Matt McGorry, who plays John Bennett in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, was told by a Beverly Hills police officer that he was not allowed to record them investigating a traffic accident Monday.
When McGorry stood up for his rights, informing the cop he had every right to record, the cop then said he wanted to see his phone for evidence, placing his face inches from the actor’s face.
When McGorry told him he had no evidence of the accident, the cop turned around and walked away, realizing his intimidation tactics had failed.
McGorry asked for his name and badge number. The cop told him his name was Hamilton and his badge number was 883.
When McGorry tried to get the cop to repeat what he had said earlier, that it is against the law to record the accident in public, Hamilton resorted to, “I don’t think you do.”
But it’s obvious he knew McGorry had every right to record because he stopped pushing the matter the moment he realized the actor was not going to back down.
McGorry posted the video to his Facebook page on Monday with the following description:
**PLEASE SHARE** This is intimidation and a violation of my constitutional right to film an on officer that is on duty. As I was driving home, I spotted a few Latinx folks who were on the side of the road with police, so I pulled over to film the encounter. Let me give you some background:
Having spent nearly the last year consistently going to @BLMLA (Black Lives Matter LA) actions, I’ve seen first hand more and more of the corruption that permeates various police departments and primarily targets People of Color. I’ve gotten to know Lisa Hines, the mother of#WakieshaWilson whose death in police custody was ruled a suicide by the LAPD, but where the police commission refuses to release the video footage they have to the public. (It took DAYS OF LISA FEVERISHLY SEARCHING for her daughter, before being given the news that Wakiesha had been found dead due to “suicide,” or so they say).
Going to the Police Commission meetings (Tuesdays at 9am) with @BLMLA , I’ve had situations like the one I filmed on multiple occasions now. And this is nothing compared to what too many People of Color go through consistently with the police. I feel that it is my duty to RECORD police officers interacting with citizens (particularly People of Color), in order to make sure that things go smoothly. So that if they do not, we at least have video proof. Being white, and thus being 3x less likely to die at the hands of police than black folks, I believe that it is OUR DUTY to film these interactions and to educate ourselves on matters that we are often ignorant of simply because of the privilege granted to us by the color of our skin (Read “The New Jim Crow” & watch “13th” on Netflix as a start). Because when People of Color, undocumented immigrants, and other populations interact with law enforcement, they end up being at a much greater risk.
“Why don’t you turn around and go away?” while aggressively walking within a foot of my face was intimidating. Telling me it’s illegal to film him is a lie ABOUT THE LAW that an officer OF THE LAW told me (and made me fear arrest for exercising my constitutional right). And then laughing that LEOs kill someone every 8 hours? What if the situation had gone bad, but I had not been there to film it, for fear of arrest? What if I wasn’t white in Beverly Hills during the day, but Black, in a low income neighborhood, at night?