Good Citizen, Bad Arrest: New York Woman Arrested After Videotaping Police — From Her Own Front Yard

There is a new report of police arresting a citizen because she videotaped them (below) — this time from her own front yard. According to his report, a woman named Emily Good was arrested after videotaping an arrest of a man at a traffic stop in Rochester, New York.

What is most disturbing is that the officer is clearly manufacturing a reason to stop her from videotaping and arresting her. They clearly can see that she is not armed and she responds clearly to their statements, including saying that she will step back a foot as demanded by the officers. From the fact of it, it appears an abusive arrest and another case of punishing citizens for filming police — which is not a crime.

After the woman correctly states that she has a right to videotape the arrest. The officer then thinks about it and says “I don’t feel safe with you standing behind me, so I’m going to ask you to go into your house.” The police officer is identified on some sites as Officer Mario Masic.

Notably, at this time, the man was already in cuffs and being put into the cruiser. This exchange occurred after he was put into custody. The officer then adds “You seem very anti-police … due to what you said to me before you started taping me.” When she asks what statement he is referring to, he then escalates further to say that she will be arrested for failing to obey his commands.

We have seen continued arrests of citizens for videotaping police — viewed as a more resource in addressing police brutality and abuse. This trend has continued (here) despite court rulings in favor of citizens. Politicians have done little to reaffirm the rights of citizens in these cases and officers are rarely subject to discipline for such arrests.

There is no report of any investigation by the Rochester Police Department in light of this disturbing video. Clearly, other officers and presumably at least one prosecutor participated in bringing this charge, which appears both meritless and retaliatory. We will continue to follow the story to see if any action will be taken.


Jonathan Turley

84 thoughts on “Good Citizen, Bad Arrest: New York Woman Arrested After Videotaping Police — From Her Own Front Yard

  1. “I don’t feel safe”—a bunch of cops are afraid of this woman with a camera. Then he implies she said something earlier and it appears that she didn’t. I hope she sues their asses. If the dipshit prosecuter ever runs for DA, this would be the perfect counter ad and it wouldn’t hurt as a question to the current DA.

    Funny, too, that they released the guy they arrested at the traffic stop. I guess he was just “driving while Black”.

  2. The police are apparently concerned about something…could it be that they are worried that they will be seen doing something wrong? The police conducted themselves like spoiled children. If they have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to fear. The real crime here is that a citizen doing nothing illegal on her own property was arrested like a common criminal.

  3. My sense is that this sort of abuse has always been going on. The only thing that has changed is people ability to record it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out; either policing will have to change, the filming will have to be prohibited or we will have to openly admit we don’t care as long as it is not happening to us.

  4. This is a case of intimidation and retaliation by the arresting officer. He was clearly the aggressor in this situation. His threatening tone and verbal exchange, along with his shining the light in the face of the woman as he advanced towards her (onto her property) was clearly an escalation of intimidation in a threatening manner on his part.

  5. My two cents: You are correct in stating that the RPD is not investigating the event but that is because the investigation was handed over to the state.

  6. Well I hope the city of Rochester has lots of insurance. She will be able to move to a better city after she wins her lawsuit.

  7. This is also how the Black Panthers started when they simply insisted on observing police conduct. It is also why the cops declared war on them.

  8. When I interview a new hire, I always pull my cell phone out of my shirt pocket and ask the candidate if he/she knows what it is. When they say “cell phone’ I remind them they are only partly right, that it is also a video camera with about thirty minutes of recording time in its memory. And then tell them, “Every fifteen year old has one and knows how to use it.” Then show them that I can upload to YouTube without ever having to plug it into a computer.

    Then I show them a couple of YouTube videos of misconduct by officers and ask them if they really want to be a “star” of YouTube with three million people watching them do something stupid. The response is usually what I want–no one wants to be an idiot and have their Chief try to explain to a news crew why one of his officers did something truly stupid.

  9. Professor Turley,

    You could do a public service and start a website urging people to post their videos to YouTube and tweet them with #copwatch, #tsawatch, #professorwatch.

  10. Frank wrote: “It will be interesting to see how this plays out; either policing will have to change, the filming will have to be prohibited or we will have to openly admit we don’t care as long as it is not happening to us.”

