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Filming Cops Is Not A Crime

TOWSON, MD – Two police officers have been put on administrative duty and are under investigation after a videotaped confrontation with bystanders at a late night disturbance call.

University of Maryland Student Sergio Gutierrez began filming the officers arresting two individuals in a manner that he believed to be too aggressive.  After letting the officers know that he was filming, an officer approached Gutierrez and claims that he is distracting the officers. [contextly_auto_sidebar id=”ThBHgqCqS3fZwW7WUtBukKpVEWhwQIOY”]

Gutierrez asks what law he violating, the officer told him to “shut your [expletive] mouth or you’re going to jail.”  Gutierrez responded by saying “I thought I had freedom of speech,” to which the officer responds, “You just lost it.”

Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson condemned the actions, saying that, “The words of and demands to cease filming by sworn personnel and citizen volunteer auxiliary officers were incorrect, inappropriate and unnecessary. They were not helpful in bringing this incident to closure. As we already have stated, all aspects of this encounter are under investigation, and all personnel will be held accountable for their actions.”

About The Author

Joe Trotter

Joe is the Executive Director of the Stonegait Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting abuses of powers perpetrated by our leaders at all levels. He was Austin Petersen's campaign's Communications Director and formerly headed up the media department for a First Amendment nonprofit that deals with campaign finance related issues. He has a Bachelors of Science from Cornell University and has been published in National Review, the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, the Washington Examiner, and Frum Forum.

  • Robert Scott Campbell

    And now that the SCOTUS has just diminished the 4th Amendment we are going to see more of this type of aggressive police behavior.

    • Cathy McMahan

      the supreme court is not the law of the land, the constitution is. They just want you to think that they can take your natural rights. They can’t!!!!

      • LifeTraveller

        It’s irrelevant, we live in a world where laws are selectively enforced to serve an elite few.

        • Markrod420

          which is why collective disobedience will eventually happen. I look forward to that day.

          • Chris

            I appreciate your sentiment, and I will do my part. But in no way am I looking forward to it. It’s going to be an ugly time period in this nation if it comes to that.

          • Markrod420

            Im an angrier person than you. Im so sick of ignorant people and overbearing corrupt authorities im itching for a fight. Im just not about to go out and start one early and get myself killed or imprisoned lol. But when more people are sick of this shit im ready any time ;P

          • flyphish

            It’s coming. Nothing uglier than civil war. Nothing more certain when the citizenry is pushed far enough.
            Read a newspaper, watch a newscast. It’s everywhere you look.
            It’s on its way here.

          • Markrod420

            Oh im aware. I just hape it doesnt turn into a socialist nightmare. Because a lot of the people ready to revolt have some really bad ideas.

          • Estavancruz

            If you are concerned over the “bad” ideas that some have dealing with the govt. then perhaps I would sit down at your desk and work on a better one.

          • Markrod420

            Lol i am. Doesnt mean anyone will listen to me. Huge portions of society today have NO concept of personal responsibility and they genuinely believe it is the government’s job not just to protect them (which it is) but also to provide for them (which it isnt). With all these lazy entitled people running around, any revolution we might have would probably be strongly tainted by their incredibly ignorant ideas of what government is supposed to do. And i have no idea how to educate so many ignorant people when the media is deliberately turning them into the entitled fools that they are. I cant compete with MSN NBC FOX MTV and every other media source out there corrupting our society into a bunch of open mouthed gimme gimme breeders…

          • flyphish

            My only hope lies in the fact that the majority of those most likely to reach the breaking point first are already armed and trained in the use of arms.

        • fipper


        • redley62

          Yes, it’s called SOCIAL JUSTICE

        • flyphish

          “The Tree of Liberty must at times be watered by the blood of patriots.”

          • George Erhard

            ..”and tyrants.”

  • Tony

    I just love our Nazi police force it makes me so proud to me an American. N O T!

  • Tommy Shelton

    And they wonder why the public has no respect for the police ? the police have no respect for the public or the laws themselves they are power hungry and you can thank the Supreme Court for powers that they granted them that they should not have

    • Thats the point. Divide and conquer. No one trusts anyone.

      • Greg Baugher

        Thats what the R & D does best. Separation, any way they can.

    • Tommy Shelton

      The day will come when the public will turn on the cops when they are in one of their pack dog mentalities and the situation will be reversed

  • Kenny Powers

    “Accountable” = A few days at home (or working security at Macys) on the taxpayers dime followed by a few more days in training on the taxpayers dime.

  • Guest

    It’s time for our legislators to take action since the courts seem to interpret laws to allow police to do anything they want. But legislators are too cowardly and don’t want to appear to be anti-police or afraid to cross the police unions.

    • Bianca Bradley

      So demand the legislatures do something, with a petition

  • jabberwolf

    If a crowd starts to form, it becomes dangerous for police. You cant stand there loiter and cause a crowd, affect walking and car traffic. HOWEVER, he does have a right to film and should have been left there or told to film from another location. The cops should have explained the above to him.

