With so many average Americans armed and ready to film a cop at any given second, it’s no shock that many officers hate when they are being filmed, especially while doing their job.
This officer took his hatred of being filmed to a new level.
On Sunday, when Beatriz Paez saw some law enforcement officers with military-style equipment detaining people in her neighborhood in South Gate, California, she did what lots of people instinctually do these days when they spot cops: She whipped out her phone and starting filming.
She was on public property and standing at a distance from the US Marshals, but nevertheless one of the of the officers moved toward her, an interaction captured by a video filmed by another cop-watching citizen.
“You are making me feel unsafe, and I have a right to be here,” Paez said to the officer. “You need to stay away from me, I don’t feel safe with you closer to me.”
Then the Marshal ripped the phone out of the onlooker’s hands and smashed it on the sidewalk. The video of the altercation was uploaded to YouTube by the second filmer on Sunday, and it’s now been viewed almost 750,000 times.
This incident comes at a time when police across the country seem increasingly like aggressors rather than protectors to many members of the public, and law enforcement is under more scrutiny than ever before thanks to nearly everyone owning a smartphone these days. Earlier this month, a South Carolina cop was charged with murder after a bystander filmed him shooting Walter Scott in the back. “It’s our responsibility to take care of each other,” Paez told the LA Times about her decision to record the Marshals. “It’s our constitutional right to film.”
She also told the paper that the Marshals started letting the detainees go when they noticed they were being filmed.
Watch a clip of the incident below