Minnesota Man Says Deputies Deleted Footage After Confiscating Camera


Andrew Henderson, the Minnesota man who was criminally charged for recording deputies in public, is in need of an attorney to defend him in his upcoming trial.

The 28-year-old welder said he makes too much money for a public defender but not enough to hire an attorney.

He said he reached out to the ACLU more than a month ago, but was ignored.

Meanwhile, he is facing disorderly conduct and obstructing charges, which were filed more than a week after a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy illegally confiscated his camera. Read the report here.


Ramsey County Sheriff Deputy Jackie Muellner


Deputy Jackie Muellner claimed Henderson was violating the federal HPPA law because she was dealing with a mentally ill patient. But there is nothing in the HPPA law that addresses recording patients being led into ambulances.

Henderson said he only saw a man with a bloodied, bruised face being led into an ambulance, so he started recording. He said he sat on a park bench more than 30 feet away and did nothing to cause a distraction.

It is an obvious abuse of authority considering Muellner had the chance to arrest him on the spot if she really believed he was committing a crime.

And it’s even more of a breach of authority that someone apparently deleted his footage.

“I know I recorded 18 minutes,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Tuesday night.

Muellner, who told Henderson that she was seizing it as “evidence” because she didn’t want to end up on Youtube – as if that makes sense – claims in her report the video camera contained no footage.

So if that were indeed the case, then she has even flimsier grounds to criminally charge him, not that she had any to begin with.

Henderson said he began audio recording with his Android phone once she snagged his phone.

The incident took place October 30 in his apartment complex and he didn’t receive his camera back until November 19, which was when he learned the Canon FS20 contained no footage.

“I tried to recover it but nothing came up,” he said. “I used like four or five programs.”

The incident has received some local media coverage. Someone also posted a question on Ask Yahoo about the legality of the deputy confiscating the camera, receiving a horrible answer from somebody named Tapestry6 with some idiot rating the answer as “good.”

If it was an ongoing investigation and the sheriffs deputy felt it would compromise
a case that was till ‘open’ then she had every right to take the evidence. And the person who is revealing that should be slammed hard for interference in an investigation.
YouTube can be very wrong on airing things police investigation and its also an embarrassment for the citizen who was photographed too. Nobody has the right to film unless they have asked permission, and if they film before permission is granted they should ask for permission before airing it on any public domain.

Henderson has a pretrial hearing scheduled for January 30. Call (651) 645-4097 to encourage the ACLU of Minnesota to assist him in this matter. Or email them at ACLU of Minnesota.


About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • Joel Turner

    Best check wire tap laws about your recording because, a jack ass D/A in NH caged a fellow from copblock because he was on the phone at the time of his arrest, and called it wire tapping,POS D/A need whipped with a split cane.

    • Gordon Freeman

      Recording a phone call w/o consent is wiretapping. Remember in most cases the wiretapping laws are used to limit Police powers. Or at least were…

      • steveo

        Only if someone else who is not a party to the conversation is recording the phone call in MN. You can record all of your own phone calls without telling the other party that it’s being recorded in MN.

        • Gordon Freeman

          Yes, but that makes MN an exception. Most states are all party consent, as in everyone has to be aware of the recording and consent. The case talked about by Joel is in NH, unless I’m mistaken, an all party state.

          BTW none of this changes the case of the original post. In public all recording is fair game, particularly if all can see you are holding a camera, cell phone, etc.

    • steveo

      Minnesota is a one-party consent case for eavesdropping/wiretapping meaning that only one party to the oral communication has to give permission. Video recording is always legal in public in all 50 states. No Federal Appellate circuit court has upheald an eavesdropping charge in two/all party consent states when openly recording police in public when lawfully present. And the audio recordings aren’t even at issue here.


  • Michael Ross

    I put an answer on Yahoo which kicks the BS into the long grass…

    • Gordon Freeman

      If you are the firefighter guy, good job. As well as thank you for doing your job. You are truly a hero, even though you get paid like a chump.

      • Michael Ross

        Paid totally like a chump yeah, I’m a volunteer! 😀

  • steveo

    It’s kind of interesting that they’re charging him with video recording in public when he didn’t actually video record anything. In the wiretapp laws, at least, there is no element in the statutes for “attempted” wiretapping, the defendant actually would have to have a recording. And since the recording device was seized without a warrant (and searched without a warrant) the evidence that he was videorecording should be easily suppressed in a suppression hearing. And since the leo has no evidence that he was videorecording, her tesitmony could be suppressed also, thereby leaving no evidence at all in the case. As far as obstructing legal process is concerned, if she can’t testify to the video taping, what is she going to say, “I noticed a citizen siting on a bench thirty feet away and had to stop writing my report to go talk to him.” Really?

  • steveo

    This leo is maintaining that this police encounter was about “mental illness” but all the citizen saw was a leo and paramedics leading a bloody guy into an ambulance. Who’s to say that the leos didn’t beat the guy up? Are we now just supposed to walk away when we see some police encounter on the street when they tell us, the guy they are beating up might be “mentally ill”. Rodney King was supposedly mentally ill or at least mentally ill on pcp.

