Maurice "Mo" Crawley, an anti-gun violence advocate, was arrested on July 28 while filming police as they made an arrest in Syracuse, New York (video below).
Crawley was filming the arrest of an unidentified African-American man from across the street, noted Syracuse.com.
One of the two officers was also African-American, prompting Crawley to say on his video: "Look at the Uncle Tom. Yeah, Uncle Tom."
Later in the video, a white police officer is talking to a white woman at the same scene, and the black police officer shouts at Crawley: "Hey! Say one word, your a-- is going to jail, just so you know."
"I didn't hear you," Crawley yells back. "Say it again, officer. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."
The officer puts on his gloves, walks across the street, tells Crawley to turn around and states, "Give me your hands. Don't f------ move, you understand me? Don't you f------- move, I'm a f--- you up."
Crawley was reportedly charged with two misdemeanors: second-degree obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest.
The Syracuse Black Lives Matter group posted the live streaming video on their Facebook page, where it went viral; close to one dozen members attended Crawley's hearing on July 29 when he pleaded not guilty.
Syracuse Police Department spokesman Sgt. Richard Helterline said the department was doing an internal investigation.
According to the police report, Crawley stood across the street and made a "circle motion" with his hands, and spoke "tornado comments," reported Syracuse.com.
The report asserted that Crawley was creating a dangerous situation for officers and interfering in a drug investigation.
The Marshall Project noted in 2015 that Americans are legally allowed to curse at police, but are still arrested for exercising that right. Citizens are not allowed to threaten officers or utter "fighting words" that would somehow cause violence.
After Crawley's hearing, a group of Black Matter Lives activists protested outside the courthouse.