A Maryland man was arrested after neighbors said he helped an intoxicated man near his house, on Nov. 17. The profanity-laden video of the arrest has since gone viral.
Police arrived at the scene after 23-year-old Samir Ahmed helped his intoxicated neighbor get home, The Washington Post reported. In the video, taken by local residents of the Silver Springs, Maryland, neighborhood, Ahmed is seen up against a vehicle with his father hovering over the scene.
Ahmed tried to break free from the grasp of the police and emits a constant stream of insults and expletives at them. Concerned neighbors gather around the scene and demand answers from the police and argue intensely with them that the arrest is unjust.
The neighbors in the video are seen approaching police and demanding to know the reason for the arrest. The communication is intense, and the neighbors, the most vocal of which can’t be seen on screen, can even be heard trying to calm each other down—telling each other to shut up and listen to the police.
The situation is racially charged, as nonwhite officers are insulted for doing police work and having white co-workers. The white officers are treated as racists. The crowd insists that Ahmed did nothing wrong until one man recording toward the end of the video can be heard saying Ahmed was cursing and threatening the police, and led the situation to escalate.
Police Try to Explain
The officers explain that it isn’t the time to talk while they are trying to contain Ahmed. Afterward, officers come over and explain that Ahmed is being arrested for marijuana possession. They also start to explain that they are not legally obligated to speak with the neighbors unless they are related to the detainee but still stay to talk. They cut the conversation short and leave in frustration after constantly being interrupted.
Within that final conversation, they also start to explain how it is common that they arrive at a scene for one purpose, but another situation develops, which they must handle, in this case, drug possession.
Police gave a statement to The Washington Post saying they will investigate and examine officers’ body cams, but will not release the footage to the public just yet. What is missing in the cellphone video that is circulating on the internet is what happened before the neighbors came over and started to record. Body cam footage could show how the request for medical help for one person transformed into a drug arrest of another.
Ahmed was subject to a civil violation for possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana, according to the Post.
Ahmed’s attorney said the police couldn’t have smelled drugs.
“We vehemently dispute that the officer smelled marijuana; you can’t smell marijuana in a baggie inside of his left coat pocket that hasn’t been burned,” said attorney J. Wyndal Gordon, via the Post. Police in the video said Ahmed was “under the influence” at the time he was arrested.
Commenters on the Post explained how they interpreted the video and the situation.
“If you actually watch the video in its entirety, you’ll come to the part where two very respectful, highly professional senior officers show up and attempt to calmly explain the circumstances to the ranting and ignorant individual with the camera. He has no desire to listen to them, even when they offer to explain—which they have absolutely no obligation to do—the rudiments of criminal procedure and how they apply to the facts of the case,” comments Loggerhead.