A customer at a Virginia McDonald’s was recording the aggressive arrest of a suspect by Prince William County police just outside the front door of the fast food restaurant. One of the police officers, apparently not understanding that photography is not a crime, bullied the witness and threatened to arrest him if he didn’t stop filming.
Photography is Not a Crime, aka PINAC, posted the video but the original has since been removed. A different user, 99 VIDEOS, reposted the Live Leak version :
According to PINAC:
The video was posted Saturday under the username isaicruz22, who stated the following in the description:
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. After they carried him out I decided to follow. You then see an officer by the name of Jennings confront me to go inside. He threatened to arrest me for loitering even though I was a customer at the mcdonalds. He then directs me to go inside to stop filming. This is unacceptable to be happening by the people that are supposed to be making us feel safe. I was not breaking any law by filming to keep both sides accountable. I should have never felt threatened. There was no crime scene tape to say I was not allowed to be there and as you can see in the video there are also other bystanders (none with a camera) who are left alone and not harassed to continue watching.
Call Chief Stephan Hudson at (703) 792-6650 or leave a comment on the department’s Facebook page.
UPDATE: The Prince William County Police Department responded to the call floods with the following statement on its Facebook page.
“Photography is Not a Crime was launched in 2007 after Miami multimedia journalist Carlos Miller was arrested for taking photos of five Miami police officers while working on an article for a local news site,” according to the site info.
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