November 24th, 2012

California Man Jailed Four Days for Recording Cops 240

By Carlos Miller


A California man was jailed for four days for attempting to record police officers on a public street.

Daniel J. Saulmon was charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer but the video shows he was standing well out the way of a traffic stop and was only arrested when he failed to produce identification to an approaching officer.

And there is no law in California that requires citizens to produce identification. And even if there was, it would require the officer to have a reasonable suspicion that he was committing a crime.

But prosecutors have already dropped the charge against Saulmon as well as a few other minor citations relating to his bicycle such as not have proper reflectors on the pedals.

And they most likely knew who he was considering he won a $25,000 settlement from the same police department after they unlawfully arrested him on eavesdropping/wiretapping charges in 2005.

This time, it appears the Hawthorne Police Department will be dishing out much more, thanks to officer Gabriel Lira’s abuse of authority.

“They knew exactly who I was,” Saulmon said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Saturday, adding that he has recorded them on a regular basis since the 2005 arrest when he was jailed after attempting to file a complaint inside the police station.

“They always address me as ‘Mr. Saulmon’,” he said.

Hawthorne Police Chief Robert Fager (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Judging by his Youtube channel, which is filled with videos of police officers from Southern California jurisdictions, his latest arrest was an obvious case of retaliation.

The arrest took place on November 8, a Thursday, close to midnight. Because it was a holiday weekend, he would have had to wait until Tuesday to see a judge. He bailed himself out on Monday with a $1,000 he did not want to spend.

It took police a week to return his camera and his bicycle, and only after his attorney sent them a letter informing them that they had no legal basis to maintain possession of his personal property.

Even though he is still facing a citation for not having a headlight on his bicycle, he says he has video evidence from when he picked it up that shows it had two working headlights.

Saulmon is not one to be deterred by their abusive behavior. On the day after his 2005 arrest, he walked back into the Hawthorne Police Department to file a complaint with a hidden recorder that reveals he was nearly stripped searched in the lobby as you can hear in the video below.

The irony of that arrest is that they based their evidence on a secret recording one of the officers had made.


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  • steveo

    This guy might take the award for greatest copwatcher of 2012, if it weren’t for Carlos Miller. This vid is almost as good as the one where the Chicago cop tells photojournalists that their 1st Amendment rights can be terminated when….

    Sorry to say it but this is really the best way to deal with the leo who comes up and says “may I help you” No, I didn’t ask for your help, leave me alone. Have you got some ID. Yeah, but I prefer not to talk to you. That’s just so great. It’s going to get most of us arrested, but for the above journalist, this seems to be profitable. I hope his lawyer doesn’t go for a settlement and they show this vid after discussing the 25K settlement with a jury. It’s going to be like the movie “The Verdict”, where the jury asks the judge if they are limited to award the plaintiff only what he asks for or can we give him more.

    • Carlos_Miller

      For some reason, every time I send you an email, it gets returned to me, even if I am responding to one you sent me, which shows I have the right email address.

      • Jim March

        Carlos, did you get the one I sent you recently where they tried to intimidate me into turning cameras off at an election hand-audit by claiming I can’t videotape ballots in Arizona?

        • Carlos_Miller

          Jim, I looked through my past emails and I didn’t see anything from you. When and to where did you send it?

          • Jim March



            The main bit is here:

            Note the comments I wrote on the bottom in addition to the short (3min) intro. There was also a weird 2nd Amendment mini-argument that’s been going on for years in Pima County. Camera was a Looxcie2 just like yours :).

          • Cm

            Thanks for the video, it was very informative

        • Squirrel

          What do you mean an, “election hand-audit?” Where was this occurring? Were you in a ballot tabulation room? Were you attempting to video the actual data on ballots?

          Arizona state law requires that every County Recorder or Officer in Charge of
          Elections provide a live video feed or recording of ballots while they are in the custody of any tabulation room. In Maricopa Country, the Ballot Tabulation Center has eight live cameras pointing down from various angles. These cameras are in place to insure no unusual behavior occurs in the handling or disposition of ballots. Anyone can view the live feed from any of them at any time by going to

          • Jim March

            There’s a hand-audit after most elections. It’s controlled by Arizona Revised Statutes 16-602 and specifically allows video recording by party-appointed observers.

