On May 12th, Rochester police apprehended Emily Good for recording a traffic stop. The arresting officer Mario Masic alleges that he felt threatened by her. Officially, Mrs. Good was arrested under New York Penal – Article 195.05 Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree. According to the code:
A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any independently unlawful act, or by means of interfering, whether or not physical force is involved, with radio, telephone, television or other telecommunications systems owned or operated by the state, or a county, city, town, village, fire district or emergency medical service or by means of releasing a dangerous animal under circumstances evincing the actor’s intent that the animal obstruct governmental administration. Obstructing governmental administration is a class A misdemeanor.
The entire ordeal can be viewed in the video posted below.
After watching this video, I am hard pressed to believe that Emily Good has violated the NY penal code. According to NPPA General Counsel, Mickey H. Osterreicher, “While it may be understandable that your officers had a heightened sense of awareness, that is still no excuse for them to not recognize a citizen’s right to take photographs/video of an event occurring on a public street.” Thankfully, Good’s friend Ryan Acuff was able to continue taking footage. “The real reason they arrested her was because she was videotaping,” Acuff said. His account of the incident can be read at http://rochester.indymedia.org/newswire/display/27018/index.php
Emily Good will be back in court on June 27th. Stephanie Stare, her public defender, and the NPAA want to have the charges dropped. According to Stare, “The video’s going to speak for itself. People can watch it and draw their own conclusions.” Rochester city councilman Adam McFadden had this to say about the incident; “It did not look well for us in terms of how we police and what it is we’re attempting to accomplish for public safety.” Meanwhile, Rochester Police Chief, James Sheppard has ordered an internal investigation.
Have any of you been wrongfully harassed by the police? The Blue Scholar Blog wants to know what you think. Please feel free to leave a comment.