We have another case of a police officer arresting a citizen for videotaping him in public . . . with a twist. We finally have a prosecutor, Pinellas (Florida) State Attorney Bernie McCabe who refuses to prosecute such an abusive charge unlike so many other prosecutors who take these cases and perpetuate the abuse against the citizens. What is interesting is the response of Tarpon Springs Captain Jeff Young (left).
William Kilgore and his friend, Tommy Frain, were taping a Tarpon Springs Police officer on the street when they were confronted by the officer with a threat of arrest. Kilfore and Frain, however, insist that the arrest was not just improper, but the officer lied on tape.
On tape, Corporal Steve Gassen reportedly tells Kilgore, “Just so you know, if you have the audio on without our consent, that is a felony.” When Kilgore disagrees, Gassen says “That’s Maryland, this is a federal issue still supported by the Florida Supreme Court and it states you could get wrapped up in a $5,000 bond.” Most notably, after asking whether Kilgore is a lawyer, Gassen is quoted as saying “I have arrested numerous people for it in public.”
Despite the decision not to prosecute and the allegations that Gassen lied, Tarpon Springs Captain Jeff Young insists that he knows of nothing that his officer did wrong. This apparently includes the fact that Young believes officers can arrest citizens for filming officers in public. Most worrisome is Young’s statement in the article below that he has not bothered to listen to the tape — before concluding that he knows of nothing improper by his officer. It is reminiscent of D.C. Assistant Chief Newsham clearing an officer who was shown on tape brandishing his gun at people who hit is private car with a snowball.
Once again, these arrests for public videotaping are universally dismissed by courts or, as here, by prosecutors. However, officers are rarely disciplined for the abusive arrests — reinforcing the view that such arrests can be carried out without fear of accountability.
Source: WTSP found on Reddit.