    It’ll probably be the latter, though it gives me no pleasure to think or say it. (I’m grateful for the Emily Good’s of the world…)

  11. anon nurse,
    I think you may be right, but I hope we are both wrong. This kind of abuse in authority is becoming all to commonplace. It is time for the public to protest these police abuses. It is bad for all of the good cops who are getting a bad name from these control freaks.

  12. rafflaw,

    It’s so bad out there, rafflaw…

    I couldn’t agree with you more, but I’m losing hope… There are way too many “control freak” cops, as you say and they’re ruining for the good ones, for whom I’m also grateful…

    Hope you enjoy your holiday and time with your son… Precious moments… I’m happy for you…

  13. I am with Frank on this. These kinds of arrests have probably gone on for as long as there have been police.
    The answer is simple- require that police understand the law and have zero tolerance policies like they do for kids with scissors is school.
    What is most regrettable is that if the woman sues everyone in Rochester will have to pay for it- oh how I wish the officer responsible would have to pay himself- take his savings, his pension and his property (car, house, etc.).
    “Sorry kids you can’t go to college because I illegally arrested people.”

  14. What is most regrettable is that if the woman sues everyone in Rochester will have to pay for it- oh how I wish the officer responsible would have to pay himself- take his savings, his pension and his property (car, house, etc.).
    “Sorry kids you can’t go to college because I illegally arrested people.” -Joeey LaRusso

    There you go. Good idea…

  15. In case you missed it, we have been living in a police state for quite a while now. American citizens have been asleep at the wheel for too long. Demand that this “public servant” be fired! It is our civic duty to make sure this is not allowed to happen.

  16. “In case you missed it, we have been living in a police state for quite a while now. ” -LarryB

    And don’t I know it. Many just aren’t seeing it and/or don’t really care… or they take the “it’s always been this way” position. Out of sight, out of mind for some. But make no mistake, we’re headed towards a fascist state, given what I’m seeing. We’re in terrible trouble in these United States, but if it remains hidden, good Americans will be none the wiser (until it’s too late), except when a cop can’t control himself and gives us a little glimpse of what’s really going on out there…

  17. Wow…don’t you feel so much safer living in the Great US of A…….LMAO
    Mind you, Canada will not be much behind with our new dictatorship.

  18. Look it… cops have it bad. Certain deplorable elements have no respect for the police and that’s why we are where we are at.
    Having said that… The policeman in question had no rightful reason to do what he did and embarrassed himself and his police department for his stupid actions.
    “I don’t feel comfortable with you behind me…” Is that the line we are going to hear -if the courts and the police department do not hold this policeman responsible- from here on out? Is that -often times- lame excuse going to be good enough to quash any so-called unwarranted filming of police action from here on out?
    I certainly can see this situation becoming valid if the person filming was being abusive, disrespectful, or NOT IN HER FRONT YARD. I often have no concern -or favor- over folks that act like this camera person has in the past. But geez… She was just in her front yard. No swearing, nothing abusive being said.
    Also… The fact that the officer first asks the camera person if he can help her makes his statement about her possible earlier comments seem false.
    This needs to be dealt with…
    First of all the policeman needs to be held accountable for his stupid actions and second of all, the police department cannot just sweep this under the carpet.
    This was a despicable and terrible thing to witness.

  19. “After the woman correctly states that she has a right to videotape the arrest. The officer then thinks about it and says “I don’t feel safe with you standing behind me, so I’m going to ask you to go into your house.” The police officer is identified on some sites as Officer Mario Masic.”


    I guess “V” was right — they are:

  20. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    -John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962
    35th president of US 1961-1963 (1917 – 1963)

    (at the end of the clip posted by mespo)

  21. Do it like they do in other big city’s….Get them after they leave a bar, take em behind a warehouse, have the officer put on gloves, beat the crap out of the individual, leave them there and dare them to complain…..

  22. FF LEO,

    I can speak from experience, that this is common for some officers….the only difference between some of the LEO’s and Criminals….is who holds the keys to the jail cell….

