As Baltimore County cops in Towson, Md., arrested at least two people, a man began filming the scene from the sidewalk. Within moments, he was approached by officers who threatened to arrest him if he didn’t “get the hell out of here.”
“You diverted my attention from that,” an officer says in the video when the man filming argues he hasn’t done anything wrong. “Leave!”
Demanding that a bystander leave the scene of an arrest is not out of line. It’s what another officer said after the man had retreated that is getting so much attention.
“Look at me. Do you see the police presence here? We are not f***ing around, do you understand? Do not disrespect us and do not not listen to us,” the cop is heard saying. “Now walk away and shut your f***ing mouth or you’re going to jail.”
Though he says “OK,” the man filming, identified as 21-year-old Sergio Gutierrez, then asks: “Have I committed a crime, sir?”
This apparently infuriated the officer. He turned around, grabbed Gutierrez and again threatened to arrest him.
“Do not open your mouth,” the cop orders.
“I thought I had freedom of speech here,” he replies.
“You don’t! You just lost it,” the cop barks. “Walk away and keep your mouth shut.”
The video, which was going viral on Wednesday, was uploaded on Vimeo on Monday. User “Gootz” claims he is the person who filmed the video but claims he was “not the person taunting the officers in the beginning of the video.”
Watch below (Warning! Very strong language):
“County police, auxiliary officers and state police were all responding to a large crowd and disturbance on York Road. County police officials became aware of the video of the altercation Tuesday morning and have launched an investigation,” CBS Baltimore reports.
“We are concerned about what we saw in the video and the department will be taking a thorough look at that video,” spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.
In an interview with WBAL-TV, Gutierrez said the incident was a “disaster” and speculated that officers may have had too much adrenaline pumping through them.
“They just kind of lost it,” he added, saying he doesn’t regret recording the incident.