An unidentified man filmed officers from the Baltimore County Police Department arresting two people in the middle of a street on Sunday night in Towson, Md.
On his video (below), the cameraman is clearly several feet from the arrests and is not interfering, but an unidentified police officer sees the camera and quickly walks over and harasses the man.
“Get out of my face,” the police officer tells the cameraman, noted PhotographyisNotaCrime.com.
Seconds later, more police approach the cameraman and demand that he leave the area.
“Get the hell out of here!” a second police officer yells. “You diverted my attention!”
The second officer then begins pushing him down the street. The cameraman asks repeatedly what law he has violated but doesn't get an answer.
“We’re not f—— around, do you understand?" a third police officer yelled at the man. "Walk away and shut your f----- mouth or you’re going to jail.”
At one point, the cameraman’s arm was reportedly twisted behind his back by a police officer.
“I thought I had freedom of speech?” asked the cameraman.
“You don’t, you just lost it,” the police officer claimed.
However, U.S. courts have repeatedly upheld the right of the public to film the police as long people do not interfere in police work.
In 2011, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Boston lawyer Simon Glik was within his rights to film police in public on his cell phone, reported WBUR.
In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal that blocked an Illinois law banning the recording of police, noted The Huffington Post.
After this video went viral, the Baltimore County Police asked the cameraman to come forward to aid in their internal investigation of the incident, reports WBAL.
The police department claims it supports the rights of citizens to film officers.