STATEMENT BY CITY OF ROHNERT PARK REGARDING
CONCLUSION OF INVESTIGATION INTO JULY 29, 2015 INCIDENT

October 28, 2015

Background: On July 29, 2015 a resident of Rohnert Park filmed an encounter with a Rohnert Park Public Safety Officer, and posted it on-line. The City commissioned an investigation of the incident by an independent third-party investigator. The investigator had full access to all requested City witnesses and documents and no party interfered with, or attempted to influence, the findings of the investigation . . .


The investigation is complete. Because this matter received a great deal of public attention, the City is issuing this statement. The City is unable to release additional information because the information is confidential pursuant to California Penal Code Sections 832.5 and 832.7. In addition, releasing information collected as part of a confidential investigation could stifle the willingness of subjects and witnesses to participate in future investigations. The information that is included in this statement has been authorized for public release.

Initial Contact and Drawing of Weapon: After a thorough review of available information,1 the investigator made the following findings regarding the Officer’s decisions to stop the resident and to un- holster his gun:

– The Officer reasonably exercised his right to stop and have contact with the resident, and did so for legitimate reasons and not for the purpose of harassing or mistreating the resident.

– It was reasonable for the Officer to un-holster his duty weapon at the point he did during the encounter with the resident.

Factors Contributing to the Incident: The Officer was in the neighborhood in response to complaints that someone in the neighborhood was violating City parking codes. While checking registration on cars he noticed a man standing on the sidewalk by a truck. The officer saw the resident quickly duck behind the truck after his patrol car came into view. The officer considered this suspicious behavior, and decided to investigate further. After the Officer got out of his patrol car, he also noticed other unusual behavior, including the resident’s agitated demeanor and his initial refusal to comply with the officer’s instruction to remove his hand from his pocket, which had a bulge in it.

Current Status of Involved Officer: The City of Rohnert Park’s Department of Public Safety includes Police and Fire Divisions. Officers regularly rotate between these Divisions. The officer involved in the July 29, 2015 incident currently is assigned to the Fire Division, per the City’s normal rotation process and at his own request, made in early July, 2015, prior to the incident.

Background on Investigators: The investigation was led by Sue Ann Van Dermyden of the Van Dermyden Law Corporation. Ms. Van Dermyden is a licensed attorney and licensed Private Investigator. She is experienced in internal investigations involving public safety officers. In preparing her report and reaching her conclusions, she consulted with and relied upon input from Ed McErlain, a retired law enforcement officer with thirty two years of experience. Mr. McErlain has authored several articles on leadership and ethical issues in law enforcement and has conducted over 300 Internal Affairs and Administrative investigations.

City’s Response to Investigation: The City appreciates the thorough and unbiased investigation into the events of July 29, 2015, as well as the public interest in this incident. We can assure the public that we have taken this matter seriously, and will continue to review and improve the City’s practices.

The City has great confidence in the Department, and regularly receives positive comments from members of the Rohnert Park community on the behavior of our officers. In this incident, we recognize that there is the opportunity for improvement in some areas. The City is committed to continuing its efforts to strengthen the positive relationship between the Department of Public Safety and the Rohnert Park community.

1 The resident who is the subject of the incident, through his attorney, initially agreed to be interviewed as part of the investigation. His attorney subsequently cancelled the scheduled interview and declined numerous further requests to have the resident interviewed. The investigation, however, closely examined all aspects of the video tape of the encounter and also reviewed the resident’s social media postings in order to attempt to understand his version of the events.

155 Responses to Rohnert Park, CA Cop Skates for Pulling Gun on Camera Phone Guy. Official Statement [VIDEO]

    • This sh*t CANNOT continue to be overseen by the Thin Blue Line; the ruling is virtually a given. It’s plain to see this Blue Warrior lost his sh*t from the get-go.

      WE ARE NOT YOUR SUBJECTS, GODDAMMIT!

    • The video does not corroborate the report. Lying assholes. Um, when someone’s hand is in a pocket, the pocket usually bulges due to the hand being in the pocket. Jeez, do I really need to explain that?

      • How many hands the dude got? I saw him pointing with one, assume one was holding the camera, yet a third was in his pocket? The cop had zero reason to get out of the car, I suspect the rioting in the past 6 months will increase the probability he would simply drive off. Leaving us mortals to defend ourselves, thank you very much.

  1. OK. I guess I’m going to be that guy… Not all cops are bad. They have to deal with all types of assholes and do it with said assholes videotaping the whole thing. Sure there are bad cops but they are in the minority. Me and my wife got pulled to the side while walking down the street of a town under the influence (of alcohol(not carrying)). Treated the cop with respect and he let us go. Fast forward 5 minutes and a woman falls face first in the street and then starts getting beligerant. Handcuffs. And she deserved it. Just like everything else in life, treat people the way you want to be treated an MOST times it will work out OK. Stop automatically looking for trouble and it won’t follow you.

    • Wrong again.

      Bad cops can only exist in a friendly pool. Bad cops remain on duty because good cops are afraid. I don’t need cops who are so afraid of losing their jobs, they count mistreatment of me as acceptable collateral damage. If the only job a cop can get is to accept the “blue wall” covering and condoning bad and illegal behavior, then that says maybe the good cops are not so different, after all.

      Are you a good cop, out there? Why do we not hear from you every time a bad cop runs amok? Why do we not hear from your beneficent society, or police union? Why do we have to keep watch not only for the usual suspects, but also the police?

    • Cops are individuals and display the same variety of emotions and behavior as the rest of us. They are just as predisposed to the corrupting influence of power as any of us.

      • Exactly. ALL humans are susceptible to corruption, which is why none should have protection from the laws of the land. You start giving immunity to law, it attracts the type of people who NEED immunity to law to get their giggles (I.e. criminals). This guy looks like a simpering little beta who truly thinks his gun makes him ten feet taller, which is why he was so quick to pull it.
        Scrap all government law enforcement and change to private security firms that compete (better service), and are accountable for their actions (better behavior.)

      • That cop MAY have been off but the video guy is an ahole. He was begging for the cop to bug him beforehand, and then when the cop takes out his weapon, video guy is AN IDIOT to not remove his hand from his pocket.

        What a great thing to put on is tombstone. “I was shot by an over nervous cop cause I taunted him to violate my Rights and then frightened him into shooting me by hiding my hand like it had a weapon”.

        AND I’M NO BOOTLICKER so FU before you start:

        If you are holding a weapon ON SOMEONE IN YOUR YARD after your neighbor called you about him, and the guy refuses to show his hands, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? BEG TO EAT HIS SHORTS if he shares some of HIS DOPE WITH YOU?

    • Not all Kimodo Dragons are bad, people. They come in all kinds, and they’re just there to help. You can just walk up to them, stick out your hand and offer to help. It’s a tough job being a Kimodo Dragon, you know!

      A little understanding and cooperation, people.

