The man who recorded one of two videos showing Baltimore cops dragging a screaming Freddie Gray into the back of a police van was arrested Thursday night, two days after voicing concerns that police were trying to intimidate him by plastering his photo all over the news, saying they wanted to interview him.
Unlike the woman who recorded the other video, Kevin Moore was not afraid to show his face to the cameras, describing to reporters how cops had Gray’s legs pulled up behind his neck as they held him face down on the ground with one cop planting a knee on the back of Gray’s neck.
Once his interview went viral, police put out a notice that they wanted to speak to him to help with their “investigation,” which he understood as an attempt to intimidate him into silence.
After all, he had already spoken to police about what he had seen during the Freddie Gray arrest. And he was aware of what New York City police officers did to Ramsey Orta, the man who recorded NYPD detective Daniel Pantaleo.
On Tuesday, he posted the following on Facebook:
OK y’all everyone by now know that I spoke up for Freddie and recorded all I could. But I would greatly appreciate if y’all could stop posting pics of me plz it’s very uncomfortable knowing that the law is looking for me!!Thank y’all(Kev)
The law caught up to him Thursday night, handcuffing him and two friends at gunpoint during a traffic stop that involved two police helicopters, one armored car, a police SUV and plenty of military looking cops with guns.
“It looked like something out of a video game,” he said during a telephone interview withPhotography is Not a Crime Early this morning.
“We asked them why are we being detained. They said it was because we made an illegal turn.”
That illegal turn, according to police, consisted of the driver using a left turn signal to make a right turn, which Moore finds very dubious.
Moore said he did not have identification on him, but when he told them his name, a flash of recognition crossed their faces and they ordered the paddy wagon.
Moore and his two friends were handcuffed and transported to the Western District police station.
But was released two hours later with no explanation and no charges.
However, his two friends, who had driven up to Baltimore from Ferguson to help establish a We Copwatch chapter, were not released.
Moore was never told why, but he believes it was because they were from out-of-town, so they wanted to send a message to scare outsiders away.
“I know think didn’t like the Missouri tag,” he said.
Moore said he recorded video of the traffic stop, which will be edited by We Copwatch and posted today.
We also interviewed Moore on PINAC Live! early this morning as you can see in the video below. The video last 20 minutes before his phone heated up and shut off.
The incident began as Moore and his two friends were driving away from a protest demanding justice for Freddie Gray. Moore was in the passenger seat and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which is something you see at every protest these days. They drove by some cops in an SUV and Moore made eye contact with one of the cops while wearing the mask.
Making eye contact with cops is apparently considered suspicious in Baltimore as we learned from the Freddie Gray incident, so naturally, the SUV began following the men.
Moore said they were driving southeast on Pennsylvania Avenue from North Avenue, where the protest had taken place, when the cops started following them. They then made a right on Cumberland Street with the cops following. You can make out the scene in the map below.
At some point on Cumberland, the cops turned on their emergency lights, but the men did not stop because it was in a dark area with no witnesses around. And after what Moore witnessed what they did to Gray, he has absolutely no trust in them.
“I told them to keep driving to Bruce Court where my people will be at,” he said.
So they maintained a steady speed of 30 mph for another four blocks before coming to a stop at Bruce Court where there was up to 30 people milling about.
“They had a fucking army on us,” he said.
A national guardsman involved in the stop pointed a shotgun at his pregnant wife, who was among two dozen people standing in the area where they had been pulled over.
“I told him, ‘can’t you see she’s pregnant?’
“He said, ‘she can be pregnant up on the sidewalk.’”
At West District, he was separated from the two Copwatch members, Chad Jackson and Tony White aka Talal Ahmad, and believes they were transported to either Central Booking or Baltimore City Detention Center. He said the car was impounded and transported to West District where they searched it.
“They said they had probable cause to search it because we did not pull over but we did not pull over because we did not feel safe,” he said.
“We wanted to pull over in front of witnesses.”