Can you be arrested for being rude?

2015-09-10 06:00
Can you film a police  officer? SAPS Standing Order 156 says: ‘An officer cannot stop you from  taking a photo or video.’

PHOTO: sourced

Can you film a police officer? SAPS Standing Order 156 says: ‘An officer cannot stop you from taking a photo or video.’ PHOTO: sourced

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DRIVER Clive Naidoo uploaded a video of a metro police officer who pulled him over.

Naidoo said he was mistreated by the officer and said that he was first assisted by a “polite” policewoman before a second officer barged in and said: “You got four eyes, can’t you see you shot the robot?”

The video sparked huge debate on social media.

Arrive Alive responds:

Can you film a police officer? Can an officer arrest you for being rude? Advocate Johan Jonck, editor of Arrive Alive, answers these questions and more:

W24: In the video, many readers criticised Naidoo’s attitude. Can an officer arrest you for being “rude”?

Arrive Alive: No you cannot be arrested for being rude. If however your rudeness escalates to verbally abusing an officer, you will be committing a crime in the form of criminen injuria - the intentional and unlawful infringement of the dignity of the officer. You could be arrested. An example would be the use of obscene and/or racially offensive language or gestures.

If you obstruct the officer from performing his or her duties it will considered criminal.

W24: Can you film a police officer? Can an officer seize your camera or smartphone?

Arrive Alive: Yes, you can film a traffic officer. The Right to Know campaign has excellent material regarding the legalities of filming officers in South Africa.

SAPS Standing Order 156:

• An officer cannot stop you from taking a photo or video.

• An officer cannot seize/damage your equipment. An officer cannot force you to delete footage. - Wheels24.

Section 16 of the Constitution states:

Freedom of expression

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:

freedom of the press and other media;

freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;

freedom of artistic creativity; and

academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.

The right in subsection (1) does not extend to:

propaganda for war;

incitement of imminent violence; or

advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

- Sourced

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