      • OK, I’ll allow, for discussion sake, there is a good cop out there, somewhere. There are too many bad ones to relax your vigilance in dealing with the next one. Jeff Cooper did not selectively identify cops as exceptions to his rule of social interchange.

    • God I miss the days when I believed in the nobility of the police. I miss those days.

      ….I also miss the days I believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

      Sorry, they are nothing more than tax collectors with guns.

    • Government and it’s employees must be held to a higher standard. Their default position must be to treat all citizens Constitutionally.

    • Hey, I was in the military for 3 wars, one of which I was actually in combat, and there was not a single minute I would not have been proud to have my actions videotaped, tho in Vietnam I figure I killed about 750 people. The fact you are being recorded should make ABSOLUTELY ZERO DIFFERENCE to you, if you are doing your job honorably.

      • actually, chief, being video-taped while honorably serving would make a big difference to you when some politically correct moron is trying to claim you violated some picayune element in an unintelligible policy somewhere.

    • Being an asshole is perfectly legal, so is filming the police, but pulling a gun on someone for being an asshole or filming is not. Just because he got off due to corruption does not mean what he did was legal. That piece of trash needs to be fired and charged with reckless endangerment.

      Badges do not mean you get to do whatever you want. Punishment & fines for LEOS should be at least twice as much a normal citizen when they break the law. There is no excuse for them not to know it, it’s their goddamn job. Betraying public trust is treason in my eyes, and should be dealt with harshly. The people protecting corrupted LEOS (Judges, Internal Affairs, and State Prosecutors) deserve even harsher punishment. The ones that hear about it, but ignore it should be fired and banned from law enforcement for life.

      I was in law enforcement for five years until I arrested another officer that beating the shit out of his wife. He told me he was law enforcement and I said so what, you’re not above the law pal. After that I was harassed constantly, but I end up quitting after threats against my family were made. It ended in a lawsuit, but no real justice was ever served for me or that lady. I donated the sizable amount of taxpayers money to non profit organizations that help women escape violent spouses working in law enforcement.

      It angers me knowing that poor lady is still with her violent husband today thinking there’s no way out. I’ve seen her at least twenty times over the last four years and she was beaten up almost every time. Even worse I’ve seen their children with marks a couple of times. I reported it both times, and my heart sank each time when I found out nothing happened.

      It’s a sad system we have and I don’t see change anytime soon. :'(

  2. Any time it is “reasonable” for a police officer to draw a holstered firearm, it should also be reasonable for a non-police to draw a holstered firearm. If it wouldn’t be reasonable for a non-police, it should also not be reasonable for police.

  3. Does that mean the paid vacation is over and now Officer Barbrady has to go back to writing parking tickets in suburban residential neighborhoods?

  4. Well, I’m kind of pissed at the guy who filmed it for not participating in the process. Not for filming it, mind you. But for not wanting to be part of the investigation of the officers actions.
    I’m guessing he’s the one who filed the complaint, but then doesn’t follow up?
    Good grief. What other conclusion could they draw when only one side participates?

    • It was a whitewash from the start. That investigator they mentioned is a professional police officer exonorator. Her entire practice is built on conducting internal investigations, paid for by those being investigated. No way she wants to shut down that gravy train with an adverse report.

  5. Maybe they cleared him of wrongdoing because he didnt actually doing anything wrong? We nevet got to see what the officer saw, only the crack pot with the quick draw camera.

      • When did “suspicious activity” justify un-holstering, from across the street, without analyzing the likelihood of a deadly threat existing?

        Article didn’t say, but speculating the investigator/attorney is looking for brownie points with the cops when her defendant client needs a little “consideration”.

        Two peas in a pod.

    • Yeah, that must be it. The tape was obviously altered by the miscreant, who had the nerve to be in his own driveway.

  6. I watched the video and the cop was clearly a scary individual going out of his way to harass and intimidate the victim. It was unconscionable an infuriating and IMHO he deserves to be held accountable and most imperativly undergo a rigorous psychological evaluation, as he displayed violent antisocial behavior.

    Definitely part of the problem.

  7. Let’s rewind a few months.
    https://youtu.be/MoUUh_N1G1w
    For those too lazy to click through, it shows a man pull a revolver out of his pocket and cuts away right before he kills the cop. TTAG even had an article about it.

    I’m a constitutionalist. I’m also smart enough to realize that if I’m having an encounter with a cop it’s not the time and place to have my hands in my pockets. It’s not a question of rights. It’s a question of being above board.

    The cops request – “Go ahead and take your hand out of your pocket, okay[?].”
    It was only after the camera wielders’ refusal that he drew his firearm and held it at the low ready, which he followed with a “hey, seriously.”
    He didn’t level the gun at the camera guy, nor did he start screaming abusive commands. He explained himself concisely and clearly, without responding to the obvious baiting. He even stated his reason for drawing, and if the moron wielding the camera had taken his hand out of his pocket, he probably would have holstered it.

    Seems to me that there IS an @55hole in this video.

    It’s not the cop.

    • Why did the cop need to approach in the first place? If a cop confronts me (moving around, putting things into/out of my pocket, walking behind vehicles, watching, from across the street), I have no obligation to remove my hands from my pockets. If the cop says that he is responding to my actions as a potential threat to life and safety, that I will be arrested if I refuse his request….then refusing to comply is on me. pulling a gun before explaining that I am under official suspicion is grounds for me to inform the cop i am refusing to talk to him until i consult my attorney, that he either arrest me, or put the gun away. While the citizen did not prevail, I am glad the department had to spend the money and resources trying to cover for the cop.

      • You may not have any legal obligation to do so. Then again the cameraman in question was not charged with any crime, so he was under no legal obligation to do so either. However just because you do not have a legal obligation to comply doesn’t mean the officer can’t draw his firearm based on what you are doing.

        This guy knew exactly what he was doing. This would be a nice time to have a bodycam to show the officer’s perspective.

        • A person presenting no threat to a cop is justification for pulling a gun? A person presenting no threat who refuses to comply with a request from a cop (if not under arrest, a command is just a request) is justification for pulling a gun? A cop gets too close to someone not presenting a threat, is justification for pulling a gun? Which cop house has a policy for cops to pull a gun, just in case a non-threatening person refused to engage in conversation, or comply with a request?

        • Police officers don’t have carte blanche to unholster their firearms and threaten people with them merely by virtue of possessing said firearms.

          What, specifically, was this person doing that justified the police officer threatening him with deadly force?

        • right, chip.

          by what authority does a cop un-holster simply because a non-threatening person refuses to comply? how does any citizen endorse the idea that cops have only two modes – gun/no-gun – of operation when contacting people in the open, in broad daylight? once the non-cop refused to comply, shouldn’t the cop have then issued a warning of impending arrest if the non-threat did not comply? is there no scale of escalation in that happy town?

        • Again, we arrive at the obvious question, “arrest for what?” You think resisting arrest, maybe? What would be the charge? The cop needed to drive away, but arrogance, entitlement, and basic thuggism caused him to endanger the public in order to cater to his delusions of grandeur.

