How Should Law Enforcement Handle Being Filmed? Officer Lyons Provides The Perfect Example

from the let's-hope-this-is-the-beginning-of-a-new-trend dept

As Techdirt readers are aware, the general attitude of law enforcement tends to worsen quickly once the cameras come out. From holding citizens at gunpoint until they destroy their cameras to pressing charges against bystanders filming from their own property, hardly a week goes by without another uploaded video demonstrating that, for the most part, the easiest way to get on a cop's bad side is to whip out a phone or a camera.

Fortunately, there are exceptions. Reason Hit & Run directs our attention to Officer Matthew J. Lyons of the Oceanside, California police department. Lyons runs into a few issues that usually send other officers scrambling for their handguns and threats: an openly-carried weapon and a camera.

However, Lyons handles the situation in a professional, cordial manner, even as the person filming the encounter declines to show him any ID or provide a last name. Even better, he commends him for exercising his rights.

In just under three minutes, Lyons puts together a superb primer on how to handle interacting with the public, one that should be required viewing for law enforcement members everywhere.



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  •  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Sound

    That sound you hear is the shattering delusions of thousands of people who think taking freedoms away makes us more secure.

     

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      Jesse (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 8:52pm

      Re: Sound

      My favourite part is when he says, "This is not a third world country." You would think that, wouldn't you. Tell that to all the people who are insistent on eroding rights and liberties until we are on par with your average third world country.

       

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    Ben (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    It was a test

    Jeremy was hoping to bait a cop I expect.

    I bet he's disappointed he got a reasonable one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:44am

    Its a real shame there's not more officers like this!!!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      the real shame is my first thought was, 'i bet this is the only one'

       

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        David (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        He's not the only one, many officers are reasonable intelligent people. It is just that the jerks make better press, and so we hear about them more.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'd have to disagree purely from personal experience, maybe it's just small town cops, but they tend to be assholes who have too much to prove. case in point in my town(not that small 30k) someone did a little news report on how only something like 10 people had gone to a real college on our police force. now i don't see why we have uneducated people trying to enforce laws they most likely don't understand. the cop they assigned to hang out at my highschool blatently told us one time when we questioned whether he knew about the Miranda vs US case was about "I don't get paid to understand the law, just to enforce it." that is a dangerous attitude and should be put down rabid dogs.

           

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            MrWilson, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It should go without saying that personal experience is not universal truth.

             

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            Mike42 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You're absolutely right. The only way we can ever have a competent police force is if everyone has gone to college for at least 4 years. No one has ever graduated with a Bachelors degree and still been a jerk with a chip on his shoulder.
            It's also fortunate that the courses for law and law enforcement are so similar. Why, I bet most officers quit to practice law! You are so right, AC.
            I don't think the officer assigned to your school was ignorant of the Miranda act. I think he was blowing off a kid who was clearly trying to annoy him.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              AstLol at that last part I didn't ask him our teacher did in class when he was asked to participate
              So because personal experience is not universal I shouldn't use it to make descions?

              And how is being taught how to taser a kid asking questions anything similar to law school?

              How is asking that the people pointing guns at us at least not be the dregs of the uneducated in society a bad thing?

              And why don't you take a long walk off a short pier for thinking you know me, k?

               

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            KB (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You'd like all cops to have law degrees?

             

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            CasualPasserBy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            @Anonymous Coward
            "whether he knew about the Miranda vs US case was about"

            Miranda v Arizona, not Miranda v US.

            You should probably have a "what" in there, also ie: "whether he knew what the Miranda v Arizona case was about", and what did you mean by "that is a dangerous attitude and should be put down rabid dogs."?

            The first word in sentences should be capitalized.

            If you're going to complain about "the uneducated", it might behoove your point to not come across as one yourself in the process.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:52am

    Good for him!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    I think it'd be worth a few emails & letters to the Oceanside PD saying we saw the clip on youtube and commending Officer Lyons for his actions.

     

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    Harrekki (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    while I think at the end the officer was being a little tongue in cheek, He did it right.

    Now, in the height of post pursuit, and concern for one's safety, I understand all cops can't be that calm and collected. But they can make an attempt to behave properly.

    honestly, I think the bigger dick in the video was the guy carrying. it's a give and take with law enforcement, and when the cop is being as nice as officer Lyons was, he could have given his last name, just to make sure the cop didn't get paranoid. after all the cop was cool with not needing to see identification.

    Good video, taken in an ideal situation.

    Good on ya, Officer Lyons. can you come to Baltimore and teach the police here how to:
    be polite and safe
    respectful of peoples rights
    laid back
    informative of citizens rights
    and how to actually be an effective officer

    Gods know we need someone like you here.

