A Baltimore woman is suing some city police officers after she claimed they illegally thwarted her efforts to record police activity.

Makia Smith claimed she was just attempting to record how Baltimore City police were handling a juvenile on March 8, 2012, when an officer threatened her and destroyed her cellphone.

"I was trying to get some pictures on my phone. I didn't get a chance to do anything," she said.

Smith was arrested and spent 24 hours in Baltimore's Central Booking. She's currently suing the four officers who took her into custody. According to Smith and a police report, there was chaos in the 2800 block of Harford Road, where a large group of youths had gathered. Smith claimed as she sat in traffic, she saw officers surround a boy.

"What alarmed me the most is that one of the officers was kneeled down, with his knee pressed against the young man's temple," Smith said.

She told 11 News she took out her phone, and that drew the attention of one of the officers.

"I just opened my car door, and I just held my camera up," Smith said.

She said the officer came over to her and told her to get back into her car. She told him she was trying to make sure the boy was not being hurt.

"When I proceeded to get back in the car, he yanked my phone out of my hand and kicked it and stomped it. I was trying to get my other foot in the car. He grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out of the car," Smith said. "He said to me, 'So you want to film things, B? I should have knocked your teeth out.'"

According to charging documents, Smith blocked the road and refused to move, used profanity and injured the officer. But she denied those allegations.

"It wasn't bad enough that they violated her 1st, 4th and 8th amendment rights. They destroyed her cellphone and charged her with second-degree assault of an officer and multiple traffic violations," said Smith's attorney, Lawrence Greenberg.

The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office declined to prosecute her. Baltimore City police have a general order that emphasizes the right of citizens to take photos or record police activity. It spells out special circumstances in which officers can collect or seize the recording as evidence in a crime.

The Baltimore Police Department is already embroiled in a case still pending in federal court, 11 News I-Team reporter Barry Simms said. Christopher Sharp claims police seized his cellphone in 2010 and erased video he recorded of a woman being arrested at the Preakness. Other video of the arrest showed up on YouTube.

"I feel as though, if I had to follow the law, the police officers also have to follow the law," Smith said of her case.

She said if she sees anything else that bothers her, from now on, she's just going to mind her own business.

"I just think, for me, the whole ordeal was something I would not ever want to go through again," she said.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Baltimore City Circuit Court. A police department representative said the department has not seen the lawsuit yet, but it does not comment on pending legal matters.