While this started out as a very normal audit of public services, the law enforcement here did not react in a logical or peaceful way. In our experience, and in the vast amount of videos on this channel and elsewhere on YouTube, most law enforcement agents with any department or division typically ignore cameras and open carry, not just because it is legal, but because it has become so normalized.
However, in this video (extended version here), the first law enforcement officer we see begins with a belligerent demand not to be filmed, lying that it is a federal offense. Further, when he doesn’t get his way with persuasion and reason, as any normal peaceful person has to resort to, he thinks he has the prerogative to attempt to steal one of our cameras unsuccessfully. Police stealing property when they don’t get their way is rather common, as evidenced by this video.
When we completely rationally decided to inform him that this aggression is unwelcome, as it would be unwelcome from any other stranger on the streets, he calls in more goons for his defense at stopping a lawful activity.
One officer who responded and identified himself was doing his best to diffuse this extremely tense situation with respect, courtesy, and understanding. It was him that eventually called his officers back.
As more law enforcement agents began to attempt to surround us and pincer us into a more vulnerable position, even with one officer disbanding the others, we had no choice but to make it clear that we feel threatened by the aggressions for our perfectly peaceful actions of filming. Some of these officers, realizing they have no legal avenue to pursue us for the cameras or the guns, overtly lie and attempt to claim that the public sidewalk we are standing on is the property of the church behind us, so that they could gets approval from the church manager to arrest us for trespassing.
These are all emotional reactions not based in any law, metric of morality, or in any logical and rational sense. If we had been ignored, which is what we prefer, as it is a sign of more healthy law enforcement agents, then we would have been on our way, happy that we didn’t get hassled, and that no one was caused an inconvenience.
Unfortunately, the US Border Patrol had a different plan for the peaceful travelers just trying to get through. We had never intended to cause a disturbance, because our actions rarely do, but the police and border patrol themselves decided to cause a disturbance based on their emotional reaction to perfectly moral and lawful activities.
As stated very clearly in the video, we could not stand to see so many innocent, peaceful travelers being supremely inconvenienced by law enforcement agents stepping beyond their bounds.