     

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      Designerfx (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      Give and take? My ass. He didn't have to give his last name, and he declined. He didn't say "F you" or anything insulting, make threats, etc.

      Remind me of how give and take works when they consider that waiving your 5th amendment rights.

       

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        Jesse (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 8:51pm

        Re: Re:

        No kidding. Give and take never wins you anything but it can absolutely cost you everything. There are some officers who are nice, but there are others who ruin cordial relationships for everyone. The cop says, "I don't know what type of guy you are," but same for the citizen. He doesn't know if this is a good cop or if he is drunk with power.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

      Re:

      I think the fact that he identified as a former marine didn't hurt either.

       

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    girlzluvme, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    hmm...

    wonder how much different the final product would have been if that was in any inner city and the person carrying the weapon was more threatening looking???

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

      Re: hmm...

      Er, and I'm afraid to ask, but what exactly do you mean by "threatening looking"? Because if it means what I think it means, you probably need some help w/your worldview....

       

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        PRMan, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re: hmm...

        Someone walking around with a Darth Vader helmet, of course...

         

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        m3mnoch (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re: hmm...

        cause, you know, walking around on a public street with a holstered firearm isn't threatening at all....

        m3mnoch.

         

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          :Lobo Santo (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: hmm...

          The only reason people view a civilian with a holstered weapon as "threatening" is due to 1) the fact they themselves generally know nothing about guns aside from what they've been spoon-fed by television and 2) their own complete and utter lack of ability to defend themselves immediately should the need arise (eg penis envy).

          Just because a person has a firearm does not mean they are a threat--it only means they have a firearm.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

            Thank you.
            (insert verbatim paste of Lobo's quote from above here)

             

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            DMNTD, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

            Riaghteous.

             

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            HothMonster, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

            "Just because a person has a firearm does not mean they are a threat--it only means they have a firearm."

            It means they have a greater potential for being a threat (or possibly a potential for being a greater threat) but I look at at anyone with a weapon with equal nervousness whether its a cop or a private citizen

             

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              A Monkey with Attitude (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

              I do not carry a visible weapon (knives and training are not visible) does that make you safer than if i wore a gun?

              Just a question...

               

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                HothMonster, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                no, i didnt say I am not safe because people have firearms I just said I am wary of people who have them. I am aware that this is an illusion like most safety and that a lot of things I don't see are more dangerous than the things I do.

                That said if I am walking down the street and you are rude (say don't give me space and shoulder bump me) I am more likely to tell you you are an asshole if you don't have a gun on your hip. Does this mean the guy without a gun wont beat the ever living shit out of me and the guy with a gun wont apologize? Certainly not, its just that a man with a gun can cause a lot of damage with almost no effort and I respect that fact.

                 

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                  ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:57pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                  That said if I am walking down the street and you are rude (say don't give me space and shoulder bump me) I am more likely to tell you you are an asshole if you don't have a gun on your hip.

                  So, in other words, the gun keeps you polite?

                  I prefer to be polite, regardless to whether I know a gun is present or not. Guess it is upbringing or whatever, but I find being polite is always the best policy, even when I have to be mean. Besides, what if you are unaware that the individual is armed, but they have a legal concealed carry permit and a gun located somewhere you cannot see on their body?

                  I find, people who are lawfully in possession of a firearm tend to be far more careful/concerned about being polite because they are aware that there is more of a risk of them losing that right if they fly off the handle or do something stupid.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                  So, what you're saying is that if everyone carried a gun, we'd all treat eachother with more respect? hmm...

                   

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                  btr1701, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 3:58pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                  > if I am walking down the street and you
                  > are rude (say don't give me space and
                  > shoulder bump me) I am more likely to
                  > tell you you are an asshole if you
                  > don't have a gun on your hip.

                  An armed society is a polite society.

                   

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                    art guerrilla, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                    no, an armed society has a LOT of people dying from lead poisoning (sic)(k)...

                    WE are the most 'well-armed' country on this planet, are you saying amerikans are the politest people on this planet ? ? ?

                    art guerrilla
                    aka ann archy
                    eof

                     

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                      btr1701, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 9:49am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                      > WE are the most 'well-armed' country
                      > on this planet

                      No, we're a country that has been disarmed by its government for the most part and only a small criminal minority which defies the law and preys on the majority is 'well-armed'.

                       

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                        art guerrilla, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                        wtf?
                        urine idjit, we ARE the most well armed per capita, and that is just counting PRIVATE arms...
                        NO ONE has been 'disarmed' but a teeny tiny amount of felons, etc...
                        wake up and smell the cordite, reichwing 'tard...
                        we peace-lovin' amerikans kill each other with guns FAR MORE than any other country...
                        YOU ARE NOT EVEN *CLOSE* to being correct, stfu...
                        again, are we the 'politest' country ? ? ?
                        not by a long shot...
                        art guerrilla
                        aka ann archy
                        artguerrilla at windstream.net
                        eof

                         

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                          btr1701 (profile), Jul 28th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                          > NO ONE has been 'disarmed' but a teeny
                          > tiny amount of felons

                          And the entire city of Chicago. And the entire city of Washington, DC. And the entire city of Los Angeles.

