Police Have Zero Right to Intimidate, Nor to Arrest, Members of the Public Who Are Simply Recording Them

The following debate originally took place upon my Facebook wall…

Rayn: Arkansas State Representative Arrested for Recording Police:

Greg C.: You can watch from across the street but you can’t push up on police doing their jobs. We can’t second guess police officers from doing their jobs. We can demand that they be held liable for their actions if they break the law.

Rayn: Just “doing their job”… Sure… And, so were the Nazis…

"Just. Doing. [Their}. Job."

“Just. Doing. [Their]. Job.”

The Arkansas State representative, Mr. John Walker, who was originally recording the police encounter from across the street, was approached by two officers, who then engaged in the federal crime of “witness tampering,” by harassing, intimidating, attempting to use corrupt persuasion, and engaging in misleading conduct, in order to pressure Mr. Walker into ceasing his ac of publicly recording. The officers claimed that Mr. Walker was video recording the police encounter to “provoke” officers, and also claimed Mr. Walker to be a “race baiter.” And, even as the police officers originally stated to Mr. Walker that there were two men being detained, before walking away from him, they admitted that anyone inside of the pulled-over car wasn’t visible, because the windows were darkened.

Meanwhile, when Mr. Walker came closer to the scene, it quickly become apparent that he only did so in order to film the faces of the two men from the car that were being detained by police, as one was still inside the car, and unable to be seen from his original vantage point – even by police admission. With this action, he was then FALSELY arrested under the ludicrous charge of “obstruction of a governmental operation.” Yet, according to law, “a person is guilty of obstructing governmental operations when he intentionally obstructs, impairs or hinders the performance of a governmental function by using or threatening to use violence, force or physical interference.” Mr. Walker did not, IN ANY WAY, physically interfere with the activities of the officers. He didn’t touch them, nor did he come between them and the car they were surrounding, nor did he come between them and the two men from the car that they were detaining. He certainly didn’t “PUSH UP” on the officers, by ANY definition of the term.

You can read here how the charge against Mr. Walker was later dropped (along with watching a full version of the video police took of their encounter with Mr. Walker):

Police Release Walker Arrest Video; Shows Cops Accusing Him of Being “Race Baiter”:
http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2016/09/28/police-release-walker-arrest-video-shows-cops-accusing-him-of-being-race-baiter

You can watch dozens of videos that illustrate this point. Here’s a perfect example that comes to mind:

NYPD Officers Arrest US Postal Worker On Duty Delivering Packages Who Criticized Them:

According to your and the Arkansas police department’s totally improper interpretation of the law, all of these bystanders should have been arrested for “obstruction of a governmental operation.” LOL! And, yet, not a single one was.

Greg C.: They shouldn’t have done that to Mr. Walker as any sane person could see that police presence was high but Mr. Walker just wanted to push up and up closer and closer. Yes he has the right to observe, relate and to complain but Not interfere. He isn’t police. However if the police commit a crime they should be accountable for their actions. No ones picking sides here. If you were a farmer caring for crops would you tolerate me coming into contact with you and second guessing your technique? If I was a DJ o you think I want somebody to park their butt in my booth door asking me all night if I had “any good records” – NO I ONLY PLAY BAD MUSIC…heh,

Greg C.: Thank you to Rayn – you can’t say we aren’t balanced here…

Rayn: As I already explained, “according to law, ‘a person is guilty of obstructing governmental operations when he intentionally obstructs, impairs or hinders the performance of a governmental function by using or threatening to use violence, force or physical interference.’ Mr. Walker DID NOT, IN ANY WAY, PHYSICALLY INTERFERE with the activities of the officers. He didn’t touch them, nor did he come between them and the car they were surrounding, nor did he come between them and the two men from the car that they were detaining. He certainly didn’t ‘PUSH UP’ on the officers, by ANY definition of the term.

You can read here how THE CHARGE AGAINST MR. WALKER WAS LATER DROPPED (along with watching a full version of the video police took of their encounter with Mr. Walker):

Police Release Walker Arrest Video; Shows Cops Accusing Him of Being “Race Baiter”:
http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2016/09/28/police-release-walker-arrest-video-shows-cops-accusing-him-of-being-race-baiter

As for your analogy, “if you were a farmer caring for crops would you tolerate me coming into contact with you and second guessing your technique,” it is completely fallacious. Officers are public servants, paid through OUR TAX DOLLARS. They are and completely totally accountable to us, as they are technically in OUR EMPLOY. They are not private citizens, engaging in private enterprises, whatsoever. They aren’t DJs, either, for that matter.

Greg C.: As I said, you can make a point and nobody can say we aren’t fair and balanced like some debates say they are but aren’t… Your point was settled when you brought up that we pay their salary so that one flew by me like a bird. I’ll use the lightest term I can and say that Mr. Walker has his concerns and they motivated him to wander a little too close and I don’t like the officers negative, threatening tone. Cops are intelligent enough (I hope) to recognize the difference between innocent interest and a threat. The negative tone that cops displayed don’t show any nobility at all… As you stated Walker was not charged or guilty of any violation. The cops were guilty of not acting like the professionals that they should be…

Greg C.: I still don’t want anyone parking their butt in my booth doorway…

Creative Commons License     Fair Use     Public Domain

(All original portions of this work, by Rayn Kleipe, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, while all redistributed links, images, sounds, videos, and writings are protected under 17 U.S.C. § 107: Fair Use, or under Public Domain)

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