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Everett woman suing officer after he arrested her for filming him

EVERETT, Wash. — An Everett woman is suing an officer. She claims she was wrongfully detained by police for filming another person’s arrest on her cell phone.

In a body camera video from Everett police, Molly Wright is seen filming an Everett police officer outside her apartment. Wright said she heard screaming and saw someone being arrested, so she ran outside. She was promptly asked to stop filming, but she refused.

“Can you please step back?” the officer is heard asking.

“No,” responds Wright.

“You’ll be arrested for obstruction of justice. I can’t do my job with you video-recording me right next to my car,” the officer warned.

Their verbal back and forth continues, and within two minutes Wright is seen on body camera video in handcuffs.

She argued she had a right to film. 

“You’re a free human being. You should be able to say and do whatever you want within the confines of the law. And quite frankly I was well within that,” she said.

It took nearly three months before the case against Wright was dismissed.

In a statement to KIRO 7, Everett Police wrote:

Members of the public, including media representatives, have an unambiguous First Amendment right to record officers in public places, as long as their actions do not interfere with the officer’s duties or the safety of officers or others.

The arrest was based on probable cause for obstructing an officer.

Wright said she now plans to sue the arresting officer for unlawful arrest.