MARIETTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- A man claiming to be a Marietta resident posted a video to YouTube. He says he showed up at Cobb County School District headquarters two days ago to make an open records request and exercise what he claims is his First Amendment right to film the process.

That's when he says district officers told him to leave the property.

"You are not welcome to video in here," an officer is seen saying to the man outside the building. "You are terrorizing the ladies. You are making them uncomfortable," the officer continues, referring to the women working inside district offices.

When he told the officers he planned to return the next day, he was threatened with handcuffs.

"If you come back.. you are on school district property.. I am going to arrest you," the officer said.

The man who took the video didn't want us to show his face or share his name, for fear of losing his job. But we asked him over the phone what his intentions were.

"Just to teach our government employees that anybody can go there.. ask questions.. do public records.. record.. take pictures," he said.

We weren’t there, and cant speak to the man's actions. But what the video does appear to show is a pattern similar to what CBS46 experienced last month.

District leaders, instructing its police force to remove people from a building open to the public; they don't seem to like.

District headquarters, 514 Glover Street, is listed on county tax records as "exempt public property." It's publicly owned and subject to public access.

When CBS46 was unlawfully removed from headquarters last month for simply attempting to question district leaders, who had refused requests for information, our attorneys sent a series of letters to the district demanding to know why officers were claiming the building is private property. We've gotten no response.

We wanted to know today, why a citizen of Cobb County was being told the same and threatened with arrest if he didn't leave the property on demand.

The officer appeared to imply, videotaping is subjective.

"The difference whether you video or not is whether you are making people uncomfortable," the officer says.

And then there is this curious exchange. The citizen asks, "anyone can come here, right?" Which is true.

The officer replies, "As long as they are not creating a problem.”

Apparently in December -- a television reporter showing up to question those in power -- was a problem.

The CBS46 Bulldog showed up again at district headquarters today to ask about this most recent incident.

We were told we would need an appointment, and after waiting nearly 20 minutes, no one came out to speak to us.

When we headed to the district police department, we attempted to speak to the chief. A lieutenant told us the chief can't speak without district approval. Approval he didn't have.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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