Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Has Always Been Calm, Respectful Of Citizens
So with a decision (or more likely, a non-decision) coming soon from the grand jury tasked with finding Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson completely justified in shooting Michael Brown to death -- that is their job, right? -- this bit of completely unrelated video made its way to the YouTubes over the weekend: A 2013 cellphone recording of an encounter between Officer Wilson and Mike Arman, a Ferguson man who committed the non-crime of filming Wilson when Officer Friendly came to serve a summons about some broken-down vehicles in Arman's yard. Wilson did not like Arman disrespecting his authoriteh by recording him:
Wilson is seen standing near his Ferguson police SUV and warning Mike Arman: “If you wanna take a picture of me one more time, I’m gonna lock your ass up.” Arman, who had requested Wilson’s name, replies: “Sir, I’m not taking a picture, I’m recording this incident sir.”
The officer then walks to the porch of Arman’s home and apprehends him, after telling him that he does not have the right to film. The 15-second clip was uploaded to YouTube on Friday but recorded in 2013, according to police documents.
And of course, like the surveillance video of Mike Brown released a week after Wilson shot him to death, this video is evidence of exactly nothing in the shooting of Brown, but as the amateur internet lawyer brigade likes to say, it may offer some insight into the character of one of the participants. And it would appear that Officer Darren Wilson didn't like the uppity sort of person who might record him, an action that, while legal in the mere sense of being protected by the First Amendment, was also enough to get Arman arrested on a charge of failing to comply with Wilson's orders; those charges were apparently dropped last week after Arman told his attorney that he had the video of the encounter.
Ah, but it must be noted -- as the Guardian notes -- that "Arman, who runs a small housing non-profit, has a criminal record and has previously been charged with resisting arrest," so maybe he is just a criminal troublemaker with a criminal history of making trouble.
Would you believe that Officer Wilson and Arman recall the arrest with some significantly different details? Arman says that he was "cordial" with Wilson but wanted to record the officer for his own protection. Wilson's official report says that Arman only started recording after becoming upset, and that while Wilson told him an audio recording would be OK, Wilson also told him that video was a big no-no, possibly because Darren Wilson is secretly Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his spare time (Arman says that Wilson only mentioned a voice recording after he'd been arrested).
Also, Darren Wilson apparently has a face that extends several yards from his body:
Despite being shown at the other end of Arman’s garden path, Wilson wrote in his report that he told Arman “to remove the camera from my face”. He claimed to have asked Arman to place his hands behind his back, which is not visible or audible from the recording. “I was forced to grab his wrists one at a time and secure them into handcuffs,” Wilson wrote.
But wait! There's even more evidence that Arman was a dangerous person intent on harming law enforcement officers!
Wilson drove Arman to the Ferguson police department headquarters where he was charged with failure to comply and breaching regulations on pit bull dogs. The officer noted that he had been unable to enter the rear yard of Arman’s property “due to the pit bulls”. Arman claimed that the charge relating to pit bulls was dropped when he proved his pet was a bulldog.
We aren't entirely sure why Wilson, seen here approaching Arman on his front porch, also needed to go into the man's back yard as well, but if a known criminal has already put a camera in your face from several yards away, you probably can't be too careful. Has Mike Arman given any thought to just how lucky he is that Wilson didn't shoot the vicious dog or dogs that was or were threatening the police by running freely in Arman's fenced-in back yard?
And despite the arrest records showing that Wilson really did arrest Arman for recording him on October 28, 2013, The professionals at the Ferguson Police Department treated a press inquiry about the incident in exactly the way we've come to expect: Like stonewalling dickheads:
When asked on Friday whether the officer in the video clip was Wilson, a spokesman for the Ferguson police department told the Guardian in an email: “I don’t think that is him.” The spokesman did not respond to further questions.
You stay classy, Ferguson PD.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.