            “The hand count is not subject to the live video requirements of section 16-621, subsection C, but the party representatives who are observing the hand count may bring their own video cameras in order to record the hand count. The recording shall not interfere with the conduct of the hand count and the officer in charge of the election may prohibit from recording or remove from the facility persons who are taking actions to disrupt the count. The sole act of recording the hand count does not constitute sufficient grounds for the officer in charge of the election to prohibit observers from recording or to remove them from the facility.”

            They tried to violate the crap outta this.

  • Rob

    It has been a while since I’ve seen such a blatant abuse of authority… just wow…

    “I’m under arrest for taking pictures of the police?”

    “I don’t know, what are you doing? I’ve asked you several times.”

    “Apparently I’m about to get a nice paycheck. Thank you for being an idiot, officer.”

    • Rex Lewis Field

      You got that right… idiot… costly, dumb cop was truly an idiot.

      • Ronald Yunis

        And the taxpayers get to foot the bill. Bullshit.

        • Doctare

          The taxpayers MUST fire that dumb police chief who is costing them more than he is worth!

      • mnjack30

        Sadly enough-Most police officers in the USA do not pass the psychological and intelligence minimums that should be required.

        • SomeGuy

          Sadly most people in the US do not…

        • jim

          The Police Officers I believe knew what they were doing was wrong, but their egos got in the way of common sense. Most cops today are college graduates, unlike most of their predecessors in years past.

          • JohnGault

            Thats hilarious! “Most cops today are college graduates…” You my friend should be a comedian!

          • Howard Hal

            only a moron would say that JOHN. college? but ya right, that is funny!

          • ExCop->Teacher

            This is 10 years old but still applies – police departments prefer less intelligent cops.

            Man Ruled ‘Too Smart’ to be a Cop

            The US District Court of Appeals in New York just rejected 49-year-old Robert Jordan’s lawsuit claim that he was discriminated against by the New London police department on the basis of his intellect.

            In 1996, Jordan took a routine intelligent test in an attempt to become a member of the Connecticut city’s police department. He scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125 but the NLPD was only interviewing people who scored between 20 and 27. Their logic being that someone too smart would get bored easily on the job and wander off or something – thus wasting all that money they spent on training them.

            The average score for police officers is 21 or 22 (or a 104 IQ), just above average.

            Jordan said this was a form of discrimination and sued. “This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America. I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else.” The courts rejected his suit saying that the city had “shown a rational basis for the policy”

            Now Jordan works as a prison guard where he can truly excel and hone his intellect.

            But if we only have police officers who are ‘just above average’ intelligence and they’re promoted from within to become detectives who we entrust to solve our crimes- aren’t we in turn endangering ourselves?

          • Doctare

            It takes a pretty STUPID college grad cop to knowingly break the law. Such cops are told by their police chief to do what we read about because THEY ARE AFRAID OF BEING SUED PERSONALLY FOR POLICE BRUTALITY OR WHATEVER.

          • Dosis van Comycin

            You think the chiefs are telling the cops to act like bullies because they’re afraid of being sued personally? Acting like a power-drunk thug will get you sued faster than anything else. All that stuff your mom told you about how smart you are, Doctare? She lied.

          • Seedee Vee

            They are not “stupid”. They know that they will never be personally held responsible for anything done while on the job. The police unions lawyers , or their county/city DAs, or their best friends and employers – the judges — will get everything dismissed. The murderer Mehrsle was one of the very few held responsible (barely) for any criminal actions — and that was only because it was on video!

          • Jerry

            It is well known that getting a degree does not make one smart,or,intelligent.I

            mean damn! everyone in Washington has one..

        • nevilleross

          This is why we need a mandatory minimum five years to become a cop in the USA and Canada.

        • Mike Emmons

          hahaha minimum? surely you jest sir. courts have upheld the right of police forces to discriminate against applicants with an IQ higher than 110. the psychological profiling is all aimed at getting exactly the kind of cops they have. wake up man!

          • ExCop-LawStudent

            A single court, upholding a defense to an age discrimination case, in an unpublished decision with no precedential value. Did you even read the case?

            The city of New London didn’t hire an applicant because he was 46 years of age. They came up with a BS defense that the court bought, probably because the courts almost never force a police department to hire someone after a lawsuit.

          • Mike Emmons

            well here is the mainstream media version of it. and we all know how anti-cop the mainstream is. let’s see your version of the story please? oh it also says he is 49 but he took the test in 96 so… give us a link.

