Alabama Police Officer Assaults Man For Recording At Anti-Police Rally

At a rally against police brutality on Saturday in Mobile, Alabama, a police officer tried to grab a man's phone to prevent him from recording the officer's actions.

Tyler Henderson was among a throng of people holding signs in downtown Mobile, one of the many outcries against police brutality spurred by the recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri.

Henderson began recording as a police officer gave the crowd orders on where they could stand. When the officer spotted Henderson recording his orders, he immediately grabbed for the phone, as if he had a right to it.

When Henderson asserted his right to record, the officer tried to use enforcement of a Mobile city ordinance that purportedly allows officers to disperse crowds as justification for assaulting Henderson.

Mobile does have a statute on the books that makes it against the law for someone to refuse to move on after a request by police to do so.

However, even if Mobile’s city ordinance is constitutional – despite its use to restrict First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly – the officer has no right to grab Henderson’s camera, and committed an unlawful assault.