Florida Troopers Claim Amendments “Don’t Matter”

Published On June 8, 2011 | By Ademo Freeman | Articles

Jeff, who lives in Florida, noticed a police command bus filling up at a local gas station and decided to take some video of this monstrous machine. He later contacted CopBlock.org and had this to say about the video he took:

While trying to get some video of a Florida Highway Patrol mobile command vehicle I was confronted by two Florida State Highway troopers. The Troopers told me that I could not film their top secrete vehicle even though you can view pictures this same vehicle at the FHP website. When I mentioned that this was a first amendment issue, Trooper (badge #2154) told me “it doesn’t matter”. When I pointed out that he could not “SNATCH” my camera without a warrant #2154 again said “it doesn’t matter”. So the first and fourth amendments don’t matter to Trooper #2154! Luckily an FHP Sargent pulled into the gas station and after a brief explanation the Sargent straightened things out for me.
Yes, Jeff was lucky that one Florida Trooper knew that filming police in public space is NOT a crime. Yet, the video highlights (again) the attitude of police when being filmed. The trooper may have used the excuse that he didn’t want the command center photographed but in reality he was only worried about himself being recorded. As most cops do because they know people are watching and not happy with the service provided by such folks.

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About The Author

Ademo Freeman is an advocate for a voluntary society, one where people are free to live their lives so long as they don't initiate force on others. Ademo has also been involved with other projects such as the MotorhomeDiaries.com, FreeKeene.com and LibertyOnTour.comYou can get more content created by Ademo at his Facebook page and YouTube channel.Enjoy Ademo's post/work? Want to show him your gratitude, simply click here. Thanks in advance for your support, it's greatly appreciated.
  • JdL

    What form of communication will be required for government thugs to understand that this type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated?

  • 27182

    @JdL

    1. Soap box
    2. Ballot box
    3. Jury box
    4. Ammo box

  • phillycopwatch09

    Maybe I missed it when he asked nicely to stop filming, but he must have because he said it 22 times.

    The answer to JDL’s question is: “violence” tho that is not a form of communication.

  • shane

    I can not stand the police and believe they need to be held acccounted for their actions but let’s be honest with ourselves whoever filmed this video was just being an annoying childish dickhead…. These officers had every right to want left alone while they pump their gas simply based on the fact I want left the fuck alone while I pump my gas… When they are harrassing the poor and creating hardship in peoples lives is when they need filmed not while they are minding their own business….

  • new@thisOK

    I live in Muskogee, OK and am looking for information to get a copwatch group started here. To my knowledge, we don’t have anything like this, and trust me, we need it. Any tips will be greatly appreciated

  • http://tobint.com Tobin

    Folks, I’m a long time advocate of cop block and most of Ademo and Pete’s work. I’m a fan of continued education of police through these means. That said, there have been increased numbers of veiled and not-so-veiled threats of violence here. That is clearly NOT the answer. Change can and is (slowly) being made in some areas. Continue to fight the fight with law and order not fists or firearms. You can’t condemn war on one hand due to a slight against our rights and then condone attacks on cops on the other. Believe me, I have as much right as anyone to be upset with police. But I’m using the system to fight itself. Good luck and be careful out there folks. Great job to the person taking this video.

  • Jim

    The system is broken. You are hoping that the system that empowers and defends these thugs – and they ARE thugs – will rein them in. You are asking The State to restrain the armed agents who are charged with protecting The State from the people they pretend to serve. In a way, I admire your naivete, and wish you the best in those efforts. But we all must be prepared, mostly mentally, should those efforts fail, and so far I see no indication that they will do otherwise.

  • Bergman

    @phillycopwatch09:

    And why, exactly, should someone stop filming just because someone with no expectation of privacy asks you to?

    If the trooper was doing it as a private citizen (a fairly ludicrous claim, as he was in uniform at the time), well, a private citizen has no lawful authority to order anyone to do anything, and just because someone asks you to stop exercising your constitutional rights doesn’t give you an obligation to obey.

    If, however, the trooper was ordering someone to stop exercising constitutional rights in his official capacity as state police, then he tripped over 18USC242, and is guilty of a federal crime punishable by up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. If his partner backed him up and also issued such an order, they’re both guilty under 18USC241 (conspiracy to violate 242) and are both guilty of a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, EACH.

