U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Freelance photojournalist arrested by police while filming aftermath of car crash

Incident Details

Date of Incident
July 24, 2017
Hemet, California

Arrest/Criminal Charge

Arresting Authority
Hemet Police Department
Unnecessary use of force?
July 25, 2023 - Update

Charges dropped against CA photojournalist arrested while filming

When reached by email in July 2023, the Riverside County District Attorney’s office told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that no charges were filed against freelance photojournalist John Strangis, who was arrested in 2017 and given a citation while filming the scene of a crash in Hemet, California. No further information was available about the incident.

July 24, 2017

John Strangis, a freelance videographer and photojournalist, was arrested while filming the scene of a car crash in Hemet, CA, on July 24, 2017.

According to Riverside County News Source, Strangis responded to the location of the three-vehicle crash to film footage that he intended to sell to news organizations.

Although the scene had not been established or indicated to be a crime scene, Strangis was ordered several times to stop filming by City of Hemet police officers and to move further away from the scene.

When he did not comply and remained filming, he was handcuffed and arrested on suspicion of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer and given a citation to appear in court, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Strangis and the Hemet Police Department did not respond to requests by the Freedom of the Press Foundation for comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].