State Representative John Walker of Arkansas, who was instrumental in passing the first legislation in the country that made filming events in public places a law, was arrested by the Little Rock PD for filming them arresting a driver in a motor vehicle stop. Mr. Walker told the driver that was being questioned by the police that, “I’m just making sure they don’t kill you.” Mr. Walker was arrested at the scene for “obstruction of government relations” and also an outstanding warrant. The officer who arrested Mr. Walker wrote in his statement that “I ordered Walker several times to leave or be arrested. Walker replied ‘arrest me’ at which point I did.”
John Walker and an associate lawyer, Omavi Shuker, were both arrested for walking between the police car and the car involved in the traffic stop. The LRPD had released the video of the incident so the public could see how the situation unfolded. Realizing their mistake in arresting Mr. Walker in the first place, the city’s police department immediately released Mr. Walker and refunded his $1,000 arrest bond. The LRPD also issued a formal apology to John Walker but he refused to accept the apology citing “pervasive racial bias in some quarters of the police department” and the fact that charges were still pending against Mr. Shuker.
The president of the Fraternal Order of Police,Tommy Hudson, said “It’s a mess. It’s a bad situation for everyone involved.” Mr. Hudson further stated that the public has a fundamental right to film police encounters and “There’s nothing you (police)can do about it. You may not like it, but there’s nothing you can do.”