      • Hey Ralph, I thought there was a rule against Ad Hominem attacks on this website.

        Not that your scintillating intellectual rebuttal wasn’t entertaining (and original.)

    • De Facto,

      So, every time you approach a stranger who has a bulge in his pocket as well as his hand in his pocket, you are justified to draw your handgun, hold it at the low ready position, and DEMAND that the stranger take their hand out of their pocket, right?

      Wrong …….. Neither was officer Hair Trigger.

      None of the following by themselves or in totality constitutes “reasonable articulable suspicion that a person committed a crime or is about to commit a crime” nor “probable cause”:
      (1) Having an unknown object in your pocket
      (2) Having your hand in your pocket
      (3) Ducking behind a car
      (4) Having a video recorder in your hand

      Officer Hair Trigger was guilty of brandishing.

      • First off, I DON’T approach anyone who’s acting shifty or odd. Period. So far following the rule about not being near stupid people doing stupid things has kept me out of trouble. I’m also not an officer and I don’t have a duty to investigate suspicious behaviour.

        Generally speaking the law states that citizens are to COMPLY with an Officer’s lawful commands.

        A “lawful” order can be very generally defined (varies by state) as any order given in furtherance of an officer’s official duties.

        So, let’s do a quick recap.

        Allegedly, the Officer was there to investigate a report of improper parking. As in someone in the neighborhood filed a complaint that he then had a DUTY to investigate. In the course of his OFFICIAL and LAWFUL duties, the officer observed an unknown person surveilling his activities and recording them on camera. The officer then exited the squad car to ascertain the INTENT of the individual observing him, and politely ordered (in the form of a request) the individual to take his hand out of his pocket.

        Was the officer being overly cautious? Perhaps. Again, the video I posted earlier highlights the danger of assuming a person means no harm.

        Said individual then refused and said “I’ve done nothing”.

        So the officer, in the pursuit of his lawful duties, made a REASONABLE request while determining if this person posed a threat to him, or the neighborhood at large.

        When this person decided to be argumentative and uncooperative, the officer assumed there was a reason this person refused to take his hand out of his pocket.

        ALL OF WHICH COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BY THE VIDEOGRAPHER NOT BEING A D!CK.

        • let’s grant for a moment that any demand by a cop who is being a cop is considered lawful, no matter the circumstances. cop is justified in demanding an action from a citizen. so the videographer (sp?) is guilty of failing to obey the law that says the videographer must comply with lawful demands of a cop being a cop. now.

          how the hell does peaceful non-compliance justify the overt and immediate threat of deadly force ??? hhhmmmm?

        • Generally speaking the law states that citizens are to COMPLY with an Officer’s lawful commands.

          A “lawful” order can be very generally defined (varies by state) as any order given in furtherance of an officer’s official duties.

          By this logic, police officers can compel any law-abiding person to do anything, so long as the officer is acting even ambiguously “in furtherance” of his “official duties.” That’s absurd, and has no place in free society.

          In what way does the officer ordering a random, law-abiding person to remove a hand from a pocket further the officer’s official duty of investigating alleged parking violations?

        • chip, a cop’s duty is to be a cop and do cop things. therefore, a cop being a cop is being in the furtherance of his official duty/capacity. whatever the cop being a cop does or says is in furtherance of his official duty. any action or speech contrary to the cop being a cop is illegal.

          than’s how it works now.

        • De Facto,

          … the officer observed an unknown person surveilling his activities and recording them on camera. The officer then exited the squad car to ascertain the INTENT of the individual observing him …

          First of all, the officer was allegedly there to check on parking violations. Since there were no improperly parked cars on the cul-de-sac and the officer had no information that the videographer was the owner of a car that was improperly parked somewhere, the officer had no reasonable, articulable suspicion nor probable cause to believe that the videographer was a suspect for parking improperly. Therefore, the officer has no legal authority, based on the report of improper parking, to command the videographer to do anything.

          Second and more importantly, surveilling police officers and recording their activities on a public street while on duty is a lawful activity. Ducking behind a car is a lawful activity. None of these activities provide a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the videographer had just committed or was in the process of committing a crime. An officer’s desire to know why the videographer was recording — the videographer’s “intent” — also fails to constitute reasonable, articulable suspicion or probable cause. Again, the officer had no legal authority to command the videographer to do anything.

          Look at your justification this way. Suppose a police officer is driving to a call about an abandoned vehicle in a field, thus he is on “official business”. Along the way, he sees a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk. The pedestrian could be a spree killer walking to the location of their intended attack so the police officer wants to know the pedestrian’s intent for walking down the sidewalk. Does that mean the police officer can stop the pedestrian and command the pedestrian to do whatever makes the police officer feel more comfortable? Can the police officer tell the pedestrian to take his hands out of his pockets? If the pedestrian refuses to answer questions which makes the officer think the pedestrian is hiding something, can the officer then frisk the pedestrian or demand verification of the pedestrian’s story?

          I hope you see the problem with your position. What you are saying is that a government employee’s feelings and questions override a human being’s rights and human dignity. That is anathema to the fabric of our nation.

    • Is it reasonable to believe that the default position of an otherwise law-abiding citizen, standing on his own property, with his hand in his pocket, is that he has a firearm in that pocket, intended to be used against a police officer?

      No. No it is not.

      • the default position for cops/leo is that everyone is a criminal, most just haven’t been caught yet. starting there, even the most outrageous behavior designed to prevent injury to the cop is permissible.

  8. Aw c’mon the old guy just wanted to exert a little testosterone without a patch. Yep 800000 occupying army. Let’s see…we got maybe 40000000 armed folks. IF the Shite ever hit the fan…

  9. Just like with Islam, the problem with Police is not the minority of wrong doers, but rather the silent majority…

  10. Never watched the video, have no opinion about THIS incident.

    BUT, there are people who are attracted to the power and authority that a police uniform gives them. Some of those people are sociopaths. Sociopaths have no empathy for other people, and derive pleasure from using their power – they like to scare people, push them around (either literally or metaphorically) and in general mess with people, and they never lose sleep about hurting your feelings, or your ribs.

    If I were king, all cops would get an MRI of their brain, and sociopath cops put on permanent probation, wired for sound and video, and partnered up with a rotating selection of goody-two-shoes officers who would rat them out for misbehavior.

    Why not fire them? Because when the SHTF, they are incredibly good to have around – very effective in a fight.

    But I would never promote them to anything higher than Detective – never high enough to manage more than a small team – too dangerous.

    • “good in a fight”? really? have you not seen all the reports of abysmal shooting skills of cops?

  11. Hmmm. TTAG talks about all sorts of pocket holsters and which TTAG authors carry Glock 43’s in pocket holsters. Then TTAG couldn’t possibly consider that this guy had a pistol in his pocket.

