“I just want to make sure her rights aren’t violated.”
After hearing a message on a police scanner, Robert West of Film the Police Portland in Oregon started recording a woman having some kind of mental health issue.
Instead of ignoring West and allowing him to exercise his right to record in public, the Portland police on the scene decided that West was the real threat to the woman’s safety.
The first officer to approach West said that West was “violate someone’s privacy,” which is strange considering West was recording in public.
Another officer tried to scare West off saying, “We have someone in crisis right now looking for emotional support, you’re not helping the situation right now so if you wouldn’t mind please go elsewhere,” later intimating West could be arrested for interfering with a police officer. “Right now you’re interfering with our ability to keep somebody safe.”
West responded, “Well no, I’m not. I see one, two, three, four, five officers, you know, so I don’t see how I would be stopping – ”
“You’re exacerbating the problem by shoving a camera in her face,” the officer insisted.
West was around 30 feet away from the woman at this time, and soon found himself flanked by officers.
“I just want to make sure her rights aren’t violated,” West stated.
“When there’s a mental health crisis issue, that’s when pointing a camera at them is very dangerous,” another officer invented.
While the Portland police have no evidence that pointing a camera at a mentally ill person is dangerous, the deaths caused by the Portland police reveal that pointing a gun at a mentally ill person is the real danger.