A man charged with a crime after videotaping a sheriff’s deputy and an ambulance crew said yesterday he could have settled the case by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and paying a $50 fine.
Instead, he rejected the offer and the case is headed to a jury trial.
Andrew Henderson from Little Canada said he refused the plea deal because of his principles.
“It’s the principle of it. It’s our First Amendment right to film law-enforcement personnel, ” he said.
Prosecutors say he isn’t being prosecuted for filming the police, but rather for interfering with emergency medical care. He was charged with disorderly conduct for interfering with ambulance personnel outside his apartment building in 2012. Law enforcement was at the building to check on the welfare of a man who was drunk and in an auto accident. Henderson videotaped the incident. Prosecutors say Henderson recorded “very private information” and delayed the transport of the man to the hospital when law enforcement had to tell him to stop filming.
Henderson is represented by Minneapolis-based Fredrikson & Byron law firm, which is providing free legal representation in association with the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. Attorneys Kevin Riach and John Lundquist from Fedrikson represented Henderson. Little Canada is represented by Kelly & Lemmons of Little Canada.