Iowa videographer convicted of police interference

A Des Moines man faces jail and fines for failing to step back when told


By PoliceOne Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa — A 28-year-old protest videographer could spend up to 30 days in jail for failing to follow police orders to step back.

Justin Norman was being dropped off outside his home in July by driver Kirk Brown, who police stopped for an open trunk, according to the Des Moines Register. Norman's roommate Todd Razor began filming a video from the lawn, and according to reports, Norman instructed Razor to ignore police instructions to step away.

Norman was briefly handcuffed after speaking to Razor, sources said, and upon his release began shooting his own video. Police arrested Norman after he refused to follow orders, which he seemed to think were irrelevant.

"They tried to blow it up into this deal where I was posing a big threat to them," Norman, who films protest activities around Des Moines, said.

Prosecutor Matt Spears said that regardless of whether a someone is filming or not, it is the responsibility of those present at a crime scene to listen to police.

"Part of their duty is to keep everyone at that crime scene safe," Spears said.

Last week a jury found Norman guilty of police interference. He will be sentenced Friday and could face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

Norman posted his footage to YouTube. The unedited version is below, and Norman added subtitles to another version found here.

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