Video of Norfolk officer pushing camera phone goes viral on YouTube

Norfolk, Va. – Norfolk police say they are launching an internal investigation after video of one of their officers pushing a camera phone out of his face is going viral on YouTube.

“What if I pushed him and tried to take his flashlight.  What would happen to me? I’d probably go to jail,” says 22-year-old Jeremiah Schwenk.  Schwenk told NewsChannel 3 he started recording a group of officers at Harborfest in Norfolk last weekend while they were questioning his friend.

“I’m here to make sure my friend doesn’t get his rights violated,” said Schwenk in the video.

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that,” replied the officer.

“Police do not protect people,” Schwenk said as he was recording.

The officer never asked Schwenk to stop recording, but he did continue to ask Schwenk to move.

“I have the right to record you,” said Schwenk.

The officer replied, “I’m telling you right now. Step any closer, and keep trying to move around me.  This is on your phone right?  I will arrest you for interfering.  You understand me?”

Moments later, the conversation escalated into a heated confrontation when the officer yelled, “Get that light out of my face!” as he pushed Schwenk’s cell phone away.

“I do not think at any point I was egging him on,” said Schwenk.  “He approached me. I was keeping my distance from the beginning.”

Neither Schwenk nor his friend were arrested.  Norfolk police said internal affairs is reviewing the video, but the officer has not faced any disciplinary action.  They said the officer has been on the force 25 years.

“Everybody’s accountable for their actions.  Nobody is above the law, not even the police officers,” Schwenk said.

26 comments

  • Tiler

    He has rights but the officer did nothing wrong. Mr. Schwenk was doing his best to irritate the officer and even after his friend was allowed to walk off he continued to record and flash the light of his phone in the officers face. I believe the officer shower great restraint. I would have punched the punk.

  • dann miller

    The little boy schwenk should find something better to do with his limited time before his curfew ends than to bother police officers. I stand with the police officer I also agree with Tiler someone should have punched the punk

  • Diane

    You guys talk like you know these officers or are these officers. This man didn’t do anything wrong. Even if he was irritating the officers they should be used to that and not interfered with the recording if the man as well as themselves were not doing anything wrong.

    • mj wood

      To Tiler ” I would have punched the punk.”
      To Dann Miller ” I also agree with Tiler someone should have punched the punk”

      You invalidate your points and it makes you both sound like “punks” and or “thugs”

      If the thug cop did “punched the punk” he would be under arrest and unemployed!
      There is a reason why the thug cop is being looked at by internal affairs!

      Diane’s comment is correct “Even if he was irritating the officers they should be used to that and not interfered with the recording if the man as well as themselves were not doing anything wrong.”

      Also, the thug cops let them go, SOOOOOOO! they were not doing anything wrong!
      Not sure what Ya’ll don’t get about that part of the story!

      To Luciana: I AGREE! There was no “obstruction of justice” and there was no “constantly interfere while the police is trying to do their job”. This person did not interfere at all. He was standing well off and the thug cop went to him. It is not at all illegal to film the police in Virginia PERIOD!

      Lastly, the police all over the country are supposed to be “WELL TRAINED” using tax payers money. ”
      Well
      “WELL TRAINED” police officers are supposed to know how to deal with situations like this. This thug cop obviously did not get the memo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • TB

        Here’s the deal, the officer did nothing wrong and the punk did nothing wrong, NO FOUL here..Everyone go on their own merry way. The punk just wants a little money from the city because he is probably to lazy or stupid to get a job.

    • TB

      Let someone get in your face and bug you while you are just doing your job. The officers attention needs to be focused on the person or suspect that he is talking to and not a spoiled brat trying to egg the officer into losing his temper!!

  • Don

    The kid with the camera is nothing more than a immature punk who doesn’t know how to wear a hat properly.

  • Luciana

    Diane, it was not the recording, it was the light on the officer’s face. It is also called obstruction of justice when you constantly interfere while the police is trying to do their job. I think the officer handled it appropriately, the instigator is lucky he didn’t get a smack down.

    • ytreyryt6743

      So your saying you want somebody to beaten by the cops for legally using their camera phone and doing nothing wrong???? PLEASE EXPLAIN YOURSELF

      • Tom

        When and where did this “beating” take place? I saw a Police Officer “Get the light out of his eyes” after repeated requests to the “Kid” to voluntarily move the light, If the “Kid” behaved himself like his “Friend” was doing, this never would have happened.

  • Sandi

    You mean to tell me that any non uniformed person wouldn’t shove your phone out of their face. This “child” was arrogant and out to cause an issue for the NPD. You can see it in his cocky smerk when he is asked if he felt he egged the officer on. Its idiots like this that look to start trouble. Why video the officer speaking to his friend when that’s all that was happening? Grow up do something better with your time.

  • j sully

    as a retired Norfolk police officer and knowing that officer involved as a supervisor he should handle it a little bit Professional that’s my opinion

    • Tom

      Your comment is one reason why this punk did what he did. Why listen to the POLICE OFFICER when all you have to do is yell foul to get your way. Why the kid so concerned about his “friends” rights being violated to begin with? Something they were doing caught the POLICE OFFICERS attention, and they were simply discussing it with a gentleman who apparrently respected that way the POLICE were handling it.

  • Jim

    Those of you were siding with the cop, the young man didn’t approach the cop and shove the camera on his face. The cop approached the kid and got into his face. Huge difference. But there is no use arguing with people on the internet.

    • Tom

      And why are they only showing short seconds of 4 minute video? What lead up to this “abuse” by the POLICE OFFICER? Another child gets his 15 minutes of fame!

  • Mitch

    Who do I want to come to my rescue when I’m in danger, Schwinnie with his phone or the officer?
    Wish all choices were so easy.

  • samantha

    That boy was definitely trying the patience of that officer. He should have been arrested for being a pain in the ______________

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