Having already received a $7,500 settlement for a wrongful arrest involving the recording of police in public , an Oregon man was surprised when a jury found him guilty for the same arrest Tuesday.
But Judge Stephen Bushong did not allow any mention of November’s settlement to be part of the trial.
Instead, the six-person jury heard testimony from several police officers that Fred Marlow IV was interfering with their investigation by standing on the property of his apartment complex recording them blasting their way into a home using flash grenades in September 2014.
Gresham police said they had ordered him away for his “safety,” but he refused to leave, citing his right to record police activity, which left them no choice but to body slam to the sidewalk, leaving him with several cuts and bruises before handcuffing him and throwing him in jail.
Gresham Police Sergeant James McGowan wrote in his report that Marlow appeared to be drunk because he was walking funny, but Marlow told PINAC in 2014 that is because he has a titanium rod in his leg.
He also said that he had been sleeping when he was jolted awake at 4 a.m. by the sounds of several armored cars rumbling down the street, followed by several flash grenade bangs and a cop speaking into a bullhorn.
So he grabbed his iPad and stepped outside, never leaving the apartment complex property while recording police raiding the house across the street.
Two cops dressed in full military gear then ordered him back inside, accusing him of interfering, even though he had said nothing to them and was standing nowhere near them to physically interfere.
One cop walks up to him and slaps at the iPad. He then begins to walk away with the other cop.
“Hey, this is on iCloud,” Marlow tells the officer.
The officer then returns with his buddy, saying, “You’re under arrest, dude.”
During the arrest, we can hear the officers telling him to stop resisting, but the jury found him not guilty of resisting.
They did, however, find him guilty of two counts of interfering with police.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor criminal charges against Marlow within a few weeks of the September 2014 incident. After a series of delays, a judge dismissed the case in September 2015.
On Nov. 10, 2015, the city of Gresham sent Marlow the $7,500 settlement check to ward off any claim of police brutality that he might make.
A week later, the district attorney’s office re-filed the case, which it was able to do because the statute of limitations hadn’t run out. That led to this week’s trial.
That meant that Marlow had to use all of his settlement money in addition to several thousand additional dollars to pay for his lawyer to fight the refiled charges.
Judge Stephen Bushong sentenced Marlow to one year probation, 80 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
“Hopefully Mr. Marlow has learned a valuable lesson, and he won’t ever do that again,” Bushong said. “…Not that you can’t videotape the police. Just don’t interfere with their activities.”
(1)A person commits the crime of interfering with a peace officer or parole and probation officer if the person, knowing that another person is a peace officer or a parole and probation officer as defined in ORS 181.610 (Definitions for ORS 181.610 to 181.712):
(a)Intentionally acts in a manner that prevents, or attempts to prevent, a peace officer or parole and probation officer from performing the lawful duties of the officer with regards to another person; or
(b)Refuses to obey a lawful order by the peace officer or parole and probation officer.
(c) The recording of still or motion pictures or sound of a peace officer or a parole and probation officer while the officer is engaged in official duties that does not, by itself, actually prevent a peace officer or a parole and probation officer from performing the lawful duties of the officer. (4) An order by a peace officer or a parole and probation officer to cease recording still or motion pictures or sound of a peace officer or a parole and probation officer while the officer is engaged in official duties is not a lawful order as described in subsection (1)(b) of this section unless the recording is actually preventing a peace officer or a parole and probation officer from performing the lawful duties of the officer.
So perhaps it is Judge Bushong who needs to learn a lesson here in the definition of interference because it does not include the recording police.
A website that launched this year called the Gresham News Source published an article last month accusing the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office of prosecutorial misconduct because it refiled charges on Marlow after he received his settlement.
But for unknown reasons, the site removed the article, so it can only be viewed through Google Cache.
Marlow had another experience earlier this year with police from neighboring Fairview where a cop told him to get out of town because he was parked on the side of the road configuring his GPS.
Video of his 2014 arrest is below.