Two days after Theresa Richard filed a complaint against a Louisiana police officer for threatening to arrest her for video recording him in public, that same officer arrested her for video recording him in public.
Obviously, the Crowley Police Department has yet to learn its lesson from the last time it arrested her for video recording them in public.
It’s pretty much Deja Vu in the Bayou all over again.
Only this time they charged her with felony public intimidation and retaliation after she assured officer S. Thibodeaux she will continue to hold him accountable no matter how many times he tries to intimidate her.
The charge, which carries a sentence of up to five years, states the following:
A. Public intimidation is the use of violence, force, or threats upon any of the following persons, with the intent to influence his conduct in relation to his position, employment, or duty:
(1) Public officer or public employee.
“When I got to jail, I told him I would not stop complaining about him until he is no longer a cop,” Richard explained in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Thursday morning, only hours after her release. “That is when he added the second charge.”
She then asked what he’s going to do when they drop her charges again.
“He just laughed and said, ‘nothing, I will still be drawing a paycheck.'”
She was initially charged with interfering with a law enforcement investigation, another baseless charge. In December, she was charged with Louisiana’s version of trespassing, remaining after forbidden, which ended up getting dismissed, but not before we gave them a healthy dose of the PINAC Wrath.
This time, the problem started when she was trying to help her developmentally disabled friend, Farrell, with an issue he has been having with a neighbor who keeps complaining to police about him.
Farrell, who lives alone on a fixed income, has been arrested or cited for loud music, disturbing the peace and littering, but only because the cops just take his neighbor’s word as to what happens, never bothering to get his side.
So Richard, who has become a huge advocate for photographer rights, even driving down to South Florida last January with her husband to attend our right to record conference, provided her friend with a cheap video camera, telling him to record his interactions with the crazy neighbor.
But that just led to officer Thibodeaux threatening to charge him with criminal mischief, even though the video below shows he was wordlessly video recording from his front porch.
In the video, you can also hear Richard argue with Thibodeaux about the Constitutionality of video recording in public where he sarcastically asks her to show him where in the Constitution does it say citizens have the right to record, proving incapable of comprehending how case law in this country works, not to mention oblivious to the “Freedom of the Press” phrase guaranteed to all spelled out in the First Amendment.
That incident took place last week, which led to Richard filing a complaint with a sergeant on Monday that Thibodeaux had violated her right to record in public.
On Wednesday, Thibodeaux arrested her after she refused to stop video recording him in public, spending five hours in jail.
This time, at least, they returned her phone upon release. But only because she spent hours in her cell educating them about the legal circumstances in which they can actually do that.
“They said they were going to keep it as evidence, but I told them it has to be used in the commission of a crime like upskirting or (child) pornography,” she said. “I told them they need exigent circumstances. I offered to let them make a copy.”
It doesn’t even appear that they did that, probably realizing they are not going to convict her, but satisfied that they were able to disrupt her life for a few hours.
Now it’s our turn. Call (337) 788-4114.