A group of police officers attempted to prevent a journalist from reporting a lavish hotel feast he caught on camera.

The reporter from Xinhua News Agency said he saw about 60 men – likely all police officers – in an extravagant blow-out at a hotel in Zhengzhou, Henan province, and took a photo. He said the men splurged nearly $1,000 in public funds.

Several police officers saw the journalist and ran up to him, demanding to know what he was doing. The police restrained him while others seized his camera, cellphone and press card, reports The Asahi Shimbun.

An argument ensued but the officers later returned the reporter’s belongings. However, he found the camera’s memory card had been damaged.

The reporter was later able to retrieve the photos from the card and wrote about it on Xinhua’s official account on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, drawing public criticism. He believed the feast had cost about 6,000 yuan ($964).

The police later issued an apology for the incident.