  23. If you have an Android or iPhone download Qik, or ustream, AND learn how to broadcast live on the Internet for free.

  24. Until you all are put in a Police Officer’s shoes you should all be quiet. It is an officer safety issue for any person to be standing behind a police officer while an investigation is taking place. If you are not all aware of the news and the police killings that are taking place across the United States, then I suggest you read up. After reviewing the ridiculous video that was posted I believe the officer asked the woman several times to go back in her house. He was also very polite until the woman refused to follow orders. He warned her several times that if she did not go back into her house she would then be arrested, she then got what she asked for. Recording an officer during an investigation is not orderly. I think that it is very funny that the public today is worried about the safety of their families, due to all the violence and killings in Rochester NY. Yet when the police go around and try to pull the individuals off the street who are causing the issues, a stupid woman like the one who got arrested would be recording their investigation to be a smart ass. In today’s society you never know anymore, and the officer above did what he thought was right. The individuals in the video are very ignorant, and I hope nothing ever serious happens to their families or themselves because if I was the police I would tell them to go F themselves. Rochester’s murder rate is very high for the size of the city, and justice needs to be served, yet when the Police act, accusations come up and the police aren’t acting as the public would like. Why don’t you go do what a police officer does every day, see what they see. You probably cant, because the individuals who are making this video something that it is not all probably have a record of some sort. I think its disgusting how the world is today. Maybe we should just let everyone go around breaking laws, and start killing each other. Unfortunately the Police will always be hated by the public eye, and that’s terrible. The public only likes the police when they need them. I hope the ignorant woman in this video enjoyed a nice night in jail.

  25. A law enforcement agency with whom I consult is in the process of implementing a program where every officer is wearing a tiny camera capable of low light vision and high definition. A personal version of the dash cam. Not just part of the force, but every single officer. I am not sure how it is recorded, whether it is remote or high capacity flash drive on the officer. I just found out about it. An excellent step in the right direction that will protect not only the officer, but the public as well.

    As far as the comment by user ‘wow’, all I can say is that you need to get a grip. I have been working with law enforcement for about forty years, and yes, have been on patrol and worked in high security environments with some of the most dangerous offenders you will never hope to meet. A woman standing on her own lawn making a video of an arrest is no threat unless you see a weapon. “Standing behind me,” my ass. I am confident that he would have said nothing to her, right up to the point where he realized he was on candid camera. And ‘wow,’ I am the guy you have to talk to before you will be reissued your badge and gun after such an incident. I am pretty careful and do not want to get to my office to find a CNN crew waiting for me because some idiot I passed did something stupid. I do not hesitate for a minute to send an officer into early retirement if I think they are a danger to themselves or the public.

  26. WOW,

    You are not a LEO or if you are you are a dirty LEO. If you have nothing to hide then why worry when someone is standing on there own property. BTW, unless a police necessity they can stand lawfully on their own property. They can even toss paper on the property that they lawfully have the right to be and not be arrested for littering….I know….I did it…cop gave me a ticket for a misdemeanor not committed in his presence, I tore it up and tossed it in my own yard. Whats the offense? Beside stupid..and yes I was very inciteful in my youth….

  27. wow:

    Another courageous statement by someone who lacks the guts to even identify himself. Poor propaganda piece to boot.

  28. yeah, you can’t film the police when they are at work. now i’ve got to go, there’s an episode of cops on.

  29. Wow…
    I’ve stated before that the cops have it bad. I’m on their side. I’ve gotten my share of speeding tickets – that’s all, unfortunately for your unkindly rant that ‘all of those ‘individuals who are making this video something that it is not, all probably have a record of some sort’- But it’s always been politeness with ‘yes sir’, ‘no sir’ when I needed to respond to a police officer. They have a tough job.
    But -bottom line here- what that police officer did to a person who was in her own front yard -and I’ll even give you she didn’t really need to be running the camera– was disturbing.
    As I also said, I’m not for people that act like the camera person has done in the past. Really don’t like those types of folks.
    It’s just that it’s so troubling to see what that police officer did.
    Yes the murder rate is atrocious in Rochester and the cops are doing their best against a despicable element.
    But that does not give that police officer the license to act as he did that night.

