Police misconduct investigated after video surfaces
REDDING, Calif. - A video of a Redding police officer taking offense to being filmed by a citizen has racked up more than 50,000 views on YouTube since being posted last Sunday and has many calling his behavior "misconduct," prompting an internal affairs investigation into the incident.
The video shot on Saturday, June 21, shows Redding police officer Brandon Largent speaking with a man involved in an altercation at the Dollar Tree Store.
25-year-old Nick Hyatt says officer Largent raised his voice with the man, and that's when he pulled out his phone to capture some video.
"The officer started yelling, ‘You disrespected me! Get on the ground!' And I was like, ‘Cool, some drama for YouTube.' And I got my phone out and started recording him," Hyatt said.
Largent soon notices he's being videotaped by Hyatt, and apparently takes umbrage, turning his attention to Hyatt.
"You, get in your car and leave now!," Largent yells in the video. "You're interrupting my investigation! Right now!"
Hyatt replies to the commands, "I'm more than 25 feet away, I have a right to record you in your line of service!"
Largent asks for an officer to watch the man he has detained and starts walking toward Hyatt.
"Put your phone down on the hood of the car right now!" Largent says. Then raising his voice even more as Hyatt appears to be complying, "Down on the hood of the car!"
With Hyatt's camera turned to the sky, the ensuing events can only be heard. Largent takes Hyatt's information and relays it into SHASCOM dispatch. Moments later it cuts out.
"If you take the video-- just on the face (of the) video--it's obviously very disappointing," Redding police chief Robert Paoletti said Monday afternoon. "What's on the video may not be the totality of the circumstance itself. So I want to wait until the investigation is done and see what occurred start to finish."
Paoletti says an internal affairs process is underway. He also says the department has contacted Hyatt asking him if he wants to file a complaint, which he refused.
He also says officers are trained and told about a citizen journalist's constitutional right to film an on-duty officer.
"We're going to review our policies, review our practices and make sure that all of that is covered and that the officers have that knowledge base," Paoletti said, "because obviously it might have been a little lacking in this case."
As far as all the trouble he's caused, Hyatt says if given a second chance he'd rethink the whole incident, but also hopes he may have done some good for the community.
"You know, if somebody else doesn't have to experience it, it's worth it," he says. "I kind of just want it all to be over with. We all make mistakes. I make mistakes at work, he makes mistakes, so that's kind of where I'm at today with it."
Paoletti says results of the internal investigation will likely never be revealed to the public. Such matters are strictly protected by the Peace Officer's Bill of Rights.
The video, in its entirety, can be seen on YouTube.