Who was wrong, the skateboarder or the cop?
That's the debate that's raging after "Good Morning America" showed video of a then 19-year-old skateboarder in Charleston, S.C., being reprimanded -- some say shoved -- by a cop. The skateboarder, Corey Dowds, told his side of the story on Friday.
"I was just skateboarding with my brother, trying to film for a little video," Dowds said. "I had skated there before. I was trying this trick and was really focused. I was doing the switch-nose-wheelie. Next thing I know, I'm going over the bush. When I realized it was the cop I was in a state of shock."
Dowds had no idea a cop was standing next to him.
"I had no idea that she was there. I was so focused on what I was doing. I thought it was my brother Cheyne who pushed me over," he said. "I was so surprised."
Skateboarding is illegal in Charleston outside of skate parks. But Dowds said cops usually don't exercise the law.
"Police had always told me that you can't skate in the city, but everyone skateboards in the city of Charleston," Dowds said. "So I was completely shocked and didn't realize that I was doing anything wrong."
Campaigning for a Place to Skate
Dowds said he was treated unfairly. Of the nearly 12 million Americans who skateboard, 73 percent skate primarily on the sidewalk and street, like he does. But he blames the city for the incident, not the police officer.
"I feel like I was treated unfairly. I definitely feel like she dealt with it the wrong way. But she was upholding the law, and it's the city that should deal with it differently," he said.
The Charleston police department declined to comment on the incident but released a statement saying, "This is under investigation. Once the investigation is completed we will have a comment for the media."
Dowds isn't injured, and he said he's not planning to press charges against the officer.
"I was fine. I'm not trying to pull a whole suit," he said. "I have no bitterness towards the police officer, it was not her fault."
But he wants to have a place to skate freely. If doing a wheelie on Charleston's streets is illegal, Dowds thinks the city should designate a place for skateboarding.
"Skateboarders should have a place to skate just like people on bicycles… in Charleston there's no place for us to go," he said. "I don't think it's the police's fault and I don't blame them at all. It's the city's fault for not giving us a place to skate."