A Los Angeles Times photographer was arrested Wednesday for allegedly refusing to cooperate with police while transmitting photographs of the Nancy Reagan funeral motorcade.
Ricardo DeAratanha, 65, was arrested after Simi Valley police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle about three-quarters of a mile downhill from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
Deputy Chief David Livingstone said DeAratanha refused to identify himself and balked at providing further identification, and was arrested for resisting and obstructing officers.
However, DeAratanha’s attorney Mark Werksman told the Los Angeles Times that his client provided “multiple unassailable press credentials” and the officers “kept asking him for more ID.” DeAratanha has been with the newspaper since 1989.
The attorney says the officers grew angry when DeAratanha suggested that his Brazilian ethnicity and tan skin was behind their questioning of him.
Livingstone, the deputy chief, denied that race had anything to do with the encounter.
“This is not something we want to happen,” Livingstone said. “Had he cooperated, we would’ve had a different outcome.”
DeAratanha was cited and released. He was treated at a local hospital for a sprained elbow.
The Ventura County district attorney’s office has 30 days to decide whether to press charges. The photographer’s arraignment is scheduled for April 7, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.