                          I could go on, but you're obviously not interested in facts. And given the level of discourse and your style of writing, you come off as an angry 14-year-old, so any hope of rational communication with you has already gone out the window.

                           

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                  collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

                  an armed society, is a polite society...

                   

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 9:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

              that's the same ideology that says that anyone of Arabic decent has a greater potential for being a terrorist or is possibly a terrorist. You cannot read the threats that are posed just by the fact that someone has a gun, the threat is in the person not in the gun. You can recognize this threat level by the look in their eyes, the tension in their shoulders, the positioning of their body, and the nature of the person. Not by the items in their pockets or on their waist or under their jacket.

               

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            Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 7:17pm

            Funny ...

            Nobody ever got shot by a person who didn’t have a gun.

             

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            PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: hmm...

            Well, there is also the fact that very few people carry firearms. So if someone is carrying a gun, that is jarring. And given the purposes of guns, it is jarring in a scary sort of way.

             

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        btr1701, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

        Re: Re: hmm...

        That worldview is more common than you think, even among those who make their living castigating others for their racial offenses, real or imagined:

        "There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery— and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."

        --Jesse Jackson

         

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      DOlz (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

      Re: hmm...

      How do you know he wasn't threatening looking? After all the guy filming it never showed his face.

       

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    Steven (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    This is simply how all police officers should react. He took reasonable precautions to ensure his safety, checked the guy out, did not escalate the situation, and determined there was no threat.

    Well Done!

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    Sunglasses

    Notice how the officer takes off his sunglasses to make eye contact at about 1.10. Whoever taught him psychology would be proud.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I think that while this is a nice story, the issue is that this is not a high stress situation, there are not a large number of people running around screaming, there isn't anyone wounded, there isn't anything going on.

    Low stress environments result in low stress responses.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      Low stress environments result in low stress responses.

      Yeah but once people start dancing, the nerves start getting frayed I guess...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, when people start actively breaking the law and resisting arrest, yes, nerves tend to get frayed.

        Sorry Marcus, but as a troll, you sort of fail.

         

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          Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is it good to be a successful troll? I am asking about your personal experience as one.

           

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          DCX2, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If people were actively breaking the law, wouldn't law enforcement *want* video recordings?

          Face it, most of the situations where people get harassed for filming the police are in fact low stress situations. If the situation was high stress, the police would be dealing with the stressor, not the camera.

           

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          Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, when people start actively breaking the law and resisting arrest, yes, nerves tend to get frayed.

          Right, so a peaceful protest is "high stress" and thus it's totally understandable if the cops violate the protesters' civil rights. I mean hell, Kent State was wrong but we can forgive the National Guard since they were probably under a lot of pressure.

          as a troll, you sort of fail.

          Much appreciated. Thankfully, as someone who wants to contribute to the discussion, I seem to do an okay job.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, it was a peaceful protest until they didn't follow the officers orders to stop. At that point, they became a public nuisance, and from there it escalated. Honestly, they were there trying to bait officers into taking action.

            You know that, you just choose to ignore it because it doesn't fit your world view.

            Don't you have copyright work to go make?

             

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              HothMonster, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              how about the kid who was walking down the street with a gun legally on his hip and suddenly had an officer yelling at him with a gun drawn? someone give the link please im being lazy

              point being if all cops responded to situations with the right amount of force we wouldnt have to spend so much time praising a cop for not acting like a jackass


              (and AC I agree the arrests and the related law were stupid but I really dont feel the cops from the Jefferson were out of line)

               

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              Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, it was a peaceful protest until they didn't follow the officers orders to stop

              Oh right, I forgot about that part of the constitution, which protects "the right of the people peaceably to assemble - unless of course such assembly has been deemed a 'distraction', at which point the cops can shut it down and bodyslam anyone doesn't immediately comply"

              Don't you have copyright work to go make?

              Heh. It's so easy to tell when you know you don't have a leg to stand on, because you immediately go back to this tired old refrain in an attempt to derail the debate. Is your position so weak that it needs such petty and irrelevant reinforcement?

               

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      Yeah, all the times cops get all up in a tizzy over someone legally carrying a handgun is always during chaos, such as this time a guy was taking a stroll to AutoZone.

       

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      Pickle Monger (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      Officer Lyons is a 20+yrs USMC vet. I think pretty much anything is a low stress environment for him. :)

       

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      collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

      Re:

      From what I have seen, many of the over reactions and stomping on citizen rights when filming actually occur in "low stress" situations.

