After a night of partying in the clubs of Scottsdale, Arizona, Jeffery N. and friends walked back to their cars where one of his friend’s girlfriends decided she needed to urinate.
The twenty-something female squatted down between two cars and let nature take its course.
Within moments, two Scottsdale police officers rode up on their bicycles and began questioning her.
That was when Jeffrey says he pulled out his video camera and began filming the officers.
According to the arrest report, the officer did not notice that Jeffrey had a camera until after he approached the urinating female. And even then, he acknowledges that he wasn’t sure if it was turned on.
It wasn’t until after the woman pulled her pants up that he said, “I noticed for the first time that the aperture of the camera was open. “
And even if Jeffrey was filming the women urinating, he would not be breaking the law, considering she really had no expectation of privacy in a public parking lot, even if she did squat between two cars and tried to block herself with open doors.
But the officer still tried to make this allegation a central part of his arrest report against Jeffrey, who was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and hindering a prosecution.
The officer also used his Taser on Jeffrey, causing him to drop the camera.
Jefrrey says he was Tased because he refused to stop filming. The officer says he was Tased because Jeffrey swung at him, hitting him in the chest with a closed fist (but also holding a bottle of water) that left the officer “momentarily disoriented.”
But the officer also acknowledges that the reason he approached Jeffrey in the first place was because he refused to hand over his camera.
The officer also says that Jeffrey put up one hell of a fight, requiring them to call more officers for backup.
And finally the officers says that once he was incarcerated, Jeffrey admitted to filming the women peeing in the parking lot, which again, is not against the law because she did not have an expectation of privacy.
The incident occurred last April. Police have yet to return his video camera. They have also retained possession of his iPhone as evidence.
“It didn’t’ happen as they said it happened,” Jeffrey said during a phone interview with Photography is Not a Crime on Thursday.
Jeffrey, 28, attended his arraignment earlier this month where he pleaded not guilty and not has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Sept. 17th.
He does not have a lawyer because he has not found one he can trust.
But he needs a lawyer because the Scottsdale Police Department have no right to retain possession of his video camera and much less his iPhone. So if you have any suggestions, please let us know.