Arrested for Photography

The following story was submitted by Paul Leason.

On the night of October 13th, 2012 I was participating in an event called Zombie Pub Crawl. I witnessed someone being arrested and wanted to take photos. I was on a public sidewalk and never got any closer than anyone else walking by. I had an officer tell me to keep walking and to go away. I told him that I would not interfere with their job, but that I would stay and continue to photograph. I was shoved away and told to “get the fuck out of here” by another officer.

At this point I was surrounded by three officers and was being called names for no reason. I felt as if they were trying to make me fight them. I remained calm but did voice my opinion that what they were doing was wrong. I tried to record the conversation when one of them smacked the phone out of my hand. I was then put into a headlock, handcuffed and arrested. My friend tried to calm the officers down but one of them shoved him into the ditch. Earlier in the night I was handing out Cop Block information and I even gave some cards to the very officers who arrested me that night. I believe they wanted me to be made an example of and to cause fear. I never resisted and went calmly.

The entire event was very terrifying because I was being kidnapped for no reason. I was charged with disorderly conduct and booked into the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. I have never been to jail before and have never even been detained. All I was trying to do was take a photograph of someone being arrested and to help someone from possibly being taken advantage of. I have a court date on the 26th of October.



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