    Granted, it’s a parking violation and who cares about a parking violation? Obviously this cop did, and I’m not sure why. A body camera could’ve made a huge difference. I see bulges in clothing and I think weapons. Heck, I saw dozens of secret service guys today carrying and most had bulges on their ankles and hips. They were Sig 229’s in .357 Sig.

    So as much as I want to excoriate the cop – who seems like kind of a d!ck, I’m left with a simple question: is it that hard to take your hand out of your pocket?

    This is from someone who’s actually been stopped by the police and has actually not had his hands in his pockets. And I’ve pocket carried a Smith 340 PD. Guess what, those contacts went just fine.

    When I contact people I want to see their hands, too. It’s a pretty common thing in police work. If someone refuses to show me their hands I get very suspicious. Again, knives and guns conceal just fine in pockets.

    I just don’t see starting such a fuss over a parking violation. But I also don’t see why this guy couldn’t pull his hand out of his pocket. Looks to me like both were needlessly escalating the situation.

    • I’m not buying it Accur81. The videographer wasn’t parked improperly or else the policeman would have written a parking ticket. And the videographer wasn’t doing anything that rises to the level of probable cause or reasonable, articulable suspicion. Standing in your driveway, recording video of someone on a public street, and ducking behind a car are not suspicious activities. Finally, no one had reported a crime in the area with a suspect matching the videographer’s description. That means the responding police officer had no legal authority to order the videographer to do anything and definitely did not have legal authority to brandish his handgun.

      When you contact someone who has their hand in their pocket, I understand that you want them to take their hand out and why you request it. The problem is that you have no legitimate authority to order them to take their hand out. And their refusal to take their hand out of their pocket is not sufficient cause to brandish your handgun. If you have a problem with their hands, you are free to increase your distance, get behind cover, or end the contact. You are not free to brandish while demanding that the individual obey your commands.

      If you saw the individual commit a crime or someone just committed a felony and the individual matches the description of the felony suspect, that is a different matter of course. And that wasn’t the case in this instance.

      • Sorry, you didn’t make the case against Accur81. He has a solid point: Both the cop and citizen were somewhat dick-ish.

        The cop could have been more conversational to begin the encounter.
        The citizen could have taken his hand out of his pocket. (IMO not having your hands visible when engaging with an officer is stupid^10).

        I think that you incorrectly assume that the video tells the whole story.
        Re your assertion “the videographer wasn’t doing anything that rises to the level of probable cause or reasonable, articulable suspicion”
        The above assumes the video tells the entire story.
        The investigator stated that the cop thought the citizen was acting ‘furtively’. Could the cop be lying? Sure. But that begs the question about the cop’s history…
        I’d wager a paycheck that
        1) a Rohnert Park, CA cop with such a history would dis-employed rather quickly.
        2) given the litigiousness of the citizen involved, we’d probably know of ANY bad behavior by THIS cop.
        3) given the demographics of Rohnert Park, repeated bad behavior by ANY cop wouldn’t be tolerated.

        What we have here are 2 Dic*heads…
        Dic*head 1: A cop who made a bad decision regarding what was suspicious behavior.
        Dic*head 2: A (self-important, whiny, & litigious) citizen who thinks that showing his hands when encountering an officer is the moral equivalent of plunger rape.

        /rant. Cue the ‘boot lick’ comments from the TTAG cop haters…

        • Is one automatically a cop-hater for asking where is the justification for pulling a gun on a person who simply refuses to comply with a request? If we have arrived at the point where refusing a cop’s request is sufficient threat to permit a cop to draw a weapon, then we have reached a point where cops should be hated. By what legal authority is a cop permitted to use a drawn weapon in a non-threatening proposition? Are cops no longer capable of subduing a “suspicious person” acting non-threateningly, without use of a killing tool?

          Pushing a cop’s buttons is not smart thinking, but no cop has legal or moral authority to wave a gun at a person just because the gun is handy. This cop was off the reservation, regardless of what the “investigation” determined. We have recently read about what can happen when a cop is wandering about with a drawn gun and is startled.

        • Ah, yes: “furtive”.

          It’s not as if that term isn’t so overused ambiguously as to be rendered completely meaningless as justification for using or threatening deadly force.

        • ihatetrees,

          Being d!ckish is NOT legal justification to brandish a handgun and suggest a threat of deadly force if the d!ckish person fails to follow your commands — commands which have no force of law.

          Say you are walking down the street. You see a father playing catch with his 4 year old son and the 4 year old misses a ball … at which point the father, in an extremely degrading tone of voice, tells the 4 year old that he is a useless pile of dog feces for missing the ball and now has to rake the yard as punishment. Would you agree that is quite d!ckish of the father? Under your standard, you can begin advancing on the father while legally brandishing your handgun and demanding that the father change his tune — and suggest that you will use deadly force if the father fails to comply. Right? Or not.

        • ihatetrees,

          Why is it okay in your mind for a police officer to imply a threat of deadly force and command someone to do anything when that someone has not broken any laws, is not a suspect in a crime, has done nothing to constitute “reasonable, articulable suspicion that the person has committed or is about to commit a crime”, and whose actions fail to satisfy “probable cause” standards?

          Telling someone that they MUST stop what they are doing and take their hand out of their pocket is an illegal search and seizure — no different than New York City’s “stop and frisk” abomination. Every policeman who does that violates the human dignity of the person of interest.

        • Non consensual contact from a government employee for claimed “suspicious activity” while on your own property. Government and it’s employees must be held to a higher standard, to act Constitutionally at all times. The accountability is not the same for “only ones” versus citizens. If the same actions were taken by a non government employee, what do you think the outcome would have been? Exoneration or prosecution?

        • @2Asux:
          Is one automatically a cop-hater for asking where is the justification for pulling a gun on a person who simply refuses to comply with a request?

          Nice dodge. The request to show one’s hands is reasonable. The video guy is a stupid nutjob. The cop was a d!ckhead too.

          @ChipBennett:
          It’s not as if that term isn’t so overused ambiguously as to be rendered completely meaningless as justification for using or threatening deadly force.

          There are all sorts of “judgement calls” when encountering people. The cop probably got things wrong THIS TIME, but his conduct was NOT unreasonable given video guy’s hand. Again, does the cop have a history of regularly clearing leather on the public? Or doing other abusive stuff? I’d wager not, or we would have heard about it.

          @uncommon_sense:
          Being d!ckish is NOT legal justification to brandish a handgun and suggest a threat of deadly force if the d!ckish person fails to follow your commands — commands which have no force of law.

          Not showing your hands to an officer, when asked, is stupid^10.

          By the way, your hypothetical, crack-head, fantasy scenario about the 4 year old boy is stupid^5 and completely irrelevant.

          Telling someone that they MUST stop what they are doing and take their hand out of their pocket is an illegal search and seizure — no different than New York City’s “stop and frisk” abomination. Every policeman who does that violates the human dignity of the person of interest.

