BPD encounter caught on camera, sparks discussion on rights

Credit: Gavin Seim / YouTube

BPD encounter caught on camera, sparks discussion on rights

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 5:03 PM

BOISE -- A controversial video is spreading online, showing an intense encounter with a Boise Police officer.

The video was taken on Tuesday night during a traffic stop and was posted on YouTube.

The man who took the video is Gavin Seim. He says he hopes it will spark a discussion on citizens' rights and the relationship with police.

THE VIDEO

The video shows a parking lot, and a female officer making a traffic stop.

Gavin Seim says he started recording the scene, then the officer approached him.

"There was no interaction or anything until she engaged me," said Seim. "It was kind of strange."

You can hear the officer ask Seim for his identification as she walks toward him.

He refuses to show her ID and also refuses to move farther away.

You can hear the officer clearly state that the situation is a safety concern.

Then, Seim claims she tried to grab his arm.

"What surprised me a bit was when she grabbed a hold of me, and I really thought that was crossing the line," said Seim.

Seim says he hopes the video sparks a discussion on the rights of citizens, especially when a camera is rolling.

"Largely it's a matter of watching the watchers is a good thing. We want there to be accountability," said Seim.

A SIMILAR SCENE

Isaiah Beal says he can relate to the video.

Beal is a Boise resident who was arrested for resisting or obstructing an officer a few months ago in downtown Boise.

"It was very similar to my own reaction," said Beal. "His was even more extreme of a situation in terms of he was much farther away was being much less intrusive."

He says he was not interfering with the officers' actions and had just pulled out his phone to video the scene.

"I said what's the legal distance, and he said there isn't one, and I said then I'm going to stay here, and he said turn around and he arrested me," said Beal.

He shared the audio from the incident he was involved in with KTVB.

In it, you hear the officer ask Beal to go stand by a pole, and when Beal asks why the officer responds "because I'm telling you to."

"When it becomes a problem, it's important to stand up to it," said Beal. "This is a right that I don't want taken."

Beal ended up taking a plea deal of 40 days of community service in exchange for the prosecution dropping the charge.

LEGAL PERSPECTIVE


Attorney Craig Durham watched the video taken by Seim.

He tells us he does understand why the officer is worried about safety.

"When you look at this video my initial impression is that she is concerned. She is not able to articulate exactly why, but she is concerned," said Durham.

He also admits that Seim seemed somewhat confrontational, but says he was well within his rights.

"Generally an individual standing in a public place would have the right to videotape police," said Durham.

BOISE POLICE RESPONSE

Boise Police released this statement about the video:

"As a department, we take the behavior of our officers and how they treat the public very seriously. We are aware of the video taken of an officer during a traffic stop and are conducting an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident."

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