Baltimore Cops Harass Photographer
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—Controversial confrontation. A man videotaped Baltimore County police as they arrested two people in Towson, but an altercation broke out between the man and officer. Now an investigation is underway.
Meghan McCorkell has more from officials.
County police officials say they are concerned by the video and they’ve launched an investigation.
Early Sunday morning, a man videotaped as Baltimore County police arrested two people in Towson. As the video rolled, he was confronted by an officer. View video here.
“I’m allowed to do this,” he told the officer.
“Get it out of my face,” the officer replied.
“I have my rights,” the man said.
“You have no rights,” the officer said.
But the man didn’t stop rolling and was once again aggressively approached.
“Do you see the police presence here? Do you see us all? We’re not [expletive] around. Do you understand? Do not disrespect us and do not not listen to us,” the officer said. “Now walk away and shut your [expletive] mouth or you’re going to jail, do you understand?”
After backing away, the officer came at the man a third time, appearing to grab him.
“I thought I had freedom of speech here,” the man said.
“You don’t. You just lost it,” the officer replied.
County police, auxiliary officers and state police were all responding to a large crowd and disturbance on York Road. County police officials became aware of the video of the altercation Tuesday morning and have launched an investigation.
“We are concerned about what we saw in the video and the department will be taking a thorough look at that video,” said Elise Armacost.
But officials with the ACLU say the video clearly shows illegal and improper police conduct.
“I think the officer in the video is extraordinarily agitated, hostile and unprofessional. I think it’s highly problematic,” said David Rocah, ACLU Maryland. “The fact that officers can act this way, knowing that they’re being filmed, I think shows a level of impunity that is quite troubling.”
Delegate Sandy Rosenberg says he’s also concerned.
“There needs to be either further training for the police and perhaps some appropriate disciplinary action for this individual policeman,” Rosenberg said.
The man who was filming was not arrested and has not filed a complaint in this case.
In a statement, county police officials say they recognize and respect the rights of citizens to film officers on duty in a public place, unless the person filming has violated a law or statute.