Chief Johnson: Officer's actions were 'incorrect, inappropriate and unnecessary' in Towson incident

TOWSON, Md. - Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson called the words and demands of officers involved in Sunday’s incident in which they got into an altercation with people filming an arrest in Towson “incorrect, inappropriate and unnecessary.”

 “The [actions of the officers] were not helpful in bringing this incident to closure. As we already have stated, all aspects of this encounter are under investigation, and all personnel will be held accountable for their actions,” said Johnson in a statement.

Baltimore County police said the auxiliary sergeant – seen in the video confronting the young man recording the incident and telling him he “lost” his rights – has been restricted to administrative volunteer duties pending the outcome of the investigation His name is being withheld pending the outcome of the investigation, although police said he has been a member of the auxiliary for 22 years.

The county auxiliary police include about 80 trained volunteer officers who provide support to career police with regard to patrol, calls for service, crowd and traffic control, community events and details.

 In a news release, county police said the department will review the actions of police supervisors involved in the incident depicted in the video of the incident, which took place at about 1:45 a.m. in the 400 block of York Road, when officers from several agencies worked to control a disturbance.

Johnson, who reviewed the video multiple times, said the language used by officers in the video and the statements about the citizen’s lack of constitution rights are simply wrong. 

The person who recorded the video, Sergio Gutierrez, was not arrested, has not filed a complaint and has not approached county police. Investigators want to speak with him to gain a complete picture of what happened.

Maryland courts have ruled that the public has the right to record officers on duty and in a public place unless the person filming has violated a law or statute. County police said it has directed its personnel to respect that legal right and command staff reminded sworn supervisors of this right this morning.

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