Did these Killeen Police Officers cross the line? It’s a question some people on social media are asking after officers arrested a bystander filming a traffic stop, Saturday morning.
“I have a right to be there. I have a right to record and I also have a right to free speech,” said the Public.
The man arrested asked to be called “The Public” but doesn’t want his name released. He said he filmed the traffic stop, for his media outlet and so the people involved would have footage.
“I saw them talking with some of the guys that was in the back of the vehicle and these are like young kids so I know they don’t know their rights,” said The Public.
However, once he spoke up about officers asking passengers for their IDs“The Public” said the officers turned on him.
“They abandon the whole stop just up like a cameraman of a public sidewalk in United States of America and kidnap them and put them in a box,” said The Public
The Public said he was charged with interfering with or obstructing an officer.
“It is broad however you have to be able to show but it didn’t interfere or did it did impede. It’s very clear in the statute that verbal provocation alone is not enough,” said Texas A&M University Central Texas Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Tammy Bracewell.
According to A statement from KPD, “the public” interjected himself into the investigation by engaging with other people in the vehicle, distracting the officers, and creating a safety hazard.”
“At the end of the day I’m staying on a public sidewalk and I’m exercising free-speech that’s it there’s nothing else to say,” said The Public.
Killeen police said it’s now doing an investigation itself.
Killeen police arrested a man for interfering with or obstructing an officer on Saturday, Dec. 18.
Police said they were conducting a traffic stop around 12:40 a.m. and subsequently arrested the driver for an outstanding warrant from Lawton, OK for discharging a firearm into a dwelling.
"Investigating Officers learned that there was a weapon inside the vehicle and were trying to determine if any other laws were being violated," said Killeen police.
Police said while they were conducting their investigation they were approached by a man who, "interjected himself into the investigation by engaging with other individuals in the vehicle, distracting the officers, and creating a safety hazard for all involved parties."
The suspect was arrested and charged for violating Sec. 16-107 (Interfering with or Obstructing an Officer) of the City of Killeen Code of Ordinances, according to police.
"The Killeen Police Department Code of Conduct requires our officers to preserve and protect the individual rights and freedoms of citizens," said police. "Due to the public interest in this incident, we will be conducting an investigation into the matter."