It was like deja vu all over again for Tasha Ford when she received a phone call late last month learning that her son was being harassed by police at a Boynton Beach movie theater in South Florida.
“It was my son’s best friend,” said Ford in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
“He was like, ‘Ms. Tasha, police have your son.’”
It was no surprise to her when she pulled up to the theater and learned that the officer who had detained her son was the same officer who had detained him in March 2009 after he was accused of entering the theater without paying for a ticket.
The same officer who arrested her on wiretapping charges after she videotaped him in a public parking lot of the movie theater.
The same officer who is named in a federal lawsuit she has against the Boynton Beach Police Department.
His name is Robert Kellman.
“He is angry at me for the lawsuit so he’s taking it out on my son,” Ford said. “He is a ticking time bomb.”
Her son, who recently turned 18, had been banned from the theater for a year since the March 2009 incident. He had not returned to the theater since then until August 20 when he planned to see a movie with a group of friends, including his girlfriend and best friend.
“I was inside the theater with my girlfriend and they surrounded me and told me we have to go outside,” her son said.
“I was like, ‘what’s this about?’ They told me not to ask questions or I’ll be placed in handcuffs.”
Despite the fact that he had a ticket, Kellman locked his arms behind him and dragged him out of the theater in front of everybody. Then they walked him across the street and sat him down on a curb, just as they had did the previous time.
“I then tried to call my mom but he snatched the phone away from me,” he said.
Meanwhile, his best friend had arrived and learned about the incident from her son’s girlfriend. The best friend called Ford.
“When I saw it was Kellman, I told him, ‘Aren’t you the man I’m suing? This is retaliation,’” said Ford, who documented part of the exchange in the above video.
Considering it had been more than five months since the trespass order had been removed, they had no grounds to arrest her son.
But the officers still informed him that he was not allowed into the theater that night.
“They told me the manager had told them he didn’t want me in the theater because he didn’t want any problems,” her son said.
But when Ford and her son approached the manager to ask for a refund, they learned that the manager said no such thing.
In fact, the manager felt so bad about the incident that he gave her son nine movie tickets to be used in the future.
“When we walked back inside to talk to the manager, the cops followed us, but once they saw us talking to the manager, they walked away from us. They kept their distance,” her son said.
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“It was funny because they had just told me if I go back inside, they will arrest me.”