In an all too common occurrence, another photographer has been arrested for filming in a public place, catching the sad event on film.These cases are contentious, and spark vigorous debate. I'm often outraged, but the outrage is tapered when the photographer is being extremely animated and loud about their rights. Knowing police officers (albeit in the U.K), there are a lot of people out there who aren't honest and reasonable folk with an understanding of their rights; they're looking for drama and could be aggressive. The above video is a shortened version with some commentary. The full video with more context can be seen below:
Thankfully, and indeed sadly, that's not the case here. The photographer in this case appeared to me to be polite and well-informed, but the situation simply escalated because the police officers didn't appreciate their lack of power in the given situation. They initially claim their motivation is that of a concern for the welfare of the man filming, purporting that he seemed intoxicated and they were worried he was going to get hit by a car. Whether that's true or not — and perhaps I'm naive for thinking that does sound fair as the man doesn't deny having had alcohol, but just that he's intoxicated — his welfare was clearly not their chief concern as he's left with scratched glasses and blood pouring from his forehead.
The caveat — and it's large — is that it seems the photographer filming and falling victim is a sort of cop vigilante, stalking police and waiting for them to act out. This could be due to abuse of power becoming commonplace and he wants to help put an end to it, but I can't help but wonder if he has other motives. Either way, an aggressive arrest against a non-violent person is extreme.
Can a photographer be in the wrong if they state their rights and don't comply with the requests of the police? I realize this topic could get heated in the comments, and I ask you to be polite and levelheaded.