A San Francisco CopWatch member was assaulted by an undercover cop he was videotaping on a public street this month.
The incident was not only caught on his own video camera, but on another video camera carried by a fellow CopWatch member.
In the above video, Jacob Crawford can be heard confronting a female undercover cop, asking for her name and badge number.
The cop asks him why he needs that info. He tells her he is part of CopWatch. She tells him they are “protecting the community.”
The woman suddenly strikes out at his camera, knocking it downard. Crawford then takes off running, only to be chased down by several cops who plant him face-first into the pavement.
“You can’t film people that don’t want to be filmed, dear,” the cop tells him as he is being manhandled by two male cops.
The cops lift him up and sit him on a bench and eventually release him without handcuffing him or asking for his identification.
In a Facebook message interview with Photography is Not a Crime, Crawford said he believes the cops were not aware they were being videotaped by a second person until after they brought him down, which might explain why they decided to release him with no charges.
Otherwise, they probably would have claimed he assaulted them with his camera.
the lady fucked her whole game up by saying ” you can’t film people who don’t want to be filmed dear” , i argued that point and literally was lifted, brought to the bench, the superior put his hand on my shoulder in a comforting gesture and he asks me what happened. at one point the lady came back again to explain her second reason for the attack (seeing that i was right about my right to film her) she said i was assaulting her or something of that effect with the camera, but either way whether she felt that way, she never told me to step away or any other official order, the one thing i’m trying to figure out is, what this her decision or was this a collective decision to come at me.
Crawford said he did not get the woman’s name but did get the name of her supervisor and he plans to file a complaint.
In 2003, Crawford was arrested in Cinncinatti for felony obstruction when he was videotaping police officers driving through a CopWatch block party.
That video is below. This is how he explained it in the interview.
The police ran through our copwatch party in cincinnati and then started to run after me. I was charged with fel obstruction in this particular case, but because my video camera was left on in the front seat of the cop car, everything was recorded included them setting up my charges against me, fixing their story and really letting loose on me. They were pissed off. I went to trial and i was found not guilty.