After they have removed him from the building:
"This is private property. You were advised not to come into the building. This is private property. You come back into the building you will be arrested for trespassing. You understand that?"Here's the statutory law on trespass in Washington:
. . .
"It's Private Property. You are not invited. You are not a part of the official(? word garbled) press. So you are not invited."
RCW 9A.52.070 - Criminal trespass in the first degree.Now, I'm not certain how Washington decides what a 1st or 2d degree trespass is, but I'm going to assume it's "knowing" and "unlawful" to enter private property after having been told that you are forbidden to do so.
(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building.
(2) Criminal trespass in the first degree is a gross misdemeanor.
RCW 9A.52.080 - Criminal trespass in the second degree.
(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree.
(2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a misdemeanor.
RCW 9A.52.090 - Criminal trespass — Defenses.
In any prosecution under RCW 9A.52.070 and 9A.52.080, it is a defense that:
(1) A building involved in an offense under RCW 9A.52.070 was abandoned; or
(2) The premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
(3) The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain; or
(4) The actor was attempting to serve legal process which includes any document required or allowed to be served upon persons or property, by any statute, rule, ordinance, regulation, or court order, excluding delivery by the mails of the United States. This defense applies only if the actor did not enter into a private residence or other building not open to the public and the entry onto the premises was reasonable and necessary for service of the legal process.
That leaves the enumerated defenses. (1)The building wasn't abandoned. (3) The actor was forbidden to enter, so he didn't have a reasonable belief that the owner would license him to enter. (4) He wasn't serving legal process.
That leaves the 2d excuse. There's a colorable argument that the building was "open to the public" with a political function being filmed by the press. As well, there were people present who were not members of the media or the Seattle Police Officer's Guild (notice the boy on the right). However, the police officer's statements seem to indicate the media was invited and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts the boy was invited by an officer.
The most likely reality here is that the man was trespassing. There are some things which might contradict this and show that the Guild's building was "open to the public." In example, an invitation for the public to attend via flyers or the internet would be evidence that the meeting was public. Per the statute, there does not seem to be an allowance for parties to forbid entry once a place becomes "open to the public." However, I suspect that this has probably had some pretty tight reins put on it by case law, because under the theory as I've laid it out if someone were coming in twice a week, to Wal*Mart and stealing $5 worth of merchandise each time, the store could never bar him from the premises. Maybe someone more familiar with Washington law can fill in the gaps?
Finally, I want to comment some on the encounter itself. By about half way through it, I wanted to clock the kid myself. What that kid is doing is offering passive resistance and playing for the camera. Saying "I'm not doing anything" a hundred times does not mean that he's not trespassing. He also appears to be refusing to leave, despite being told he's not allowed on the property more than once. To top it all off, when the officer called to the scene walks down the street to talk to the complainant (off duty officer) and the kid follows right behind them filming it crosses over into harrassment. Please note, I didn't say he broke the law; people are obnoxious all the time without breaking the law. This kid is doing what we're all starting to see over and over in the age of YouTube, he is doing his best to provoke in a manner which will allow him to claim innocence.
As for the police officers, I don't think they handled the situation well either. Not because they went overboard, but because they tried to handle it in what I'll call a "middle-way." They were faced with a number of ways to handle this and they tried to talk it down. Personally, if I'm in an encounter with police I'd prefer that they use this method. However, in this case talking it down just plays to what the kid is trying to do; he gets a wonderful little thing to put up on YouTube. There were two ways to handle this better (if we solely look toward the possibility of YouTube publication). One would have been to ignore the kid and let him film. Of course, that's not the natural reaction of an officer who has given a warning and is seeing someone blatantly ignoring it and breaking the law. As well, I don't know if this kid might have a record of doing harassing things to the candidate, ala Mike Stark (doubtful, but possible). The other would be to grab the kid, hustle him outside - as they did - and immediately arrest him, taking the camera and turning off the video right after stating "You are under arrest for trespassing after having been given notice not to come on this property" or something similar. It would have devalued the film and probably made it too short to be very interesting. They had probable cause and a whole bunch of credible witnesses to the trespassing; I'm pretty sure the charge would have stuck. But, hey, they tried not to be too big of jerks and consequently gave the kid his day on You Tube.