Quinnipiac Student Kenneth Hartford Arrested For Filming Arrest
Quinnipiac University Student Kenneth Hartford Arrested By New Haven Police After Using Cell Phone To Film Police Arrest, Video
Kenneth Hartford likely did not anticipate he would spend a night in jail for filming the arrest of fellow Quinnipiac University student, Ryan Lally, outside of Todd's Place in New Haven on Saturday night.
The Quinnipiac student newspapers are reporting that Lally was denied access to Todd's Place because of bloody finger, police were called and Kenneth Hartford began filming the incident.
Police did not appreciate film of the Ryan Lally arrest, told, Hartford to stop and, as the video shows, it escalated from there. The Quad News reports,
The officers can be heard swearing and making threats toward Hartford in the video as well. One even went so far as to say, "Put that in your fucking pocket and get the fuck out of here."
In the state of Connecticut, there are currently no laws restricting the filming of police officers.
The Quinnipiac Chronicle reports Kenneth Hartford was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police investigation.
New Haven police spokesperson Officer Joe Avery said that Hartford “kept interfering with officers and was asked to back off.”
Hartford was screaming at the police officers, Avery said.
“All I wanted to do was record the arrest, so if there were any inconsistencies later, it could be used to help [the student] out,” Hartford said.
Quinnipiac University has declined comment on this specific incident, but told the Chronicle in a statement that safety “is of paramount importance.”
These types of criminal charges of citizens being arrested for disorderly conduct or similar interference charges are become increasingly common.
Recently, a judge in Maryland dismissed a case against a man who was arrested for filming his own traffic infraction with a motorcycle helmet.
Circuit Court Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr.'s ruling helps clarify the state's wire tap law and makes it clear that police officers enjoy little expectation of privacy as they perform their duties.
"Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public," Plitt wrote. "When we exercise that power in a public forum, we should not expect our activity to be shielded from public scrutiny."