      The situations escalate because the cop does not like being filmed and thus potentially held accountable for their actions. Officer Lyons is the exception and obviously deals very well with the public.

       

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    Brian, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I'm all for him exercising his rights, filming the cops, etc. and it's great that the cop is so cool about it, but I can't celebrate this guy. He may not be in a state that requires him to show a firearm ID or regular ID but he should have at least provided a last name so they can verify he has a gun permit before he's free to continue walking down a busy street with a gun on his hip.

    Yes, there are a lot of jerk cops out there. However, they're still doing a job where they could easily be gunned down during a routine traffic stop and most of them don't get enough money or respect to do what can be a very dangerous job. They should be kept in check and respect our rights, but the least we can do in return is care more about their safety than the right of some jerk to walk down the street, openly brandishing a weapon and camera, while trying to pick a fight.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:30pm

      Re:

      You're totally right - I don't think the point was ever to celebrate this guy, but to celebrate the cop. The fact that this guy's actions were questionable and perhaps even intentionally provocative just makes it more impressive how calmly and professionally the officer handled it.

       

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      but he should have at least provided a last name so they can verify he has a gun permit before he's free to continue walking down a busy street with a gun on his hip

      Why? If it's not the law that he has to do so, why should he?

       

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        btr1701, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

        Re: Re:

        > If it's not the law that he has to do so,
        > why should he?

        Just because you're not breaking the law doesn't mean you're not acting like an asshole.

         

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not identifying yourself on command = being an asshole? How so?

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Not identifying yourself on command

            Please give the time stamp of the part of the video where the guy was commanded to identify himself.

            Betcha can't.

             

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              Chris Rhodes (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 11:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              1:00 he asks for ID.
              1:05 he asks for his name.
              1:40 he asks for ID again.
              1:50 he tells the guy he's required to identify himself.
              2:00 he asks yet again.

               

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                Travis, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                He asked repeatedly, he can do that. Also, he doesn't say that the guy must identify himself, just that he can ask.

                 

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                  CasualPasserBy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And, apparently, he also doesn't have to have a gun permit, else the officer would have asked to see it.

                   

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                btr1701 (profile), Jul 28th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                > > Please give the time stamp
                > > of the part of the video
                > > where the guy was commanded
                > > to identify himself.

                > 1:00 he asks for ID.
                > 1:05 he asks for his name.

                Note the word "asks" in every tick of your timeline.

                At no point did he command him to produce ID. In fact, he acknowledged the guy's right not to do so.

                 

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                  Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 5th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Note the word "asks" in every tick of your timeline.

                  You mean except for the line where I said: "1:50 he tells the guy he's required to identify himself."

                  Nice try, though.

                   

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      The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      Officer Lyons checked that it wasn't loaded. Still, I agree that "Jeremy" was being a dick in not giving his last name, even if he was exercising his legal rights.

       

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      ComputerAddict (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      I agree, This cop did a excellent job handling the situation. Not throwing the guy to the ground before asking questions... etc.

      But like you I think the officer should have been more stern about making him identify himself with his full name when requested. If you don't identify yourself at least verbally, most states allow the police to hold you for anywhere from 1 hour to 48 hours (not sure on CA law) in an effort to "compel" the person to ID themselves. In VT you can face civil contempt proceedings if you don't identify yourself by the time the cop get you in front of a judge.

       

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        Chris Rhodes (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

        Re: Re:

        In most states (perhaps there are some for which this does now apply?), before a police officer has a legal right to force you to identify yourself, they have to have reasonable suspicion that you've committed a crime.

        The cop had already verified that Jeremy was in compliance with state law (carrying unloaded), and therefore had no legal reason to demand Jeremy's identification. He obviously knew that, because he didn't press the issue.

         

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          JustSomeGuy, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 6:53pm

          Reasonable suspicion

          The fact that the gun wasn't loaded could be construed to indicate that this SOB had already unloaded the clip into some poor unsuspecting victim :-)

           

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            collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

            Re: Reasonable suspicion

            The clip would just have bullets in it then. The weapon is "unloaded" when the magazine does not have a clip inserted and there are no rounds in the chamber.

             

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        ComputerAddict (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        Well after some quick googling, it appears CA HAD a law that required people to identify themselves, but got ruled unconstitutional because it's definition of "identification" was "too vague"
        The latest Supreme Court review of a stop-and-identify statute occurred in Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983). The California stop-and-identify statute was at issue in that case. It permitted stops only on the basis of reasonable suspicion, thereby curing the problem that had the troubled the Court in Papachristou and Brown. But because there was no definition of the required identification in the statute, the Court struck the statute down as unconstitutionally vague.

