Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Man Arrested For Recording Police

In Wake Forest, North Carolina the The Wake Forest Police Department says an officer has "been dealt with", but can't comment further after a man was arrested while videotaping the arrest of a friend.
The incident happened at an Irish pub in February. Robert Johnson said that he was nearby when his friend got into a confrontation with the bar staff.

"I guess the bouncers were arguing with him for being loud or whatever," said Johnson.

When police arrived, Johnson started recording.

"Kept a safe distance - just videotaping," he recalled.

That's when the situation took a turn for the worse. Minutes into the recording, you hear an officer tell Johnson they're going to take his phone.
That's when the officer took the phone by force.

"He grabbed my other hand that was not in a cast and twisted it back and was trying to slam me on my face which eventually happened," said Johnson.
The next thing you hear in the recording is the officer trying to turn it off.

"How do you stop your phone?" the officer asks.

Johnson was arrested for resisting and obstructing an arrest. Within just a few weeks, the charges were dropped and he got his cell phone back.

But he says the experience is having lasting effects on his efforts to turn his life around. He's on probation for an assault in 2013, so his probation officer had to be notified and the arrest still shows up online.

"It looks bad if I try to get a job, I go to school, it just ruins a reputation," he said. "You should never get your phone taken or taken to jail just for videotaping an arrest."

Johnson said he's filed a formal complaint and is now contemplating a lawsuit, and rightfully so, if that police officer was not guilty of anything, or had no intention of doing anything then why would they object to being recorded?

A spokesperson for the police department acknowledged the officer made a mistake but couldn't elaborate.



  1. Police officers should have no fear of being videotaped IF THEY ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. PERIOD. END OF REPORT.