A Georgia police officer arrested a citizen who was video recording
him during a traffic stop last week. Andrew Ogiba, 19, was charged with obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers, by officer B. Wyatt of the McCrae Police Department. As a result, Ogiba spent two hours in jail before paying a $500 bond
to be released. He had to pay an additional $150 because his 1995 Camaro
had been impounded.
But now Ogiba is already planning to file a lawsuit. “I’ve already emailed the ACLU and will be talking to a lawyer tomorrow,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday evening. Ogiba, who has been in the U.S. Army for two years, is worried the arrest will affect his ROTC scholarship.
The incident took place Wednesday when Ogiba was driving back home to
Mcrae from Augusta after spotting two officers parked at the side of
the road. Having received a citation for loud music earlier this year, he
instinctively turned the music down, which he had been listening to
during the three-hour drive.
As Wyatt was writing the citation from his patrol vehicle, Ogiba was
narrating into the camera about how the ACLU believes noise citations
are unconstitutional and how he plans to fight the citation.
At 3:42, Wyatt steps out of his vehicle and begins walking towards Ogiba’s car. Ogiba asks the officer is he had used a measuring device to determine the noise decibels from his car. Officer Wyatt ignores the question, ordering him to sign the
citation, informing him that the music could be heard from 200 yards
away. Ogiba signs the citation but continues to ask if a measuring device
had been used to determine the distance that the music could be heard. At this point, both men are remaining civil and professional. Ogiba
makes no secret that he is recording and Wyatt takes no issue with the
camera. Wyatt even tells him to “have a nice day” before walking back to his car and Ogiba responds by saying, “OK, you too.”
As Wyatt was walking back to his car, Ogiba speaks into his camera,
saying, “he’s going back to his car, he refused to answer any of my
questions.” That caused Wyatt to stop in his tracks and turn around. “Excuse me, sir,” Wyatt says as he starts walking back. “I was talking to my camera,” Ogiba responds. “I said you refused to
answer any of my questions and you can do that, that’s fine.” That was when Wyatt orders him out of the parking lot, telling him it is private property. Ogiba puts on his seat belt and places the key in his ignition, but
then starts questioning whether or not the church parking lot was open
to the public despite it being private. He also made the mistake of asking for the officers name. At 5:56, Wyatt opens the door to Ogiba’s car and orders him out,
telling him he is being arrested for obstruction of a law enforcement
- Kunes Law Office
- Tifton, Georgia, United States
- Joe Kunes is a Personal Injury and Criminal DUI/DWI defense Attorney in Tifton, Georgia. He has been practicing law in Tifton and the surrounding counties since 1972. He is a graduate of Tift County Schools, the University of Georgia, 1969, B.A., and University of Georgia Law School J.D., 1972. In 40 years of practice in Tifton he has handled all areas of the law, but now restricts his practice to criminal defense and personal injury work. The majority of his criminal practice relates to the defense of drinking drivers, not only in Tifton, but all over South Georgia. His personal injury practice includes representing plaintiffs injured in automobile accidents and medical malpractice cases in Tifton and surrounding counties. He is a member of Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (Vice President in 2000), American Trial Lawyers Association (sustaining member), National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), and the Georgia Defense of DUI Drivers (D.O.D.D.).