    A citizen is usually obligated to obey a lawful order from law enforcement personnel, but the key words there are “lawful order”. An order that is specifically forbidden by law cannot be a lawful order.

  • Bergman

    @shane:

    Your expectation of privacy in a public place is absurd and irrational. It’s also contrary to what the law says. If someone standing in a public place can see you with their eyes, then it’s almost a certainty they can film it too. Your discomfort doesn’t trump the constitution, and while you could ask the person to stop, they commit no crime against you, nor do they violate your privacy if they refuse your request.

    Almost anything else you might do is illegal one way or another. Assault, battery, unarmed robbery, civil rights violations, filing a false police report, defamation, the list goes on.

    If you dislike American freedoms, you’re perfectly free (heh) to go somewhere where public photography is illegal and renounce your US citizenship. Alternately, you could try to get a constitutional amendment passed, assuming you can get enough people to agree with you that the first amendment needs to be partially or wholly abolished (good luck). But until you do one or the other, whining about other people exercising their rights is silly. And forcing them to comply with your possibly-neurotic outlook will see you behind bars.

  • lucas

    @shane “Annoying, childish, and dick headed” is a perfect description of most cops. And the majority of civilians want nothing more than the right to be “left the fuck alone” but LEO’s normally don’t respect other peoples rights. So why do you think these troopers deserve any special treatment?

  • lucas

    also if cops aren’t doing anything wrong then they shouldn’t mind getting filmed

  • Ty

    The Supreme Court ruled that if you are in a public place, then you have no expectation of privacy, and therefore can be filmed. This is how law enforcement justifies filming us, so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Chris Mallory

    How can someone become a state trooper without even remotely being able to speak remotely correct English.

  • Billy

    You can sort of make out what the supervisor is saying. Can anyone come up with a rough transcript of the conversation? While he was filming the guy on the cell phone I can make out him complaining about asking not to be filmed and whatnot.

  • Guy Fawkes

    I’ve said this before but it bears repeating DO NOT TRUST ANYONE THAT ADVOCATES VIOLENCE!!!!!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_provocateur
    “Traditionally, an agent provocateur (plural: agents provocateurs, French for “inciting agent(s)”) is a person employed by the police or other entity to act undercover to entice or provoke another person to commit an illegal act.”

  • Aaron

    @Guy Fawkes

    SAYS THE GUY THAT TRIED TO BLOW UP PARLIAMENT AND ASSASSINATE THE KING.

  • Ron

    Shane, watch the video. The cop wasn’t worried about himself being on video, he didnt want the bus being videoed. His first words were “sir, sir, ya cant take pictures”. He didn’t articulate that he just wanted to be “left alone” – he didn’t want the bus photographed.

    The guy didnt even have the cops in frame.

  • phillycopwatch09

    @Bergman

    I was being sarcastic, the cop never asked him nicely, the first thing the cop did was order him to stop filming. Sorry, I always forget that sarcasm can’t be translated in print. I agree with everything you said.

    Thanks.

  • 1605

    I like that the cops don’t want to be video’d but still go out in public, where there’s a security camera every 100 feet (give or take). Who would like to venture a guess that the very gas station where this was video’d has security cameras? If that bus went through an intersection with video detection, it was video’d. If they went through a toll booth, it was video’d. Stupid ass cop. Accept the fact that you’re a public servant and the video’ing in public is ok and just do your job in a safe and well behaved manner.

  • Jeff HONORYOUROATH

    Shane
    It was not my intent to film the troopers pumping gas.I was trying to film the command center bus.I did not even film the Troopers until they engaged me.
    It’s not necessary to call me names or use profanity,it hurts your message.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

  • Jeff HONORYOUROATH

    Has any one noticed that I was bluffing the Troopers about being in a public place?The gas station is on private property.One thing I’ve noticed is that cops get tunnel vision when they see that camera,it seems to prevent them from thinking about any thing else.Not only did they never call my bluff,at 2:56 in the video you can hear #2254 exclaim “man I wish this was private property”!
    I call my little yellow camera tyranny bait!It’s very good at hooking little tyrant wannabees.

  • Jeff HONORYOUROATH

    OOOPS…I meant #2154.

