A North Carolina police officer told a man he needed his phone as evidence before snatching the phone and trying to destroy it by slamming it to the ground.
Wake Forest police officer S. Woods then proceeded to charge the man with resisting, delaying or obstructing police, which is probably North Carolina’s version of contempt-of-cop.
But the video shows that Robert Johnson was not doing anything to interfere with the arrest. Now the 23-year-old student is looking for an attorney to file a lawsuit.
The arrest took place on February 28, 1015 as Johnson was recording police arresting a friend of a friend outside bar.
“If you’re recording the arrest, we’re going to take it as evidence,” Woods tells Johnson.
Woods then pounces on Johnson, twisting his arm behind his back before snatching the phone from his hands.
He then slams the phone to the ground at least twice before asking Johnson, “how do you stop your phone?”
Johnson instructs him how to turn it off, which is when the video ends.
Johnson spent the night in jail, but two weeks later, his case was dismissed without him having to go trial.
His phone was also returned to him at the same time he received his dismissal letter along with a copy of a search warrant indicating they had searched his phone.
He said he contacted the ACLU, who recommended he not publish the video, but then he never heard back from them, which is why he published the video last week.
Johnson said the initial man getting arrested, Jake Voykin, had gotten into an argument with a bouncer at the bar. Police were called and they began to arrest him.
Johnson, who said he was unlawfully arrested two years ago, began recording to ensure the truth be documented rather than fabricated as happens so many times when it’s not captured on video.
“The police picked me up and threw me to the ground, breaking my ankle, but then they said I broke it by falling down,” he said.
He said he was charged with assault on an ambulance driver when the driver punched him in the face, cutting his hand against Johnson’s teach, which led to the accusation that he had bitten the driver.
In 2014, a video showing Wake Forest police repeatedly tasering a man for cursing went viral. That video is below as well.
UPDATE: ABC11, a local news station in the area, reported that the Wake Forest Police Department acknowledge its officer made a mistake but would not elaborate on how he was disciplined other than stating the officer has “been dealt with.”