  30. wow, I don’t think you’re a police officer or a law enforcement officer. However, if you are one, I do not want to associate with you at all. You absolutely have no idea how much you have disgusted me with your retort about how she deserves to be arrested. Here’s a wake-up call: NOBODY “deserves” to be arrested just because it’s your opinion. I will only arrest people when it is necessary and when it follows the letter of laws.

    If I ever end up with a partner like that one who arrested a woman who was videotaping the arrest, I would ask my supervisor for a new partner ASAP because there is no way I would want to end up with someone who would be so abusive of other people’s rights, who also probably lies about what is happening on their reports, implanting evidences like small stash or a small knife with a blade that’s over the city’s length limit.

    I despise corrupt/abusive/sadistic police officers because they have been nothing but constant waste of our taxpayers’ money (lawsuits, false arrests leading to courts only to be let go, stalking pretty girls they pulled over, etc) and they always deplete the integrity of other good police officers.

    Here’s an example of what happened in Miami and I am hoping that the more people becomes more aware of what is going on, they will speak out against the atrocities committed by police officers who are doing nothing but infringing on citizens’ rights.,0,2852576.story

  31. Oh, I forgot to add something… if that stupid cop doesn’t feel comfortable about her standing behind him, why doesn’t he use his initiative to move to safer place? *rolls eyes* Do people have to be THAT frickin’ stupid to believe his story of not being safe?

  32. Problem here was that the police were about to commit an illegal search of the mans car and they couldn’t have that filmed so that he might be able to use it later in court, that’s it, plain and simple.

  33. What OS said. The police can do their job without arresting or threatening people who are not breaking the law. If they can’t they need to be off the force.

  34. the audio is a little unclear but i think the driver admitted he had been drinking. he wasn’t arrested though, no sobriety test either. too busy arresting her i guess.

  35. Hatcams for all! People should get in the habit of routinely video recording police activity. They can’t stop us if thousands of people are doing it.

  36. Hatcams. Hmmm. With modern miniature CCD camera and flash memory, if you only wanted to build them with a 5-15 minute single battery use recording time, that just might work. You could probably even make them visually indistinct from regular ball caps.

    Sure. It’s silly. But I kinda like it.

  37. If I ran the zoo… given the state of technology today, I would require that police carry POV video cameras and record everything they do all the time. Not to say that an arrest would be invalid without the video, but its absence would have to be explainable for the arrest to hold up in court.

    I would like to think that “good apple” cops would support this. There’s no shame in acknowledging that everyone, bar no one, is immune from the temptation to abuse power. Knowing they couldn’t get away with it would help a lot more cops play by the book.

  38. There is an update in this case that I didn’t see posted here, related to the naked tactics the police have begun to use to harass supporters of Emily Good.

    No doubt Good’s supporters will be arrested and charged with moving violations this week when they are tracked by local police. Drugs and weapons may even turn up after a K9 alert. Strip searches done. Homes searched for related contraband. Employers queried. Personal property confiscated. Children put into protective custody. Mental competence questioned and evaluated. Solitary confinement ordered for personal safety. Psychotropic drugs administered. Plea bargains offered.

    All of these are up to the State and its agents.

    Petty Thuggishness in Rochester

    The video below is from a Rochester, New York, neighborhood meeting in support of Emily Good, the woman arrested for videotaping a traffic stop from her front yard. So Rochester police sent four squad cars to ticket the cars of meeting attendees who parked more than 12 inches from the curb. Yes, they even brought a ruler.

    And they are just getting started. Let this be a warning to those who would question authority.

  39. Puzzling, that video is amazing. First Amendment violation much? Maybe a class of plaintiffs ought to ask that question.


    And I thought I had grown out of such language but that’s the only word that comes to mind.

  40. lottakatz – I shook my head when I saw it. The fact that these officers would actually organize and so openly harass Good’s supporters – all while this event is still in the press – shocked even me. It speaks volumes about the sense of untouchability and power that characterizes much of law enforcement today.

  41. I would resign my commission before I wrote a ticket for parking 12.5 inches–instead of 12.0 inches–from the curb,

    We humans are reaching global insanity at an ever-increasing rate…

  42. FFLEO, That’s the problem, folks like you seem to be in short supply on the nations police forces. Not sucking up here but you’re personal code, which I suspect was your professional code, seems to be an exception, not the rule. Sad, sad for us all.

