A bully of a Washington D.C. cop named C.C. Reynolds tried his best to intimidate a man from video recording officers piling on top of a man on the sidewalk, claiming it made the videographer part of “the investigation,” even though the man was standing about 50 feet away.
Oozing of arrogance and insolence, Reynolds claimed the sidewalk was not public, ordering the man to leave, then claiming he could confiscate the camera as “evidence.”
Andrew Heining, the man with the camera, did a good job of standing up for his rights, even though it was clear that Reynolds was itching to get physical with him, at one point even grabbing the man’s bicycle and then trying to move him closer to the scene in typical contradictory cop style.
Reynolds spent several minutes harassing Heining, demanding identification, peppering him with questions as a couple more officers walked up and joined in the thuggery.
Reynolds eventually taped off the entire sidewalk with crime ribbon to keep Heining away, ignoring several other citizens walking inside the perimeter without cameras.
I pulled out my phone and began recording when I came upon a man being physically restrained by 7 D.C. police officers outside the downtown branch of the D.C. Public Library September 7, 2014, at 6:24 p.m.
The video came out blurry, but 48 seconds in, Officer C.C. Reynolds (badge 3983) didn’t like that I was recording the proceedings, and tried to intimidate me into leaving the scene.
I don’t know what happened before this, whether the man was indeed fighting, or whether the large police response was warranted, but in light of the recent events in Ferguson, Mo., Staten Island, N.Y., and elsewhere, I thought it prudent to stay and observe the arrest. I know that I have a right to occupy a public place, and that recording the police isn’t cause for suspicion or accusation of wrongdoing.
I don’t appreciate the intimidation tactics Officer Reynolds used to try to bully me into leaving. I believe the D.C. Police Department should apologize, reprimand Officer Reynolds, and work to ensure that its officers understand the rights of the public.
Two years ago, the Metropolitan Police Department, which is the official name of the Washington D.C. police department, issued guidelines to officers, instructing them not to harass or intimidate citizens from recording, which was a result of a lawsuit filed by longtime PINAC reader Jerome Vorus.
Contact the MPD:
UPDATE: Heining updated the video with the following info:
9/10/14: I filled out a PD-99 Citizen Complaint form with MPD Sunday night and submitted it to Internal Affairs and the District 1 Commander. I heard back from Commander Jeff Brown and Captain Brian Harris on Monday afternoon, and again from Capt. Harris Tuesday night. Capt. Harris told me the officers shown were clearly in the wrong, that he and another officer he showed it to said “What the hell!?” aloud while watching it. He told me that the officers in the video would be disciplined.
Prior to this incident I wasn’t aware of MPD General Order 304.19 set forth in July, 2012 regarding “Video Recording, Photographing, and Audio Recording of Metropolitan Police Department Members by the Public.” It’s found here and addresses a number of the issues I brought up in the video: https://go.mpdconline.com/GO/GO_304_1…