COLUMN: In the end, I’m just doing my job


Corryn Brock

Robert “Rob” Le Cates

Rob Le Cates, Assistant Photo Editor

Throughout my two semesters working at the Daily Eastern News, I never thought I would be flipped off and yelled at for doing my job.

For the coverage of Unofficial 2022, the News decided to place reporters and a photographer with the Charleston Police and Fire Departments for safety reasons.

I started my ride-along with Officer Jacob Evans at 10:00 a.m. and ended it at 2:30 a.m. with Officer Dan Hale.

As the photographer, I can’t say I wasn’t surprised when I started getting heckled, yelled at and flipped off when I was at the parties.

After arriving to the first Unofficial call of my ride-along, I realized just how crazy these parties can be.

Although nothing I saw was as crazy as years prior, if you know you know, I still wasn’t prepared to see the gigantic group of people drinking, dancing and passing out.

When we arrived on scene, a girl was laying on the ground in between two houses, limp-bodied.

Luckily, she was taken to the hospital, but it just goes to show why these parties can be dangerous and that people should drink responsibly.

After Jacob came back to the car, yes, we are on a first-name basis, he accompanied me so I could take pictures of the party.

I thought I might share some things said to me while I was taking pictures.

“Yeah, take my picture, see what that does.”

“The Daily Eastern News is a fucking joke.”

Several “Hey, take my picture” in slurred speech with people doing poses from 2013.

I got several dirty looks and saw a lot of middle fingers, but also got a lot of pictures of people flipping me off, so in the end, who really wins?

I don’t know if it was because I had a camera or if I was with the paper. Either way, it put me on edge.

I swear I’m not a bad guy.

Even though I was with an officer, the possibility of something happening frightened me a little.

An individual allegedly urinates in a backyard and was ticketed after officers saw him. (Rob Le Cates)

It was at our third response to the parties, that I got one of the funniest pictures I had taken that day.

Two officers and I were standing in a backyard watching over the partiers when someone strayed away from the party.

The person decided to relieve themselves in some dead shrubs.

Silence washed over the crowd of partiers, and when the officers started to walk towards the man urinating, the crowd then exploded into laughter and cheering.

In case you didn’t know, a citation for public urination is $100.

For my first ride-along, I think it went well. I didn’t get as much heat as I thought I would. Maybe it’s just luck but I hope it stays that way because, in the end, I am just doing my job. I hope people understand that.


Rob Le Cates is a sophomore journalism major.  He can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.