A group of Kentucky teens were in a field playing Airsoft, a paintball-like game involving realistic-looking guns that shoot non-lethal rounds, when they were swarmed by police officers with high-powered assault rifles.
Radcliff police were able to hold their fire long enough to determine it was only a game, but when one of the teens walked up to the cops with a GoPro video camera, an officer ordered to turn it off.
The teen was about to comply when 18-year-old Ryan Seaman piped in, telling his friend he was under no legal obligation to do so.
That got him arrested on several charges, including criminal trespass, assisting minors to commit criminal trespass and carrying a concealed deadly weapon, which was nothing but a pocket knife.
Now the local media is asking that same old question the media always ask after these incidents.
Do citizens have the right to record police?
It is a stupid question considering the issue has been settled in numerous court cases over the years, but the media can never come out and say police were in the wrong. Instead, they have to resort to the tired, old “he said, she said” routine to give off the appearance of being objective.
“The officers they came out of the trees with their assault rifles and I was right over there,” Anderson recalled.
A GoPro camera was recording, when an officer noticed it he asked them to shut it off.
Seaman, who was next to the camera, told Anderson, “You don’t have to.”
The officer is then heard in the video saying to Seaman, “You want to go to jail friend?”
When Seaman did not give the officer his name, he was arrested.
“It sounds like a possible retaliation by police, retaliation is a strong word, but that’s what it is,” First Amendment expert Attorney Jon Fleischaker said.
Seaman has pleaded not guilty and is now awaiting trial. And the Radcliff Police Department has refused to answer any questions from the news station.
Perhaps they will be more responsive to us. Call (270)351-4714, which leads to the department’s public information officer, Bryce Shumate.