Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Wellllll.... Yeah but...
Standing on public property filming an arrest is not just cause to be hassled.
He didn't 'advance on the officer' or give just cause for being treated the way he was. He didn't get pushy until he was told "Sit down or get back on your bike," which was not a reasonable request. There's no reason he needs to sit down or get back on his bike. He's 100% free to stand on public property and film this. It's reasonable to ask him to stay outside a realistic zone to interfere. So "Please step away sir" or similar, okay, sure. And the cop was a jerk to not acknowledge his interest in the matter when he identified his wife. "Sir, please simply step back and stay out of this, you're welcome to observe/film from a reasonable distance." would be more reasonable.
Having said that, I certainly concur that throwing profanities and generally being a d**k is not the way to go. Cops are unfailingly polite (even when they're being jerks) and drop "sir" every fourth word. You gotta do the same and exercise self-control even while insisting on your rights.
I know a lot of cops, and 99.9% of them are NOT jerks until/unless you get that way with them. They're doing a job that helps keep us all safe, deserve basic human decency and respect, and straight-up cops should not mind being filmed doing their duty. But jumping into it and starting with name-calling won't get you anywhere.
In a case like this, I'd just say "Officer, that's my wife so I clearly have an interest in this: I'm going to stand back, not interfere with you, and simply film this encounter." Then, stand back 10 feet, be quiet/polite, and if pushed simply repeat "Officer, I'm going to stand away from you on public property and video your encounter with my wife"... No F-bombs, no name-calling. The video will speak for itself (in court) if they're jerks after that.
But again, although I fundamentally agree with you the gent in question did not do himself any favors with his behavior, the cops here are being over-aggressive from the get-go.
2007 V-Star 1300