A Georgia police officer was able to maintain his professionalism for only a few minutes before he arrested a citizen who was video recording him during a traffic stop last week.
Andrew Ogiba, 19, was charged with obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers, because he chose to narrate into his video camera after signing the citation instead of tearing out of the parking lot within seconds of receiving it.
It is obvious from his video that Mcrae police officer B. Wyatt was trying to teach Ogiba a lesson.
As a result, Ogiba spent two hours in jail before paying a $500 bond to be released. He had to pay an additional $150 because his 1995 Camaro had been impounded.
But now Ogiba is already planning to file a lawsuit.
“I’ve already emailed the ACLU and will be talking to a lawyer tomorrow,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday evening.
Ogiba, who has been in the U.S. Army for two years, is worried the arrest will affect his ROTC scholarship.
The incident took place Wednesday when Ogiba was driving back home to Mcrae from Augusta after spotting two officers parked at the side of the road.
Having received a citation for loud music earlier this year, he instinctively turned the music down, which he had been listening to during the three-hour drive.
But it was too late. The cops pulled him over and he immediately complied, pulling into the empty parking lot of a church.
As Wyatt was writing the citation from his patrol vehicle, Ogiba was narrating into the camera about how the ACLU believes noise citations are unconstitutional and how he plans to fight the citation.
At 3:42, Wyatt steps out of his vehicle and begins walking towards Ogiba’s car.
Ogiba asks the officer is he had used a measuring device to determine the noise decibels from his car.
Officer Wyatt ignores the question, ordering him to sign the citation, informing him that the music could be heard from 200 yards away.
Ogiba signs the citation but continues to ask if a measuring device had been used to determine the distance that the music could be heard.
At this point, both men are remaining civil and professional. Ogiba makes no secret that he is recording and Wyatt takes no issue with the camera.
Wyatt even tells him to “have a nice day” before walking back to his car and Ogiba responds by saying, “OK, you too.”
That’s when it all falls apart.
As Wyatt was walking back to his car, Ogiba speaks into his camera, saying, “he’s going back to his car, he refused to answer any of my questions.”
That caused Wyatt to stop in his tracks and turn around.
“Excuse me, sir,” Wyatt says as he starts walking back.
“I was talking to my camera,” Ogiba responds. “I said you refused to answer any of my questions and you can do that, that’s fine.”
That was when Wyatt orders him out of the parking lot, telling him it is private property.
Ogiba puts on his seat belt and places the key in his ignition, but then starts questioning whether or not the church parking lot was open to the public despite it being private.
He also made the mistake of asking for his name.
At 5:56, Wyatt opens the door to Ogiba’s car and orders him out, telling him he is being arrested for obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
Contact writer at Carlos Miller