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Home  >  Topics  >  Courthouse Security

September 17, 2012
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Video: Smug activist TASERed outside courtroom

Man said he is exempt from most laws due to his political beliefs

Editor's note: Beyond the pure comedic value of the smug activist being TASERed, we have got some really good topics for discussion.

By PoliceOne Staff

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A smug activist who was TASERed outside a courtroom after violating court rules for videotaping claims officials were the ones in the wrong.

Robert Peterson, 21, who was contesting a citation for riding his bike at night without a light, showed up to his hearing at Kootenai County court with a video camera in hand, according to My Fox Spokane

When he moved toward the court room, officials calmly refused entry, telling him he could not enter with a camera unless he produced a press permit, which is required under Idaho state code in order to record proceedings.

Peterson refused to shut off his camera, even as more bailiffs gathered and repeated the command. One instructed him to "leave the camera with your mother outside," but he continued to refuse.

When he then tried to get past two officers blocking the door to the court room, one of them deployed a TASER. He was handcuffed and booked into Kootenai County Jail on charges of battery against a police officer and criminal contempt.

Peterson told KXLY he is exempt from most laws due to his political beliefs, which he insists give him the right to film, making the dispute “definitely unwarranted.”

He will appear in court next month.

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