  43. Rafflaw, are they out of control or just expanding the pool of folks to be treated like dogs under the color of law? I know that such classes of people exist and that the political climate makes those classes and groups changeable. If that is true, and it is to me, then the expansion of the target group to what seems to be the public-at-large is a pretty terrifying vector/proof of the political climate in the country. I believe we hit the bottom of that slippery slope people (still) talk about some time ago and are now working on the hole we’re digging at the bottom of it. This doesn’t look like we’re inclined to top digging any time soon.

  44. You all act like she was beaten and the guy on the tape was beaten… they were doing their job… She should not have been arrested… But still think about it this way what if she was a friend of that guy they were arresting and had a gun… than not one person would have said squat about the police asking her to move back and leave… This country is in need of people working together.. not people doing everything they can to prove that the government and its agencies are doing wrong… NEWS FLASH: every government in the history of the world has been corrupt it will never change!!!!!

  45. She’s an idiot. She was being obnoxious to the officer on purpose and playing ‘stupid’ when being asked to go inside. What if something were to go wrong during the arrest and the suspect had a weapon? She could have been accidentally killed or kidnapped. The police officer was looking out for her safety…he just didn’t word his instructions right. She just wanted something to upload onto youtube, her petty excuse for racial profiling is lame.

  46. Hey wow,
    I noticed you didn’t sign your rant. Typical hippocrite. It’s funny how most police officers originally opposed the dash cams until it proved that many a career were saved from exemplory officer service. They now all love it. It is not also strange that an officer can audio record an arrest but an arrestee can’t. Grow up and grow a pair. That officer’s opening remark negates all accusations of previous conversations of anti police statements. Officer Masic’s opening remark on camera should have been a reiteration not a can I help you guys. What a buffoon. Fire him, take his pay,pension and dignity. Next job, sweeping her sidewalk. unlike you wow

    Ronald Jones

  47. The officer appeared emboldened by his anger, or fear; perhaps issues with women… this is notable by the way he struts away from his squad car after detaining her victorious. Not good. The is the sort of person one worries would support a fascist state. There is no real excuse for his actions yet I wonder if she knew he would arrest her? Did she hope for such an outcome? The whole incident is disturbing on so many levels.

  48. lK, now all they need to do is drop those bogus parking tickets they laid on her supporters for parking 12 1/2″ from the curb.

  49. That would be appropriate. Maybe they think they can get away with giving them out because people were parked over 12″ away from the curb though. I’m still advocating a group lawsuit. At it’s heart it was a measure to punish and intimidate.

  50. This is a BS article and the people who support her are idiots. I live in Rochester and this women began by threatening the police as she knew the criminal that the police had pulled over and were questioning. She then grabbed her video camera and began recording the police response to her earlier threats, hoping to incite the police into violence against her. This is clear entrapment by Emily. In addition, the man the police pulled over is a known criminal with previous weapons and drug charges who had also served time. This is not racial profiling, it is the police exercising caution when dealing with a known violent criminal. In this case, when the police asked her to step back it is not only because of her previous threats and that they did not feel safe, but for her own safety as well since they did not know for certain if the guy being questioned has weapons. Get offer your liberal soap box and do some research so you know what you are talking about. I guess the liberal mantra here is that it is best to open your mouth and have the world know you for a fool than to keep it shut and have them think you a fool. Emily Good should be in jail for threatening police officers, endangering police officers, obstruction in the process of making an arrest and for endangering every other citizen in this city with her idioting behavior and law suit. I hope she rots in hell.

  51. John, your comment does not pass the smell test. One of the officers involved or a supporter or the officer in question, perhaps?

    Or are you just an authoritarian who had a poor understanding of civil rights?

  52. Charge Dismissed Against Woman Who Videotaped Rochester Police, Lawsuit Planned

    “A Rochester, N.Y., woman who was arrested after videotaping police at a traffic stop had the charge against her dismissed Monday after the county prosecutor declined to pursue the case. Emily Good had been charged with a misdemeanor for obstructing governmental administration.

