Missouri police arrested a man as he was recording them arresting a woman, possibly his wife, after he refused to provide identification.
But it was clear the real reason they arrested him was because he was recording the initial arrest.
There is not much information available at this time, other than the incident took place in Cape Girardeau and that it was posted on October 2.
Police had entered what appeared to be a public restroom, grabbed a woman and started walking her out of the building as the woman demanded to know why she was being arrested.
A man started following them while recording with his phone, making it clear that was all he intended to do, saying, “I have the right to film you.”
Once outside, he even advised the woman not to resist and when one of the officers told him to back off, he quickly obeyed, moving to the other side of the car while keeping his camera focused on what appeared to be an overly aggressive arrest.
That was when a third officer came out of nowhere, yelling at him to “get back!”
The man started moving back, telling the officer, “I can lawfully film, I am not ….”
But the cop started demanding his identification as he pushed the man back.
“I don’t have to give you my ID,” he said.
“Yes, you do,” the cop said.
“No, I don’t, I have not done anything wrong, sir,” the man responded.
And the man was right.
According to Missouri Revised Statutes, 84.710:
84.710. 1. The members of the police force appointed in pursuance hereof are hereby declared to be officers of the state of Missouri and of the city for which such commissioners are appointed.
2. They shall have power within the city or on public property of the city beyond the corporate limits thereof to arrest, on view, any person they see violating or whom they have reason to suspect of having violated any law of the state or ordinance of the city. They shall have power to arrest and hold, without warrant, for a period of time not exceeding twenty-four hours, persons found within the city or on public property of the city beyond the corporate limits thereof charged with having committed felonies in other states, and who are reported to be fugitives from justice. They shall also have the power to stop any person abroad whenever there is reasonable ground to suspect that he is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime and demand of him his name, address, business abroad and whither he is going. When stopping or detaining a suspect, they may search him for a dangerous weapon whenever they have reasonable ground to believe they are in danger from the possession of such dangerous weapon by the suspect. No unreasonable force shall be used in detaining or arresting any person, but such force as may be necessary may be used when there is no other apparent means of making an arrest or preventing an escape and only after the peace officer has made every reasonable effort to advise the person that he is the peace officer engaged in making arrest. 3. Any person who has been arrested without a warrant may be released, without being taken before a judge, by the officer in charge of the police station whenever the officer is satisfied that there is no ground for making complaint against him, or when the person was arrested for a misdemeanor and will sign a satisfactory agreement to appear in court at the time designated.
UPDATE: Many readers are suggesting the man was guilty of interfering with the arrest, but the Missouri statute on interfering, Section 575.150, states he must either threaten violence or physically interfere, neither which was the case here.
(1) Resists the arrest, stop or detention of such person by using or threatening the use of violence or physical force or by fleeing from such officer; or
(2) Interferes with the arrest, stop or detention of another person by using or threatening the use of violence, physical force or physical interference.