Miami, FL — A trio of Miami cops allegedly arrested a man and charged him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest for simply filming his police encounter. Emmanuel David Williams says he was taken to the ground and beaten for attempting to document his interactions with police while his ex-girlfriend was retrieving her belongings from his apartment. He has the video to prove it.
According to the Miami New Times, the news agency which accessed the official police reports, several officers took Williams to the ground and began their violent arrest because Williams put his phone too close to one officer’s face.
Unfortunately for the officers, at least a portion of the interaction was caught on Williams’ video camera. In the video, Williams can be seen backing away from the officers who actually made him cross the street while his ex-girlfriend retrieved her belongings from his apartment. He recorded the officers’ names as officers Hernandez, Allen and Gonzelez. Officer Gonzalez was particularly perturbed at Williams recording him in the line of duty and threatened him. He stated if he got any closer with his cell phone the two would have “problems."
The trio of officers then began to supposedly secure the area and Williams by walking him across the street. Williams did not appear to want to go across the street but the three cops aggressively walked towards him forcing him to back peddle to the other side of the street. Williams, still attempting to document what he perceived to be harassment, narrated the incident, calling each officer’s name again as they forced backwards.
At the moment Officer Gonzalez’ name was called he apparently snapped and took Williams to the ground. The phone was flung out of the citizen’s hands yet continued to record. As police officers are trained to do, they employed the psychological tactic of yelling “stop resisting” a command which garners the sympathy of any bystanders and incriminates the suspect even further. Of course Williams, like so many suspects about which we’ve reported, yelled back at the officers that he’s “not resisting.”
Unfortunately, for uneducated, rights-trampling police officers who don’t know the very law they’re sworn to uphold, the trio of badge-wearing men who assaulted Williams will most likely cost taxpayers dearly in lawsuits. That’s because everyone in the State of Florida has the right to film their interactions with police officers. Thanks to the landmark ruling of Turner vs. Driver (2017), all Floridians are allowed to record police officers in the line of duty, especially in public places like a sidewalk, the exact location where Williams was taken down and arrested.
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Officer Gonzalez, instead of upholding Williams’ right to record the police interaction, apparently trampled his rights as well as his person. Williams claims the officers repeatedly punched him in the head to the point of concussion and scraped him up.
Gonzalez, on the other hand, believes he was acting within his duty as a sworn peace officer. He wrote in his official police report:
The defendant then continued to place his cellphone within very close proximity of my face, once again breaching the distance within my reactionary gap, at which point I advised the defendant that he was under arrest, at which point I grabbed the defendant by the arm and attempted to directed [sic] him to the ground to effect the arrest.
For his part, Williams seems relieved to have his phone back in his possession and surprised the videos were still on his phone. As TFTP has consistently reported, police further trample citizens’ rights by taking cell phones from citizens and deleting their legally recorded police interactions. Williams told the Miami New Times:
I was shocked my phone even picked up the part after they knocked it out of my hand...I only got my phone back after I got out of jail. I didn't think my phone caught all that.
Gonzalez claimed that “after another struggle” with Williams, he was able to get him into the squad car. Gonzalez is not unlike many of the other police officers about which we have reported. But the other two officers, Allen and Hernandez did nothing to keep their fellow boy in blue from trampling Williams’ rights. Also worth noting is they participated in the violent take down and arrest, all because Williams desired to film his interaction with police. But don’t take our word for it. You decide who was in the wrong by watching the video below.