    • rell87

      That is because police are trained to think of the crowd, and all citizens, as their enemy in a war on crime. Only on TV and in movies are cops servants of the people.

      • Joe Trotter

        Are they even then? I’m pretty sure most TV shows and movies have cops blatantly violating people’s constitutional rights and/or torturing them because they “need” too. Watched an episode of Chicago PD last night and the guy nearly cut a suspects ear off while keeping him in a chain-link cage in the basement.

        • Enigma0

          Violations: Reason I can’t watch the Longmire program. Writers never heard of the Fourth Amendment, and have the protagonist invading properties and homes, and seizing whomever and whatever displeases.

    • redley62

      It is up to the citizen to know what they can do or not do. Police won’t tell you crap. They however, will arrest you for breaking the law.

      • Mark Markington

        A lot of the times they don’t even know the law themselves, or if what you’re doing is unlawful.

  • MoBetter2

    Chief Jim Johnson failed to note that “the words of and demands to cease filming by sworn personnel and citizen volunteer auxiliary” were also UNNECESSARILY INTIMIDATING, ILLEGAL, IN VIOLATION OF THE RULE OF LAW AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

    • more taxes = more police = more of a police state

    • Eddy

      It’s all legalese. The kid said the wrong words from the start, he gave up his 1st amendment right by saying, “I thought I had.” He made the verbal contract to which the cop accepted, “you just lost it.” Beware the contracts!
      Also, they call it “camera” because that means private vault. Instead, call it “public video record”

  • LifeTraveller

    No more “paid” administrative leave. The officers have broken the law, yet they are treated differently. .typical

    • Mark Stuber

      Re-read the article. They are not on “paid administrative leave.” They are on “administrative duty “

      • Mark Markington

        Which means they’re doing some other job, while still getting paid. The point is if cops break the law, they get the equivalent to a slap on the wrist. If we break the law, we go to jail. See the difference?

  • Dave Minella

    These days, it seems that many cops must have been absent on the day they taught law in cop school.

    • Justsomeguy151

      That’s just it. These moronic thugs get ZERO training in law, only in thuggery and revenue generation. The LAST thing they are taught is that their are limits on what they can and cannot do.

  • MichaelP

    What exactly does being “Held Accountable” mean??

    • Enigma0

      A kindergarten ‘time out’ for violating the most fundamental law of the USA.

  • Savior Emmanuel Udobong

    You are all “United states of American” NOT Americans. Americans have full rights and cannot be governed. United states of american’s have partial rights and CAN be governed.The constitution was written to protect Americans, not United states of Americans.

    • Snap N McGarrett

      You can’t troll stoned. Put the bong down for a while and try again.

      • Savior Emmanuel Udobong

        A fool will always be a fool all 7 of you

    • Chris

      I appreciate your effort but this post is factually incorrect. Americans technically are the inhabitants of the North and South American continents. We are the United States of America, that part you got right. But the Constitution was in fact made for us. Please hone up on your American history.

      “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

    • Mark Markington

      Even though what you said is completely inaccurate, just remember it the next time you get bullied, harassed, arrested, beaten, or even killed by a cop for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, or answering your door while holding your bong and the cop thinks it’s an IED or a gun.

  • Stu Chisholm

    This clip should be the answer to the question: “How can you tell if you’re living in a police state?” Yes, Alex Trebek, I’m talkin’ to YOU! 🙂

  • Enigma0

    Occupation troops. Red Dawn arose from within.

    Likely to get worse. Many newer cops will be former soldiers who learnt ‘on the job’ in Central-south Asia about firing on family cars and mowing down street-corner observers.

    • Mark Stuber

      You don’t know what you are talking about.

      • LibertyDwells

        Actually he does indeed. Knee-jerk apologists for corruption don’t accomplish much these days. Try a new tactic.

        • Mark Stuber

          No. I was responding to Mark Markington’s insinuation that soldiers who conduct counter insurgency operations are trained “‘on the job’ in Central-south Asia about firing on family cars and mowing down street-corner observers.”

      • redley62

        I CAN already see your face between the slotted boards on the cattle car.

      • Mark Markington

        Really? There’s 5 videos linked below the one to this article regarding police brutality alone. “Police tazer old man for not sitting down on bus.”, “Cop arrested for demanding sex at a traffic stop.”, “Cop guns down boy for answering his door while holding a Wii controller.” – And the list gets longer every single day. We’re living in a police state with armed & dangerous psycopaths, and they’re called cops. Wake up +Mark Stuber

        • Mark Stuber

          What do any of those videos have to do with your claim that American soldiers are trained “on the job’ in Central-south Asia about firing on family cars and mowing down street-corner observers.”?

  • Snap N McGarrett

    Cop: “You’re distracting an officer of the law.”

    It’s not my fault you have ADD and Type II Diabetes, Doughnut boy.

  • fliteking

    Gee, I don’t know why everyone fears a police state.

  • fipper

    :sing :: ” Those Ukraine cops really knocked me out..” Wait, my GPS seems to have a glitch. Where are we living again ?

