Unfortunately, we have seen photographers get assaulted and insulted for shooting on public property, and the latest case happened a few days ago. The police assaulted and arrested the photographer for filming in public, he was left bleeding, and he caught the incident on camera.
The photographer behind the channel Concerned citizens where is the constitution had an encounter with the police that didn’t end well. He was filming three police officers out in the street when they asked him to leave. The man was chatting with them for a while, without any aggression from either side. They split ways, but the policemen returned after a car drifted close to the photographer. From there on, the situation began to escalate.
Long story short, one of the officers asked the photographer to leave and accused him of being “intoxicated.” He claimed that the photographer was “almost hit by a car,” making it seem as if they were concerned about his and public safety. The argument got heated, and the officers eventually arrested the man. One of the officers ground his face against the pavement and put a knee on his back. We can’t see it in the video, but we can hear as the photographer asks him to stop doing it. His glasses got broken, and near the end of the video, we can see that the man’s forehead was covered in blood.
San Joaquin Valley Transparency shared the video above to show the incident and add some comments. You can see the full video below, but be aware that there are some strong language and graphic scenes.
Both the long and short video have caused a lot of reactions. To be honest, the officers were polite during the first encounter, and so was the photographer, so all of this could have ended well. However, when they returned, I think that they overstepped. They accused the man of being “intoxicated,” and while he didn’t deny consuming alcohol, he sounds far from drunk. He sounds calm, well-informed and articulated when he talks. Also, he apparently wasn’t resisting the arrest, yet the police officers were very aggressive. And above all, if they were concerned about the man’s safety, why did they hurt him so bad that he started bleeding?
On the other hand, you can see on the photographer’s channel that he films the police waiting for them to act out. One of the commenter’s claims that people who run channels like this often have encounters with the same officers multiple times. This way, there are higher chances that they’ll eventually get arrested. Still, the man asked the officers in the video if they’d seen him before, and they said no. And I still think that they were way too aggressive considering that the photographer was on public property, unarmed, and non-aggressive. What do you think?