SDPD Phone

Officer Safety – Mobile Phones as Weapons

Our good friend over at Photography Is Not A Crime, Carlos Miller, updated a Post recently,

San Diego Police Attach and Arrest Man Video Recording Them, Claiming Phone Could be a Weapon – Updated

As one views the video, it’s not even until one minute, that the Citing Officer – M. Reinhold – Badge Number 6223, with the San Diego Police Department, noted that the “suspect” was even recording.  His partner, who is shown on the recording as well, was monitoring Mr. Pringle while he was recording the incident from the very beginning.  One would think, that if there was a concern with the Mobile Phone Mr. Pringle had, a Samsung Galaxy, the monitoring partner would have intervened and possible even drawn his weapon, if he had per chance felt, that he, or even his partner were being threatened.

The stop was initiated as Mr. Pringle was unlawfully smoking a cigarette on the Boardwalk.  Of which, Mr. Pringle owns up to:

“It is against the law to smoke cigarettes on the boardwalk, so I admit I was breaking the law,” Pringle said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Tuesday.


Once the Mobile Phone was noticed, M. Reinhold asks Mr. Pringle “would you put that away, please?”   Mr. Pringle stated, calmly “No, thank you, I am in a public place I have a right to film this”.  At this point, M. Reinhold states “Let me ask you…you know what actually….” and his demeanor appears to change, and he states the following, “Cell phones can be converted into weapons…look it up online” all while Mr. Pringle states “this is not a weapon, there is no way this is a weapon”.

The discussion goes back and forth until M. Reinhold states “Okay, I’m going to have to take that away from you”, which he proceeds to do and arrests Mr. Pringle.  As seen in this video link.

Now, utilizing the suggested medium, the internet we went to look it up online, there are some quite interesting Cell Phone converted weapons, all of which I’m sure M. Reinhold was concerned about, while his partner, must have been unaware(s):


Cell Phone      Cell PHone 1       Cell Phone Swiss Army


At 1:50 in the above video link, M. Reinhold states, “if he would have just given the phone, let me look at it, isn’t that a reasonable thing to do?”

Person A:  “How is this a weapon?”

Person B:  “Like a bomb?”

M. Reinhold: “I didn’t know for sure…if you look it up online, cell phones can be converted into firearms and tazers, look it up online there is video of how to do it… so if someone is going to stand within a couple of feet of me, and film me, I’m gonna need to look at that cell phone and make sure it’s not a weapon…”

i.e., a mobile phone used to record interaction with the police, is an officer safety issue, which trumps the 4th amendment.   One might questions, if that’s the concern, why his partner did not intervene sooner, and secondly why did he not immediately subdue the subject under “officer safety” considerations, rather than debate with him for 40 seconds prior to slapping the cell phone away?

In the James Bond/Laura Croft worlds, one could be rightly concerned with a Cell Phone gun, however citing Mr. Pringle for “Smoking on the boardwalk”, we don’t believe that’s justifiable under “Officer Safety”.

According to the website Hoax-slayer:

Although cell phone guns are real, I could find no reports of the devices actually being used in major crimes such as attempted hijackings or terrorist activities. However, there have been several reports of cell phone guns being seized from criminals in Europe.

The concept of disguising guns as everyday items is actually nothing new. For many years, guns and other weapons have been disguised to look like pens, calculators, cameras, canes and a number of other commonplace objects.

The Cell Phone Gun:

The Cell Phone Stun Gun:

Now, following M. Reinhold’s logic, an Officer may feel threatened by a myriad of items as one travels down the street:

Cane Gun

Sword Cane

Deck of Cards

Mr. Snuffleupagus


Did M. Reinhold violate Mr. Pringles civil rights in the matter?

Mr. Pringle’s first hearing on the matter is May 23, 2013 in San Diego.  In the interim, contact the following civic leaders and ascertain their thoughts on the matter.

SDBob Filner

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner: email: [email protected] phone: (619) 236-6330

San Diego PD Chief William M. Lansdowne

Chief William Lansdowne: (619) 531-2000

San Diego City Council:

Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner: [email protected]

Councilmember Kevin Faulconer: [email protected]

Council President Todd Gloria: [email protected]

Councilmember Mark Kersey: [email protected]

Councilmember Lorie Zapf: [email protected]

Councilmember Scott Sherman: [email protected]

Councilmember David Alvarez: [email protected]

Councilmember Marti Emerald: [email protected]


  • Chris

    Piece of Shit Fucking COPS!!! Your all worthless! Tell me one reason why we need you in our society?