         

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        collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Hey there, also in VT. I think you may be mistaken about the civil contempt thing. My understanding is that until you are under arrest, you do not have to identify yourself. In this case, the guy was breaking no laws, so no arrest, so no requirement for identification.

         

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      California Resident, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      Actually, in California you do not need a permit to carry a gun. You may carry it as long as it is visible, unloaded and not in a safety zone such as a school, government building etc.

      http://www.californiaopencarry.org/CaliforniaOpenCarry.pdf

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

        Re: Re:

        In Arizona you don't even need a permit anymore to carry concealed.

         

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 9:12am

        Re: Re:

        Actually, in California you do not need a permit to carry a gun. You may carry it as long as it is visible, unloaded and not in a safety zone such as a school, government building etc.

        Not a good idea for two reasons, though. 1) Citizens are nosy and tend to complain about a person with a gun whether it is legal or not...so expect a police officer to confront you if you are walking any distance, and 2) Your gun isn't loaded, but the criminal who is not legally allowed to have one might find yours better than the gun they already legally have and may take it from you. We've had armed police officers shot and their guns taken from them. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is a good idea.

        Having a unloaded and openly carried gun is fine at the firing range or in a large group of armed citizens, but not a good idea if you are alone or in a very small group.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

      Re:

      I must be missing something, but there's no need for a gun permit to carry openly that I've ever heard of.

       

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      JustSomeGuy, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 6:50pm

      Permit?

      Isn't the permit contained in amendment number 2 of the constitution? I imagine I'd get into a lot more trouble carrying around the (original) constitution than I would carrying a handgun :-)

       

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      collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      I am at a loss here, I guess I missed the part in the video where the guy was trying to pick a fight. He was not brandishing a weapon, he had it in a holster. He was simply asserting his rights. How does this make him a jerk?

      The safety of cops is important, but no less important than the rights of the citizens. The gentlemen was breaking no law. To suggest that he should have to show ID and identify himself for simply asserting his rights in a lawful fashion i.e. the open carry of his unloaded weapon, refusing to offer ID and filming the interaction with Law-enforcement seems pretty questionable. Do you feel that a cop should be able to just walk-up to you while engaged in a lawful activity and demand to see ID and be given your name is really ok?

      Guns are scary. We have been by and large raised to regard them with fear and misgivings. Most people do not really have experience handling weapons and have been taught that guns are "bad" and too dangerous for "regular people" to have. Even told there is no need to be armed because we have police. The norm has become to question the mental health of the open carry person, and a cultural assumption they must be a "gun freak", "nuts" somehow "anti-social".

      The reality, is cops enforce laws and investigate crime. Their job is not to "protect and serve" us, this is just good marketing. This job is also one that is very dangerous. I am all for making cops as safe as possible, but that being said, I want my community's officers to be so capable they do not to have my rights curtailed to do their job. If they are unable to meet that standard, perhaps they need to find a new line of work. Officer Lyon is at a glance, the kind of guy I would want on the beat in my community.

       

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      CasualPasserBy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

      What gun permit?

      "...but he should have at least provided a last name so they can verify he has a gun permit before he's free to continue walking down a busy street with a gun on his hip."

      But no permit is required, so why would he have one? If a permit were required, the officer would have requested it, and taken the person into custody without it.

      I agree the guy was being dickish by not giving his name, simply because he feels he doesn't have to. Technically, the officer could have arrested the subject for a violation of California Penal Code 636.(a), for recording him without his permission. California is an 'all party' state when it comes to recording conversations, even in public places.

       

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        collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

        Re: What gun permit?

        There is no expectation of privacy in a public place, hence your suggesting he could be arrested for not having the officers consent before filming him in a public place does not really work. It is a well established precedent that one does not need permission to record, film, take pictures of any person as long as it is in a public venue. If the all party consent thing were applicable, paparazzi would be outta a job, and Maria Shriver would not be confronting them as they follow her around following the split from Arnold.

         

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          CasualPasserBy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

          Re: Re: What gun permit?

          "There is no expectation of privacy in a public place..."

          I used to think this as well, until I started reading reports of people in some states getting arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for it, and did a little research. Turns out, it varies by state.

          http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13492

          This site breaks it down by state.

           

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            CasualPasserBy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: What gun permit?

            After re-reading 636(a) I don't think that section applies, but I'm sure it's in there somewhere.

             

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            collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: What gun permit?

            I may be wrong here, but I am pretty sure I am correct. I think what we are discussing are in a lot of ways are two different issues. One is a 4th amendment issue relating to one's expectations of privacy in a public place. The other is a question of Federal and State Wire Tap laws being used in a way that is completely at odds with legislative intent.