          • ExCop-LawStudent

            It’s available on both Lexis and Westlaw. The case is styled Jordan v. City of New London, 225 F.3d 645, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 22195, 2000 WL 1210820 (2d Cir. 2000). I don’t know about Canada, but in the U.S. most counties have a law library that the public can access. Or you can go to either Lexis or Westlaw and do a single case transaction. I don’t know what those rates are, since I have access via the law school.

          • Mike Emmons

            so are you saying you cant back up your words then? too bad. back to your bridge, troll.

          • ExCop-LawStudent

            Not everything is on the internet and not everything is free. I’ve provided a citation to the case, which you apparently haven’t read (not that this surprises me). I’ve told you how to get access to it. So if you don’t want to look it up, that’s on you, not me.

    • throat puncher

      the officer was full of adrenaline and talking so fast and slurring that i couldn’t understand half of what he said. he was in defense mode. he had made up his mind to arrest the dude on the bike, before he even barked his questions and accusations at him. he was gonna “teach him a lesson”. for what? because the police are arrogant psychopaths who have unlimited authority to do wtf they want in this case. i’d sue the beejezus outta them and file charges on the dick making the false arrest. and then trying to fine him for “reflectors” not on his bike pedals? really? what’s next? spitting on the sidewalk? nazis.

      • Ibfreeamerican Brent

        “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court stated: “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

        “An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction, and one who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf the arresting officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the killing will be no more than an involuntary manslaughter.” Housh v. People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621.

        “When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.” Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

        “These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

        “An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” (State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260).

        “Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100).

        “One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” (Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910).

        “Story affirmed the right of self-defense by persons held illegally. In his own writings, he had admitted that ‘a situation could arise in which the checks-and-balances principle ceased to work and the various branches of government concurred in a gross usurpation.’ There would be no usual remedy by changing the law or passing an amendment to the Constitution, should the oppressed party be a minority. Story concluded, ‘If there be any remedy at all … it is a remedy never provided for by human institutions.’ That was the ‘ultimate right of all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression, and to apply force against ruinous injustice.’” (From Mutiny on the Amistad by Howard Jones, Oxford University Press, 1987, an account of the reading of the decision in the case by Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court.

        As for grounds for arrest: “The carrying of arms in a quiet, peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a breach of the peace.” (Wharton’s Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th Ed., Vol.2: Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197)

        • David Frizzell

          Why would you even put yourself in that situation? Don’t you have anything better than to do than pick fights with the police?

          • Dusty Thompson

            A lot of Germans in 1933 said the exact same thing FOOL… Wake the EFF up America, its almost too late.

          • Ron

            Telling people to ‘wake up’ means you have no idea, whatsoever, how to enact the change you want to see. If you knew how to change anything, you would be calling for direct action. ‘wake up’ is the worst political idiom that I have seen this decade.

          • Seedee Vee

            I’d go with “hope and change”. But “Look Forward” is a good choice too.

          • Robert Bolender

            Disagree. Waking up has to occur prior to direct action.

          • Matt Chappel

            Well David, sometimes those “situations”, as you call them, just happen. It’s not like people are constantly trying to pick fights with cops. Many cops are the instigators. Surely you are aware of that? And surely you advocate that people know the law and defend themselves against unlawful police activity.


          • JohnGault

            This gentleman, sir, is fighting for all of our rights using the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal: a video camera! Because of his deeds, less officers will be inclined to detain innocent civilians on a false premise. What are you doing to help?

          • Trollfeeder

            In your world, anything other than cringing, servile, boot-licking submission toward our Masters in Blue is “picking a fight.” Right, Dave?

          • Seedee Vee

            Why did they ever complain about King George?

            Something about the inalienable rights of man? Don’t worry your pretty little head about those things, someone else will take care of it for you.

          • Howard Hal

            david your a moron! pick fights with police? oh fuck ya, when ya can and am able to, and your in the right, why the fuck not? DAVID, your a cop aint you?

        • mmurdoch

          The first citation of Plummer v. State and John Bad Elk v. U.S. is apparently an internet meme. Per

          “Other than attempts to debunk it as an urban legend,
          there are no known examples of this quote being accompanied by a
          reference giving the year, the court, the state, or a link to the exact
          wording. The quoted text is not found in the text of Plummer v. State or in any other known ruling by any court.

