1. They may work for the BBC, but they are most likely amerikans.

  20. Do we have to make forced deletion of electronic data sans warrant a Capital Offense?
    It would seem so.

  21. “Strasser and the BBC are “pretty confident” they’ll be able to recover his deleted footage, which, since he kept filming throughtout the confrontation, would at least provide an audio record and may help investigators identify the rogue cop.”

    This was not a “rogue cop”, this was a typical cop. Cops are armed thugs, it’s what they do.

  22. At the risk of sounding overly suspicious, concerning the VSP “looking into the matter” of a news persons film, think they have either,let along both eyes open?

  23. What’s all this rogue cop talk about, I thought this thread was focused on Japanese history.
    Am I in the wrong link?

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