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Photojournalist Arrested for Filming Police

Photojournalist Phil Datz was arrested on Friday while attempting to film the conclusion of a police chase on Long Island.

Datz works for Stringer News Service, a Long Island-based news agency that provides breaking news footage for New York area stations, and was standing on the sidewalk filming suspects being arrested when an officer approached him, demanding that he leave the scene (video above).

In the video–uploaded to YouTube by Stringer–the officer angrily demands that Datz “go away.” The veteran photojournalist eventually complied and called police headquarters to speak with the public information office.

After letting the PIO know what was happening, Datz began filming again at a position a block away.

“The street was open to the public. There were cars driving up and down the street, there were kids walking past the scene,” Datz told New York radio station WINS, describing the location where he resumed filming.

Datz’s new spot was evidently not acceptable for the police officer, who sped his squad car down to where Datz was filming and promptly arrested him.

In the video, Datz can be heard explaining to the officer that he had contacted PIO.

According to the Long Island Press, Datz was charged with obstruction of governmental administration and later released.

“We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest,” a police spokesman told the Press.

Datz is due in court in September.

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