  • Bobbie Jo Justice

    some cop tries that with me and it WILL be their LAST mistake.

  • Steve H

    The main reason this is a huge issue, is that leos could use this logic to seize and search anyones cell phone/smartphone. Normally, leos need warrants to search these devices, but if they can create their own exigent circumstances to seize and search cell phones, then there is no 1st Amendment right to record.

    Example: stopped for traffic stop, leo tells you to get out of the car, he pats you down for weapons and discovers your smartphone in your pocket, takes it out and starts looking through it because he says that he is allowed to search for weapons. I don’t think anyone is in favor of this senseless BS.

  • certain

    Motherfuckers shoot people almost at random, but somehow they’re the ones “at risk”. Go figure.

  • Shawn

    I’m sure the cops will be along to tell us that cops have integrity. BS. Garbage like this is police integrity.

    And they don’t even know they are fighting a losing battle. Camera technology is advancing like everything else. Cloud technology, size, ect. Pretty soon even the game of shining a light at the camera won’t work.

  • rick

    It all comes down to educating the public that it IS legal to record the police in public. Too few seem aware of this and too many believe a cop’s order is absolute.
    I’m surprised there aren’t 10 more videos of this incident coming from all the people in the background.

  • KentMcd

    Citizens must teach law enforcement that this is illegal seizure, after the first cops gives up his life for taking the wrong persons phone, the rest may fall in line, if not several more leos should pay the ultimate for their obstinance.

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  • courtofpublicopinion

    i agree every time something like this happens everybody needs to whip out their camera

  • KAZ

    Next time open carry a gun and they won’t even worry about a little cell phone.

  • slappy

    Another stupid video by an idiotic activist. Why didn’t he show what was going on to bring the police to his location? How about why he got a ticket. He did something wrong. Then, like a true stupid person, he gets all aggressive and gets busted. Now he wasn’t people to feel sorry for him. He did it to himself. He deserved to be busted. What a retard.

  • Shawn


    Have a grain of integrity and just admit it. it The cop just didn’t want anyone recording any crime he might commit. It was that simple.

  • slappy


    You are wrong. The author of the video was a little prick. He was getting a ticket anyhow and then he could have put the phone down while signing the ticket. Just another piece of shit activist who thinks they are above everyone.

  • ishkabibble

    Hooray – Slappy has added another slaptavist viewpoint! Once again, it’s the citizen’s issue, not a “I am the law” officer.

    Austin Powers: That’s not your mother, it’s a man, baby!

    Slappy, for once, take off the blue-hue glasses, and take an objective viewpoint. The concept that his partner has observed this fellow recording the interaction for over a minute, and didn’t have an issue with him recording, as it’s his right to do so. But then, when LEO Reinhold looks up after a minute of citing said fellow, uh oh “Officer Safety”… homina, homina, homina. Look it up on the internet, they can make guns out of cell phones, of which I feel threatened. Officer safety trumps your 4th Amendment right, Puhleez.

    At no point did M. Reinhold ask Mr. Pringle to sign the citation, and he entered the “Power struggle vortex” by arguing that Mr. Pringle could possibly have a weapon, i.e., a mobile phone, look it up on the internet.

    What’s the old military saying, “This is my rifle, this is my gun, this ones for fighting, this one’s for fun.” By your and LEO M. Reinhold’s reasoning, all LEO’s should do a cursory “johnson” check on all males, as they might have a “gun” issue. Egad, officer safety he may have a loaded gun in there!

    Your quote “just another piece of shit activist who thinks they are above everyone”, holds true, not for the fellow being cited, for LEO M. Reinhold, his actions in this video are pure “I am the law” activism.

  • steve

    slappy you stupid. the cop was wrong and over exagerated.

  • Shawn


    The ticket has nothing to do with a cop BSing about the camera being a possible weapon.

  • John

    OK what if; Asshole cops, this excuse is so fucked up it shows their miniscule IQ of intelligence. What is next, any camera used by the media is a gun??? This cop is should be striped of his badge for being stupid……He is the Poster Child of a FUCKED UP STUPID COP………..

