A Florida man was arrested for video recording a traffic stop in his own neighborhood after asking if the cops had received consent to search the driver’s trunk as he was doing.
This is how he explained it in a message to PINAC.
Last night I was arrested for filming a traffic stop. I was in my backyard when I saw flashing lights. I looked out to see a man being frisked and grabbed my phone to record the incident for the man. When I got there they were searching the mans car and I asked if he had given consent. The officer who had the man detained had seen me walk up and answered,”We didn’t need it.” The cop who was searching the vehicle only noticed me at that point. When he saw I was filming he came straight for me tell me to back, even though I was not near them. I backed up slowly and the officer pursued me. He continued to tell me to back up while reaching for his handcuffs. All the while, I was backing up. He then placed me under arrest while all I did was simply film and comply with his “legal” orders. I’ve posted the whole encounter on youtube already. Here’s the link for the video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTMBFt9iPv0
I’ve also attached a photo of the police report which you can see does not match up with what happened in the actual video.
It doesn’t look like this photographer obstructed the officer’s ability to search a car with his First Amendment protected speech. Hopefully these Tampa-area cops followed recent Supreme Court decisions requiring a warrant before searching a suspect’s cellphone.
But at least they managed not to delete his cellphone video shown below.