The Miami cops knew the routine, shoving and pushing a man who was recording them before assaulting and arresting him for "putting the camera in my face" as one said.
But the video shows they were the ones in his face. One cop even admits it.
"Why are you in my face," Emanual David Williams asks as he is recording early Sunday morning in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami.
"Because we can be," a cop named Allen responds, one of two cops initially confronting David.
A third cop named Gonzalez then swaggers up and gets in David's face while a cop named Hernandez orders him to cross the street which he complies.
But once he was standing on the sidewalk on the other side of the street, the cop named Hernandez walks up to him and knocks the phone out of his hand.
"Do not put the phone in my face!" Hernandez yells.
The phone lands on the sidewalk and continues recording while pointing skyward showing the cops grabbing him and forcing him to the ground, ordering to "stop resisting" as they are trained to do when beating non-resisting suspects.
"I'm not resisting!" David yells several times
The cops charged him with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, which are the typical contempt of cop charges Florida cops like to fabricate when arresting people for recording them (it happened to me in 2007 in almost the same manner which is what led to the creation of this site).
The Miami New Times obtained the police report.
According to an arrest report obtained by New Times, the three officers arrived on the scene after Williams' ex-girlfriend asked for assistance with removing some items from their home. The cops do not state in their arrest documents that Williams acted violently toward them — instead, an officer listed as W. Gonzalez stated he arrested Williams simply for getting too close to him with his cell phone.
"The defendant then continued to place his cellphone within very close proximity of my face, once again breaching the distance within my reactionary gap, at which point I advised the defendant that he was under arrest, at which point I grabbed the defendant by the arm and attempted to directed [sic] him to the ground to effect the arrest," Gonzalez wrote. The officer further alleged that Williams continued to tense his body and that he entered a police vehicle only "after another struggle."
Reached by phone, Williams tells New Times that when he arrived on the scene, the officers prevented him from entering his apartment without explaining why. After the officers told him to move across the street, he was confused why the trio then followed him to the other side, he says. Once the cops swatted his phone away, he was stunned that his phone wound up catching more of the incident by accident.
"I was shocked my phone even picked up the part after they knocked it out of my hand," he says. "I only got my phone back after I got out of jail. I didn't think my phone caught all that."
If everything went down as reported, then the cops had no legal reason to force Williams across the street because he was not interfering with whatever it was they were doing with his ex-girlfriend.
"I'm more than 50 feet away from her," Williams tells the cops as one tells him "you better stay back."
But the video shows he expressed no intention of getting any closer. He was content just standing on the sidewalk recording, which is what got him arrested.
The videos were posted to Williams' Instagram account. All three cops were wearing body cameras. No word yet on whether those bodycam videos will be released anytime soon. Or if they will somehow disappear.