Despite numerous court rulings establishing that citizens have the right to record police in public, Indiana cops last month arrested a man for doing just that.
Gary police arrested Edward M. Strauss, 36, after he had stepped in his front yard to record police activity in his neighborhood on September 1, claiming he was “interfering” with their investigation.
But his video shows they were the ones interfering with his Constitutional right to record cops in public.
Strauss uploaded the video on September 6, resulting in numerous calls to the Gary Police Department, leading to an internal investigation, according to NWI Times.
The video shows officers becoming hostile as soon as they spot Strauss with his camera.
> “Female Officer Jones badge #1586: why are you recording me?”
> Strauss: “Because I can?”
> Officer Jones: “No, you can’t. Not of me. No, you can’t.”
> Strauss: “Well, I can. This is a public street and, by the way, you’re live on YouTube right now.”
> Officer Jones: “Well, I don’t care. You can’t record me. You can’t record me. You trying to go to jail?””
The officers then proceed demanding for Strauss to show his identification.
> “ID ID please ID. ID!”
The officers tell Strauss he is breaking the law by not only walking on someone else’s private property but also interfering with their investigation.
But the camera just happens to be pointing downwards, showing he is standing on the sidewalk.
The officers then get violent by trying to grab the camera. Photography Is Not A Crime was able to obtain pictures of the arrest affidavits.
Not only does the landmark court ruling, ACLU v Alvarez, state that citizens have the right to record, but that ruling was made in Cook County, Illinois, which borders Lake County, Indiana where this arrest took place.
A closer look at the arrest reports show that the officer falsified information stating that Strauss pulled away and forcefully resisted arrest while shouting and yelling, which is proven to be false from the footage.
Once the investigation is completed, a decision on any possible discipline will be made, according to Gary Police Commander Jack
According to NWI Times, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson made a statement:
> “”I fully support the importance of the police being able to engage in constitutional law enforcement as well of the right of citizens to record their interaction with the police and all city agencies,” Freeman-Wilson said.”
Court records show that Strauss is scheduled for a bench trial on November 19.