An LGBT activist and former North Carolina state Senate candidate filmed a police officer trying to grab his phone during an arrest his department later described as a “detainment,” Think Progress reported.
The footage, shot by 33-year-old Ty Turner on his cell phone, shows the officer telling Turner to “put the phone down” while stopping him in a parking lot where Turner was distributing information on voters’ rights during a “Moral Monday” event at Marshall Park in Charlotte on Monday.
“Sir, I don’t have to put the phone down,” Turner replies, before the officer moves toward him and tells him, “You are under arrest.”
However, Qnotes, an LGBT publication, reported that a spokesperson for the department later said Turner was only being detained.
“I’m asking a question,” Turner says in the video as the officer accosts him and handcuffs him.
“Stop resisting,” the officer says.
“Why am I resisting?” Turner replies. “I’m not putting my phone down.”
Turner told Think Progress that the encounter escalated after he asked the officer to identify the ordinance he was violating. The officer allegedly refused to answer the question.
Instead, Turner said, he was held for a few hours before being released with a citation, but that he was taken to three separate locations, including an empty parking lot, and not directly to Mecklenburg County Jail.
“They knew they were in the wrong,” he was quoted as saying.
A second video taken after the arrest by another activist, Casey Throneburg, shows Turner describing the incident to other officers while still handcuffed.
“It was this one who put the handcuffs on me and tried to grab me up,” Turner says.
“He likes to do that, Ty,” someone can be heard saying off-camera. “He likes to do that.”
Throneburg later told Think Progress that the local ordinance against leafletting on cars is rarely enforced and “certainly not with handcuffs.”
About 30 participants in the “Moral Monday” event marched to the local jail in protest after learning of Turner’s arrest, including Rev. William J. Barber II, head of the state NAACP.
Turner ran to represent District 40 in the state Senate earlier this year, but lost in the Democratic party primary.
Watch Turner’s footage of his arrest, as posted online by Qnotes, below.
Throneburg’s video, documenting the aftermath, can be seen here.
[h/t The Huffington Post]