    Remember this is how the whole KellyThomas incident went down. The leos and city just swept it under the carpet until the pictures and the video came out. If we aren’t allowed to record police beating up and murdering a mentally ill person, how can we make sure justice is served.

  • steveo

    Mr. Henderson: if you are reading this, here is your controling case precedent on “obstruction of legal process”.

    426 N.W.2d 875 (1988)
    Supreme Court of Minnesota.
    August 5, 1988.

    From the decision: “The second difference is that, as we interpret it, our statute is directed solely at PHYSICAL ACTS, whereas the ordinance in Houston was significantly broader, prohibiting verbal criticism directed at police. On the other hand, physically obstructing or interfering with a police officer involves not merely interrupting an officer but substantially frustrating or hindering the officer in the performance of his duties. As we interpret the statute, the statute clearly prohibits only intentional physical obstruction or interference with a peace officer in the performance of his duties”

    You or your attorney should argue that the statute is overly broad and denys your right to free speech and free press. Here’s the link to the copy:


    Keep looking for a good 1st Amendment attorney. This is stuff they live for. Plus if a good 1st Amendment attorney files a notice of representation in your case, the prosecutor will drop the charges in a couple days. It isn’t going to cost the lawyer a lot of time.

  • Phred

    Cops are such liars. And they wonder my no one trusts or respects them anymore.

    • Rail Car Fan

      Isn’t that the truth. I don’t hate cops, I just…… Well on second thought.

      Rail Car Fan

      • steveo

        I don’t hate cops, either. I hate LYING cops.

  • tiny

    most here are missing the point, people need to learn where OUR true power is, “JURY NULLIFICATION”. with this power it doesnt matter what stupid laws they make, does anyone here still have even half a braincell?

  • tiny

    we have no chance at all till we all wake the fuck up!

  • Anony mouse

    The latest claim is that it was a HIPAA violation (privacy for medical). All over slashdot now http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/01/09/1756240/man-charged-with-hipaa-violations-for-video-taping-police

    • steveo

      HIPAA is a federal statute and he wasn’t charged with any violation of HIPAA, the lamebrain leo just threw that in the PC affidavit, to give some reason why she did what she did. He was charged with state statute violations of disorderly conduct (totally not applicable) and obstruction of legal process (case law indicates again not applicable). She didn’t even have an probable cause to write up these charges.

  • Rich

    Why are people focusing on the officer, the prosecutor is the one who is choosing to prosecute this ridiculous case. Will he have immunity? IF it is clearly not against the law, how can he get away with prosecution this case? What crime is the prosecutor committing by doing so. IS he in violation of 1983? WHO is it that hired him? what is his or her name? Who is it that can fire him? What is that persons Facebook account. Truly going after the low hanging fruit will not solve the problem. GO after the State senators and ask WHY they are NOT doing anything to defend the Constitution. IF the Adults in the room do not start establishing laws the children are going to be unruly brats who get away with anything.

    • steveo

      I’m not sure how it works in MN, but these charges may not even call for jail time, more like a traffic ticket in most States. There is no indication that he was arrested, he probably either got the summons’ in the mail or by service. And there is no indication that he had to post bail.

      The prosecutor probably doesn’t see any of the facts of the case until the first hearing because they are dealing with hundreds of these low level charges. But since the prosecutors are getting some heat from the mainstream press, they’ll probably look at the charges a little closer and they might just go to court on the first hearing and recommend dismissal, especially since the facts of the case are not in dispute.

      I would write up a motion to dismiss with the relevant case law before the first hearing, if I chose to go pro-se and the prosecutor might just recommend that before he got to say anything. Remember one of the most famous motions in Gideon v. Wainwright was written on some old prison paper and handwritten with a pencil in 1961.

      • Carlos_Miller

        They sent him the citation in the mail eight days after the incident. Should have clarified that in the article.

        He was never arrested.

        • Gordon Freeman


          Carlos, I figured at least he as beat like Rodney King. Was he not told to “stop resisting”. I need a good photog “stop resisting” video.

        • steveo

          Then there is another motion to make. Motion for defect of service. Any lawsuit has to be served in person. Actually, this would probably be a really good motion to make now because the prosecutor might agree with it, to give himself a wimp out reason, then send it back to the LEO to serve with a process server. Which they probably wouldn’t do, then the case would eventually be dismissed for lack of prosecution.

  • James Michael

    They have no right to steal your property ever. Read the 4th, no warrant, no probable cause, no indictable offense no right period! That is theft of property without “due process” read the 5th amendment and in fact armed robbery. Abuse of office, breach of oath, trust, duty and bad faith action also. Uttering of false claims also fits as well as probably 20 or 30 other statutes that apply to public officers. Need to stop bending your backs people and stand straight and start holding these terrorists accountable!

  • J

    Ted Buselmeier, Esq says:

    January 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I am an attorney and I would like to get in contact with Andrew Henderson. I am seeking to represent him pro bono (no fee). If you have his contacts, please have him contact me at 763-682-1324. Thank you.
    ( I found this comment on the copblock article ) Didnt want it to be missed if it is genuine.