[VIDEO] You Be The Judge: Were Killeen, Texas Police Right To Arrest This Man?
Killeen, Texas police recently arrested a man recording a traffic stop and charged him with interfering with or obstructing an officer. Who was in the wrong here?
With the numerous instances of minorities being killed or injured by police officers across the country over the past few years, there are more people recording police interactions.
An increasing number of police officers are wearing body cameras, and I think cameras tell the story best. It proves whether the officer is doing his/her job and whether the person should have been arrested.
Here in Killeen, a YouTube video is making the rounds showing a man who recorded a Killeen Police traffic stop.
In the video, you see the first officer asking for identification from passengers.
Whether or not that is necessary or legal has many people questioning.
What Was Recorded?
In the video (embedded further down), you can see the officer telling the man recording to stand back.
Seconds later, as the officer asks the passenger in the car for identification, the man offers advice to the person in the backseat of the car:
Man Recording: "If you are a passenger, you don't have to identify."
The second cop then informs the man that he is "now breaking the law" by "interfering with a traffic stop".
Man Recording: "Voice alone can't be deemed interference."
Second Cop: "Yes, it is interference."
Man Recording: "What's your name and badge number?"
Second Cop: It's right here printed on my shirt. Please move out the way."
Man Recording: "Are you trying to intimidate me? Why are you so close?"
Second Cop: "I'm not trying to intimidate you."
Man Recording: "So why are you so close then?"
Second Cop: I'm not trying to intimidate you. Give me your ID. You've interfered with an investigation. If you refuse, you are going to jail."
In the video, the officer starts to handcuff and arrest the young man while recording before the video ends.
Why Did The Cops Pull The Driver Over In The First Place?
We don't know what the driver of the car was pulled over for. It could have been over a bad tail light, or maybe the driver's license was suspended. Perhaps he was speeding, or the car fit the description from a crime that they were looking for.
What we do know is that he had an outstanding warrant, according to a press release by Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble.
It turns out the warrant out of Oklahoma was issued for the discharge of a firearm inside a dwelling, and police say the man had a firearm in the vehicle at the time of the stop.
Why did the man start recording the police in the first place?
We also don't know the story of why the man started recording in the first place. Was he just a concerned citizen seeing people pulled over by the police and wanted to make sure everything went smoothly, or was he attempting to entice the police to do something more?
How This Escalated To An Arrest
We all saw the same video.
According to the video (please watch it again), the man walked up and started recording.
From the time of the recording, it seems as if the officers were doing a routine traffic stop.
The police were ok with him recording, they were just concerned with him getting closer, talking to the passengers in the car, and interfering with what they were already trying to ask them.
I assume police considered it interference when the man started speaking loudly to the passengers while police were trying to conduct their business.
This Could Have Turned Out Worse
Remember the guy in the vehicle?
According to the police, he had a gun. What if he'd fired the gun at the cops being distracted by the man recording?
In My Opinion...
The guy should have done what the cop was asking him to do.
Again, the cop didn't have a problem with him recording. The issue is that he was constantly "interfering" by attempting to talk to the passengers in the car while the cop was in the middle of an investigation.
The second cop knowing he was being recorded wasn't angry or aggressive. When the man refused to give his ID, he was arrested.
I think the guy asking the officer "Are you trying to intimidate me?" was unnecessary. It seemed as if he wanted the cop to get aggressive.
Just think: if the man had kept his distance like the cops asked, he could have kept recording and there wouldn't have been an issue.
It's a good thing the whole interaction was recorded.
What Would You Have Done?
Here's the video. What do you think?
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