Some teens in Kentucky were playing Airsoft when Radcliff police with high-powered rifles arrived in response to a call from a concerned neighbor. After verifying it was only a game (Airsoft is similar to paintball and involves realistic-looking guns that shoot non-lethal rounds) one of the officers noticed a GoPro video camera was recording and ordered the teens to turn it off.
The teen was about to comply when 18-year-old Ryan Seaman piped in, telling his friend he was under no legal obligation to do so.
That got him arrested on several charges, including criminal trespass, assisting minors to commit criminal trespass and carrying a concealed deadly weapon, which was nothing but a pocket knife.
Now the local media is asking that same old question the media always ask after these incidents.
Do citizens have the right to record police?
It is a stupid question considering the issue has been settled in numerous court cases over the years, but the media can never come out and say police were in the wrong. Instead, they have to resort to the tired, old “he said, she said” routine to give off the appearance of being objective.
According to WAVE:
“The officers they came out of the trees with their assault rifles and I was right over there,” Anderson recalled.
A GoPro camera was recording, when an officer noticed it he asked them to shut it off.
Seaman, who was next to the camera, told Anderson, “You don’t have to.”
The officer is then heard in the video saying to Seaman, “You want to go to jail friend?”
When Seaman did not give the officer his name, he was arrested.
“It sounds like a possible retaliation by police, retaliation is a strong word, but that’s what it is,” First Amendment expert Attorney Jon Fleischaker said.
Seaman has pleaded not guilty and is now awaiting trial. And the Radcliff Police Department has refused to answer any questions from the news station.
It seems strange that the media is often willing to cast doubt on citizens’ rights under the first amendment of the Constitution when that is what offers journalists the freedom to do their own jobs! The charges the police dreamed up definitely seem to be retaliation for Seaman standing up for his rights.
Uncut footage from the GoPro is below:
Source: Photography Is Not A Crime
Photo: Photography Is Not A Crime