  • John

    What are they going to do next? Shoot everyone that records them in public fearing for their safety?? NO wait It has already happened. IDIOTS

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  • Steve H

    Fl legislature repealed the statute that required citizens to sign tickets a few years ago. The legislature did this for this very reason that leos got aggressive with detainees when the citizen didn’t want to sign the citation. What is the difference between a citizen standing there waiting to get his citation with a thumb in his mouth or holding a recording device. I fail to see how this could be interpreted as obstruction.

  • Common Sense

    He’s got a gun!

    Its a book

    Secure the book!

  • bobby

    unfortunately its not going to stop. Its not money out of there pockets its the tax payers money yours and mine so essentially they are paying you with your own money. Its just like these sec 8 people who destroy apartments its not there money so they simply do not care. I was arrested at 18 stupid kid didn’t know my rights. I was parked in McDonald parking lot waiting for my kid brother to finish up to take him home. I had not done anything they knew I had not done anything as they passed me several times within the hour. After blocking my parked car in the lot they asked me if they could search my car and I said smirking “do you have a warrant” then I was placed and handcuffs they searched my car anyway and then he said to me with a big smile on his face now you are going to jail for nothing. I found out the next day I was charged with Disorderly Conduct. They are going to do what they want when they want and how they want and now they have another way out when ever someone films there destructive, disorderly behavior they will claim ” I thought it was a weapon” The arrest was in Stephen-ville Texas

  • dan

    I’ve got a camera that looks like a gun….
    and some exploding tightey-whiteys.

    Where does it all end ?

  • Burn The Obedient


  • Nunya

    I’m sick of these fucking criminal cops beating and even killing citizens whenever they want and getting away with MURDER.

    We don’t need criminals in our society like this and I agree these “COPS” {CRIMINALS} should be executed by any means necessary to eliminate them from being the hazards to society they are.

    I’m glad to see some have been killed already and wouldn’t mind hearing more of them have been removed as well.

    They claim their killing us is justified and within their rules… I say if their rules say they can kill us whenever they want we need to CHANGE their rules because it’s NOT OK for them to be killing us whenever they want.

    We have to fight back and it IS OUR RIGHT to defend ourselves against anyone attacking us including a killer cop.

    The second amendment specifically states we not only have the right, but the duty, to deal with any government/agency overstepping it’s authority by any means necessary.

    I wouldn’t mind hearing many more killer cops are killed themselves. Maybe the other cops would stop their abuse of citizens and think twice before attacking us.

  • Ray

    People say that cops think they are above the law. The truth of the matter is that LEOs are human and thus bound to emotion, lack of judgement and misunderstanding of their own jobs. With that said in this case it is very apparent that the LEO was acting on impulse rather than fear of the cell phone being a weapon. I, working armed as a civilian and as a LEO will tell you if I thought it was a weapon, my gun would have been drawn and you bet my partner would have done it earlier if he thought it was but you can’t justify his actions from the video, statement or not. Equally at fault is the gentleman who was filming because the cops actions one would deam were not worthy of filming and can be seen as inciteful since he was attempting to make the officer notice that he was filming.

  • Conservative in Maine

    i was sad to see all the comments against all cops. it is too bad that a few dumbass cops are raised as the norm for all cops. i used to be a cop. if i am doing nothing wrong, why would i care if i was being filmed? not all cops are bad, just like not all politicians are bad, or not all_________ (fill in the blank), are bad. police are supposed to be there as a public servant, enforce the law, and sometimes arrest bad people. this went too far because of a cop that was a dumbass.

  • Wayne Spalding

    A cell phone/camera is a weapon, a weapon of truth. And we all know every cop in America is a pillar of truth,not to be questioned.

  • WesTexan

    Cell phones and pagers have been used as detonators for bombs, but that only works if one is actually attached to a bomb — an obvious use of a weaponized cell phone. Of course, before cell phones, there were cigarettes, matchbooks, $3 mechanical alarm clocks, and the old tried-and-true fuse. The problem may be that cell phones automatically arm themselves when in the general vicinity of law enforcement.

