A police officer threatening to arrest a man who is videotaping their 2013 conversation may be Darren Wilson, according to reports.
Mike Arman videotaped the officer during a 2013 incident and uploaded it online late last week, the Guardian reports. A Ferguson police spokesman told the paper that he didn’t think Wilson was the officer who appears on the video clip, but Wilson’s name is on an incident report with details of the arrest.
“I can’t confirm nor deny the identity of the officer. Its [sic] hard to tell with the sunglasses,” Ferguson police spokesman Tim Zoll said in an email to The Post on Monday. “Having not seen the report to which you refer, I could not comment on the authorship of that report.”
The short clip, which has been posted to YouTube, shows an officer talking with Arman, who asks for the officer’s name.
“If you wanna take a picture of me one more time,” the officer on the video says, “I’m gonna lock your [expletive] up.”
“Sir, I’m not taking a picture, I’m recording this incident, sir,” Arman replies.
The officer then walks toward Arman and tells him he doesn’t have the right to videotape the process. (As The Switch wrote earlier, that’s not true: “In almost all cases in the United States you actually do have the right to record police and other public officials carrying out their duties.”)
Here’s the video of the incident. Be advised, there’s rough language.
Wilson, the white officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo., this summer, hasn’t been seen in public in more than three months. Few images of him have emerged since he was identified by Ferguson police officials as the officer who shot Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.
A few days ago, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published video of Wilson taken after the fatal confrontation with Brown, as well as audio recordings from the day of the shooting.
Arman told the Guardian that a charge against him was dropped after he told his attorney about the tape. The Post’s attempts to reach Arman were unsuccessful Monday.
“I was working on my porch with my toolbelt on and was being cordial,” Arman told the paper. “But I wanted to safeguard myself by recording what happened.”
A redacted incident report published by the Free Thought Project indicates that Wilson was at the property to conduct a follow-up investigation on “derelict vehicles.”
“It should be noted that Arman was capable of reading my department issued name plate attached to my uniform,” the report reads.
According to the Guardian:
Wilson wrote in his report that Arman became upset and said he wanted to record the encounter. Wilson said he told him “a voice recording would be acceptable” but Arman “refused to answer any questions or co-operate as he lifted the phone to begin a video recording of myself” and “stated that I must state my name to him” as Wilson asked for more information on the vehicles.
Arman disputed Wilson’s account of the start of their encounter, saying that he “began recording within moments of Wilson approaching the property” and that Wilson only mentioned a voice recording being acceptable after Arman had been arrested.
A grand jury is hearing evidence against Wilson to determine whether criminal charges should be brought in the fatal shooting. A decision could come this month.