  • VetUSA

    People choose the profession/career of being a cop for specific unique reasons. They have a desire to control, be aggressive, be in charge, some to shove people around, they’re bossy, and for the sake of fairness some have the desire to help. I ran a stop sign the other day. Cop stopped me, although he didn’t write a ticket, he said if my “attitude” had been bad, he’d have written the ticket. See, it was his way, or I’d be considered having an attitude thus a ticket. Cops are tazing people as a matter of routine now in spite of it killing many ppl. They steal drugs, they steal money, the commit adultery, the beat their wives. Do a youtube search of “shreveport cop beat women” and view this insane violent cop beating the hell outta that woman who did nothing. You know the cop was fired, and his lawyer got the cop re-instated. Cops are out of control. NOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t need any cops for anything. I will take care of myself. If not, I get to be with JESUS.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/kinleyhard Kinley

    That command center RV is like an anti-MARV.
    @new@thisOK: I live right over the Arkansas line from you. I’d like to help you start a group. Ademo and Copblock contributors Jenn and Paula know how to contact me.

  • RONPAULYGIRL

    The ENTIRE STATE OF FLORIDA IS A “CONSTITUTION FREE” ZONE!

    You need to acquaint yourself with a convenient law called the “Constitution Free Zone” which is 100 nautical miles from our boarders and coastline:

    Cut and past this link:
    http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone

    Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

    The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This ” Constitution-Free Zone” includes most of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

    (Are You Living In A Constitution Free Zone? See the interactive map >>)

    We urge you to call on Congress to hold hearings on and pass legislation to end these egregious violations of Americans’ civil rights.

    LEARN MORE
    > Fact Sheet on Border “Constitution-free Zone”
    > Border Security Technologies
    > Remarks of Craig Johnson
    > Constitution-Free Zone: The Numbers

  • Pingback: Florida Troopers Claim Amendments “Don’t Matter” « Liberty Planet Weblog()

  • IceTrey

    The gas station is private property but it is still a “public place”. If it is considered to be accessible to the general public it is a public place. The whole “it’s private property” thing vanished during the Civil Rights era. Even if it were considered private only the owner or his agent could tell you to leave.

  • FreeMan

    What I would like to know is…Why does the FHP need what looks like a million $$ rolling command center?? Do they know something that we don’t know? Or maybe they just have some big-ass clusterf-ck traffic jams down South

  • jimscamp

    This guy does not even respect his Sargent. Turning his back on his boss, walking away while his boss is trying to talk to him? Why doesn’t the Sargent fire him on the spot. Why? anyone? You know why!

  • Turner

    We have serious problems with Florida law enforcement competence. The judiciary too.

    It’s time to dissolve the federal government & some states too — Florida government is at the top of the list.

  • larry

    It is time for cops to be accountable. How does one find the names of the cops who are abusive and making them public. This way the public has a way of retribution. Sounds abusive, but turn around is fair play.
    Who do cops think they are that they can destroy someone without any recourse. The same for attorneys, and judges who use their podium to do deliberately abuse their powers.

    Decisions they make will differ when they know they will be accountable for what they do. No one is above the law. Or at least they shouldn’t be.

  • http://jtittiger.blogspot.com/ Joe in Missouri

    You need a directional mike on your camera. A few of those conversations would have been interesting to hear. :-D

  • paschn

    I wonder how many dollars for their little “toy” came from innocent victims of their “confiscation laws”? any idiot that still refers to these mutts as “heroes” is totally delusional. Tell me,…when are we going to include their ridiculously lavish pensions/benefits in the “common folks” austerity demmands? Hell why not rescind the goodies we allow the Renfield Class in D.C. to grant themselves” after all, aren’t we all amerikans, (ROFLMAO!!, yeah, right), so let’s pull all THEIR pensions, medical, dental optical etc and send it to Israel too? I mean, fair IS fair..ain’t it?

  • kachonka

    If the cop 2154 was on night shift, he wouldn’t have to worry about being seen unless he smiled.

  • SarahJ

    There are a couple of people that make comments along the lines on “i agree with cop bock and hold police accountable BUT the person who shot this was just being childish””the police have the right to want to be left alone” NO THEY DON’T. Not While Wearing That Badge WE Pay For. Thats the whole point to this. That the police CAN NOT tell you not to do something just because they dont like what you are doing. And you should be able to Actively Practice All Your Rights In Public NO MATTER How Childish ANYONE thinks it is. Especially The Police.

  • Richard Popovich

    The officer that was being badge heavy was wrong. In fact he could have made the episode a positive experience by giving the photographer a tour of the bus. It would have made for a lot better press.
    But there was one good thing that happened, the Supervisor told the offending Officer that he was wrong and that the civilian was right. That means that the Suoervisor was doing his job correctly. Good for him. Every department in the country seems to have a jackass on the force. It is just like any other organization.
    I had a run-in with a police officer in Provo, Utah. He was conducting a alcohol enforcement operation, by sending in a minor to buy beer at the 7-11 store where I was working the graveyard shift. I checked the customer’s I.D. and refused to sell him the beer.
    The officer came in and started giving me a hard time, telling me that “He knew I was selling alcohol to minors” and that he would “catch me eventually.”
    Little did he know that I was also a reserve officer in a neighboring town. The Officer, the Chief and I had a nice discussion about the ramifications of police officers bullying civilians. This FHP officer was displaying his “stupid moment” on video and he was corrected by a superior. That is a positive for the FHP.

  • Vaughan

    While I agree you should be allowed to film the police, the cop should have just pointed out using a camera next to a petrol pump is a dumb idea.

    And you later critise him for using his mobile? Do you even know why they have that sign up at petrol stations? If you drop your mobile/camera, it’s possible that the battery could jar against it’s contacts, possibly causing a spark and then an explosion in the right circumstances. Poeple in glass houses buddy.

  • paschn

    “And you later critise him for using his mobile? Do you even know why they have that sign up at petrol stations? If you drop your mobile/camera, it’s possible that the battery could jar against it’s contacts, possibly causing a spark and then an explosion in the right circumstances. Poeple in glass houses buddy.”

    If you think that’s a serious threat, then you might want to make it law to keep your keys on safety chains…if they drop to the ground, they might cause a spark and blow you all to bits!
    As for not wanting pictures taken of their toy….come on now, seriously. I understand the sheeple have been dumbed down but I always gave them the benefit of a doubt re; coming in out of the rain.

    Public road
    no cowling
    broad daylight
    when on official business…it’ll BE PARKED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT WHERE THE PUBLIC CAN SEE IT!!
    The miserable little state paid anarchist simply took umbrage to having a “cockroach” moving about w/o being stomped on or put, “in his place”. BTW, “cockroach” is THEIR term for the public, not mine.
    As the fellow above stated, they have a certain mind-set….and the retirement is INSANELY lavish. Wake up and stop defending the indefensable. They are treated so sweet by the powers-that-be because they will, (when the fecal matter hits the rotating device), be ALL there is between a betrayed people and their betrayers. There is NO LIMIT to what a coward will do for a paycheck. Right, wrong or indifferent, they don’t care. They strain at their “bit” to stomp the “cockroaches”. The only down side is, when the sheeple finally pop and begin taking their heads off as they drive to contrived calls, the good ones will suffer too. which means one or two decent cops per state will be taken out along with the trash. Recall the Ludlow massacre….”our boys”, (roflamo, that term always cracks me up), poured diesel fuel on the miners’ tents and burned their wives and children ALIVE. You really think the wankers will hesitate to do the same to the public if they are protected by a badge? NAH!

  • WOW

    BRAIN DEAD AMERICANS WAKE UP, WE ARE LOOSING AMERICA FAST!

  • anon

    @WOW

    What exactly does it mean to even “lose America”?

  • Roddy

    I saw a video of some jerk filming his stop by police on youtube and decided to look up Florida’s law on the matter when the officer in the video started making up things and supposedly threatened the jerk when he was away from his camera (which the officer was extremely insistent on getting him away from).

    I have no issue whatever with cooperating with people in charge but I can’t stand when they start to LIE to get out of something. The officer in this video states many times, “I asked you nicely.” When does anyone ever say something so final unless they’re escalating to a threat. He then threatens to take the camera, knowing (?) that he doesn’t have the right to do so.

    Once I’m lied to, it’s very hard to establish a bond of trust. If a person that gets stopped actually knows the law, how does that officer making the stop now appear in the citizens eyes when they attempt to twist it to suit their own needs? Helpless and disillusioned and certainly not willing to cooperate with an individual that believes themselves about the law.