Anne Arundel Co. officer suspended for attempting to take recording device from person filming him
SEVERN, Md. - An Anne Arundel County police officer has been suspended after he was seen on video attempting to take an electronic device from a person recording the officer, officials say.
According to police, Cpl. Scott Wolford responded to the 8200 block of Sebring Court in Severn on Saturday at around 4:15 p.m. for a customer dispute call.
In the video, the officer is seen talking to a person discussing the dispute while another person is filming the conversation.
"Are you recording me? That's really nice," the officer is seen saying to the person recording the video.
The man who is filming then tells the officer, "I'm in my right." The officer responds by mimicking what the man said.
"I'm in my right to do that - for my company," the man told the officer.
The officer then asks the recorder by saying, "Let me see that real quick," before apparently attempting to grab the device out of his hands. However, after the officer is unable to take the recording device, the officer is then seen getting into his police vehicle before the video ends.
Anne Arundel County police said in a news release that "members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record officers while they are conducting official business in any public space, unless such recordings interfere with police activity."
"The Anne Arundel County Police are 100% committed to providing courteous service and protecting the rights of the citizens we serve," said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare. "When we see these standards not being met, we will deal with violations of our policies forthrightly and with integrity. We are doing so in this case."
Police say the Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the incident while Cpl. Wolford's police powers have been suspended.