Virginia Cop To Citizen: Record Me And I’ll Arrest You
A man enjoying a meal at a McDonald’s in Manassas, Virginia, was threatened with arrest for committing the non-crime of recording a police officer while the cop was “manhandling” a suspect.
The customer uploaded his recording of the incident to YouTube. Here is how he described the initial encounter:
While at a local manassas mcdonalds, I noticed a guy being talked to by the police. Being that it is my constitutional right to film an on duty police officer, I pulled my phone out and started recording. Out of no where you see the police officers throw the guy to the ground and man handle him up even though you clearly see him putting his hands behind his back.
The officers dragged the man out of the McDonald’s, and the customer decided to follow, camera phone in hand. That’s when one of the officers — identified as Kevin Jennings by PhotographyIsNotACrime — confronted him and ordered him to go back inside the restaurant.
“Go back inside,” said Jennings. “You want to be interfering with what’s going on out here? Get inside. GET INSIDE or … you want to be charged with loitering?”
At no point did the customer interfere with the simple arrest of a cooperative man. (RELATED: Woman Charged With Wiretapping Because She Dared To Record The Cops)
In most states — including the state of Virginia — citizens are well within their rights to record public servants performing their duties.