A Maryland college student, who witnessed Baltimore County police making what he thought was an unnecessarily “forceful” arrest, began filming it on his cell phone.
A police officer can be heard telling 21-year-old Sergio Gutierrez, “You have no rights.”
Gutierrez, a University of Maryland Baltimore County student, saw the officers arresting a group of people at 1:45 a.m. Sunday in Towson.
“Well it seem like they were being a little bit too forceful with these people that were being arrested,” Gutierrez told ABC 2 News. “It didn’t seem like these people were resisting at all. They just had them pinned down.”
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An officer notices him filming and confronts him.
“Do you see the police presence here? Can you see us at all?” the officer says in the video.
“Yes,” Gutierrez says.
“We’re not f--king around. Do you understand? Do not, do not disrespect us and do not not listen to us!” the officer shouts.
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“I’m not disrespecting,” he says.
“Now walk away,” the cop adds, “and shut your f--king mouth or you’re going to jail.”
Gutierrez says when he didn’t stop filming, the officers grabbed his hair and pushed his face against a wall.
“I’ve done nothing here,” he tells police on camera.
“Don’t open your mouth,” an officer says.
“I thought I had freedom of speech here," he says.
“You don’t,” the officer tells him. “You’re just lost it. Walk away.”
Baltimore County police say they are concerned about the video and they have begun an investigation into the incident.
"The courts in Maryland have settled this issue," Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said. "It is legal for a civilian to film a police officer on duty and in a public place."
As long as person in not in the way of an investigation they can film officers on duty in a public space.
"I'd like the Baltimore County Police Department to educate their officers a little bit more thoroughly on the rights of the civilians and what they can and can't do,” Gutierrez said.
“I think the officer in the video is extraordinarily agitated, hostile and unprofessional. I think it’s highly problematic,” said David Rocah of ACLU Maryland. “The fact that officers can act this way, knowing that they’re being filmed, I think shows a level of impunity that is quite troubling.”