This is a pretty ugly instance of police intimidation. I highly recommend you watch it:
In case it disappears from Youtube, below is the text that accompanied the video.
I filled out a PD-99 Citizen Complaint form with MPD Sunday night and submitted it to Internal Affairs and the District 1 Commander. I heard back from Commander Jeff Brown and Captain Brian Harris on Monday afternoon, and again from Capt. Harris Tuesday night. Capt. Harris told me the officers shown were clearly in the wrong, that he and another officer he showed it to said “What the hell!?” aloud while watching it. He told me that the officers in the video would be disciplined.
Prior to this incident I wasn’t aware of MPD General Order 304.19 set forth in July, 2012 regarding “Video Recording, Photographing, and Audio Recording of Metropolitan Police Department Members by the Public.” It’s found here and addresses a number of the issues I brought up in the video.
I pulled out my phone and began recording when I came upon a man being physically restrained by 7 D.C. police officers outside the downtown branch of the D.C. Public Library September 7, 2014, at 6:24 p.m.
The video came out blurry, but 48 seconds in, Officer C.C. Reynolds (badge 3983) didn’t like that I was recording the proceedings, and tried to intimidate me into leaving the scene.
I don’t know what happened before this, whether the man was indeed fighting, or whether the large police response was warranted, but in light of the recent events in Ferguson, Mo., Staten Island, N.Y., and elsewhere, I thought it prudent to stay and observe the arrest. I know that I have a right to occupy a public place, and that recording the police isn’t cause for suspicion or accusation of wrongdoing.
I don’t appreciate the intimidation tactics Officer Reynolds used to try to bully me into leaving. I believe the D.C. Police Department should apologize, reprimand Officer Reynolds, and work to ensure that its officers understand the rights of the public.
At one point in the video I point out that the D.C. Police Department is considering the use of body cameras. More on that here.
In a sense this is a “good news” story because the police department has not yet circled the wagons. The first response was to side with the good citizen.
But more needs to be done. This should not happen and the only way to make it not happen is to discourage it.
What kind of society do people like this want? Imagine a world in which, any time any one of us saw a man being detained by police, at any level of violence, we all were trained to immediately avert our eyes and hurry away from the scene. Would that produce a civilized police force? Would that be a place where people can have political freedom?
No, it would be a police state. It would be a closed society.
Hat tip to The Blaze.