          The other quoted case is actually US Supreme Court Case John Bad Elk v. U.S. (1900) 177 U.S. 529, 44 L.Ed. 874, 20 S.Ct. 729,[12]
          where a man was granted a new trial after being convicted of killing a
          police officer who was attempting to illegally arrest the man, because,
          at the initial trial, the jury was not instructed that it could convict
          on a lesser offense, such as manslaughter.”

          So if you kill the cop who is arresting you for photography, and you cite these cases, it will not have the effect that you desire.

          • Smarter than the Average Bear

            I’m not siding with abusive pigs here, but these idiots making comments on here look mighty stupid after reading your comment. These trashy know-it-all “revolutionaries” will take anything they read on the internet and use it as fact in social network discussions. They never question anything that sounds good to their ears, never do research of the things they claim to know, and are quick to attack anyone with an opposing or more enlightened understanding of the law. These idiots aka hipsters are worse than the sheep as they masquerade as the informed, but informed is the last thing they are. In fact they will post bullshit on forums and social networks hoping someone else will act on their propaganda for their pleasure.

          • Difdi

            And you look even stupider, taking a guy who misquoted Wikipedia as proof when citing actual court cases lack credibility in your eyes.

            You never question anything that sounds good to your ears, never do research of the things you claim to know, and are quick to attack anyone with an opposing or more enlightened understanding of the law.

          • Difdi

            “So if you kill the cop who is arresting you for photography, and you
            cite these cases, it will not have the effect that you desire.”

            The internet meme you speak of misquotes the U.S. Supreme Court decision in John Bad Elk vs The United States. This does not mean that the John Bad Elk decision never happened.

            To quote from the John Bad Elk ruling, off of the Cornell University Law School site, “He, of course, had no right to unnecessarily injure, much less to kill,
            his assailant; but where the officer is killed in the course of the
            disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is
            resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction,
            when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if
            the officer had no such right. What might be murder in the first case
            might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might
            show that no offense had been committed.”

            I’ll take the website of a law school over Wikipedia most days. And this one shows that the Wikipedia “debunking of the meme” is actually a mere meme in itself. Killing a cop who is making a false arrest, going by the decision I quoted unnecessarily would remain a crime. So you can’t just whip out a gun and shoot a cop dead when he orders you to stop filming.

            But you wouldn’t be able to do that to anyone under most circumstances and make a valid self-defense plea either. Self-defense is proportionate to the threat. If the officer draws his weapon while trying to enforce a false arrest, that would be a very different matter.

        • Smarter Than the Average Bear

          There you go…let’s encourage people to put themselves in jail for a manslaughter conviction over that of a murder charge. You sir have won the idiot of the year award.

  • sfmc98

    He will likely get an award. But you know what the problem is? It’ll probably be in the same range as the one before, a paltry $25,000.

    The perverse thing that if he rightfully physically resisted an illegal arrest and got himself injured or disfigured, the judgement would be exponentially greater. But because he says “yes, sir” and complies, he gets screwed. The judgement should be the same, if not more, for submitting to the illegal arrest. But the courts only award it when you actually stand and fight.

    • Ralf Oc

      Do a couple of these per year – not a bad way of making a living. Spend the rest of the time on the beach.

      • Rail Car

        Ralf Oc..

        I’ve mentioned the same thing several times here. You’re right. Do this 3 – 4 times a year and party the rest of the time. Someone doing this could make themselves a good $$$$ monetary living where they’d never have to work another day in their lives.

        Rail Car Fan

    • TowelRack

      The offending public servant should pay the bill!

      • Beedogs

        That’s no public servant in this case – it is a criminal wearing a badge.

        • Guntrain

          And carrying mace, a flick club, and a gun.

    • dude911

      not if his lawyer is on the ball…the 25k was to teach the po-lice a lesson…they pulled the same thing then that means the po-lice didnt learn thier lesson…so its justified to settle for more…

      • Gentilewithisrael

        How do you teach the police a lesson if it is the taxpayers that pay the fine or judgement…?

        • Pete

          You as a taxpayer are liable. You voted in the people who hired the morons who violated this man’s rights. Don’t like it? Fire the people you voted for. Don’t want to fire them? Prepare to pay each time they do the same thing.

