A sheriff’s deputy in Harris County, Texas was caught on video arresting a man apparently because the man was videotaping his conversation with another person, the Free Thought Project reported.
The footage shows the deputy, identified as “Hoang,” arriving onto private property and approaching a man sitting down on a chair when he turns and asks the person filming, “Is there a reason why you’re recording this?”
The person behind the camera, identified as Michael Gardner, says, “Yes, sir, but I don’t answer questions.” Gardner, who is standing several feet away from the deputy while filming, then identifies himself as a friend of the seated man.
Gardner told the Free Thought Project that he was working on the property and had been allowed by the owners to be there. The man in the chair was reportedly not one of the owners.
“You need to leave,” the officer says.
“I’m on private property,” Gardner replies. The seated man tells Gardner to “listen to the officer,” but Gardner continues recording.
“I’m video recording it for public document, sir,” Gardner says.
“You need to leave,” Hoang says again. “Right now, this is a scene, and you’re not allowed to be [here].”
“I’m not interfering,” Gardner tells him. “I’m just video recording it for public safety purposes.”
Hoang then approaches Gardner, orders him to turn around, and can be seen grabbing him.
“I’m not doing anything, sir,” Gardner says as the camera begins to shake. The recording stops just after he says, “This is illegal. Highly illegal.”
Gardner was then allegedly handcuffed and taken to jail, but later released after a judge found no probable cause for charging him.
“I should have never answered his questions.” Gardner told the Free Thought Project. “I will not stop videotaping police. The public is awake to the police state. We have to stand strong in the fight against tyranny.”
Earlier this year, a federal court of appeals upheld a ruling allowing private citizens to film police in public.
Watch Gardner’s footage, as posted online, below.