Wetumpka, AL — Keith Golden of Bama Camera was practicing his first amendment right to film in public spaces last week, when he was approached by multiple cops who intimidated and assaulted him.
As the video begins, Golden is doing nothing more than standing in a public place and filming. He was breaking no law and had harmed no one, when multiple officers swarmed him.
As Golden is talking to the officer in the vehicle, two more officers approach from the left.
“I’m asking why you’re filming, I don’t care about your First Amendment Rights. I’m asking why you’re filming, sir,” says the tyrant officer.
The cop was responding to a pamphlet Golden handed him which explains that filming in a public space is a constitutionally protected right.
It has been clearly established that all Americans have the right to record the police. For an officer of the law to remain willingly ignorant of this precedent is at best, dereliction of duty, and at worst, unlawful deprivation of rights. Either way, these cops were in the wrong.
In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, the Supreme Court upheld state laws requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place. Commonly known as “stop-and-identify” statutes, these laws permit police to arrest criminal suspects who refuse to identify themselves.
After telling Golden that he doesn’t care about his rights, the officer then grabs his camera and turns it off. Golden, however, is no amateur and was live streaming to Bambuser from his phone. So, where his HD camcorder cuts off, his phone picks up and catches the further violation of his rights.
Golden is repeatedly told that he could be a “terrorist” by these clueless officers. He is then unlawfully detained and searched, and forced to identify — against his will.
As of 2014, 24 states have stop-and-identify laws, and Alabama is one of those states. However, according to the state law, the officers had no reason to stop Golden as filming the police is not reasonable suspicion.
2006 Alabama Code – Section 15-5-30 — Authority of peace officer to stop and question.
A sheriff or other officer acting as sheriff, his deputy or any constable, acting within their respective counties, any marshal, deputy marshal or policeman of any incorporated city or town within the limits of the county or any highway patrolman or state trooper may stop any person abroad in a public place whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony or other public offense and may demand of him his name, address and an explanation of his actions.
When a person who appeared to be a supervisor walks out and sees the officers ganging up on the innocent man, he became polite.
“You’re just filming to film?” asks the cop.
“I don’t have to give any reason as to why I’m filming,” replies Golden.
“That’s right, I was just wanting to talk to you, if you wanted to talk,” replies the cop.
“This is how I should’ve been approached the first time.”
Luckily, Golden was then able to walk away. However, he was forced to leave a public place under duress — by the very people who claim to keep him safe. Police officers like the ones in the video below do not serve the public — they serve their own egos and ignorance.