          • Duh

            yeah. This is clearly the fault of Democrats because they control city hall and thus the blatant abuses of the police department. More Republicans needed in offices at all levels to root out this kind of blatant taxpayer abuse and systemic corruption.

          • Matt Chappel

            “You voted in the people who hired the morons who violated this man’s rights.”

            I guess it’s now the voting public’s job to make sure cops know the Constitution… Unfortunately most of the voting public are even dumber than your average cop…. Hence the constant voting for corruption.

          • Mike the Limey

            That’s why the public pay & pay; because they’re stupid enough not to care.

        • dude911

          Police Departments carry liablity insurance. Most of the time awards are paid out by insurance companies, and not tax payers. Ultimately, the taxpayer is liable, and they use tax dollars to pay for insurance for the municipality, and some cases may be settled out of the municipalities coffers to avoid costly litigation and public embarrasment.
          But the courts dont weigh that. Juries give punative awards based on damages and statutes, not the consideration that its tax dollars. When it hurts, and thier budgets get tight, they pay attention, and when they do the same thing twice, it should hurt even more.

      • Rachel Guess

        Not necessarily. If he uses an attorney that works on contingency, he gets to keep his damages and the attorney can file the case, which is almost always done anyway, to cover attorney’s fees and costs. Especially in a case as clear cut as this one.

        My guess would be that Officer Lira was either show boating for the female officer or as a retaliatory effort. Either of these circumstances would be taken into consideration in any judgment.

        I am a retired peace officer myself, and in all my years of working for the department I never once saw such an abuse of authority as in this video.

        • 6079 Smith W

          If there weren’t people taking videos of cops, you wouldn’t have seen this one either. Some people wouldn’t believe such abuses really happen without videos like this as proof. No wonder so many cops feel hard done by when they get caught on camera. No wonder so many cops want filming them to be illegal.

        • Jn Brown

          all that time with your eyes closed? how did you get anything done?

    • perseus317

      If the man has a good lawyer, the settlement should be greater this time. The recording that was posted shows that the police are now harassing the man. Any fair judge would see what’s going on, and that the smaller settlement did not have its desired effect on the police. If the judge is truly fair, he should award the man at least six figures – not for the man’s inconvenience, but because the previous award failed to have its desired effect on the actions of the policemen.

  • This Nest

    These laws vary from state to state, yes? Does anyone have any suggestions, as far as information or websites, that offer info about Washington State law? My son is seventeen, he is brown, and will be leaving for college next Fall…I would like to arm him with knowledge. In laymen’s tems?

    • Carlos_Miller

      Here’s a general view of the laws, which can get you started with your research. I don’t know if it says anything about Washington.

    • steveo

      you have to understand that what we do on the street is not “in layman’s terms” . Most of what we rely on is “case law” that has developed because government tries to circumvent the constitution of the laws of each state. leos do this , then we say they can’t do that, then we write legal brief to the courts and they either agree with us or they don’t. Most of the time they agree with the freedom of speech and the press, so most of the time we are right, but that doesn’t stop leos from doing what they do.

  • alrightythen2

    The only way to find any sort of justice is to hold the Police Department accountable as well as the individual officers. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is through the corrupt legal system. (Clarification: The use of a Judge, only, and not a jury of one’s peers) The individual officers are supposed to have “better/more complete” knowledge of the law. Wherefore, they can be held to a higher standard and the indemnification clause they work under becomes null and void. The trouble is prosecuting these individuals in court… even in civil court.

    • Difdi

      I wonder, at what point would a police department be subject to the RICO Act?

    • Rachel Guess

      Police officers are covered under department insurance for acts that result in being sued, however they can be sued as an individual if their actions were outside, or in violation, of the law, which is clearly the case in this instance. Yes this will be a civil case against the department, probably both individually and severally with the department, due to the ‘deep pockets’ rule. It’s a clear winner too and I am certain the attorney realizes that. His civil rights were violated, and the department will end up settling before it goes to court.

  • teri

    Dude, why do you take such pleasure in harassing law enforcement? Why are you not able to find a life???

    • teri

      I know it’s hard for you to imagine—but you might actually have an emergency at some point, and need the cops, Mr. Saulmon.

      • jnavratil

        Please! If there were an emergency, would these guys be handing out a ticket or jailing Mr. Saulmon? He didn’t take their time. They took his! Four days!

