Taped confrontation between teens, police leads to arrest, questions about First Amendment rights
RADCLIFF, KY (WAVE) - A video taped confrontation between teenagers and police led to an arrest and questions about a person's first amendment rights.
It all started when a group of teenagers were on a field in Radcliff playing a military style game of airsoft.
"It's like paintball, real similar to paintball," Ryan Seaman, 18, explained.
"It's better than playing a video game like Call of Duty or Battlefield Four," Seaman's friend, Jeremy Anderson, said.
A neighbor called the Radcliff Police Department, "I didn't hear no weapons fire or anything like that," the caller is heard telling the operator. "They may have been paintball rifles, I don't know but it seemed odd," she said.
Then the game got real.
"The officers they came out of the trees with their assault rifles and I was right over there," Anderson recalled.
A GoPro camera was recording, when an officer noticed it he asked them to shut it off.
Seaman, who was next to the camera, told Anderson, "You don't have to."
The officer is then heard in the video saying to Seaman, "You want to go to jail friend?"
When Seaman did not give the officer his name, he was arrested.
"It sounds like a possible retaliation by police, retaliation is a strong word, but that's what it is," First Amendment expert Attorney Jon Fleischaker said.
Fleischaker represents several media outlets throughout the state. He said one thing in Kentucky law is clear.
"I know of no, nothing in the law that says I can't record a conversation or an encounter with a police officer. Period," he said.
Seaman now faces charges for criminal trespass, assisting minors to commit criminal trespass and carrying a concealed deadly weapon, which he said was nothing more than a pocket knife.
"I don't break laws, I've never been arrested," Seaman said.
Seaman had an initial court appearance on March 10. He pleaded not guilty.
We asked Radcliff Police several times over the past couple of weeks for a comment on camera, over the phone or in writing but they declined stating the case has not yet gone to court. The chief would not confirm or deny if they've reviewed the officer's conduct.
Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.