The following story was submitted by Travis Rowland.
At 7:20pm on October 4th, 2012, I was sitting in my living room with my wife and our friend Kim (Michael’s girlfriend) waiting for my friend Michael Murray to arrive back to the house from an errand. While I was sitting in my living room, on my couch, I noticed police lights outside in my driveway; I immediately went outside and walked down the driveway to see what was going on because my friend had been pulled over. By the time I approached my friend’s vehicle at the bottom of my driveway the officer had already taken notice of me; I stopped about 4 feet away from the driver’s side window of the vehicle and was also equidistant to the officer. The officer proceeded to ask me who I was and why I was down there and if I was there to talk to him (him being my friend). I said, “No, he’s my friend and I am just wondering what’s going on.” I pulled out my driver’s license and handed it to the officer in order to identify myself properly. The officer responded by stating I needed to “go away.”
I asked him “Why? This is my driveway on my property,” and his response was “take a couple steps back please” I proceeded to take 2 steps back and then the police officer continued to harass me and order me to “go away.” I asked my friend if he was comfortable with me being present and if he had any objections to my being there; my friend replied “no.” The officer told me that it didn’t matter and continued to tell me that I was “interfering with official police work.” I told the officer that I was just down there because it was my friend, on my property and I wanted to observe and that I was not going anywhere.
The officer again ordered, not requested, that I “go away.” I again told the officer that I was not going anywhere because this was my property. The officer’s response to me was, “Don’t make me do this,” and when I continued to refuse he approached me, told me to put my hands behind my back and he said he “was detaining me for his safety.” I asked if I was being arrested and the officer said “no, you are not being arrested, you are being detained for my safety” so I refused to be handcuffed. The officer proceeded to grab my wrists on multiple occasions and I kept pulling my wrists free. I immediately told my friend to pull out his phone and start recording, the officer told him, “Don’t do that, it is illegal and I will seize your phone.” I told my friend that it wasn’t illegal and I urged my friend to record.
The officer then continued attempting to detain me, he slammed me against my friend’s truck and managed to get a handcuff on my left wrist, I kept asking if I was being arrested and the officer kept replying “no, you are being detained for my safety.” Throughout the struggle I was able to free my hands multiple times as the officer continually called for back-up and the officer was using the free hand-cuff in an attempt to control me. My friend stated to me later that the officer had called frantically for back-up 3 different times; throughout all of this my friend was recording with his phone. The officer grabbed the free hand-cuff and pulled it straight up in an attempt to subdue me, I had to bend over so that my arm did not break. I decided to press my right wrist in between the center of my chest and the pick-up truck since the officer was pressing his weight against me; I did that in an attempt to prevent the officer from hand-cuffing my right wrist. It was at this point that my wife came down, frantically screaming, “What’s going on?”
The officer refused to answer her. My wife pulled out my phone that she had grabbed from inside the house and began recording and it was at that time that the officer had already pulled my left wrist up using the hand-cuff to throw me on the ground. You can see the rest of what ensued in the video.
Unfortunately, the 12 minute long video that my friend recorded is mysteriously corrupted on the phone; I am an IT technician and have been using computers since I was 8 years old and I used every recovery tool in my arsenal without success, the video file is deleted from the phone and corrupted which completely boggles my mind.
My 6 year old daughter saw the entire thing out her bedroom window and it caused her a great deal of distress, she was absolutely terrified and now I have to try and explain to her the difference between good cops, overzealous cops and just plain bad cops. This is an extremely stressful ordeal for my family and I, as I completely respect authority and know my rights. I was well within my rights to stand there on my property and observe the interaction between my friend and the officer. I was assaulted, offended, humiliated and my rights were completely violated and it is going to take a very long time for us to get over this. As you can plainly see in the video, it wasn’t until AFTER I was assaulted and AFTER I was laying on the ground that the officer decided to arrest me. I was taken to Clatsop County Jail and booked and released on “interfering with police work.”
My friend was cited for “failure to maintain lane” because he was pulling off the highway, into my driveway on the deadliest stretch of Highway 101 in Warrenton, OR with a vehicle (which we now know was a Clatsop County Sheriff) riding his ass, driving recklessly and dangerously close to him, which caused him to take evasive action and pull to the opposite side of the highway early in order to slow down to enter my driveway.
To top it all off, I am the right-hand-man to Gary Franchi over at www.rtr.org (Restore The Republic) as I am the systems administrator.