A Chicago police officer tells two NBC journalists in a shocking new video that your first amendment rights can be terminated if you're creating a scene or whatever, going on to tell them that your presence is creating a scene.
The two journalists try to argue that they are just doing their jobs by trying to report on a story and shortly thereafter, as onlookers repeatedly say he didn't do anything, the officer cuffs and arrests one of the men, who is an NBC photographer.
NBC's Bob Sullivan writes that the man was led away in handcuffs essentially for taking pictures in a public place. He was released only minutes later, but the damage was done.
But the situation didn't end there, as the officer continued to bother the journalists, repeatedly cursing at them and telling them that he doesn't care about their property or their explanations for why they believe they are innocent and should not be arrested while trying to report news on a public street.
I told you to leave, you didn't leave, the officer goes on to say before throwing the cameraman down onto the hood of a truck and cuffing him.
Reporters, photographers and other journalists have been arrested on American soil in increasing numbers, particularly since the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement last year.
The National Press Photographers Association told NBC it has knowledge of 70 such arrests since September, and the group wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in May in the hope of getting something done about the problem:
The First Amendment has come under assault on the streets of America, the letter said. Police have arrested dozens of journalists and activists simply for attempting to document political protests in public spaces.
The question of whether or not American citizens have a right to record activities in public spaces was thought to have been settled, but as OWS protests and other situations that threaten press freedom occur across the nation, police continue to arrest people, and, in some states, even charge them with wiretapping as a result of state laws that were passed, which make recording a police officer illegal.
As such, there are dozens of lawsuits and allegations being made against law enforcement agencies, many of which surround the practice of citizen's ever-increasing public recording of police, and which challenge laws that criminalize the act of making recordings the police by citizens.
Click play below to watch the video of the altercation between police officers and the NBC journalists: