Man Who Posted Video of Police Killing Alton Sterling Says He Was Arrested a Day Later on Bogus Charges
Chris LeDay, the Georgia man who first posted a video of Alton Sterling being shot to death by police, says he was detained by police the next day.
“I just made it to my job on base and I'm being detained,” he wrote on Facebook on July 6. “They said I fit the description of someone and won't tell me anything else. If anything happens I did not resist! Please be aware!”
According to Carlos Miller, writing for Photography Is Not a Crime, LeDay works as an aerospace ground equipment technician at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. While attempting to walk through a checkpoint to get to work, he was stopped and detained by “at least ten military police officers with guns, including a few with M-16s, all of them surrounding him in case he tried to make a run for it,” Miller reports.
LeDay said that, during the course of his arrest, he was first told he was picked up on suspicion of assault and battery and then that the charges related to unpaid parking tickets. According to his public statements, LeDay spent the night in jail and paid $1,231, after which he was released. During his confinement, he says he was placed in handcuffs and leg shackles.
“It was just over some traffic tickets from a couple of years ago,” he told Miller. “They said my license was suspended.”
LeDay believes the arrest was direct retaliation for his role in making the video of Sterling’s killing go viral. While LeDay lives in Georgia, he is from Baton Rouge and when he heard of the video he made the decision to share it with his thousands of followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Sterling was shot to death by police while pinned to the ground. The video LeDay posted was one of two to capture the killing.
“We need to diffuse what the cops are doing,” LeDay told Miller. “They want to say that not all cops are bad but they are not speaking out against the bad cops.”
“We weren’t going to let [the police] get away with it this time,” LeDay told Atlanta outlet AJC.
LeDay’s suspicion that his detention constituted retaliation is understandable. Only one person has faced any criminal charges in the NYPD killing of Eric Garner: Ramsey Orta, who filmed the fatal chokehold, was recently sentenced to four years in jail for drug and weapons charges and says he has been repeatedly harassed by police since the filming.