April 22, 2015

Police won't let black man record his traffic stop

To judge from a recent video of an encounter with a black motorist, it looks like some Tempe cops could use a refresher course in the First Amendment.
The video was shot by 29-year-old Arizona resident Anderson Jean-Louis, after he was stopped by Tempe bike cops on the evening of February 13, allegedly because he was playing his music too loud on the car stereo of his Audi A8L.
As you can see above, the video shows Tempe officers Lara Camberg and Martin Marchant questioning Jean-Louis as he sits on a curb after exiting his vehicle. 
While Camberg tries to figure out Jean-Louis' Haitian surname, Jean-Louis starts taping the stop with his iPhone.
As soon as Camberg realizes this, she snatches the phone out of his hand. Jean-Louis then produces another iPhone and starts filming again, with Camberg quickly grabbing that phone as well.
At this point, according to both the audio of the second recording and the police report of the incident, Camberg informs Jean-Louis that he is being detained.
Jean-Louis says he was then placed in handcuffs and kept that way for about 25 minutes.
Ultimately, he was cited with playing loud music, resisting/interfering with police, and, laughably, not producing his driver's license.
You know, the same license Camberg is fumbling with in the video.
"I look at this like a police attack on a regular citizen," Jean-Louis told me during an interview for this article.

"How are you going to have my driver's license, and then charge me with not giving you a driver's license?" he wondered aloud. "How are you going to charge me with resisting arrest, when I didn't fight with you when you placed me in handcuffs?"

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