  • Guest

    if the big bosses don’t do nothing about this cops will go down together with the gov when revolution comes and we all know they all say they aren’t part of the big gov..

  • Guest

    if the big bosses don’t do nothing about this bad cops they will go down together
    with the big gov when revolution comes and we heard some of them sword they
    aren’t part of the big gov and that they will protect and defend the constitution ..

  • Guest

    if the big sheriffs don’t do nothing about these bad cops, they will go down together with the big gov when revolution comes,and some of them swear they
    aren’t part of the big gov, and that they will protect and defend the constitution ..

  • Guest

    if the big sheriffs don’t do nothing about these bad cops, they will go
    down together with the big gov when revolution comes,and some of them
    swear they
    aren’t part of the big gov, and that they will protect and defend the constitution ..I believe we still have good cops out there but this idiots are making them look bad and creating a big confusion..

  • Invictus_Lux

    Translation of cop speak: “Your existence and peaceful observation is intimidating us to the point that we are going to have to arrest you for interfering with our ability to commit illegal arrests and that is by definition interfering with a law enforcement officer in the conduct of his duty”.

    • Markrod420

      Well said. Have you ever considered being a police to normal speak translator? I think there is a lot of demand un-filled for that line of work. lol

  • jebova2301

    In other words, those officers involved just earned themselves some extra vacation time.

    • Trina Scott Gatlin

      Exactly!!!, My ex husband was a police officer, the administative leave can last up to 2 years, all the while with full paid salary at the tax payers expense as another has to replace them during this time, most are cleared of any wrong doing and put back on the streets. sigh…..

  • Mark Stuber

    Did someone ask Chief Jim Johnson of The Baltimore County Police hire recruits with an IQ above 110?

    • Markrod420

      You know damn well they prefer not to do that “because a person with a high IQ is likely to become bored with police work and seek more challenging work, wasting the money spent on training them”… And thats totally the real reason and it has nothing to do with hiring stupid people so they will blindly destroy our freedoms without question… lol. God i hate our government.

  • El Cabong

    Sue the cops and each of their chain of command supervisors in civil court as well as the Police Department which failed to train them properly. . Jury awarded money is the only way to get this stopped.

  • Boy young people learn the ^%# out of their rights when THEIRS are being trampled on. People they don’t care for *Christians* “meh.”

  • Joshua Barnard

    Open carry in every state in the union, then maybe cops will be less inclined to bully a crowd. It is ridiculous how much police abuse there is. Even if someone made the argument that its not more, just more reported, then its still too much we just know about it now.

  • salvatore

    You fat bald POS…..ur mother or sister will one day encounter a rogue fat slob as yourself…..and there will be not a dam thing you can do about it except watch them get violated….ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

  • salvatore

    Time to strap up and take a stand against these worthless POS scumbags who think they are superior to us!! Get thyis straight numnuts….YOU clowns are subserviant to US….means you work for us…WE pay ur salary…ur job is to protect and serve us…… begin by licking my boots swine…..

  • pj234234234232342423423422

    plz sue

  • Click Mann

    Just think what they used to do BEFORE citizen cameras… they ae still doing it, but at least getting recorded…

  • GypsyDanger

    Everyday more and more evidence cops are just thugs, they’d be criminals if we didn’t allow police to exist.

  • George Erhard

    If the cops don’t like being filmed, then perhaps they’re doing something that wouldn’t bear scrutiny. Sorry, Constable, I’ll just stand over here quietly, don’t mind the blinking red LED.

  • torchie4269

    Phone video cameras are one of the best things to ever happen.

  • Richard Tennyson

    It took over a dozen officers to arrest two people who drank too much? Pretty sorry stuff. We used to say “Break it up, you all go home, party’s over” No arrests were necessary.

  • John

    Every officer there should be reprimanded for allowing that to happen. The offending officer should be fired and prosecuted.

    • Mark Markington

      Key word ‘should’. Too bad all they ever get is administrative duty, or paid administrative leave.

      • Invictus_Lux

        Correct. It seems that its almost a game. “OK, who’s turn is it to get free out of cycle paid vacation while we go through the motions of following standard internal investigative policy to document why we exonerated you of all charges? Out-of-turn chances to be the one placed under Internal Investigation by proxy can purchase tickets for $10 each with discounts of 5 for $45. Mulligans for $3 in the event of a tie in best out of three drawings?”

  • Eddy

    “I thought I had freedom of speech,” implies you are admitting you don’t have that freedom any longer. The officer replied to his own advantage to control the situation by agreeing with the (ignorant) kid correctly with, “you just lost it.” Kids should really learn how to talk commerce with these agents, Legalese, verbal contracts. For instance, the word “understand” is verbal consent, agreement, not only means: comprehension; this is why English has many synonyms, no coincidence!

  • Eddy

    It doesn’t matter if it UNCONSTITUTIONAL if you are consenting to the contract (via Legalese [verbal] or written contract).

  • Savior Emmanuel Udobong

    It amazes me how little United states of Americans know about America. The elite have done a great job dumbing down its population.