Police in Missouri chased a woman down the street and shoved her down, which prompted Kyle Hamilton to pull out his phone to start recording.
But another cop on horseback noticed him recording, so he rode up to Hamilton, grabbed him by the collar and held him tight until another officer walked up, snatched his phone and demanded his passcode.
Hamilton provided the passcode, which defeats the purpose of having a passcode, allowing the cop to delete the video.
The St. Charles police officer then handed the phone back and ordered him to leave.
Now Hamilton, with the help of the ACLU, is suing over the incident that took place on August 16, 2013.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
He said he started recording after observing a St. Charles officer chase after a woman on Main Street and push her to the pavement. He said it was about 12:30 a.m., when many of the bars along Main Street were closing and people were spilling into the street.
Hamilton said he was recording from across the street, about 30 to 40 feet away, because the woman was crying and he thought police were using excessive force.
The suit says Hamilton “recognized Jane Roe because he recalled seeing her use what he considered to be excessive force against other individuals in the past.”
One of the officers, on horseback, saw Hamilton recording and grabbed him by his shirt collar, “choking him, bruising his neck and ripping his shirt,” the suit says.
“He was holding the back of my shirt, pulling me against the horse,” Hamilton said. “He held me so hard that part of the shirt ripped.”
The female officer then walked across the street to Hamilton and took his phone. Hamilton says she looked at his recordings and photos and deleted the recording he had just taken.
Hamilton said he politely protested, saying, “this is my personal property. This is a public space.”
The suit says the officer handed his phone back and ordered him to leave.
“I was very respectful and I think that was probably the only way I was able to go home that night,” Hamilton said.
Read the complaint here.