Harris County Deputies Harass and Try to Intimidate Photographer During Fire in Old Springs, Texas

The following post and video were shared with the CopBlock Network anonymously, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. The submitter stated that they wanted to remain anonymous due to fears of retaliation, which are well founded given the history of police.

As is stated in the description the videos are fairly self-explanatory. The person taking the video and another person were attempting to shoot photos of a fire in a shopping district known as Old Springs, Texas, which is located just outside of Houston. At one point they reach an area where a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy tells them is off limits. They then ask where they can go without being in the restricted area and after receiving an answer relocate to that area.

However, shortly after that conversation they are approached by three other deputies who begin demanding their ID. Initially those deputies state that the men are not being detained, but once they decline to provide ID they are then told that they are going to be detained based on having entered the crime scene area.

From that point, the deputies tried to intimidate them into complying with their demand for ID. The man filming correctly points out that there is no clear marking of where the crime scene is and that once they were told they couldn’t be there they promptly and without argument left that area. Rather than attend to the fire, which they supposedly were concerned with the men taking photos might have prevented them from doing, the deputies instead chose to waste their time escalating a resolved situation into an argument and then attempting to intimidate someone who, at worst, made a genuine mistake that would have been prevented by them properly marking the crime scene.

Eventually, the men were allowed to leave without providing ID, although they were told they could have been arrested, and the restricted area was marked off by crime scene tape, as it should have been originally. Although the deputies refused to identify themselves when asked for their badge numbers, the two most aggressive of them were able to be identified by the names printed on their shirts as Deputy Zavala and Deputy A. Torres.

Date of Incident: October 26, 2016
Officers Involved: Deputy Zavala, Deputy A. Torres, and two unidentified officers
Department Involved: Harris County (TX) Sheriff’s Office
Department FaceBook Page: Harris County Sheriff’s Office on FB
Department Twitter Profile: @HCSOTexas
Department Youtube Account: The HCSOTexas
Department Phone Number: (713) 755-6044

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I was out responding to a two alarm fire at Old Town Spring, Tx for media footage. The video stands for itself. I feel like the officers escalated the situation and got angry when they did not like my answers. I was told I was not being detained, but once I wouldn’t give them my ID, I was then told I was being detained. They then tried to use intimidation tactics.

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Part Two:

Just dont want my e-mail address or any identifying elements in the story. I fear there always can be retaliation.

EPN

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Kelly W. Patterson

a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who's been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He's also the founder/main contributor of Nevada CopBlock, Editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official CopBlock Press Passes. ____________________________________________________________________________ If you appreciate Kelly's contributions to CopBlock, consider donating to the CopBlock Network and/or visiting the CopBlock Store. ____________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.