'Cop chaser' in Rochester to video police stops arrested at police stop

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Matthew Phillips, who goes by JP in videos. (Manchester Police Department photo)

COPYRIGHT2017© ROCHESTER - A Keene man affiliated with a group purported to expose what he calls police overreach and intimidation came to Rochester to film a segment for his website and ended up getting arrested himself.

Matthew J. Phillips, 42, who goes by "JP" in the videos, entered the lobby of the Rochester Police station early Sunday morning with three of his associates and a video camera rolling and asked how many police were on duty.

Police told him four officers and a supervisor and soon after the group left.

Police then learned that the city of Keene had the most contact with the group - New England Cop Chasers - so they contacted police there and were able to learn their names. They also learned there was a warrant for Phillips' arrest out of Manchester.

Group members, who routinely video police in their interactions with the public, had declined to give their names when asked at the Rochester stationhouse.

Just 10 minutes later while police were executing a traffic stop outside Friendly's on South Main, police noticed the group nearby videotaping the incident. They immediately went over to interview Phillips and arrested him without incident.

Phillips, who was not booked Rochester, was dropped off to Manchester Police at the Epping McDonald's next to Route 101.

A post on the New England Cop Chasers Facebook page posted Sunday around 9:20 a.m. said, Phillips was "kidnapped by domestic terrorists last night while cop chasing. It's alleged that he was kidnapped for filing a false police report against a pig."

Rochester Police Capt. Jason Thomas said today Rochester Police are well aware that groups like these exist and that officers get training on how to comport themselves in such incidents.

He explained that they're free to video police stops as long as they are not interfering with police business.

Phillips, who was charged with filing a false report and sworn falsification, was given personal recognizance bail pending a June arraignment, according to Manchester Police Lt. Brian O'Keefe.

Both charges are misdemeanors.

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