The man who originally released – but didn’t film – video of Alton Sterling’s shocking death found himself apprehended by police just 24 hours after the graphic video went viral on social media.
As he walked into work Wednesday evening, 34-year-old Chris LeDay said he was arrested and detained by at least 10 military police officers, a few of whom were carrying M-16 assault rifles. Hauled off to a back room, handcuffed and leg-shackled, LeDay suspects his unwarranted arrest was an act of retaliation for the video.
According to Photography Is Not a Crime (PINAC), the Georgia man was initially told he was being arrested on charges of battery and assault. However, when he arrived to the DeKalb County Jail, his arrest warrant mentioned nothing about an assault or battery charge.
“It was just over some traffic tickets from a couple of years ago,” LeDay told the publication. “They said my license was suspended.”
LeDay spent a total of 26 hours behind bars and was only released after he paid $1,231 in traffic fines, US Uncut reports. He admitted to not paying the fines simply because he didn’t have the money at the time and rarely drives anymore.
“I take Uber to work anyway,” LeDay explained. “Even one of the cops on the base said he sees me getting dropped off for work.”
While detained, the Georgia man made sure to keep his Facebook friends aware of what was going on.
LeDay told PINAC he believes police chose to make a scene of arresting him at work because someone in law enforcement was trying to get him fired as revenge for the Sterling video. LeDay, who is an employee at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, said his boss laughed it off when his arrest turned out to be the result of unpaid parking tickets.
Though he resides in Georgia, LeDay was born and raised in Baton Rouge. The Louisiana native was made aware of the Alton Sterling video by friends and family back home, PINAC reports. As the shocking footage wasn’t gaining much traction, LeDay decided to post the video to his multiple social media accounts, making it readily available to his nearly 13,000 Instagram followers, 6,00o Twitter followers and 2,000 Facebook friends, per US Uncut.
The video soon went viral and was being picked up by major news outlets by Wednesday morning. He was arrested later on that day.
“I wanted everybody to see this video,” LeDay told PINAC. “I wanted it to go viral. The police were already saying their body cams fell off and I wanted to show there was video of the shooting.”
Despite his arrest, the Georgia man asserted that the negative experience will not deter him from continuing to speak out against police brutality.
“We need to diffuse what the cops are doing,” LeDay said. “They want to say that not all cops are bad, but they are not speaking out against the bad cops.”
“It just keeps getting worse and people are getting tired of it,” he continued. “I just want some change to occur.”