            Here is what I am getting at. The idea that one has no expectation of privacy in a public place was largely decided as a 4th amendment issue by the SCOTUS in the 1967 In Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967). At the time, video was relatively rare and the concept of sound and image being recorded together onto the same medium was not really a possibility.

            What this has led to, is, various jurisdictions trying to use the sound captured along with the image/video, as an means to launch a prosecution under available "Wire Tap Laws". The idea being that because the 2nd party did not agree to the audio being recorded, the instance in question is a violation of federal and or state wire-tap statutes.

            It is important to keep in mind, that anyone can try to have a person charged with something, the question is, can the accuser make enough of a connection with the accused person actions to get a jury to believe beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused is guilty.

            I don't think I have read about any actual convictions that were not cases where a likely terrified person agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, or that sort of situation. As I understand it, so far, every one of these cases have been thrown out before coming to trial, or, the accused has been acquitted by a jury.

            Because we tend to think of things in terms of common sense and are smart enough to realize the intent of these laws was to prevent the violation of the 4th amendment by our government and or criminals, it is easy to reach the conclusion that making an image or video in public without a persons permission is what is being prosecuted. What is actually happening, is a law is being "taken out of context" and used to suppress public scrutiny of a subset of public servants. In the cases where wire tap laws do not support this approach, we see the accused charged with disorderly conduct and endangering a police officer, for example.

            One of the problems with out "zero tolerance / get tough" approach to law enforcement used in politics to help build a candidates name and credentials, is we end up with so many laws and too many situations where some clever nit-wit looking to make a name for themselves decides they can twist this or that statute to prosecute something, or force an action which has nothing to do with the intent of said law.

            For example, the DMCA was designed to help stop the unauthorized sharing of "copyrighted" material online. It is now used by companies like HP to completely shut-down third party competitors who made ink cartridges for HP's printers. The mark-up on the ink cartridges is enormous, and is actually a much more lucrative product than the actual printer the cartridge is made for. Sadly, the third party company manufacturers were making a good product and taking business away. So instead of competing honestly in the market, HP did away with the competition using a vague, poorly written law created not to allow a large company to suppress competition but to protect copyright holders and encourage more creative growth. In the end, it all comes down to how the courts interpret something.

            While the creative use wiretap laws to "protect an officer from being put in danger by being filmed and or recorded by the public" might sound great when spun correctly, it is simply a text-book example of the suppression of public oversight and scrutiny of law enforcement professionals behavior.

            For the record, I have many friends who are cops, they are all amazing people who I respect and love. I would hate to see any of them hurt in the line of duty. I also know they are so good at their jobs they not need the civil rights of the people curtailed to ensure they are "safe" and able to do their job.

             

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          CasualPasserBy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

          Re: Re: What gun permit?

          http://abcnews.go.com/US/TheLaw/videotaping-cops-arrest/story?id=11179076

          That Anthony Graber broke the law in early March is indisputable. He raced his Honda motorcycle down Interstate 95 in Maryland at 80 mph, popping a wheelie, roaring past cars and swerving across traffic lanes.

          But it wasn't his daredevil stunt that has the 25-year-old staff sergeant for the Maryland Air National Guard facing the possibility of 16 years in prison. For that, he was issued a speeding ticket.

          It was the video that Graber posted on YouTube one week later -- taken with his helmet camera -- of a plainclothes state trooper cutting him off and drawing a gun during the traffic stop near Baltimore.

          In early April, state police officers raided Graber's parents' home in Abingdon, Md. They confiscated his camera, computers and external hard drives. Graber was indicted for allegedly violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper without his consent.

           

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      Wayne, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 8:23pm

      Re:

      "He may not be in a state that requires him to show a firearm ID or regular ID but he should have at least provided a last name so they can verify he has a gun permit before he's free to continue walking down a busy street with a gun on his hip."

      I don't blame you for not knowing California law. In CA, you don't need a "permission slip" to carry an unloaded firearm, as long as it is not concealed. Because CA is a "shall issue" state, that is the ONLY way the average person can carry a firearm.

      Also, like most states, CA is not a stop and ID state. Please don't encourage police to expect that every person will jump through their hoops, as most are extra-legal (at best) and criminal (at worst).

      Cops are not your friend, their job is to put you in jail.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Threatening looking would be waving it about pointing at people etc. Perhaps your prejudice is kicking in rather than girlzluvme's.

    Might be the testosterone in his monkier that pushed your button?

     

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    Daddy Warbucks, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Lawful Request

    Fine Job. It's "Protect and Serve", not Escalate and Make Demands violating Civil rights.

    On the other hand, I have seen drunk, drugged out people act unnecessarily aggressive. As they say "A few bad apples…"

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    It's heartening to hear there are still good police officers out there. Thank you Officer Lyons.

