Meridian Police scopes out the crowd for suspect

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Is it people's right to video tape police or can officers block you from getting pictures?

That was the situation with Meridian Police last week as a KBOI news crew was at the scene of a standoff. KBOI shot exclusive video of Meridian Police with guns pointing at a house where officers believe a man is holed up. The standoff took place at around 10 p.m. Oct. 5 at the corner of Meridian Road and Washington Street.

A KBOI cameraman records the standoff as it's going on and a crowd starts to form across the street. Police then realize that they are being recorded. This caused one officer at the back of the house to take the lights that are fixed on the house and point them at the neighbors across the street and the KBOI crew recording video.

Trial attorney, Kurt Holzer said, "I am not aware of any law that would say the police would be violating a statute a or a rule by blocking a camera with their lights. They're probably doing something in the long run that is destructive for them and not productive for the community though."

Meridian Police say they would rather have the people inside their homes during a standoff. Police also say that at the time they did not know where the suspect was and may have felt uneasy as bystanders were at their backs while they were going in.

Meridian Police never said if they were trying to block people from getting video. But they did say that they recognize people are allowed to get video as long as they are a safe distance away and it doesn't interfere with police doing their job.