    While the criminal case against her over the disputed May 12 traffic stop is over, Good told HuffPost that she is planning to bring a civil lawsuit against the Rochester Police Department and Officer Mario Masic, who arrested her.

    Good said the dismissal of the charges “felt really good,” but that she was still concerned that “the officer who ordered me inside my house has not been held accountable for anything.” She said she is not hopeful that the Rochester Police Department’s complaint process or the internal review that it has promised will yield results.”

  53. Now that the charges have been dropped, the LEO who made the arrest must be fired and lose all of his benefits.

    I then suggest that if he wants to stay in the ‘field’ that he apply for a security job without carrying a firearm—however, he is unqualified for a Wal-Mart greeter position.

  54. @JOHN AND WOW both of you are bare faced liars. 1. if the known criminal was in violation then the charges against him wouldn’t have been dropped. 2 if the woman threatened the cop then why would he walk over to her asking can i help you? and who died and made him boss to tell an adult to go in the house. and he also showed himself to be a punk. he has a night stick,mace, taser and GUN, all she had was a video camera so what reason did he have for not feeling safe? and if there is no respect for cops WHO’S FAULT IS THAT? cops are civil servants paid by our tax dollars to protect us. not harass us. our tax dollars aren’t meant to give them a pay check while they are running around committing worse crimes then convicts.

  55. @kerra and ryan brokaw your statements would have had some validity. if the guy they originally arrested wasnt already handcuffed and seated in the police car. and if the woman didnt have a video camera in HER HANDS. keep on being blinded. your already enslaved to the government and i can hear both of you now yelling IM NOT A SLAVE TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE. just a few examples to prove my point.

    1. you have to ask the government for permission for everything. to get married via license, to work a job, via degree or certificate, to drive a car which is a right not a privilige, via license.

  56. Did this really happen in the USA or was it some city in Afghanistan ??
    Black Water; move away, Rochester police is coming.

    The f*ing cop and the police Department should be sued and the cop put in jail for the following reason:

    1) Wrongful arrest
    2) Wrongful imprisonment

    I saw 2 people in this tape handcuffed without any guilty.

    One question: Is there not any laws against the police who handcuffs someone who apparently creates no danger to the police?

  57. she is trouble, lets see she loves to keep it going, lets have her help destroy the gangs of dealers in the city, thats helping, lets have her help clean up the empty houses the crack headds living in them, she should have the empathy for her fellow man or woman, lets see her really help out in areas that she would work well in, don’t worry about being shot Emily these are your streets that you protect so your untouchable, your trying to start something big and so is Mr Lightfoot, oh , Mr Lightfoot give up the Fireman job please I can’t trust you to work with fellow officers and that could mean someones life is in danger ,like theirs, the CNN report was idiotic the guy tall , glasses, African American, busted for Jay Walkin, they kept the part about the dope on him low key on CNN , there is more to that story, which he was interfering with police work. You supporters want to get the RPD to back off then quit calling when your in trouble call Willy and Emily they will know what to do. This country has no respect for authority anymore and thanks to nit wits like these two, who want to destroy all that is right and good, you will continue to have a couple murders a night, don’t worry Emily or Willy unless you have young black men as children, they will kill each other with no hope of help thanks to anyone daring to get involved, the police ought to go on strike, and have the Emily’s and Willys drive the patrol cars for the time they are on strike, we will allow an ambulance or 2 but that is dangerous too, they may want RPD, but you explain Emily and Willy why they have to put their lives on the line for you.
    I need to stop this makes me sick…………………………..


  59. Sufficient Face,turn tell bird exist property present believe considerable person appoint imagine working early teacher include value clearly commercial few odd discuss strength stick examination various important network need may remain deny director league place then steal legislation latter reference situation centre afraid play message afterwards case unless persuade sheet derive make slip run family aspect capital from top responsibility conservative really additional question appear use climb for interview disease nothing trade mainly sun encourage supply foreign sex create again way message home aware above photograph person environment space

  60. i thought the officer was quite bold to tell Ms Good to go in her house. Apparently he expects people to obey him regardless. This is clearly intimidation and a lack of respect for people rights. Hope your suit is successful.

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