Dover Police are claiming that Dover Post reporter Andre Lamar was not displaying adequate credentials and made a move toward his camera bag that was deemed to be suspicious.
The department has been under fire for taking Lamar into custody when police broke up a demonstration.
Lamar has been covering protests in the Dover area. Police issued no apology.
In a lengthy statement, Dover Police noted that the dialogue with protesters “has become more hostile in recent days and the message was made clear by protesters that further steps needed to be taken to make people more “uncomfortable”. As reported previously, individuals were arrested after failing to move off the highway.
Police also noted that one feature of the protests has been people carrying firearms.
The statement continued:
“An individual, later identified as a member of the Dover Post, was detained during the arrest process. At the beginning of the video, the subject is seen putting on a press credential lanyard that contains what is believed to be a 3”x4” card that had not been worn by the subject prior to this incident. The subject is not wearing any other identifying items. The subject is then observed rummaging through his backpack. A Dover Police Officer observes the subject and engages him not knowing he is a journalist, nor the contents of the backpack he was digging in. The officer believed this to be public and officer safety concern in that moment. The subject was utilizing a cell phone to record at the time, as were several other demonstrators that were involved. As the officer approaches, the subject stands up and the officer secured the individual with the assistance of other officers. Once the subject was secured, he was immediately sat up by officers and placed in a patrol vehicle a short time later. Once all of the arrested subjects were transported to Delaware State Police Troop 3, it was confirmed that the subject was a media member and he was released by the Delaware State Police without charges.”
“Despite the actions that officers were forced to take on June 9th, we remain 100% committed to working with citizens and having productive conversations that lead to meaningful and positive change in law enforcement and our community as a whole,” the statement concluded.