LELAND, NC (WECT) – An officer with the Leland Police Department has been suspended without pay for 28 days after a teenager recorded video of an arrest on his cell phone.
According to police reports, 19-year-old Gabriel Self tried approaching Leland Police Sergeant John Keel as he was arresting another man on drug charges. Sgt. Keel told Self to leave the area.
Self said he planned to ask the suspect if the man wanted him to record the arrest on his phone.
"Before I could even get two words out, I was immediately approached by Sgt. Keel with extreme intimidation," Self said.
Self stepped away and began to record the arrest on his cell phone. He said he kept the camera pointed at his feet for a while, and it wasn't until he pointed it at Keel that the officer approached him again
"I'll give you two seconds to get your tail out of here," can be heard coming from the officer on the recording.
Police reports state Sgt. Keel told Self to leave the area again. As Self was explaining himself, Sgt. Keel arrested him. The charge was resisting, obstructing, or delaying a law enforcement officer.
Self was interfering with an investigation, according to the arrest report.
Self said Keel was simply standing in the parking lot, so he did not see how he could be interfering with anything.
"I didn't know I was going to be arrested that night, which just stresses why you should video tape everything because you don't know what's going to happen," said Self.
After an internal review, the Town of Leland suspended Sgt. Keel for 28 days without pay starting August 21. This is the first disciplinary action against Keel since he joined the department in August 2001.
The charges against Self have been dropped.
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