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    A quick Google search also reveals that Officer Lyons is an author of a book on the history of law enforcement in Oceanside. He can definitely be proud of repsecting the legacy of a storied department. At the same time, I wonder if he'll see more interest being shown in his book?
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/073853112X/reasonmagazineA

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:10pm

      Re:

      After seeing the ending of the video, it made me feel like the whole thing was possibly staged. Now seeing that Officer Lyons has something to gain from the positive exposure, it makes me feel even stronger that the whole video was planned.

       

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    DMNTD, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    aight

    Is there really a point of contention with some people on here and the populace being able to carry a gun(or wield if your a paranoid nut job.) in the USA? This is absurd...all I am going to say is if military and cops have guns..we have guns.

    I guess be afraid waiting for guns to disappear you will be waiting as long as the earth is ending clan. SO my jaded nature says 1 cop is not going to change my mind..its not his business to wonder why another human being is carrying a gun if he looks at himself in the morning in his gear. period.

    His real job is to leave people alone unless a crime is happening, fuck your future crime paranoia. Natural law is about crime, what we have now is your guilty until proven innocent.

     

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    ofb2632 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    proud

    This is how a police officer should handle himself. The camera guy was obviously trying to provoke anything at all and the police officer stayed calm and did as he needed to do. I wish he worked in my district. He could teach the police around my home a thing or two.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 1:21pm

    This was a rare opportunity to capture on film the precise moment when someone goes from 'ex-marine in a position of authority' to 'old man.' Apparently that moment is: putting on reading glasses.

     

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    Brian, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Disappointed, bit proud

    I do have to stay that first, I am disappointed that we as citizens feel that we have to record police doing their everyday duties because we cannot trust them to do so respectfully and lawfully.

    On the other hand I am very proud of this police officer for not only keeping his cool but also standing up and identifying himself. He set an example that all other police officers should follow.

     

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    Robert Doyle (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    So glad I'm in Canada...

    So much concern with 'my rights' and not enough with 'other people's rights.'

    So your right to peacefully gather (but not let me into my building) is greater than my right to go home or to work?

    How about my right to cross the street?

    And to the Lobo who talks about defending themselves - what happens when you can't? Does your right to live go away too because you should have been more capable?

    I really wish there was a place for those nut-jobs who think everyone should be an expert in everything or suffer the consequences had a place to live that wasn't near me.

     

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      collier (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

      Re: So glad I'm in Canada...

      It seems to me like one actually supports the rights of others by the very act of claiming their own rights as defined under the law. If we do not stand-up and claim our "rights", who will. When no does, the rights are gone for everyone.

      I do understand what you are saying, being concerned with how the people around us are doing is an important part of being a community, indeed, a civilization, but, it is also important to understand the very act of demanding the rights accorded under the law protect not only ourselves, but our fellow citizens.

       

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    AW (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    Honorable

    Officer Lyons you are to be commended. Can we send him to congress to teach them how to act like professional adults?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 4:01pm

    Let's do this again, same place, same time of day, only difference is the ex-Marine is a polite black guy with a license to carry. Let's see how that turns out.

     

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      btr1701 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:56pm

      Re:

      > Let's do this again, same place, same time of day, only
      > difference is the ex-Marine is a polite black guy with a
      > license to carry. Let's see how that turns out.

      So despite having not one shred of actual evidence to back it up, you're accusing this cop of being a stone cold racist.

      I don't use the term 'piece of shit' all that often, but I think it might just be appropriate in describing you.

       

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    simonporter99 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 4:17pm

    boys and their toys

    There is a certain behavior among men who consider themselves 'equal' - watch for it with the guys who chat one another up in the auto supply store or the garage or, in this case, on a highway stopover.

    I don't know that there is anything to applaud based on one filmed incident. He knew he was on camera. He knew the other guy had a gun. He was cautious and kept himself safe. I think Officer Lyon was looking out for his own best interests and incorporating the unwritten buddy system white males are so good at.

    I don't see a hero, I see a smart guy. Who knows how he would behave if there weren't a camera and the other guy wasn't white or even male? We'll likely never know.

    But yay for white guys with guns! And yay for posts that celebrate white guys with guns. Whoo!

     

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 4:53pm

      Re: boys and their toys

      I don't see a hero, I see a smart guy. Who knows how he would behave if there weren't a camera and the other guy wasn't white or even male?

      I see an officer that paid attention during his training at the academy. I see an officer that knows the law, and knows that by being respectful of others, he will likely see the same respect returned to himself. I also see an officer that upon seeing the totality of the scene, made the determination that the level of force required in the situation was far below the threshold to deploy his own weapon and use deadly force (which is something that is trained in the academy.) A gun in a holster is a threat, but a manageable one...I am more afraid of the gun I cannot see than the one I can.

