The resisting-arrest conviction last week of Felicia Gibson has left a lot of people wondering. Can a person be charged with resisting arrest while observing a traffic stop from his or her own front porch? Salisbury Police Officer Mark Hunter thought so, and last week District Court Judge Beth Dixon agreed. Because Gibson did not at first comply when the officer told her and others to go inside, the judge found Gibson guilty of resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer. Gibson was not the only bystander watching the action on the street. She was the only one holding up a cell-phone video camera. But court testimony never indicated that Hunter told her to stop the camera; he just told her to go inside.
Gross Abuse of Police Power
August 27, 2010 by Dan Mitchell
Here’s a very disturbing story I saw on Instapundit. A cop arrested a woman for the supposed crime of not getting off her own front porch. Apparently, the cop didn’t like the fact that she was observing – and perhaps even filming on her cell phone camera – a traffic stop. If there is any justification for what the cop did, it certainly is not apparent from the full story. What’s particularly disturbing is not just that the cop made a seemingly abusive arrest, but that a judge then convicted the woman. Libertarians instinctively will be skeptical of the government in this case, but I hope that viewed is widely share. Our Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution that limited the power of government, and there should be a clear and compelling reason before an individual is stepped on by the police power of the state. If you rob, rape, and murder, those are good reasons. Standing on your court and filming a traffic stop doesn’t pass that test.