      • TowelRack

        Need cops that act according to law and not stolen power to abuse!

      • vfrtower

        “.. you might actually have an emergency at some point, and need the cops, Mr. Saulmon.”

        So teri…are you suggesting that, heaven forbid, the police will continue to improperly do their job by refusing to respond to a citizen in need?

        • Beedogs

          Teri must bang cops in the back of patrol cars.

      • Art

        And Teri, they would be required to help him since his tax dollars pay for their help, but not for their abuse. What is your argument here? That we should accept police abuse of power because someday we might need their help? Is that what we must endure to receive the service we pay them for already?

        • Difdi

          The Mafia has better rates and actually guarantees their work. The consequences for crossing a bad cop and a mobster are similar.

          Why do we need police?

          • Art

            Taxes being mandatory, I prefer to pay only once.
            On the other hand, recognizing your tongue-in-cheek, I appreciate your point. At a certain level of abuse, the only thing that differentiates the two is their effectiveness. It certainly isn’t their upstanding citizenry or moral character.

      • steveo

        teri the cop troll probably from hawthorne is trying to get some traction for the “cops never do wrong crowd” but here you are mistaken. You need to help get an FBI investigation going into why this is allowed in this particular local pd.

        and personally I wouldn’t call you if I was on fire. 911 is blocked on my phones.

      • Beedogs

        So these “public servants” will refuse to do their jobs because they dislike him? And you ADVOCATE that???????????????????

      • Chuck Curry

        I called 911 once 20 years ago because a man was passed out in a snow bank, and I was worried he would die. I asked them to send an ambulance, but they sent a squad car instead. When the cops showed up, they beat him until they realized he was in a diabetic coma. I will NEVER call the police again.

      • Boomer

        You must be new here, Teri. Assholes like this who escalate any situation into an arrest are the scum of the land. He didn’t have any articulable reason to arrest Mr. Saulmon, and for proof you need only look at the video, and the fact that the charges were dropped. So, Officer Asshole decided that he could bully this man and invent a reason to arrest him. One item I overlooked the first time I listened to it was the speed with which the officer descended from “Can I help you?”, to “You’re going to jail.” It’s almost as though he had that as a plan all along.

        As for needing this officer in an emergency, I think you’re very badly mistaken. An officer like this is the last individual I want near my home, work, or family in any sort of an emergency because he isn’t interested in helping us, he’s more interested in arresting someone. I have more to fear from this kind of officer than I do from the biggest, badest, most vicious gang banger murderer on the street, because at least the Gang Banger won’t lie to me and try to convince me he’s there to “help” me.

        You’ve obviously confused being issued a uniform, a weapon, and shiny piece of government jewelry as a demonstration of competence as a law enforcement officer. I pray that someday your confusion will not need the services of a jackass like this, because your house of cards will crash like the Hindenburg when he arrives.

    • jnavratil

      When being an a*8hole becomes a crime we are all in trouble. The tyrannical words “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear” seems to be shown as the lie it is, don’t you think?

      • ter

        Police work is a pretty dangerous business. What we DO NOT need when doing a traffic stop or whatnot, is to be distracted by some asshole with a camera. This is why most states have the “obstruction of justice” law.

        • Clark

          Then please ignore the camera and do your job. None of us here support getting in front of you to prevent you making an arrest. If you have a problem with a citizen standing back and recording, then I assume you also go around and shutoff any public or private security cameras before doing anything right?

        • PhoneBill

          What “obstruction” occurred?

          • Difdi

            The camera obstructed the free passage of photons out of the atmosphere by capturing them.

        • Hamlet

          Oh look, another cop sucking troll. How quaint.

          Go away troll. You have revealed yourself to be ignorant of the law, police in general, and the Constitution.

          Stop talking.

        • jnavratil

          BS. You may benefit from reading the statutes on obstruction of justice in its many forms. You will find that it requires interference with an investigation or lying to an investigator – basically doing something constructive to keep the investigation from arriving at the truth. When a camera distracts a policeman, there will be no justice in New York City.

          What do the officers have to fear?

        • TowelRack

          These cops were clearly out of control! No excuse can or should be attempted. The person filming was in no way hindering police or in this case thugs!

