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A Kentucky man says he was slugged by cops as he filmed an arrest.
Joe Bennett of Jeffersontown was on his way home from work last week when he saw police cars surround a vehicle. He decided to pull over and shoot a video of the incident with his phone — from about 50 feet away.
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The Facebook livestream, which was linked to on Twitter, shows the arrest unfold.
“I just wanted to observe, so I tried to give them distance,” Bennett told the local Spectrum1 station.
Bennett can be heard on his livestream saying he was doing his "due diligence as a citizen” by documenting the arrest, adding at one point: "This might be the most boring live video ever.”
That is, until three minutes later, when the cops realized they were being filmed.
The video shows two officers approaching Bennett. When one asks to see his ID, Bennett refuses and asks why, to which the officer replies: “You’re filming a crime scene investigation … and you’re involved.”
After Bennett again refuses to produce ID, the officer grabs for the phone and hits Bennett. The livestream ends shortly after that.
Bennett was issued a citation for menacing and resisting arrest that described the hit as an “empty strike” – a claim Bennett refutes, saying he was hit with a “solid left hook” and had to be checked out by EMTs on the scene and a doctor a day later.
Lt. Col. Steve Schmidt of the Jeffersontown Police Department told Spectrum the “officers were in the area investigating and making arrests related to a check fraud scheme thwarted at the Citizens Union Bank across the street from the McDonalds.”
Bennett was pointed out by a suspect as a driver involved in the alleged crime, authorities said, though police later concluded that was not the case.
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Bennett said he is looking into hiring an attorney.
“They should have approached me gently," he said of police. "I wasn’t going anywhere, I wasn’t in my vehicle, I wasn’t gonna flee. They certainly shouldn’t have hit me first and asked questions later."
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