Phillip Turner, also known as “the Battousai” on his YouTube channel, has recovered yet ANOTHER arrest video for not identifying himself. While standing on the sidewalk outside the Galveston, Texas, police department holding a video camera, Mr. Turner was once again stopped, handcuffed, and demoralized after actually volunteering to show Sargent Chapman the video that proved he never filmed any license plate numbers, which isn’t illegal anyways.
So like Tony Soprano’s bodyguard, protecting their home base from a young man holding a video camera, Chapman (who seemed to me to be clearly struggling to believe he’s doing what he’s doing) pulls his squad car up to the sidewalk and asks Mr. Turner, “how you doing?” And Mr. Turner responds, “I’m good.” Immediately, the next sentence out of Chapman’s mouth is, “do you have any ID on you?” So instantly Chapman takes an amateur, aggressive approach and uses zero communication skills to get what he wants. Instead, he makes false allegations with absolutely no proof and treats Mr. Turner no different from an already proven guilty person.
“Intimidate” is defined as “frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants.” After Chapman asks twice for ID and Mr. Turner responds both times, “for what?” Chapman takes no time announcing he’s stepping out of the car to intimidate Mr. Turner. He also tells him that he’s being “suspicious and filming people’s personal vehicles.” One, suspicious in the eyes of the court is hearsay and two, there’s absolutely no way he could even know if the video camera was actually on. Regardless, even if he was actually videotaping the department’s personal vehicles from the sidewalk, Chapman should know that isn’t illegal.
Mr. Turner eventually answers Chapman and tells him he doesn’t have ID on him and that he wasn’t filming people’s license plates. What does Chapman do next? He calls for backup and lies to dispatch claiming he KNOWS Mr. Turner was videotaping personal vehicles, which again, isn’t illegal from a sidewalk. So now we’ve gone from Tony Soprano’s goons, getting in the face of a person standing outside his house, to calling for other goons to come out and help intensify the situation.
Chapman states, “so that’s fine that you’re recording me but I want you to know you’re being recorded, too.” Why would Chapman even make this statement? It looks like because he began to realize he was making a mistake and was struggling to think for himself. I believe Chapman knew Mr. Turner was secret shopping him but he had already pushed the intimidation so far, he had to finish the job.
After a few more attempts by Chapman to get Mr. Turner’s ID by rephrasing the question a couple of times, Mr. Turner tells Chapman that he “doesn’t want to answer any more questions,” yet Chapman continued to ask Phillip questions over and over until the point of arrest.
Follow the law and you won’t be arrested? When I tell someone a certain law is stupid they tell me, “well that’s the law.” So, as stupid as it sounds to some of you who hate the accountability movement and that we use First Amendment audits to prove transparency. If First Amendment audits, especially by Mr. Turner are always completely lawful, why does he keep getting arrested for doing nothing illegal?
Chapman tries to manipulate Mr. Turner by treating him like “he’s got nothing to hide” by asking to see the video tape proving there is no license plates. Prove you’re innocent in America doing nothing illegal? Doesn’t sound like America in Galveston, Texas that day. Mr. Turner, I think out of boredom, offers to show Chapman the whole tape and prove he not filming license plates. As he begins to pull up the footage Chapman again asks for his identification. “So, you’re not going to identify yourself,” says Chapman and Mr. Turner responds, “no.” “Then put your hands behind your back,” says Chapman.
As Mr. Turner is being handcuffed for absolutely no reason more than going out of his way to help officers feel less threatened, Chapman states, “At this time I’m going to turn off your recording.” Mr. Turner clearly asks, “Is there a reason you’re turning it off?” Chapman then tells Mr. Turner he’s going to jail and that he needs to stop the revising. Mr. Turner asks for the video to keep recording while without actually being officially placed under arrest. He then refers to penal code 38.02 and asks if he’s under arrest. Chapman stutters over his own words and says, “yes, for failure to identify.” Chapman then tries and make it look like he’s doing Phillip a favor by turning off the video to save him “battery life” before he’s been told he’s under arrest for an actual crime.
Why thank you, Sargent Chapman! Harass, intimidate, extort, and kidnap Mr. Turner while making sure he knows you care about his fucking battery life. Just a bullshit lie to have a reason to end the tape because he couldn’t even control his own actions because he clearly can’t think for himself. Chapman did one thing right for himself which was turning off Mr. Turner’s video recording, saving his own embarrassing behavior. It should be noted that action was also unlawful.
I can tell you’re a great guy, Chapman who made a couple of honest mistakes. So, do something other officers aren’t doing and apologize for your actions because we can all relate to making mistakes. One officer owning up to his mistakes publicly could give a LOT of people hope.