After attempting to videotape security guards beating up his friend outside an Oklahoma City shopping mall last November, James Lane was himself assaulted.
But guess who ended up going to jail?
You got it. Lane was charged with assault and battery on the security guards, even though an Oklahoma City cop witnessed – and eventually joined – the melee.
Last week, charges against Lane were dropped when the security guards testified in court that he, in fact, did not assault them.
This, of course, was a complete contrast to what they told police in the arrest report.
The camera, which had been confiscated by police, was only recently returned to him. You can see part of the footage from the incident in the above video.
Lanes’s friend, Brent Southard, the one who was getting piled on by a group of security guard when Lane approached them with a camera, was convicted of disorderly conduct and sentenced to six months probation.
The incident began when Lane, Southard and other friends who make up the activist group We Are Change Oklahoma were conducting an act of disobedience inside a shopping mall during Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.
The activists started tossing hundreds of “deception dollars” from the second floor down to the food court, which is fake money they say was meant to “educate shoppers.”
When security guards approached the activists, they all took off running.
Southard, who was holding a large bag filled with these dollars, was chased out into a garage parking lot with Lane following close behind with the camera.
The guards caught up to Southard and pounced on him. And then they pounced on Lane when he showed up to the scene with the camera.
And then police arrived and arrested the two men.
The obvious question here is whether or not private security guards have the right to tackle and physically detain people for committing non-violent crimes.
At worst, tossing fake dollars inside a private shopping constitutes disorderly conduct.
Lane now has a pending civil suit against the security guards.