    If you haven’t noticed, this problem with cops exercising their power outside the law has increased by magnitudes since Obama was elected. Obama has sent a clear message to all government authorities, especially those in law enforcement, that it is quite okay to ignore the law if the law places constraints on you. After all, if the president can get away with it, why not me!

  • jonny

    what a dickhead of a cop these assholes think they are above the law pricks like this one should be sacked and shamed fucking duecebag scum

  • jonny

    with pigs patrolling the street like this we are all in danger of being harassed by complete fuckwits with badges. DUMB CUNT COP have a crap and die you retard

  • Bobbie Jo Justice

    it will stop when people quit being sheep and start executing cops. ‘

    No one rules if no one obeys.

  • Steve

    FYI, how things have changed. My big brother (now retired) was a cop in the old days, and I remember him telling me about his school.
    One of the biggest rules: An officer can never lie or he’d lose his credibility and couldn’t do his job, and an officer expects a suspect to lie, and therefore can’t be charged for lying to an officer. Now cops lie like rugs, and they make it a crime for someone to lie to them.
    Another tidbit I learned from him. There is a crime called “under color of authority” when any governmental worker uses their authority to do something they legally can’t do. It’s under the jurisdiction of the FBI, they are the ones you have to call to press charges, now if one of this friends called them with a crime in progress it might have gotten interesting.

  • Alex Frazier

    Taking the phone because it might be a weapon is no different than, “say one more word and you’re going to jail,” which I’ve heard more than a few times. The arrest was a power trip. It was all about control. Cops don’t like to be questioned. They don’t like to be defied. And they absolutely hate it when citizens stand up for themselves.

    In my lifetime, I have seen cops punch, kick, and pepper spray prone, detained, cuffed suspects who posed no threat to anyone. I have experienced them trumping up false charges. I have been the victim of their willful destruction of exonerating evidence. Police are also well known to shoot “suspects” and empty entire magazines on a single individual while their partner does the same. They are supposed to be there to protect and serve. They rarely do either.

    Personally, I am of the opinion that it’s time for police to be held to a much higher standard of conduct. I think it’s time to start prosecuting them when they commit crimes, punishing them and their precinct for violations of civil rights, and otherwise put them back in their place. Enforce lawful laws. Capture genuine criminals. And respect the Constitution that they swore an oath to defend.

  • slappy

    It never ceases to amaze me. A cop says the phone could be used as a weapon. But every dumb activist out there says he’s wrong. A police officer shines a light at these stupid activists, and they immediately start screaming the officer is using a weapon and there’s no justification to that. Activists are hypocrites and criminals. The officer was right to do what he did. All you idiotic activists out there need to stop playing armchair quarterback. You are not good at it. Your lives are so out of control you try to control everyone else’s lives.

  • ishkabibble

    Slaptavism at its best!

    Austin Powers: That’s not your mother, it’s a man, baby!

    ‘Sloppy Logic’ is so cool! Because, there is no logic, that’s the rub, bub.

    Sloopy, have you reached out to the Mayor, Chief and Councilors to express your well reasoned approach? “Recording dude is an idiot, stupid ass activists need to be pummeled” I’ve no doubt they’d love to read your affirmations and logical support approach.

    / \
    ( o o )
    ——-@@@@———-: :———-@@@@———

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  • Walter Brameld

    “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    The police think (correctly) that they are above the law, and anyone who challenges that belief will suffer the consequences.

    The First Amendment not only gives us the right to video and audio record our public servants, it practically demands it. It also is our duty to make it as difficult as possible for the police to violate any of our rights.

    Edmund Burke said it best: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

  • motherf** the policcallme

    Cell phone gun was fake, + sound effects, Fake no spent shell, no primer strike, no place for the said round to exit. Cop made up bull to stop people from filming, crack addicted cops murders, robberies, rapes, and so on. Want a crime comited call a cop. The police just need to murder everyone, every man, woman and child because the police think you have a knife. That’s rite if a police officer claims he THOUGHT you had a weapon he can murder you and it is 100% totally justified. I just love how the news always says after the police shot someone. Then they went over to their house and Found a gun or a joint. O well that makes it ok to murder them then rite? Well we all have a knife in our kitchen so they need to kill us all. O and don’t worry the police have a lot of cheap old guns after they murder you they are nice enough to put one on you.