        • SoCal

          If a camera recording the actions of police officers constitutes obstruction, then why do police vehicles contain camera? Are you afraid of what the camera might reveal? Will it obstruct illegal activity on the part of the police officer? If you are doing your job according to the law, a camera will be a welcome source of backup evidence. If not, the maybe you should be afraid

        • steveo

          hey, mr. pol…ice…how about you just ignore us like you do every other lawfully present bystander.

        • ConradBaylor

          What we DO NOT need when doing a traffic stop or whatnot, is to be distracted by some asshole with a camera.

          Watch the video again. Tell us, please, exactly where Saulmon distracted the police.

        • bgolfguy

          No, what you have here are power hungry, ignorant A__holes that are violating the law. Yes, I am talking about the “police” here. A complete and total abuse of power. IF the Police would follow the laws themselves instead of making them up as they go along, they wouldn’t have to worry about someone videoing them.

        • Chuck Curry

          Actually, being a clerk is more dangerous than being a cop. Try the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more fun facts. Now stop swaggering you chickenshit tax feeder and get back to tasering pregnant women.

    • TowelRack

      I believe you have it turned around! This guy is exposing abuses by police that may well happen to you or your family! You should thank him!

    • Peter

      If you’re unable to do your job within the law, then please get of of the law enforcement business. Clearly it is irrelevant what the citizen was doing if he was not violating any laws. If you decide to go after him anyways, then you should pay the price.

    • Baron von Papschmeer

      The more important the job, the more power they must have to do the job.

      The more power they have, the closer they must be watched, and the higher the standard to which they must be held.

      Cops are vitally necessary to any large, prosperous society. It’s a ridiculously demanding job. It’s a job that only the top 10% of the population should have the remotest chance of qualifying for. Instead, any d-bag with a clean record who can pass the physical can get the job. That’s what went wrong here; it’s what goes wrong in most of the Stupid Cop stories that make the news.

      This cop needs to be fired, prosecuted, and sentenced to the maximum punishment allowed by law. Any other cop who can’t stand that heat should get out of that kitchen.

    • Richard Lord

      No is harassing a law enforcement officer, the man who was using the color of authority was not enforcing the law, he was breaking it. Detaining and arresting a American citizen who has not broken the law is a federal crime.

  • Steve Brown

    cop involved should be jailed for kidnapping

    • Beedogs

      False arrest, and false imprisonment. Felony charges against the “pig” are called for. Yes “pig”, because this is no police officer who knows and follows the law.

      • LEOJD

        A 42 USC 1983 federal civil rights violation case would be the better way to go.

        • Difdi

          Most police departments have lawsuit insurance. Even if you can get past courts dismissing your lawsuit under the doctrine of qualified immunity, it’s not the department that pays the judgment. The insurance company might jack up the insurance premiums, but the police department is funded by taxpayers.

          A law with more teeth would be 18 USC 242. That actually could result in serious prison time for the officer, as well as up to a $10,000 fine applied directly to the officer.

          • Robert Date

            And the insurance is boought by the taxpayers also. We still pay.

          • Difdi

            The difference between a 42USC1983 lawsuit and a 18USC242 fine is that 1983 is civil law and 242 is criminal law. Insurance doesn’t cover the costs associated with being convicted of a federal crime.

      • Anonymous

        You’re a retard.

    • Rex Lewis Field

      Agreed… and fired.

    • jenny

      Do a deal that forces the Cops(not the taxpayer) to hand over the money(settlement), and to have to do retraining of some sort.

      Also have them apologize personally, in the paper and on the local news

      Ask you lawyer to present the case and send to Governor as well

      • Ahhnold

        Retraining and apologies are BS. No amount of retraining would ever make this pig fit to have Authoritaah, and an apology would just be a sociopath saying what he needs to say. Prosecute and jail him for the felony civil rights violation and make him liquidate his assets to pay the civil settlements. It’s not like his kids would have been college material anyway. Not if they’re related to him.

        • randomerest

          It doesn’t matter, if you do anything like that, the police will know who was the cause of it and will just target you over and over again like this poor guy. You will eventually be arrested and jailed or will have to skip state and hope the local police won’t know you there.

  • mmmilesll

    The police chief and some “officers” need to be fired. They know who this guy is and they think that nobody can question them. These cops are probably overpaid and have huge pensions, you would think they would be “smart” enough to know the law.

  • TowelRack

    People can not be denied the right to defend themselves from unlawful attack by police. I believe the police across our country should be warned in a most aggressive way if they abuse authority while in uniform they loose all protections of a civil servant.

