A newly surfaced video shows police officers snatching away a Black man’s cellphone as they tackle him and accuse him of assault after he filmed them on a street.
The video was published on Monday on a Facebook page that documents police violence. It identified the victim as Terry Rucker. According to the post, the incident took place on Nov. 26 when police officers in Springfield, Missouri, harassed a man for recording video with his phone on the street.
Springfield Police Department confirmed with the Daily Dot that an incident that took place on Nov. 26 is being investigated. The officer identified in the report is H. Millirons.
The video shows Rucker walking down a residential street with police cars. He walks up to one of the cars to ask what’s happening.
“Anything you need to let the world know about?” he asks an officer inside the car. “There’s a killer on the loose?”
The officer says there’s nothing to worry about. The conversation ends amicably with the officer wishing Rucker a good day. As Rucker walks away from the car, a second officer walks up.
The second officer then walks up to Rucker, who is standing across the street from the car at this point, and asks him where he lives. “I don’t answer questions,” Rucker responds.
The officer points and asks Rucker to walk to the intersection because he’s “interfering with our investigation.”
Rucker says he’s in a public place. The officer says there’s no space between the road and private property and that he will have to “detain” Ruckers if he doesn’t move to the intersection.
“I’m being super cool, so you be cool to me too, OK?” the officer says.
“Listen. Can I say something?” Rucker asks.
“No,” the officer says. Rucker tries to reason that he’s on public property when the officer appears to be saying something to the officer in the car on the other side of the road.
“Just let him go. He’s gonna whine and bitch about it,” the other officer says as he walks up to the two. He tells Rucker that there’s a dead body in a nearby house and they’re “trying to keep that down.”
“You’re being totally disrespectful,” the officer says, reaching his hand out, before the angle of the camera shifts to a series of blurry movements.
“Please don’t grab my phone,” Rucker yells. “What are you guys doing?”
The camera keeps shifting, but there’s a brief glimpse of Rucker on the ground as he yells, “Stop!”
“I thought you’re trying to assault me,” says one officer.
The officers then say they were asking him “politely” to move and he should have before the video ends.
In the police report shared with the Daily Dot, Milliron said that he recognized Rucker as someone who had many “flags” in the system for “violent/unpredictable behavior and known to be armed and dangerous.” He said that Rucker had the right to film but that he snatched away Rucker’s phone when the camera got too close to his face because of Rucker’s “past history.”
The Facebook page America’s Police Problem did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comments on Thursday, but the video on the page garnered many angry comments.
“Any coward that is afraid of a fucking cell phone has no business being a cop,” wrote one user.
But some defended the officers and said that Rucker had no business being present at a murder scene.
“They were doing their job and he messed with them first,” another user wrote.
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