      The race comment is entirely inappropriate here, especially since you have no idea about the track-record of the cop in question, and your comment is far more "racist" than what you are accusing the officer of. All you have is a single incident, between two white police officers and a white civilian. "What if" games work so well for the ignorant and uninformed, but they have no place in civilized discussion. After all, what if the police officer was black and the civilian was white...would you expect a different outcome given the only change to the equation was the color of the officer's skin? The system may (in your eyes, and to somewhat of an extent, mine too,) be inherently "racist", but that doesn't mean every actor in the system is racist.

       

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      btr1701 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:45pm

      Re: boys and their toys

      > incorporating the unwritten buddy system white males
      > are so good at

      So only white males are good at the "unwritten buddy system", are they?

      Guess you haven't ever been to South Central L.A. or Compton, then.

       

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      btr1701 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:46pm

      Re: boys and their toys

      > But yay for white guys with guns!

      Yeah, someone here's a racist, but it wasn't anyone in that video.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    I think I just had an orgasm or something along those lines after watching that video! Just saying!

     

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    Esahc (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 10:56pm

    And 67 miles north . . .

     

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      btr1701 (profile), Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:52pm

      Re: And 67 miles north . . .

      So this schizophrenic who was breaking into people's cars was peaceful and passive, except when he was having scary angry outbursts; he was gentle and childlike, except for when he was assaulting people with deadly weapons; and he didn't resist arrest, but two of the cops came away from their encounter with him with broken bones.

      Makes sense.

       

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        Esahc (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re: And 67 miles north . . .

        Seriously? Did you actually read the article?

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Jul 28th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: And 67 miles north . . .

          > Seriously? Did you actually read the article?

          Yes. It kept saying things like, "While it's true that he has plead guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in the past, friends describe him as 'gentle'".

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    Looks fake. lol

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 11:09pm

    In the end they are friends because they belong to the marines... If they weren't it would be completetly different story imo.

     

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    Nicedoggy, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 12:13am

    That cop deserves some serious respect for what he did there.
    Of course the situation was not tense which would have been even better.

    The one thing I noticed was him trying to handle the gun with it pointing to the road, if for any reason that gun goes off it could have hit someone passing by, I know people learn not to point a loaded gun at themselves or anyone else but maybe people should also practice surrounding awareness when handling guns and I know it is difficult(out of sight, out of mind).

    People who live there should call that department to congratulate that officer for a job well done, don't just call when things are bad, call when they do a good job too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2011 @ 3:40am

    other examples not quite as nice

     

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    Bill Surowiecki (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 7:34am

    So as I read this article, I realized how much of an impact Google+ is going to have on things like this.

    If your unaware you can opt-in to allow your phone to auto upload all photos and video to Picasa, which is where your Google+ pics and videos are actually stored. Pics upload pretty damn quick, but video on 3g does take some time. As the network bandwidth increases over time, this will become less of an issue.

    No longer will the destruction or confiscation of your camera phone matter, as the video will be easily retrieved and distributed via Google+.

     

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    Montezuma (profile), Jul 27th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    I find it appalling that so many of you find the actions of the officer to be "good". While he seems like a nice guy, the officer is still violating the citizen's rights. Of course, that is to be expected from California. It is beyond ridiculous how that state treats its armed citizens.

    In Georgia, the simply taking of the firearm, without probable cause(PC), or reasonable, articulable suspicion(RAS), is illegal(State v Jones). The mere possession of a firearm has been held, by many state and federal courts, to not provide RAS or PC to detain a person. This is grounded on the Second Amendment and the Fourth Amendment. Though, hey, just keep allowing law enforcement in California to violate people's rights.

    From 0:45 to 0:48 is where it all goes downhill. The officer doesn't know who the citizen is? Well, it isn't his place to know. Unless the officer can articulate that the citizen was doing something that lead to the suspicion that illegal activity was about to occur, was currently in progress, or had just occurred(Terry v Ohio), then the stop was baseless.

    Law enforcement is not your personal security(Warren v District of Columbia). The sooner people start to understand this, the sooner that more people will decide to arm themselves. Law enforcement, just like fire fighters and Emergency Medical Technicians, are not required to render services, when needed. Such services are on a "best efforts" levels, though they are not legally required to assist when called upon.

    Was the officer a "jerk"? No. I have seen far worse(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kassP7zI0qc), but that does not absolve the officer from violating a person's rights.

    I could go on quoting case law and the like, but I am sure it go past most of you and, in turn, you will just start telling me how there would be "blood in the streets" and "kids dead everywhere" if law enforcement did not harass law abiding citizen carrying firearms.

     

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    Jim, Jul 30th, 2011 @ 8:29pm

    open carry

    Using a cell phone while driving SHOULD b e illegal!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Great citizen, great public servant, great country!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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