CONNECTICUT — A Quinnipiac University student spent an eveningin jail last weekend after using a cell phone to record New Haven policeofficers arresting another student.
According to The Quinnipiac Chronicle, Kenneth Hartford was arrestedoutside of a New Haven bar and charged with disorderly conduct and interferingwith a police investigation.
The video shows three officers talking to an unidentified student outsidethe bar. Upon realizing they were being filmed, one officer looked into thecamera, said “watch this” and started dancing. The same officerlater told Hartford to “back away. Or you’re going to go tojail.”
During the video, Hartford can be heard asking what the student is beingarrested for and an officer tells him it’s none of his business.
Later, one of the bar’s bouncers told Hartford to turn the cameraoff. Hartford replied by saying he did not have a camera. The bouncer said thatwas “bullshit,” and told Hartford to go away.
The video ends with an officer telling Hartford to “put that in yourfucking pocket and get the fuck out of here.”
“I spent all night in jail, and all I did was film them,”Hartford told The Chronicle. “You just feel sohelpless.”
New Haven police spokesman Joe Avery would not comment because it is anopen court case.
Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate for the Student Press Law Center, saidthat similar situations have been coming up more and more frequently over thepast five years.
Goldstein said Hartford did not break the law since police officers areconsidered public officials and were in a public place.
However, Goldstein said this does not prevent officers from threateningindividuals with other charges.
“Police officers are starting to object to being filmed and there israrely, if ever, a legitimate reason for their objection,” he said.