          I’ll grant you that there is a huge amount of leeway with what is deemed “reasonable” when it comes to cops stopping people. There are administrative, legislative and court remedies for overreach. That said, if a cop stops you, IT’S COMMON SENSE TO HAVE YOUR HANDS VISIBLE, especially if asked. Feigning outrage over such a simple request cheapens other much more vile police misconduct.

        • it may be fair to say just about everyone here agrees that being stupid is not a generally profitable course of action. but the issue here is whether or not a cop is justified in threatening deadly force just because someone is acting foolishly? according to the video, there was no incremental escalation. the matter went from unauthorized command, directly and exclusively to threat of deadly force. some here apparently think it is reasonable for a cop to simply decide any non-compliance justifies deadly force. is that a place any of us want to be?

        • There are all sorts of “judgement calls” when encountering people. The cop probably got things wrong THIS TIME, but his conduct was NOT unreasonable given video guy’s hand.

          So, it is “reasonable” that, every time a police officer sees a person, anywhere, doing anything at all, who happens to have a hand in a pocket, to unholster his firearm and threaten that person?

          That said, if a cop stops you, IT’S COMMON SENSE TO HAVE YOUR HANDS VISIBLE, especially if asked.

          Unless the officer has specific, reasonable, articulable suspicion of some unlawful activity, an interaction between that officer and an otherwise law-abiding person is merely, and wholly, consensual. The officer does not have the authority to require that said person do anything at all, including removing a hand from a pocket.

        • Right/wrong answer is pretty easy, you shouldn’t draw your weapon and make demands, if you are not prepared to shoot to kill if your commands are not instantly obeyed. Seems like both these guys knew that, video man gutted it out, knowing he might be killed for it, and cop-man thug thought better of the murder, reminds me of Osama and Syria’s “red line”.

        • ihatetrees,

          By all means, please cite the laws and statutes which declare being “stupid’ and “d!ckish” to be crimes and justification for government employees to threaten deadly force.

          After you finish that endeavor, please explain how government employees running around “legally” threatening deadly force on a “stupid” or “d!ckish” human is anything but an abomination.

    • +1. Not defending the cop, and yeah, he acted like a dick too- but I think he had a valid request to make, for video guy to pull his hands out of pockets.

      I got the impression the video guy clearly had an agenda, imagining motivations before the cop got out of car, and his sudden anger and paranoia after being approached gave me the impression the video guy has a bigger agenda, and maybe some personal issues. I watched some more of his videos on youtube, and that reinforced same.

      So, I’m not taking sides-and I am not buying into the #blackliesmatter or “all cops are pigs” hysteria.
      Plenty of other places on the internet to get that.

    • I think cops who see people with hands in their pockets should just get out of the car and shoot them. At least that Officer will now he is going home that night.

    • Parking violation? What parking violation. That the officer was in the neighborhood to investigate reports of parking violations doesn’t mean that this man was suspected of committing a parking violation.

      Further, even if he were thus suspected, suspicion of having committed a parking violation does not constitute grounds for reasonable belief that a hand in a pocket is concealing/drawing a weapon.

      The officer didn’t stumble upon a drug deal in a back alley. He rolled up on a guy standing on his own property, doing nothing wrong.

      • Chip, you are making an assumption.

        The assumption that the Cop magically knows exactly who belongs where. How does the Cop know that the videographer lives there? The Cop does not know – and can’t know – that the subject is standing on his property without INTERACTING with said subject.

        • He also does not know the man is NOT standing on his own property, after which the 4th says he should have driven right on by, not decided to be a ruler among serfs. Cop was just wrong.

        • More accurately, you’re missing a critical assumption: the presumption of ignorance.

          The law-abiding citizen doesn’t have to prove diddly squat. The officer had no reasonable suspicion necessary to compel the law-abiding citizen to do anything.

        • again with the “it’s terribly ok for a cop to draw down on someone who peacefully refuses to comply with a command.” acting stupid may get you killed, but is that justice? is that ok? is that really where we want to be in reference to police? no intermediate step between non-compliance and being shot? no, the intermediate step was not ‘low ready’. it doesn’t matter what the cop knew prior to engaging (at bad breath range) a citizen not acting in a threatening manner. the issue here is not how stupid everybody acted, the issue is cops having no scale of escalation from spoken word to threat of deadly force. would you really accept that if the videographer in this instance had been your son/daughter? your wife? yourself?

  12. Anyone defending this cop in this video should just stop blowing smoke up our asses and come out and admit they don’t support the 2nd Amendment and what it means.

  13. Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who doesn’t run is a well disciplined VC. Anything a citizen does or does not do is ‘suspicious behavior’, which is total b.s. in my book. We need a constitutional amendment stating there is no such thing as suspicious behavior. Law enforcement should only have grounds to search or detain citizens if they are seen committing a crime….

  14. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Don’t put your hands in your pockets and then refuse to withdraw them. Not even idiots who believe everything they see on TV would do that: you’re supposed to keep your hands where the cop can see them, at least in terms of the TV stereotype.

  15. The constitution is not the place to put an amendment saying there’s no such thing as “suspicious behavior”. Anyone who states this 1) doesn’t understand the Constitution 2) doesn’t understand the long legal history of this concept and how useful it is.

    Maybe complying with the officer’s request would be smart. Why would I want to waste time screwing with the cops?

    • Why would the cops want to waste time screwing with a person who has violated no laws and is not suspected of violating any laws?

      Maybe leaving people alone who have broken no laws and who are not suspects in a misdemeanor or felony would be smart.

    • you shouldn’t waste time. always comply with whatever demand a cop makes. resistance is futile.

  16. I don’t see this as that big of a deal. It was a simple request and not like he was asking for an ID or frisking him. He never pointed his forearm at the man. The guy with the camera was the one escalating the sutuation. Kudos for the cop walking away. There are so many actions by police that are questionable nowadays but this isn’t one of them.

    • It was a simple request and not like he was asking for an ID or frisking him.

      So, what other “simple requests” would you consider “not a big deal”, when you’re standing on your own property, minding your own business, doing nothing wrong, and a police officer rolls up on you and starts making said “simple requests”?

      What if your neighbor did the same thing? What if a (non-uniformed) complete stranger did the same thing? Would it still be a “simple request” and “not a big deal”? Why is it any different because the person making the request is wearing a badge?

      We live in a free society: law-abiding people have the right and liberty to go about their affairs, free from any state intrusion, whether or not the agents of the state like it.

      • Sorta like when George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin?

        This was my main complaint with that situation back then. TTAG denizens gave gz support and defense when they would have lynched a cop for the same behavior.

        • Sorta like when George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin?

          There remains zero evidence that George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin. And in fact quite the opposite: per Zimmerman’s testimony as well as the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin approached George Zimmerman.

          This was my main complaint with that situation back then. TTAG denizens gave gz support and defense when they would have lynched a cop for the same behavior.

          Who here is “lynching” the police officer merely for “approaching” the videographer? A police officer may “approach” whomever he wishes – just as any other person may do (including George Zimmerman, even if he had done so). A police officer may engage in conversation with whomever he wishes. The issue being taken here is with the police officer presenting the threat of deadly force by drawing his holstered firearm in response to a refusal to remove a hand from a pocket, in the absence of one iota of specific, reasonable, articulable suspicion of unlawful activity.

        • GZ did not approach TM? How then did GZ, mounted in a motor vehicle, wind up on his back on the ground? Did ST. Trayvon ninja kick gz out of his vehicle?

          You’re an articulate man, Chip. But you absolutely believe in black and white, no shades of gray.
          The world don’t work that way.

          And yes, gz had a right to shoot tm. He arranged it so he had no other option. Whether he meant for that to be the outcome….?

        • GZ did not approach TM? How then did GZ, mounted in a motor vehicle, wind up on his back on the ground? Did ST. Trayvon ninja kick gz out of his vehicle?

          Zimmerman exited his vehicle. Exiting one’s vehicle != approaching someone else.

          At the point Zimmerman exited his vehicle, he had lost visual contact with Martin. One cannot “approach” someone, the whereabouts of whom one does not know.

          Zimmerman walked the direction he saw Martin go, in order to try to reacquire visual contact with Martin. Zimmerman failed to reacquire that visual contact.

          Zimmerman then proceeded to walk back toward his vehicle. At that point, Martin approached Zimmerman, verbally accosted him, and physically assaulted him.

          At no point in any of what transpired, can anything that is empirically known to have happened constitute Zimmerman having “approached” Martin. In fact, based on Rachel Jeantel’s testimony, Martin was some 400 feet south of Zimmerman, at the moment Zimmerman had walked the farthest. It was Martin who decided to return those 400 feet to approach and accost Zimmerman.

          You’re an articulate man, Chip. But you absolutely believe in black and white, no shades of gray.
          The world don’t work that way.

          I can say with black-and-white certainty that George Zimmerman never “approached” Trayvon Martin.

          And yes, gz had a right to shoot tm. He arranged it so he had no other option. Whether he meant for that to be the outcome….?

          Really? George Zimmerman “arranged it” so that Martin would approach him out of the dark, sucker punch him, knock him to the ground, mount him MMA-style, and start bashing Zimmerman’s head into the ground?

          That’s some expert-level strategery, right there.

        • GZ was vehicle mounted, Chip. TM was afoot. Why else did GZ dismount? To reaquire TM? Or did he spot a fourleaf clover in his headlights and decide he had to have it.

          The system protects stupid and gz is living proof of that. If gz had been following/chasing any other teen in America but tm….

        • we have differing viewpoints here. what does the trial record state? or is this another “my opinion is bigger than yours” tiff?

          the record is public. if you think chip is wrong, cite the transcript indicating otherwise.

        • GZ was vehicle mounted, Chip. TM was afoot. Why else did GZ dismount?

          Nice attempt to move the goal posts. You first asserted that Zimmerman approached Martin. I provided evidence to refute that claim. Now, you revert to the he didn’t hafta get outta tha’ truck position. That has nothing to do with whether or not Zimmerman “approached” Martin.

        • George, gz saw tm and became suspicious. He called the cops. At that point he should have let it go. GZ, a non sworn, non vetted member of a volunteer neighborhood watch group took it upon himself to track tm thru the neighberhood. Why?

          “Suspicious” and “furtive” come to mind. You know, the same words when a cop uses them gets our TTAG commentors hackles in an uproar. But by and large the same commentors rallied to gz’s side. For behaving exactly as the cops they condemn behave.

          And what if TM had won the fight that night and killed GZ. Can you imagine his defense in court. A 17 yo being tracked by a “suspicious” and “furtive” man that turned out to have a gun. The jury would have kicked him loose on rightous self defense.

        • How, after all this time, do you still not knoww the facts of the case? I can only defer back to my previous summary. Martin approached, accosted, and assaulted Zimmerman, with no provocation or legal justification for his use of force against Zimmerman.

        • George, right back at you. The officer in Rohnert Park was investigated and cleared. How does your opinion alter the legal outcome?

          In Chips version of events everything that happened prior to TM jumping GZ had no bearing. He discounts all the build up. Legally, gz was cleared.

          What I’m pointing out is the obvious double standard some of our commentors operate under. If the cop in Rohnert park had no reason to interact with the citizen, no reasonable suspicion of a crime, how do we excuse and defend gz for stalking tm, who actually lived in that area?

          And now some of our commentors, upthread, have added the apparent caveat that since the cop was dispatched on a parking violation call that he was limited in his scope of operations to only investigating parking infractions.

          WTF? If you hate cops just say so. Let’s dispense with the dishonesty and psuedo intellectual mind games trying to appear fair and balanced.

        • In Chips version of events everything that happened prior to TM jumping GZ had no bearing. He discounts all the build up. Legally, gz was cleared.

          By “Chips [sic] version of events”, what you really mean is: the version of events supported by empirical evidence presented at trial.

          There was no escalation; at least, not on the part of George Zimmerman. All escalation happened by and because of Trayvon Martin. If you wish to refute that assertion, please cite evidence presented at trial to do so.

        • If the cop in Rohnert park had no reason to interact with the citizen, no reasonable suspicion of a crime, how do we excuse and defend gz for stalking tm, who actually lived in that area?

          You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. George Zimmerman did not stalk Trayvon Martin. Did you even bother to follow the evidence or the trial?

        • And now some of our commentors, upthread, have added the apparent caveat that since the cop was dispatched on a parking violation call that he was limited in his scope of operations to only investigating parking infractions.

          No, what people are saying is that the only basis for conducting an investigatory detention was the allegation of parking violations, which the officer was ostensibly investigating. Thus far, that is the only unlawful activity cited by the officer, or his department, for the officer’s presence and actions. The officer failed to articulate any other suspicion of unlawful activity.

          Without specific, reasonable, articulable suspicion of unlawful activity, a police officer has zero authority to detain an otherwise law-abiding person, or to command or compel an otherwise law-abiding person to do anything whatsoever.

          WTF? If you hate cops just say so. Let’s dispense with the dishonesty and psuedo intellectual mind games trying to appear fair and balanced.

          That’s quite the straw man. How on earth do you get from respecting the liberties, rights, and dignity of law-abiding individuals to cop hating?

        • So, Chip. GZ was sitting in his living room minding his own business when he was jumped by TM? Or was he walking back to his car after hitting the quikie mart when he was assualted? TM assualted gz in a vacuum? Lured gz into a dark spot and out of his car?

          Like the cop in Rohnert park gz saw someone he believed was suspicious. He followed that person and that person jumped him, forcing gz to shoot to defend himself.

          The investigation into gz’s behaviour and the killing cleared gz, just as the investigation into the police officer cleared him.

          I can’t have my opinion about gz and tm but you have yours about this cop?

        • Try to stay on point. You connected this officer to George Zimmerman on the basis that both men “approached” someone.

          George Zimmerman never approached Trayvon Martin. If you wish to connect the two, you’ll have to choose a different basis.

          Zimmerman and the officer were both somewhere each had a right to be. Both acted lawfully up to the point of escalation to deadly force. Beyond that? No comparison.

        • Your bias is showing, Chip. GZ never approached tm? GZ left his home in a motor vehicle to run an errand. He saw tm, called the cops and then diverted from his original errand to keep an eye on tm.

          Vehicle mounted gz controlled the flow of events up until he dismounted. Why did he dismount? To not approach tm?

          These two cases are identical. Both were investigated and both found not at fault. Yet you accept the verdict in gz’s case and ardently defend him. In the cops case, not so much.

          The real difference in the two is that nobody was killed by the cop. Makes him the smarter of the two.

        • Vehicle mounted gz controlled the flow of events up until he dismounted. Why did he dismount? To not approach tm?

          Please provide evidence, preferably as-presented at trial, that George Zimmerman approached Trayvon Martin.

          You have no such evidence, because it does not exist.

          These two cases are identical. Both were investigated and both found not at fault. Yet you accept the verdict in gz’s case and ardently defend him. In the cops case, not so much.

          Why is that? Because George Zimmerman was 100% legally and morally justified in using deadly force in self-defense, while the officer in this situation had zero legal or moral justification for threatening the use of deadly force.

          The real difference in the two is that nobody was killed by the cop. Makes him the smarter of the two.

          Someone’s bias is certainly showing, but it’s not mine.

        • are you seriously promoting the idea that a cop is justified to go immediately from non-compliance to threat of deadly force? are you intending to ratify actions where non-threatening behavior, resistant though it may be, is grounds for a cop to draw down without any intervening attempt to control the situation? are you comfortable that if a cop comes to your door and asks to come in to ensure there are not fleeing suspects in your home, and you say ‘no’, then the cop is justified in drawing a gun and threatening you if you don’t allow entrance?

          really, really?

      • i would say that when a cop pulls a gun on you, it is a simple request you should consider honoring.

        • How ’bout if it is the 6th time this week that has happened, and you have gone out and bought a camera to prove what an a-hole this cop is? We don’t know that situation, and the camera man sounded to me like he was in fear for his life. Which the cop clearly intended, and should pay for with his job, and whatever the punishment is there for brandishing. He had no cause to draw, should have just driven on by.

  17. I am going to be that guy. The officer was in the neighborhood because someone complained about parking codes. And, this guy just happened to be there filming? I think the guy doing the filming purposely incited the incident. What the cop did wrong was falling for it. Yes, there are lots of pistols you can conceal in a pocket. Frankly this guy sounds a little wacko to me. So, I am going with option C: This guy purposely incited the officer for internet fame. Maybe he even called in the complaint – because it’s awfully coincidental how he was there filming the whole time.

    • Also, I noticed in the video the guy was on a cul-de-sac and did not appear to live in the neighborhood. I live on a cul-de-sac at the end of a long street in a nice neighborhood. People occasionally come down to case the neighborhood, deal drugs. hide, and make out. You betcha I call the police to have them chased away – which is all that happened here.

      • People occasionally come down to case the neighborhood, deal drugs. hide, and make out. You betcha I call the police to have them chased away – which is all that happened here.

        Excellent point. Wealthy, upscale neighborhoods (even progressive, lefty ones) can be full of busy bodies – WHO VOTE. They expect aggressive policing of “strangers” parking or visiting their street.

        This can become an annoyance for those on legitimate business. When visiting a family member who lives in a nicer neighborhood, I’ve had a couple incidental interactions with police when/after parking a beater pickup.

        In THIS case, it would be interesting to hear what Video Guy’s neighbors think about him. I’d wager he’s not popular at all – having lengthened police response times to calls from that street.

    • yes, yes, yes. being an ‘inciter’ is absolute justification for drawing-down on a non-threatening citizen. yes, yes, yes.

  18. He did remove his hand from his pocket almost immediately when he put his keys on the hood and pointed to the cop with his left hand while telling him to leave him alone. I assume his right hand was occupied holding the phone but we don’t know that for sure. Definately looks like a hand held recording to me though. Yet the officer didn’t reholster until the contact was done.

  19. ‘Suspicious behavior”, those two words, has completely eroded the fourth amendment. In a free country I don’t see how anyone would think using it would be ‘useful’ except for bypassing the 4th amendment and making this country less free. Your either breaking the law or your not. Imo have a great day

    • ‘Suspicious behavior”, those two words, has completely eroded the fourth amendment.

      And even the Terry interpretation of the fourth amendment, which held that suspicion must be specific, reasonable, and articulable regarding unlawful activity. In other words, the officer must be able to articulate how the specific behavior of the specific person was suspected of being unlawful.

      Standing on one’s driveway is not unlawful. Ducking behind one’s parked vehicle is not unlawful (though it may be generally suspicious). Having one’s hand in one’s pocket is not unlawful.

  20. Funny how much disdain pigs have for people who respect the constitution… which they supposedly swore to uphold…

    • you give them too much credit for being discerning. they hold all people in contempt, all the time. we are not special.

  21. The moron with the camera had, and was successful with a goal of causing a problem and getting youtube hits. He must be a pain in the ass to his neighbors because someone called about his parking like an asshole. In the video he mentions that the police are harassing his family which means they probably get called there a lot and from the looks of it, this guy is a total DB who regularly gets belligerent with the PD. He has his camera ready to record his entire stunt.
    Can any of you honestly say that if you are a cop dealing with someone who is emotionally fired up, ready for a fight, acting sketchy and shoving his hand in his pocket while you ask him to please stop…would not immediately prepare yourself for a weapon to come out against you? Not one of you can honestly say that you would not prepare for the next action which could cause you to not return home ever again.
    It would be awesome to see all the armchair warriors who would handle every situation so much better, be recorded in the same situations. Gosh, I’m sure that the world would be so much better if each of you could just go train the police yourself how to handle potentially violent people…you know…handle them the way that “you” would do it.

    • “all the armchair warriors who would handle”d the situation this way would have been arrested for brandishing, prosecuted by the DA’s office and thrown in prison for a few years.

    • Gabe,

      You wrote, “… go train the police yourself how to handle potentially violent people …”

      The police should not be handling potentially violent people. Rather, police should be handling people who actually were violent and committed a crime.

      A person’s potential to be violent is irrelevant and does not justify brandishing a firearm and issuing verbal commands with a veiled threat to use deadly force if the person fails to follow the commands.

      • Really? So if someone has a gun and is pointing it at you, they haven’t actually killed anyone but they have the potential to.

        Long story short homeowner is a tool, cop isn’t much better but I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a situation where he had his hand on a gun and mine wasn’t ready. Approaching this from the civilian standpoint of “a person is threatening so retreat if possible” is wrong. What happens if a cop has to retreat every time a banger is acting menacing?

