July 22, 2010
“Don’t make me lock you up!” — Annapolis, Maryland police officer to NOMTourTracker.com videographer
By Eden James
On Wednesday, Jethro Rothe-Kushel, a Courage Campaign Institute videographer, was removed from a National Organization for Marriage rally — at the behest of NOM’s Brian Brown — and threatened with arrest by a Maryland police officer if he continued to film the event.
The reason is clear: Brown, President of NOM, was embarrassed by yet another rally event in which attendance was extremely low. On this site, we’ve started calling it the #NOMturnoutFAIL, in new media parlance.
We now have video footage to share of the entire incident, including the moments that led up to it and what happened afterwards when Courage’s Arisha Michelle Hatch attempted asked for an explanation from the police officer.
The video speaks for itself, from the moment Brian Brown convenes the extremely small crowd (despite his prediction of “50 (or) 100″ people) to the moment Jethro is threatened with arrest. Watch it for yourself right now:
Let’s side.” But I digress. . .
Back to the Annapolis rally:
Just as I was about to post my first short installment, my field organizer Anthony approached me and said, “Where is Jethro” (our videographer)? We searched for him, but couldn’t find him. Just as I began to panic, my phone rang. It was Jethro telling me that he had just been threatened with arrest by a police officer.
I walked over to the officer that Jethro identified with our flip camera to inquire about why he had been removed. I was only able to record a short portion of our conversation. The officer explained to me that NOM had a permit for the space and that all counter-protesters had to go across the street. I explained to the officer that we were merely documenting the rally. I asked the officer if he was protecting my rights. He said that he was. After about 10 minutes of back and forth that went nowhere, I decided to disengage.
Today, we’re on the road to Ohio, for our longest drive to date. I hope to spend the time reflecting on the last few rallies and introducing you to a few of the NOM friends I’ve made along the way.
FYI, if you enjoyed the video of Paster Jay, the Pentacostal, tongue-speaking preacher from Rhode Island, then you’ll definitely want to check out our footage of Minister LeRoy from Annapolis. More to come…