It is the duty of police officers to enforce the law. But, as some seem to forget sometimes, it is also the duty of every police officer to obey the law. Leland, North Carolina officer Sgt. John Keel has been arrested for failing to follow this second duty.
Keel arrested Leland resident Gabriel Self, 19, because Self filmed Keel while he was questioning another suspect.
According to the law, Self was doing nothing illegal. North Carolina law declares that any person has the right to record, whether with video or audio, anything that an ordinary person could see in public. This includes police action as long as the recorder is not interfering with the police officer’s job.
Apparently Keel missed that memo. He has been suspended for 28 days without pay, and will be required to undergo training on the Leland Police Department’s policy regarding audio and video recorders.
Unfortunately, Keel’s arrest of Self for recording is nothing we haven’t seen before. For more examples of police acting aggressively towards or arresting people who are using cameras and recorders, check out this story, this story, and this story.
Here is Self’s video that resulted in his arrest: