NC officer suspended for arresting video-recording teen
WILMINGTON, N.C. — A North Carolina police officer has been suspended for arresting a teenager who recorded him making an arrest.
The Wilmington Star-News reported that Leland Police Sgt. John Keel was suspended for one month without pay for arresting 19-year-old Gabriel Self on Aug. 18 at a gas station.
Self was reportedly getting gas when he saw the officer arresting a man for possessing drug paraphernalia and started recording on his cell phone.
After he started recording, the officer approached Self and said, “I’ll give you two seconds to get your tail out of here.”
Self then moved inside the gas station and continued recording and Keel arrested him.
Self was charged with resisting a public officer and booked into the Brunswick County jail. The charge was later dropped.
Leland’s town manager David Hollis said citizens cannot interfere with police in their work, but police cannot prevent them from taking pictures or video.
Self’s arrest caused Leland police to conduct a department-wide workshop about its recording policy to avoid future incidents. Keel will reportedly receive additional training.
Self said the suspension was a bit harsh and all he wanted was a handshake and an apology.
Self said he wanted to record the incident because an officer allegedly forced him to show his ID without cause.
Source: The Wilmington Star-News