As smartphones with built-in camcorders become more ubiquitous, citizens who witness arrests and other police activities increasingly use the technology to capture such moments on tape.
For fans of law enforcement transparency, such added accountability is a positive trend. Many officers, however, express a different point of view.
When police in Towson, Md. initiated the arrest of two suspects this week, a local CBS affiliate reported a bystander reached for his phone and immediately began capturing footage of the unfolding event. A short time later, one officer approached the amateur videographer, who expressed his belief that he had a right to record the interaction.
“Get out of my face,” the officer snapped, despite the fact that the unidentified man was positioned a considerable distance away from the action. This prompted the civilian to once again verbally uphold his right.
“You have no rights,” the cop shot back. After momentarily leaving – and after another officer approached the same individual – the first officer returned, unleashing a profane tirade.
“Do you see the police presence here?” the officer asked. “Do you see us all? We’re not f***ing around.”
He warned the man to “shut your f***ing mouth or you’re going to jail,” at which point the officer again momentarily retreated. In a matter of moments, however, he returned and appeared to physically push the citizen.
“I thought I had freedom of speech here,” he told the officer.
“You don’t,” the cop barked back. “You just lost it.”
An example of the rare instances in which those on the left and right can find some common ground, a local American Civil Liberties Union spokesperson expressed the common assertion that this officer acted in an extremely inappropriate manner.
David Rocah called his behavior “highly problematic,” noting that the “fact that officers an act this way, knowing that they’re being filmed, I think shows a level of impunity that is quite troubling.”
Baltimore County police spokesperson Elise Armacost confirmed the department is “concerned about what we saw in the video” and “will be taking a thorough look at that video.”
Reports of such apparent overreaction, however, are surfacing in communities across the nation with alarming regularity. Obviously, just a small fraction of these are actually captured on video.
Activist police officers, it seems, are following the federal government’s lead by asserting power over citizens for which they have no lawful claim. Further suppressing the individual’s integral freedoms of speech and expression only strip the only recourse Americans have against such blatant abuses.
Click here to watch the entire video below. Warning: Video contains explicit language.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom