A man who was arrested in Tampa last year after video recording police in public was convicted this month in what appears to be a conviction ripe for appeal.
Jeff Patch was found guilty of obstructing or opposing an officer because Judge Eric Myers said that he had placed officers “safety at risk,” according to Fox Tampa Bay.
However, the video, although dark and grainy, shows that Patch was complying with officers when they ordered him to step back. In previous reports, Patch said he stepped back 15 feet.
The video shows police confiscating his phone, then arresting him as soon as he told them he was recording.
“I am just letting you know that I am recording this conversation,” said Patch on the video. The officer responds, “Oh, can I take this from you?”
In fact, they kept his phone as evidence, which indicates they did not just arrest him for obstructing but for video recording them.
I spoke briefly with Patch’s attorney, Jordan Tawil, on Thursday who said they plan on appealing the case.
We had set up a phone interview between myself, Patch and Tawil for 1:30 on Friday to allow me to get more details, but they never called and I’m not going to hold this story any longer than I already have.
Right now, the only news story I found is the one I linked to above, which got picked up by Police One, where commenters are having a field day with the conviction.
Mr. Patch and other “Reporters” when your told to step back and you are THIS CLOSE then you refuse a lawful order as shown in the video; you will be arrested.
My advice to you Mr. Patch? Get a real camera and stand back; preferably in the next state..
I have no problem being “filmed” but if you are right on top of me I’ll arrest you if you don’t follow a legal order to step back.. Then I will take your “video” and use it as evidence..
Don’t stick your nose in others’ business. I’m glad to see some “I’m only filming this to protect everyone” idiot finally get dobbed for his self righteous sense of entitlement. I get so tired of these tree huggers acting like the Police are the bad guys. It’s even more feather legged, but I know of a woman who tried this crap here in TX and got arrested for filming Officers when they were in their cars with the MDCs on. They got smart and charged her with dissemenating TLETS info since the officers had confidential info on the screen and she posted it on the web. I’m sure her intent was just to be an idiot like this guy adn didn’t know what was on the MDC, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. That’s the problem with our society. People should trust us, but there is no sense of respect for the authority have or the fear that should be in the back of their minds of stepping over the thin blue line.