        No it doesn’t mean consenting to a search or pulling papers or anything like that. It means you show that you are not a threat.

        • So if someone has a gun and is pointing it at you, they haven’t actually killed anyone but they have the potential to.

          Someone pointing a gun at you constitutes a threat of deadly force, and a felonious assault. In other words: they are acting violently.

        • Andrew,

          First of all, as Chip mentioned, pointing a firearm at someone and commanding them to do something is violent action. It is a crime and worthy of prosecution as well as a response with deadly force.

          Second, having your hand in your pocket is NOT a violent action and is NOT a crime. It is not worthy of prosecution nor a response with deadly force or a threat of deadly force.

          Third, under your standard, the policeman presented a potential threat when he brandished his handgun and would justify the videographer brandishing his own firearm in response.

        • Andrew Lias,

          Every person with a hand in their pocket could be holding a handgun and a split second away from drawing on you. Hence the quote, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

          More to the point, every person behind the steering wheel of a car could be a split second away from driving their car at you to kill you. Does that justify brandishing a handgun at every car in your vicinity? Does that justify commanding the vehicle operator to stop their car, put it in Park, and show their hands and feet until you are a “safe” distance away?

          As for police approaching a “gang banger” who is “menacing”, how does the police officer know for certain that the person is a “gang banger”? What exactly is “menacing”? A hard look? Mumbling? Assertive words to leave him alone or for the cop to back off? And what crime has the alleged gang banger committed when they were “menacing”? Whose life, liberty, or property did the alleged “gang banger” steal when they were “menacing”?

          Is it unsettling for police officers if they engage a person who has their hand in their pocket? Sure. That unsettling feeling does not, however, override our right to do as we please as long as we are not attacking anyone.

      • +1 !

        under gabe’s theory, there is no scale of escalation. the two modes are: “off”; “gun drawn”.

        glad the people in happy town have the sort of police who will kill them in a heartbeat if the cop doesn’t like how things look.

  22. I’m not a cop. But I have been in EMS for over 30 years. I have had a patient on the street present with a hand in their pocket. When that hand came out it was attached to a gun that was poking me in the chest. Hands in pockets don’t get a pass from me anymore if I am interacting with you in an official capacity. And as far as I know no one is even calling for the killing of medics like they are cops.

    • Don,

      I enthusiastically support your freedom to refuse to interact with a person who has a hand in their pocket and refuses to remove their hand from their pocket at your behest. And I enthusiastically support a police officer’s freedom to refuse to interact with a person who has their hand in their pocket and refuses to remove their hand from their pocket at the behest of the police officer.

      What we should NOT support is a police officer brandishing a firearm and issuing a veiled threat of using deadly force when that officer has no legal authority to command a person to do something. Since the police officer had no reasonable articulable suspicion or probable cause to believe that the videographer had committed a crime or was in the process of committing a crime, the police officer had no legal authority to command the videographer to do anything. Since he had no legal authority, he had no legal justification for brandishing. What the police officer did was a crime. The officer interrupted the videographer’s day and freedom to go about his business and brandished a firearm.

    • Don>SEE: TTAG the other day. I support your right to have a gun. BUT this is not about you-this is about a jerkweed cop and a guy standing in his own driveway. Have a special EMT day…

  23. What’s bothersome is where’s that officer’s discretion and judgement? And the department’s?

    It seems like the offi er was looking to escalate. Then the department worked hard to find a legal fissure to put his foolishness into. Every time leo escalates, thats a failure. It shoulda never got that far. Letting him off on escalating a situation where tbere’s no victim n no crime is on his management.

    This one is on the leo & his management.

  24. Not all cops are bullies with badges. Just most of them. They’re bullies with badges and the shield of law and government. Government itself lost legitimacy and maintain their power via the police forces of the nation which are equally illegitimate and untrustworthy.

    • Oh, I can’t get along with that. Probably 98% of cops are acceptable, and more than 75% purely wonderful. But 2% that are horrendous need to be weeded out by their compatriots, or, barring that, shot in the back with a throwaway gun.

      • if you allow evil to prosper, what does that say about you? “good cops” allow bad cops to get away with evil/crime. we are fond of asking “where are all the good muslims condemning the bad muslim terrorists?” why don’t we ask, “where is the outrage from good cops that a bad cop was part of their company?”.

        when “good cops” and cop unions launch efforts to purge their ranks, then we can start to accept that cops in general are not to be trusted. (btw, the 2% should have some sort of marker so we know to only distrust those, not the rest of the cop force)

  25. Wow! This cop needs to be fired and put on janitor duty at your local high school. Number one: this cop seems to be in a very affluent neighborhood with no other people around. There is no reason for him to feel “threatened”. Number two: if he seriously felt that this guy was a threat why does he keep closing the distance and getting closer to him? That’s just stupid! This cop is purely in the wrong here and should have been repremanded. Any civilian holding a gun like that, doing nothing wrong, and hanging out in his front yard would probably get lit up like a Christmas tree from your local friendly po po’s. Screw this cop!

  26. Wow so lots of people make the default assumption that if you don’t have information it doesn’t exist. I just wish they could release some of what they have.

    Whole thing is dodgy, but I grew up around plenty of people with the attitude that they will try and catch you by “doing nothing wrong” which may be technically true, but they are obviously being manipulative and provocative. It’s a lousy way to act and I don’t blame the cop at all. Especially seeing how unhinged the guy seemed. Feels like perhaps they both thought they were acting reasonably, and maybe this is true. And maybe it isn’t.

    I don’t really feel like anything done here was wrong. Call me whatever names you want, but seriously it’s two abrasive guys butting heads with the favorable outcome of nothing going wrong. Everyone wins.

  27. It Gets Worse:

    Rohnert Park Cops Raid Home of Man who Criticized Them on FB Over Co-Worker’s Viral Video Incident

    Full Story:
    https://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/08/rohnert-park-cops-raid-home-of-man-who-criticized-them-on-fb-over-co-workers-viral-video-incident/

    Excerpt:
    Rohnert Park police have managed to find themselves in the spotlight again after yet another resident claims police used excessive force against him.

    This time, a man named Greg Del Secco said that police showed up to his home unannounced two weeks ago, so he raised his arms to show that he was not a threat.

    But they took that as a sign that he was a threat, grabbing his hands, pulling them behind his back and handcuffing him, forcing him to sit on a curb while they raided his home without a warrant.

    Their claim: A 911 caller reported hearing a woman screaming for help from inside his home.

    But no screaming woman was even found inside his home.

    Del Secco believes the raid was in retaliation for posting critical comments on the department’s Facebook page after the earlier incident involving his co-worker, Don McComas.

    It was just a few weeks ago when McComas was outside of his home when a Rohnert Park police officer drew his service weapon and began following him around his property.

    Video of the incident, posted below, quickly went viral, leading to officer Dave Rodriguez being placed on paid administrative leave.

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