There has been an overwhelming amount of PR spin as of late – which I find highly disturbing. The point of the PR videos is to make you forget about all the horrible things that police do on a daily basis. If that isn’t bad enough, police department across the country have been releasing ‘Comply Or Die’ videos (they call them PSA’s). Like most people, I ignored the bulk of the videos until a few weeks ago. That’s when the Lake Charles Police Department produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA), demanding that you act a certain way when you get pulled over. This was the video that I made in response to their video.
More recently, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) released a video in which Sheriff Ric Bradshaw demanded that if you record police, you must follow his vague guidelines. In the video, he attempts to say that it’s okay to record police, that you will not be harassed for doing so. This is an outright lie! PBSO has a long history of violating the rights of citizens to record their public encounters with police. In addition, this video is about recording officers – Sheriff Ric Bradshaw states that if see something illegal, call 911 first – before you record. Do not listen to his advice.
If you see a police officer committing a crime, record it. That video can be used to protect yourself and the persons who is on the receiving end of the illegal actions. If you call 911 first, you’ll be kept on the phone until another officer arrives, which in essence, prevents you from recording. Once you get to a safe area, you can then upload the video to http://www.copblock.org/submit/.
The number of illegal arrests by PBSO deputies prompted Bill Cervone, State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Florida, to issue a bulletin declaring that recording the police is LEGAL. Despite the ruling, PBSO continues to arrest citizens at an alarming rate. Below are just three examples of the hundreds of people who have been bullied, harassed, detained, or even arrested by PBSO for filming the police.
In 2011, Car Paul, a citizen who recorded a traffic stop with police, was arrested on felony charges for recording the police. According to the Miami New Times,
When the officers noticed Paul was filming the whole encounter on his iPhone, they demanded that he stop. Paul reasonably said he was simply “documenting what was happening,” but the deputy apparently couldn’t tolerate the thought of his traffic stop being recorded. Paul was arrested and charged with “illegal interception of communication.”
Pete Zarria posted a video showing PBSO deputies threatening him with arrest for recording them. This is what he had to say,
At a concert at a County Park in Boca Raton, a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Cop threatened Felony Arrest (under Wiretapping Statutes) if I didn’t stop filming him and people around him!!
Another video posted online shows a deputy harass, and threaten to arrest, a man by the name of ‘Chris’, for simply recording in public.