After arresting a man for daring to record a traffic stop, police officer Dale Eason followed up in true Pittsfield Police Department fashion. He grabbed the guy’s camera phone and promptly deleted the video. Why? What was he afraid of?
The incident unfolded when Keith Stringer, a Pittsfield citizen, video recorded Eason from his sidewalk vantage point. Upon realizing that he was on camera, Eason stormed over to Stringer and demanded that he stop recording. When Stringer refused to obey, Eason grabbed the camera phone, arrested Stringer on a trumped up charge of disorderly conduct and dragged him off to the police station.
In his police report, Eason claimed that Stringer smelled of alcohol, caused traffic to stop on the road and interfered with his police investigation. Translation: Eason knew his inappropriate performance had been captured on video. After his eventual release from custody, Stringer retrieved his phone only to discover that the video of Eason had been erased. How convenient. Eason has since testified that he didn’t delete the video and to his knowledge neither did any other police officer.
If only Stringer had used a live-streaming app, he could have caught Eason perjuring himself. Police are required to obtain a warrant prior to confiscating a phone and examining its data, much less to delete potential evidence. But Eason has quite a history of going rogue…circumventing the law, ignoring warrants. And why not? He never gets reprimanded or disciplined by his superiors. In fact they accept, even encourage his behavior.
Back in February of 2005, as I was being falsely arrested in my Richmond home, officer Eason salivated at the prospect of rifling through my personal belongings. Eason, along with his sidekick James Casey, hoped to make names for themselves by finding clothing items that would connect me to a series of unsolved felonies. But much to their chagrin the two amigos were unable to explore the premises…legally. Due to insufficient probable cause Captain Barry had denied their request for a search warrant.
With blatant disregard for chain of command and the law, Eason and Casey executed a search anyway. Coming up empty-handed, looking foolish, the dynamic duo grabbed random articles of clothing from my bedroom floor and transported them to the police station. The clothing was to function as a prop, a means of portraying the illusion of securing “evidence“. Their intent was to use the clothing in a ruse to concoct additional charges. The plan didn’t work but it wasn’t for a lack of trying!