Columbia, MO — Andrea Brookins was several months pregnant last month when her teenage son had a run-in with the Columbia Police Department. Concerned for the welfare of her son, Brookins attempted to film his arrest. For practicing her First Amendment right to film police, Brookins, pregnant and harmless, was assaulted and arrested.
Both the assault and arrest were captured on video.
As the first video starts, Columbia Police Department Sergeant Roger Schlude charges Brookins and demands she “get back!” Schlude then proceeds to physically assault the petite pregnant mother — for filming.
“They keep saying they want better for our youth and they want to fix our community,” Brookins said. “It starts with our youth. You can’t pull guns and belittle the kids and then wonder why they won’t pull over for you guys or why they have no respect for you guys. Respect is earned.”
After she was assaulted by a public servant, Brookins was then arrested for Obstructing a Government Operation and Resisting or Interfering with Arrest.
According to Citizens for Justice, a local activist group out of Columbia, the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office would later dismiss all charges against Brookins related to the arrest. Brookins believes her family is under attack from members of the Columbia Police Department and is working on collecting more evidence to support these claims.
“That’s why so many of our black children are in jail or penitentiaries,” Brookins stated. “That’s why there are less black men graduating and trying to be successful. This has to stop somewhere. People in Columbia, MO are more scared of the police department then the criminals on the streets.”
Brookins filed complaints on both situations, however, according to CFJ, Internal Affairs found no misconduct had occurred.
When Brookins attempted to file for the release of the body camera footage of this interaction, the department responded by trying to extort her. In response to an open records request for the reports and videos of these incidents, the Columbia Police Department demanded $490.54, which Brookins believes is an exorbitant amount of money, and is being used to shield officers from accountability.
Below is the series of videos showing how dangerous it can be to practice one’s first Amendment right in a police state.
Video 1: Brookins filming her own assault.
Video 2: Different angle that recorded the officer’s assault on Brookins.
Video 3: Brookins arrested for practicing her free speech.