State Representative Who Sponsored Bill Protecting Right to Film Police Arrested While Filming Police

State Representative Who Sponsored Bill Protecting Right to Film Police Arrested While Filming Police

A prominent civil rights attorney and Arkansas state representative who sponsored the passage of a 2015 bill protecting the right of citizens to film events in public places was arrested along with another attorney today while filming police.

Details are scant and one-sided at the moment (coming solely from the police report), but at approximately 11 a.m., officers initiated a traffic stop of a car without a license plate. During the course of the stop, both the driver and passenger were discovered to have warrants out for their arrest. Representative Walker and Attorney Omavi Kushukuru began filming the arrest, at which point, one of the suspects under arrest asked Walker why he was filming it, to which he replied: "I'm just making sure they don't kill you."

Pulaski County Sheriff's Office booking report

Officer J. Roberts and another officer then tried to speak with Walker, but allege that he spoke over them in an "antagonistic and provocative" manner, at which point, they returned to the traffic stop, leaving him to film it. At this point, as officers began to arrest the second suspect, Kushukuru and Walker moved into the zone of the stop, walking between the patrol car and the suspect's car and ignoring commands to leave the area. After arresting Kushukuru, officers commanded Walker to leave the area, at which point, he replied, "arrest me." He was then taken into custody, charged with obstructing governmental operations, and held on $1,000 bond.

As mentioned above, all details come solely from the Little Rock Police Department, as neither Walker or Kushukuru have commented on the incident yet. The Arkansas Times reports that a dash-cam was in operation, though that footage has not been released. It's also worth noting that in 1998, Walker was arrested on the exact same charge in a similar circumstance in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, after which he successfully sued the city.

You can read the full arrest report here.

[via UALR Public Radio]

Lead image by Flickr user Scott Davidson, used under Creative Commons.

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Phil Newton's picture

This has all gone waaaay too far. I don't live in the US but I'm following the ongoing stories that are coming out. No-one's winning out of this except for the lawyers. I am beginning to wonder if it's gone too far now to come back from.

Jonathan Levy's picture

What's gone too far? Don't see how any lawyers are "winning" out of things like this.

Mike Dixon's picture

Almost every single one of these Cops vs. Black People incidents have one thing in common: Not obeying the police, or committing a crime.

Jacques Cornell's picture

The other common element is excessive use of force. Running away from a traffic ticket is no cause for a fatal shot in the back. Illegally selling cigarettes on the sidewalk is no cause for death by strangulation.

Jacques Cornell's picture

And, that's not even taking into account the cases where police start a confrontation over nothing, then escalate it into violence.

It's as if these cops took a class called "Escalation 101" so they could meet their quotas even when there's no crime happening.

jason inman's picture

wow... what a shit-show. How the hell do people like this have a job?

Brian Schmittgens's picture

Committing a crime doesn't give a police officer the right to be judge, jury, and executioner.

M D's picture

"Almost every single one of these Cops vs. Black People incidents have one thing in common: Not obeying the police, or committing a crime."

"almost every single one".... One thing in common: 2 possible things?

Your comment is both factually inaccurate and a complete mess of a statement. Did you go to Trump University?

Prefers Film's picture

Since they weren't arrested for being black, most non-racist people would see this as a "cops vs citizens" incident.

Jacques Cornell's picture

When it's white cops vs. black citizens, over and over and over and over, that's how most non-racist people see it.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Furthermore, you can't get arrested "for being black" because being black isn't technically a crime. However, you can be black and just coincidentally get stopped and frisked on a regular basis while your white neighbors don't, or you can just happen to encounter a cop who's "afraid" for their safety. When the coincidences fit a pattern enough times, they're not coincidences any more.

michael andrew's picture

No, they have what you have just displayed in common, prejudice.