Camera unlawfully taken by Ramsey County deputy: "If I end up on YouTube, I'm going to be upset" [VIDEO]
|Muellner picture from Facebook|
|Andrew (left) wasn't acting illegally when his camera was seized by deputy Jackie Muellner (lower right).|
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Andrew -- he doesn't disclose his last name -- says he was filming Muellner and another deputy loading a mentally disturbed and handcuffed man into the back of an ambulance outside his residential building when his camera was seized. He recorded audio of the incident with a separate recording device.
From the Photography is Not a Crime blog (emphasis mine):
"We'll just take this for evidence, and you can talk to an investigator," [Muellner] said before asking for [Andrew's] last name.Two weeks later, armed with an audio recorder, Andrew returned to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office in hopes of purchasing a copy of the incident report presumably exlaining why he was charged with two crimes. An Investigator Eggers tells Andrew a copy of the report isn't available, but says Deputy Muellner probably felt Andrew was being a "buttinski" by filming her and a colleague dealing with a man who was in the midst of a mental health crisis.
When [Andrew] points out that he had every right to video the incident... [Muellner] said, "If I end up on Youtube, I'm going to be upset."...
Adding insult to injury, Andrew was eventually charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing legal process, which is ironic, considering those are the exact charges Muellner should be facing along with theft charges.
It is not clear from the video when he was slapped with those charges because he recorded himself the following day entering the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office to retrieve his camera and a deputy, who also states he is a photographer, acknowledged that he had every right to record in public.
"It's a public place," Andrew tells Investigator Eggers. "It's totally legal to record in a public place."
Eggers doesn't deny Andrew was acting within his rights in filming the incident, but suggests he have a conversation with the city attorney.
"It's possible that this could be a stay of imposition, or [the city attorney could] agree to dismiss charges after like one year or something like that," Eggers says. "Something that would be a reasonable agreement amongst all parties involved."
In Andrew's video, which was just uploaded to YouTube yesterday, he vows to fight the charges.
Without further ado, here's the footage: