This post was shared with us by actor Sir Maejor using the submit tab. He details an unlawful arrest for asking Atlanta police officers for identification for filming him during a know your rights assembly in a public park. If you have a story involving police misconduct and would like for one of the bloggers at CopBlock.org to cover it, please use the submit tab or join the CopBlock Network.
Date of Incident: Oct 14th 2015
Officers Involved: Sgt Kevin Knapp and Officer Sherrick Morrison
Department Involved: Atlanta Police Department – Zone 5
“SIR MAEJOR’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM”
My name is Sir Maejor of Atlanta, GA and I am an actor, model, community advocate and activist, most known for my role on FX’s American Horror Story. As a productive and positive member of society, I am deeply concerned about my community and have taken an oath and stand to ensure that I do my part to make my community safer.
I volunteer my time regularly (every day or other day). I am out either feeding the homeless, or donating my money and clothes to the homeless. I mentor youth and at risk teens, who lack parental guidance. I teach people their basic human and constitutional rights. I inform young people of how to deal with law enforcement, some of the tricks they play to get you to make an incriminating statement, when you are legally required to give ID, and most of all what police can and can’t do.
In the last few months, I have seen members of the Atlanta Police Department HARASS & VIOLATE people’s constitutional rights. These people are often times young African Americans, adults, and teens. I have also personally seen these officers harass homeless people. I chose to take a stand. I believe in order to curve police misconduct and brutality you have to FILM THE POLICE and CALL THEM OUT when they are wrong and SALUTE and CONGRATULATE THEM when they are DOING THE RIGHT THING and HONORING their OATH.
On October 14th 2015, While I was out talking to people about their constitutional rights and how to deal with out of control police, a large group assembled to hear me speak. I was wearing what I am always dressed in (full duty belt with firearm). A few people in the crowd informed me that the police were filming me from across the street in an undercover car. As I wrapped up speaking with the group, I walked over to the car to find out why the officer was filming me. I asked the officer to roll down his window, identify himself, and tell me what agency he worked for. I asked him several times because I wanted to know who was filming me and why. Being that I was in public, I had no reasonable expectation of privacy, because I also film police in public all the time.
The officer refused to identify himself so I took a picture of the license plate and of him from the front of the car. The officer calls for backup and then arrests me. I asked him why was he arresting me he said for “Pedestrian In The Roadway”
I was taken to a nearby police station. I informed the officer that they are violating my constitutional rights (first and second amendments) and that their arrest is frivolous and if they didn’t let me go I would sue them individually. That’s when they decided to trump up the charges and charged me with 6 additional bogus charges.
BOGUS TRUMPED UP CHARGES
– Felony Impersonation of An Officer
– Felony Possession of a Firearm
– Felony Obstruction
– Pedestrian Failure To Use Traffic Light
– Pedestrian Darting In Traffic
– Pedestrian Failure To Yeld
The district attorney indicted me on these charges and has offered me to take a plea deal and serve about 3 year in prison. Now I am NOT a criminal and I don’t go running around breaking the law or violating anyone’s rights.
I am a law abiding citizen and gun owner. I am currently represented by a public defender. Now as some of you may know, the public defender’s time is restricted to the other 10 cases they are working. Being that these are very serious charges and I am looking at a lot of time for something I NEVER did, I am now calling on you my friends, family, fans and supporters and members of the community to help pay it forward.
I need to obtain a private attorney who will aggressively fight to exonerate me from these bogus BS charges.
I have video evidence and witnesses. I have a really good chance of winning this case with a private attorney.
PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN – THIS CASE HAS CAUSED ALOT OF STRESS IN MY LIFE. https://www.gofundme.com/fightforsirmaejor
How Will Funds Be Used:
Funds will ONLY be used for my legal defense (to hire an attorney)
Any un-used funds will be returned back to my donors
It is my goal to retain civil rights Attorney Gerald Griggs a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, GA.
Sir Maejor’s Education
I graduated from The Law Enforcement Security Specialist Private Training Academy, as a certified private armed security officer.
I am a certified Fugitive Recovery Agent by the Georgia Professional Bondsmen Association
I am enrolled and studying to be a private investigator at The Elite Public Safety Training Academy.
I graduated high school and went to college and majored in criminal justice
As you can see from the video Sir Maejor was arrested for being in the road while questioning plain clothed officers about why they were filming him, as well as, attempting to identify him. Like Sir Maejor mentioned, he has no reasonable expectation of privacy but the cops also have no probable cause to investigate him. His questioning seems within reason to me. Sir Maejor is wearing a vest and a black hat but he doesn’t appear to be wearing anything that would make people believe he is a cop.
Sir Maejor is using his status as a pubic figure to inspire others to be the change they want to see in the world and is actively promoting filming the police, as well as, exercising your rights when engaged by police. If you are able to help Sir Major in his fight against the police in Atlanta consider dropping him a few bucks for his legal defense.
This may be another case of police acting against celebrities for challenging their authority. Quentin Tarantino has been under fire from the NYPD and the Police Union for his appearance and statements at a police brutality march. A boycott of his next movie the Hateful 8 by all law enforcement in attempt to punish him is supposed to happen. I seriously doubt it will. If you are able to help Sir Major in his fight against the police in Atlanta consider dropping him a few bucks for his legal defense.