Date of Incident: August 26, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Sandeago
Department Involved: Carlsbad Police Department
The following video was submitted to us by Earl Diggs after he was arrested for filming Carlsbad police officers conduct an operation involving a robbery suspect and potential hostage. Earl was attacked and arrested even though he was half a block away and his camera was unable to record much of anything from his vantage point. The actions of the officer in the video is telling of the disdain for civilian oversight when officers are doing their jobs. These officers weren’t beating anyone up or harassing someone for marijuana, but were responding to a desperate situation. If their intentions were to keep Earl safe, why then was he taken to the same cage that police claim is full of violent offenders?
Earl Diggs was recording a police stop on Friday when the officer stopped conducting his investigation, which he described as dangerous, to demand that Earl stop recording and leave the scene. In fact the scene was dangerous. A robbery had taken place and the suspect had taken a hostage. The crime committed had a physical victim and the actions of thief created a serious situation and one would think that Officer Sandeago had better things to do than attack a cameraman for recording from 100 yards away.
Seconds after Sandeago approached Earl, he grabbed him while simultaneously saying “don’t touch me”. This is evidence of Sandeago’s mindset when he decided to stop Earl from recording. After Earl voluntarily gets on the ground multiple officers arrive to provide backup. All of them use phrases like “cooperate bro” and “stop resisting” before the camera goes black.
Earl never once touches the officer, but Sandeago and his buddies knows that if they make physical contact with a member of the public, using buzzwords and phrases will protect them later if they have to answer for their actions.
Earl had committed no crime and Sandeago had no reason to approach him in the first place., essentially making this situation more about Earl refusing to submit to the officers perceived authority than it was about anyone safety. Because if this was about safety Corporal Sandeago would’ve been more focused on the robber with a hostage in his custody than he would’ve been with some guy with a camera in his hand.
Multiple laws have been passed that prohibit members of the “Thin Blue Line Gang” from obstructing people who are recording in public, regardless of whether or not the lenses are aimed them. And the idea that a member of the law enforcement community, sworn to protect and defend would initiate an attack and drag someone to a cage for operating a camera without their permission is absurd.
If you believe that the actions of Cpl. Sandeago and his buddies while dealing with a street photographer are unbecoming of an officer of the law. Please consider calling the Carlsbad police department and demand that Sandeago be disciplined for his actions and retrained on the rights of the people that he claims to protect and serve.