Redding police officer investigated for alleged misconduct

Jul 4, 2014 12:58 PM

A YouTube video goes viral on the web, after a Redding man videotapes a police officer who leaves the scene to harass him for obstructing the investigation.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that filming police is within any citizen's first amendment right --
the big question is, did something happen before the camera was rolling that may have led to the reaction caught on video.

Take a look at this video shot by 25-year old Nicholas Hyatt on June 22nd.

Redding Police Officer Brandon Largent was investigating an incident, when his attention suddenly turns to Hyatt.

Although Hyatt tells the officer he's legally allowed to film the investigation, Largent accuses him of interrupting and begins walking toward him.

"if an officer is telling you not to video tape and you have a right to do that...then he's already violating your constitutional rights..."

Criminal Law Specialist Eric Alan Berg says according to the video...Hyatt was far enough from the investigation that he couldn't interrupt the officer.

"he had a duty to respect the first amendment right of citizens to tape him and if he wasn't doing anything wrong then there wasn't a problem...I don't know how he could articulate that this was interfering with the investigation."

Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti says he's disappointed with what he saw in the video.
He has opened an investigation to find out what could have happened before Hyatt began recording.
Officer Largent will remain on-duty throughout the investigation.

"we always wanna make sure we're doing the right things, and if something looks like we're not, we need to be able to look into that so we can improve our practices and hold people accountable if they did something wrong."

Although Hyatt may have irked the police officer when he asked him for identification, Berg says the officer had no right to keep harassing him.

"being there wasn't a problem...standing there wasn't a problem...watching wasn't a problem - it was the video that was the only problem the cop had."

According to the Peace Officers' Bill of Rights, whatever action is taken against Largent will be kept confidential.

"I can't discuss what that may be and when it takes place, I can't tell people either...they're gonna have to have some trust in me that I'm gonna do my job to maintain professionalism of the Redding Police Department."

This isn't the first time Officer Largent has been investigated --
Last year he was involved in the case of Stephen Motley, who died after struggling with officers during an arrest.
Largent was also involved in the shooting of a bicyclist on Mistletoe Lane.


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