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Date of Interaction: 11 May 2014
Police Employees Involved: Unknown; APD
Police Employee Contact Information: 907-786-8900; email@example.com
Early morning on May 11th, three officers entered the Eagle River Campground. I politely asked the first officer who approach me if I could help him. He immediately asked me for ID and when I refused he told me to, “Turn around, put [my] hands behind [my] back, widen [my] stance.” I was then cuffed. I asked the officer what this was all about. He told me that he was there for suspicion of trespassing. I told the officer that I was there legally and we paid all the fees for the spot. At this time, the aggressive officer told me that he would just see about that and I would be placed in the back of his car until he could verify with the host that we were allowed to be there. Everything up to this point was aggressive, but acceptable.
After about ten minutes in the police car, the officer opened the door and told me that he had verified that we were allowed to be there. However, instead of leaving or searching for the real trespassers the cops decided to terrorize us. We had a child who was sleeping in the tent and because the other person I was with told the cops she had been drinking, they decided to threaten to charge her with child endangerment. At this time, they told her that if she didn’t call and wake someone up to come to the camp, that they were going to take her child away from her. Let it be noted that I was not slurring my words, tripping, smelling like alcohol or anything. I was perfectly capable of taking care of the child and they had no reason to believe I wasn’t. Let it also be noted that during this incident the officers took us about 100 feet away from the tent leaving the child all by himself. I believe the harassment stemmed from me refusing to give them information, answer questions, or provide a breathalyzer. These officers harassed us for over an hour. As seen in the video, the officers told us that we were no longer being detained and we were free to go on multiple occasions, however they would not allow us to leave the area or stop harassing us. The officers then proceeded to shine their flashlights on me, making it difficult for me to see. I asked the officers to leave several times. They had verified that we were allowed to be there, they verified that we were renting the spot, and they told us we were no longer being detained and are free to go.
The officers remained on our rented spot, trespassing, after I told them to leave several times. I even decided to be the more mature person there and wanted to pack everything up and leave since “we were free to go,” however they wouldn’t allow me to leave. These officers showed complete disregard for the child’s safety by forcing us to leave the four year old child all by himself. The actions of these officers that night were despicable and negatively discredit the APD.
In the past I have supported the APD along with the AFD, but I now have complete disrespect for the APD. It was mainly one bald headed officer who was the aggressor and seemed to lead the charge, however two other officers stood by while it happened. There is no excuse. This greatly upset the mother (on mother’s day) that these cops were threatening to take away her child and also forcing us to leave the child all by himself. The cop (as seen in the video) stated that I couldn’t go near the tent (even after no longer being detained and free to go) because there could be a loaded gun in there. It seems a little absurd for these cops to pretend that they care for this child’s safety yet had no problem leaving him in the tent all by himself with no one around AND while they think there could be a loaded gun in there with him.
I contacted the records department to see if I could get the dash video/audio and I have not yet heard back from them. I am sure by now they have deleted everything to cover their tracks. These officers need to be punished to restore any respect for the APD. At minimum, after they told us we were no longer detained and we were free to leave, they were trespassing on our spot not to mention harassing us, putting the child in danger and they also wouldn’t allow me to leave which made me feel like I was being illegally detained, even though they told me I was no longer detained and free to go.