Woman Arrested for Filming a Traffic Stop

My first two novels, Compulsion and Dead Game, feature a vigilante crime fighter named Emily Stone.  This woman takes it upon herself to track down the most dangerous criminals in her community and then anonymously hands over the evidence she has collected to police before quietly moving onto the next case.  She uses surveillance equipment, determination, and great instinct to bring many violent offenders to justice. 

In Rochester, New York, another Emily recently took the law into her own hands.  The twist here, though, is that she was tracking the law itself.

Emily Good was arrested in May for filming a traffic stop that was occurring outside her home.  Although she never left her front yard, she was ordered by the officers on the scene to go inside because they felt her presence was threatening.  Ms. Good refused to leave her yard or to stop filming and she was eventually arrested.  She is now facing the misdemeanor charge of obstructing governmental administration. 

The video captured by Ms. Good found its way onto YouTube and now has become quite a sensation, with viewers arguing over where this amateur cameraperson had every right to film from her yard or if she should have followed police orders and filed a complaint later if she desired.

We should find out very soon what a judge thinks of Emily Good’s decision to fight authority with a video camera. 

But, in the meantime, what do you think?  Was Ms. Good within her rights to film the traffic stop?  Or, could her presence have been a distraction that placed the safety of the officers in danger?  Let me know what you think!

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
This entry was posted in Compulsion, Dead Game, Police and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Woman Arrested for Filming a Traffic Stop

  1. David Holmes says:

    Cops are faced with a lot of elements that we never see. By nature they are mostly defensive and abusive. They need to be. However, they also need to know when to use common sense. If Emily Good had wandered into the street and come in contact with the arrest they would have been justified. If they thought she was a threat, they should have put her in cuffs. The police need to be constantly reminded and retrained on public connection.

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  2. I know many police officers and I have come in contact with many more throughout the US for research purposes. I’m familiar with police procedures. I respect what they do and who they have to deal with on a regular basis. It’a tough job. However, as with any job and especially with any job of authority, there are individuals that are going to abuse their power.

    The video of the incident shows me that this particular police officer abused his authority. There are many ways he could have handled the situation — besides this isn’t anything new for cops. This a perfect example of a police interaction that makes many people not like the police.

    First, he was concerned about his safety with someone behind him. That would makes sense if he was alone performing the traffic stop. Well, what the heck were the other two police officers for? That’s why they are there as backup/cover for the officer who called in the traffic stop — procedure. I find it interesting that the two other officers were silent during this incident. Silence says a lot, doesn’t it? Also, when any police officer makes an arrest (not just detaining a person) they should read the person their rights right away. I didn’t hear any rights being read in the video. Hmmm? Maybe the officer causing all the fuss should watch the video for training purposes???

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