The Left and Right don’t agree on many things; the color of the sky comes to mind. Maybe the taste of salt. Nickelback is probably another one. But topping that very short list is a mutual acknowledgement of America’s ever-escalating Police Problem. You know it’s bad when Open Carry activists are standing side-by-side with Ferguson protesters in Texas. Bearing that in mind, while watching this encounter between a corrupt cop and an Open Carry activist, try not to delight too much in this case of Fascist As*hole v. Fascist As*hole. Just…try. Or whatever.
This video was taken on a cell phone by a Houston Open Carry activist, standing on the corner of Bay Area Blvd. and Reseda Drive. At the time he was armed with a “Video Camera, AR-15, Constitution Books and a Sign to Poeple passing by.” We don’t know what the Sign to Poeple said; probably something about misspelled communists.
That corner had been a regular haunt of his for the last week or so, and he’d been there for about an hour on December 6th when two police cars arrived.
The police ask to see his identification. Texas does have a stop-and-ID law, but only in cases of legitimate suspected criminal behavior. Meaning, they must have reason to believe the person has or is about to commit a crime.
The man tells them he doesn’t have an ID on him, but offers to verbally identify himself. Again, within the letter of Texas law.
Immediately, the officer grabs his sign and throws it on the ground and tells the OC activist he’s deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation. He then tells him:
“You are going to jail for failure to ID because you can’t tell me who you are, you can’t prove who you are. I’m tired of you idiots coming out here.”
With this formal declaration of arrest (“you are going to jail”), the police officer now has grounds to arrest him. Under Texas law, any person being arrested has to identify themselves. Or, as the officer later puts it:
“You don’t have no ID on you,” the officer drawls. “How do I know you’re not a wanted felon carrying a firearm? It’s against the law, failure to identify.”
Get that? “We’re arresting you for not having an ID, because it’s illegal to not show ID when you’re being arrested.” But that wasn’t the most egregious offense of the day. Oh, no.
As one officer cuffs him, the officer then snatches the cell phone, telling him he intends to delete the video.
“Take the phone off now, we’re going to erase it, because that’s what you’re doing – you’re recording everything.”
He asks if the police are recording the incident, and the officer replies:
“Naw, we don’t record nothing.”
The man says.”I do not consent to this. I’m only trying to protect myself.” The officer snorts and asks “From who?” He replies “From you.”
The officer tries to shut off the video recording, and then tells his partner to call for a sergeant. Then he backtracks, and asks for a Sheriff — evidently the higher of the two authorities. They put the handcuffed man in the squad car, and spend some time afterward trying to figure out how to erase the video. Eventually, they succeed — or believe they did.
When a higher authority shows up on scene, the officers consult with him. He informs them that it is not, in fact, legal to arrest someone in Texas for failure to show an ID without suspicion of a crime, and then charge them for failure to show an ID while being arrested. He instructs them to release the man, and return return his gun, constitution books, sign for the poeple and cell phone. They do so, believing the video of the encounter had been deleted.
Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t — the man recovered the video footage, and posted it to Youtube. It was picked up by local television station KVRL-TV. And now the internet has it.
I’m a police officer from Alabama. I’ll give you a couple of my observations on this incident.
It appears that the supervisor disagreed with this charge and advised the officer to not charge you so you were not brought to jail. BUT…HE PLAINLY SAID YOU WERE “UNDER ARREST”. The way I was taught & trained is that an officer can not arrest someone on the side of the road tell them they are “under arrest” and then magically sprinkle some “un-arresting” magical powers to undo the screw up.
From the aspect of a civil rights violation you were technically arrested and your rights appeared to have been just as equally violated as if you were transported to jail & had to make bail.
The officer had an obvious chip on his shoulder about people who carry openly and referred to you as one of those open carry idiots (shows his motive for violating your rights).
Then he tried to destroy evidence of his crime. I’m sure Texas has a law that prohibits the destruction of evidence and the officer was 100% guilty of this.
1- An officer can not magically “un arrest” a person on the side of the road.
2- His calling you an idiot & his dislike for the open carriers could easily be considered a motive for violating your rights.
3- He attempted or conspired to destroy evidence.
PLEASE FOLLOW THROUGH ON FILING A LAW SUIT & A COMPLAINT WITH THE FBI.
If you don’t have an attorney PLEASE GET ONE!
Not bad for a YouTube comment. And one hundred percent correct. David Armand of Open Carry Texas called this police officer an “unconvicted felon,” and legal experts for the television station say he was very clearly in the wrong. This was an obvious, motivated violation of civil rights, all across the board.
Yes, we’re laughing.
It is funny when bad meets worse, and something awful happens to both.
And we’re still waiting for Bill O’Reilly to say “Well, why didn’t this thug just show his ID? This is what you get for not immediately cooperating with law enforcement.”
BUT…after the laughter, after the snarky, warm glow of comeuppance and social justice…we still find ourselves on this OC activist’s side. And not just to avoid any accusations of hypocrisy. This really was an egregious violation, every bit as bad — if not as deadly — as those against Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The latter of which, incidentally, was just ruled a homicide by Cuyahoga County Medical Examiners. And the former also had video evidence.
It will be interesting, though, to see how quickly an officer gets indicted when the victim is a live, white Texas conservative instead of a dead, black New Yorker.