A video uploaded to YouTube Monday by a Virginia man captured his unlawful arrest for obstruction of justice after exercising his right to remain silent when approached by an officer for absolutely no reason – other than the fact he was recording in public.
The officer is also caught on camera throwing the man’s camera on the ground as he is arresting him.
In the video, we see Officer Hughson of the Henrico County Police Department exit his vehicle and approach the man who is recording.
“How are you doing? What have you got in your pocket? Sir? Sir, what are you doing? Can I get your ID from you please?
Are you unable to talk? Sir, I need your ID, if you do not provide me with your ID, you will be placed under arrest.” Hughson asserts.
This prompts Hughson to request backup, even though Hammond has not broken any laws.
“Sir are you not going to talk to me, not going to provide an ID or anything?” Hughson asks again, before requesting a supervisor come to the scene. “Are you not going to talk to me sir, you’re just going to stand there filming me?”
As backup arrives, Hammond begins to walk away from the situation as there is no reason for the officers to detain him.
“Sir, you need to stop; you need to stop and provide your ID.” Hughson says as he runs up and grabs the man recording.
At this point, Hammond breaks his silence and says “I invoke and refuse to waive my 5th amendment right to remain silent, I do not consent to search and seizure and I want my lawyer.”
His camera is then thrown to the ground by the officer.
As the officer places him under arrest, Hammond asks him under what charges is he being arrested. The officer tells him obstruction.
A female officer can be heard asking “why are you shaking so much?”
Hammond explains it is because he is being assaulted by people with guns.
“I do not have to provide my ID in the state of Virginia unless I am lawfully under arrest,” the man states. “You know the law as well as I do, sir.”
Hammond is set to appear in court on August 27th at 1100 in Henrico General District Court.
“The Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney refused to meet with my Attorney to review the video. Therefore I can only assume that they intend to prosecute me to the fullest extent of the law. I am now posting this video to show the lawlessness that is prevalent in Henrico County,” the caption on the video read.
Hammond initially posted about the incident on Reddit last week, prompting PINAC correspondent David Verner to call and find out under what circumstances can police in Virginia arrest citizens for simply not providing identification, a conversation you can hear in the bottom two videos below.
However, the Virginia attorney general stated in 2002 that “law-enforcement officer conducting lawful stop to investigate alleged criminal activity may not arrest for obstruction of justice suspect who refuses to identify himself to officer.”
And in this case, the cop was not even conducting a lawful stop because simply standing in public with a camera is not a crime.
Besides Hugshon, the arresting officers include Officer Elliott, Officer Gallatin and Sergeant Reamer.
Chief’s Office: (804) 501-4839
Internal Affairs: (804) 501-483