Police in Rochester, New York, were recently filmed making an arrest, which snowballed into the arrest of two bystanders (video below).
A video of the incident, which went viral on Facebook, was filmed by a man who sat in his car while the cops arrested an unidentified suspect; the arrest drew shouts from bystanders.
One officer told a woman, who was standing on the sidewalk, to get off the public property, notes The Free Thought Project.
The woman told the cop, "I live right here, I can't go nowhere."
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Moments later, the woman turned to walk into her front yard, but was chased down by the cop and a second officer while some children screamed nearby.
The man who was filming got out of his car and walked over to the woman's yard, where he told the police to get off her. The woman screamed as three officers appeared to be on top of her.
As the man walked back to his car, he was also taken into custody and arrested.
The Rochester Police Department has not issued a statement on the incident.
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The ACLU noted in August 2011 that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that people have a right to film the police (as long as they are not interfering in the police work). The case revolved around Simon Glik, who filmed some Boston police officers.
"This is a resounding victory for the First Amendment right to openly record police officers carrying out their duties in a public place," Sarah Wunsch, ACLU of Massachusetts staff attorney, said in a press release at the time. "It will be influential around the country in other cases where people have been arrested for videotaping the conduct of the police."
David Milton, Gilk's attorney, added:
Police officers must be trained to respect the right of people to openly record their actions in public. Simon did what we hope any engaged citizen would do, which was documenting what he thought looked like an improper use of force, and his action in no way interfered with the police.
This case is significant not only for members of the public who use cell phone cameras to document police conduct. It is equally important for members of the media, since reporters and the public have the same right of access to information.
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