The next day the newspaper’s senior editor posted a follow-up: John L. McCullough told the Herald Tuesday evening he is a First Amendment crusader who takes videos of police and posts them to YouTube. That’s what got him a June 2 arraignment date. “I understand how people may feel, but that doesn’t mean I should be locked up,” McCullough said… “Did I break the law? No. I may have been rude,” he added. “I understand people may feel jittery, but where peoples’ feelings start my rights don’t stop….”
Cambridge civil-rights attorney Harvey Silverglate said McCullough will probably have his case tossed, even if what he was doing is seen as crass. “There’s no amendment in the Constitution called the humanity amendment,” said Silverglate. “It’s a free country and you have a right to be a jerk.” But taking video outside a hospital during a pandemic and as people try to social distance — and first responders, including the police, face all-too-real health risks — is “pretty distasteful,” Silverglate added.
Still, he added the judge will “have to throw it out.” He added it’s “punishment itself” to go to court in this climate. McCullough, records state, does not have an attorney yet. He did say he’s ready to plead his case. “Don’t be brainwashed,” he added, “and it shouldn’t be a problem when a black man has a camera.”
The Herald suggests one more interesting detail. “McCullough said ’20 other cameras’ were probably rolling at the same time as he was — alluding to security cameras in the area.”