The arrest of a 23-year-old Baltimore man has made the local and national news. The man, who is an African-American audio engineer and producer, was going home on November 17 when he came across a drunken neighbor who was having trouble walking. The man got the drunken man home safely and then proceeded to his own home where he was met by several police cars and fire trucks. They were there because someone had called emergency services to get aid for the drunken man.
Rather than drop the matter, law enforcement began asking questions. The man refused to answer them, telling one newspaper that he considered the matter closed. The officers, on the other hand, were just getting starting. An officer claimed that she smelled marijuana and subsequently arrested the man.
He was charged with:
- Resisting arrest
- Failure to reasonably lawful order
- Obstructing and hindering
- Disorderly conduct
He was also charged with a civil violation for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.
The arrest goes viral
As is often the case these days with racially charged situations, someone at the scene videotaped the arrest and it was subsequently posted on Instagram and YouTube. It has been viewed more than 240,000 times with actor/comedian D.L. Hughley reposting the arrested man’s Instagram feed. There were several hash tags on Hughley’s repost involving racial profiling and police brutality.
Arresting officer’s body camera footage is not being shared publicly at this time, but Montgomery County Police Department claim that they are investigating the circumstances and procedures of the arrest.
Police can overstep boundaries
The case is now heading to trial in January with two attorneys handling the defense. Despite the fact that the man charged was upset and angry with law enforcement at the time, his attorneys believe that the charges ill founded, saying: “He’s a good Samaritan being converted to a criminal defendant.”
Body cameras and friends with digital devices are helping to hold law enforcement accountable. However, the importance of a strong legal defense cannot be understated. A criminal defense lawyer provides navigation through the criminal justice system to help ensure that the innocent go free.