YOUTUBE VIDEO: ACLU Criticizes Arrest


Posted: December 13, 2010 at 5:25 a.m.

The director of the Arkansas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union had some harsh words about the conduct of a Benton County deputy depicted on the Internet in a YouTube video.


Obstructing Governmental Operations

Under state law, a person is guilty of obstructing governmental operations is he or she:

Knowingly obstructs, impairs or hinders the performance of any governmental function.

Knowingly refuses to provide information requested by an employee of a governmental agency relating to the investigation of a case brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, and is the physical custodian of the child in the case.

Fails to submit to court-ordered scientific testing by a noninvasive procedure to determine the paternity of a child in a case brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

Falsely identifies himself or herself to a law enforcement officer or a code enforcement officer.

The statute does not apply to:

Unlawful flight by a person charged with an offense.

Refusal to submit to arrest.

Any means of avoiding compliance with the law not involving affirmative interference with a governmental function unless specifically set forth in this section.

Obstruction, impairment or hindrance of what a person reasonably believes is a public servant's unlawful action.

Source: Arkansas Code

Web Watch

Video Of Lewis’ Arrest

This story is only available from our archives.

Thats right, nothing like a good tape recording.

Posted by: Criminalj

December 13, 2010 at 8:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Since the ACLU has come to Mr. Lewis' side, it confirms my opinion that this is all a joke and Mr. Lewis got what he wanted...

Posted by: hogheaven77

December 13, 2010 at 9:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

The ACLU isn't always wrong, and they're certainly not wrong in this case.

It's obvious his rights were violated, and you can see from the description of what he was arrested for that the cop was far outside his bounds.

Posted by: x3

December 13, 2010 at 11:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

So you are saying that Mr. Lewis did not want to get arrested? You don't think there is going to be a lawsuit? This was all set up and now the ACLU wants a piece of the action.

I'm not saying the officer did everything right, but Mr. Lewis came out looking for an argument. I'm sure he knew where is son was and/or withheld information of his whereabouts. That is against the law.

Posted by: hogheaven77

December 13, 2010 at 11:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Overall responsibility on how the public incident was officially conducted rests with the county deputy, a paid and trained law enforcement professional through collection of taxpayer dollars, not Mr. Lewis.

Posted by: Hammer1

December 13, 2010 at 11:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

This deputy has been involved in two negative incidents that made it to the light of day this year. My money is on him being gone by Christmas. As for Mr Lewis setting up the deputy, cops do it all the time to citizens. Karma can be tough to handle at times.

Maybe it's time for more of us to start wearing sunglasses.

Posted by: Tumblebug

December 13, 2010 at 1:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

HOGHEAVEN77, withholding information from a police officer in many cases is not a crime, and it's NEVER a crime to withhold information that could be used against fact, you have a Constitutional right to do so.

So, for example, if Lewis' son had been in the house, and Lewis was harboring a fugitive (which IS illegal), it's not against the law for him to refuse to answer questions regarding that or answer truthfully.

Was Lewis antagonizing the officer? Sure. Is that against the law? Nope. Nothing Lewis did was against the law, but plenty of what the officer did was. Of course, the officer was under the mistaken impression that if he was called out on his behavior, it would be his word against Lewis' word, and no judge is going to believe Lewis.

What the officer didn't anticipate was that there would be video evidence of his actions.

Posted by: x3

December 13, 2010 at 1:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

X3 is correct. Mr. Lewis answered the questions, and, as is his rights, stated that he did not want to answer any more questions and refused to allowed the officer to come into his house without a warrant. Nothing I saw in the video was grounds for arrest. And I saw a lot of things wrong with the officers actions and his comments.

Posted by: TetonCop

December 13, 2010 at 4:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tetoncop and X3, good summary. I don't know why some people are so blinded by their politics they can't see the obvious. I even expect the sheriff's office to issue a mea culpa on this when all is said and done.

This isn't really that complicated.

Posted by: JayTee

December 14, 2010 at 9:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal )