A Florida deputy who did not appreciate being video recorded by a citizen standing on the sidewalk ended up chasing him down, ripping the camera out of his hand and handcuffing him.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy Mike Smalley ended up releasing William Kilgore with no charges.
But the camera ended up damaged because the flip screen broke off.
Kilgore, 21, a member of Orlando Cop Watch and co-founder of a group called Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, was arrested a year ago for video recording another cop conducting a traffic stop.
In that case, Tarpon Springs police charged him with illegal wiretapping, even though they had no expectation of privacy.
The Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office dismissed that case before it went to trial.
The latest incident took place January 28th as Kilgore and two friends were standing on the sidewalk as Kilgore video recorded Smalley making a traffic stop.
Smalley asked him what he was doing, which prompted Kilgore to walk away.
Smalley chased him down and knocked the camera out of his hand, damaging it.
Nevertheless, the camera continued recording the conversation.
Kilgore, who has filed a complaint against Smalley, said he is unable to comment on the incident because of the pending investigation.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was interviewed by WTSP and stated the following:
“If a citizen wants to tape a law enforcement officer, as long as it is done from a public place and done lawfully, nobody should have a problem with that,” said Smalley’s boss, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
While Gualtieri can’t talk about this specific case because it’s under investigation, he maintained the agency policy is clear and if the investigation shows that Smalley’s acts were wrong, the sheriff’s office will repair or replace Kilgore’s equipment and Smalley will be disciplined.
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