A Rockville video blogger made news last week after his attempt to record police officers who stopped him took a turn for the worse.
Jared Parr, the 25-year-old creator of the YouTube channel Rockville CopWatch, was pulled over by Montgomery County Police on Jan. 15.
Parr told WJLA on Thursday that the police officers tried to intimidate him after they learned he was recording the interaction.
What’s in the video
Parr’s video was posted to YouTube on Feb. 15 and had more than 4,000 views as of Friday evening. He has posted 12 videos on the channel since July 2011.
The first portion of the clip is blacked out and audio-only. There's actually no sound until about one-minute into the footage. It's not too long before the police officer in the clip notices he’s being recorded:
Police: You’re not allowed to do that. That’s against the law to audio record without my permission.”
Two minutes into the clip—after some verbal back and forth between the officer and Parr—two officers appear on the screen. Parr eventually gets out of the car and after some jumpy, incoherrent footage, the video clip cuts off abruptly.
Was Parr right?
Despite his pleadings and claims that police were infringing on his rights, Parr was arrested on charges of obstructing and hindering, according to court records accessed online.
A Montgomery County Police spokesman told WJLA that the police officer was wrong to tell Parr that he couldn’t record “because department policy tells officers anyone has the right to record them while in public.”
In 2010, a judge ruled that Maryland’s wiretapping law, “does not protect discussions between police officers and civilians that take place in public sight, such as a traffic stop for a making a right turn on a red light when it's not allowed,” according to DCist, which also picked up this story.
Speak out: Do you agree with Parr? Please post your comments below.