    • Difdi

      John Bad Elk vs The United States is a fascinating Supreme Court decision on the subject of false arrests.

      • Smarter than the Average Bear

        Um, internet memes don’t hold any weight in a courtroom. You’ll get a good laugh out of the court tho after they make you look very stupid.

        • Difdi

          What the hell are you talking about? Meme? Since when is a published U.S. Supreme Court decision an internet meme?

          John Bad Elk v. United States – 177 U.S. 529 (1900).

          Or did you make yourself look stupid by making a mocking reply to the wrong post?

  • Ken

    I live in lLas Vegas NV. COP MURDER Capital of the U.S.A. calling a cop her can get you killed here….I’d rather call a CRACK head for help then one of MURDEROUS HERO’S!!!

  • Joe Dutra

    I hope he ends up owning Hawthorne!

  • Richard Lord

    Please GO to the Hawthornepd Facebook page and ask why questions and comments on this are being deleted, I believe They are providing a public forum administered by public employees and are censoring public comments based on content. I believe A clear violation of free speech. They are allowing some people to comment and not others. They just seem to have a overall problem with the whole concept of free speech.

    • Baron von Papschmeer

      Talk about a loose grasp on the concept of free speech! You think “free speech” means somebody has to give you a forum? HPD’s Facebook is their own site. They can delete anything they want to. It doesn’t infringe on anybody’s free speech unless they try to delete the stuff on YOUR site.

      Too many people think their “rights” are really OTHER PEOPLE’S OBLIGATIONS to GIVE them stuff. An Obamaphone, an audience, a shave and a haircut, two bits… you have a right to say whatever you want; HPD has no obligation whatsoever to host it on their Facebook page.

      • Richard Lord

        Private citizens have every right to regulate the content of there own pages, The Hawthorn police department is NOT a private entity it is a government entity, and as a government entity it has chosen to create a PUBLIC forum open to PUBLIC content.. The state does not have the authority to open a public forum and then censor speech because public officials object to its content. THAT IS THE FUCKING PURPOSE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. The first amendment applies to the GOVERNMENT. we are Not talking about private citizens. They have chosen to censor content In Hopper
        v. City of Pasco, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 2232 (9th Cir.
        2001), the city opened a display area within the city hall.
        Artists who were invited to display their work were summarily
        uninvited when their submissions provoked controversy. The
        artists brought suit, claiming violation of the First Amendment.
        The District Court held in favor of the city, finding that
        the display area was a nonpublic forum. On appeal, however,
        the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the city had, in
        fact, created a designated public forum and had wrongly excluded
        the artists’ work without a compelling government interest.

        • Baron von Papschmeer

          That’s not a bad argument. I think the shaky part is where you say that the HPD “has chosen” to create the public forum. If they have the choice to create it or not, doesn’t that imply their right to choose what to keep and what to delete? The resolution there would be to REQUIRE the forum, thus forbidding them to censor it.

          “Compelling government interest” allows some weasely wiggling. The cops could argue that they have a compelling interest in retaining the public trust, and therefore have a compelling interest in censoring content that would tend to erode it.

          • Richard Lord

            The police department chose to create a public forum using public money to manage, it they can not tell the public what the public can or can not say on it. Just as the City of Pasco had no authority to censor artists when they chose to create a public forum.. They can make a decision to close the Facebook page to everyone. or keep it and allow everyone. They can not censor the speech of the people based on the opinions of some and allow only the ones who wash their balls. ITs not a bad argument, that is why its the LAW, and why the city of Hawthorn is violating the law every-time they delete a post based on its content. The Ninth Circuit court applies directly to the city of Hawthorne.

          • Dark Space

            Sorry, I don’t think it works that way. They can use the Facebook forum in a number of ways – they could dedicate to donuts and guns, and delete anything that doesn’t have to do with donuts and guns. It might not even be managed by an employee of HPD. To take it out of the interwebs, they could whitewall one side of the police station and tell the public they can sign the wall to support local cops, and if people tagged it “die pigs”, it is fully within HPD’s right to paint over that. If you want a public forum get involved in the local politics, start filming the HPD yourself, write a letter and mail it in to someone who counts (Mayor, DA, Chief of Police, all of which I guarantee will not read your Facebook comment) – it will be much more effective given that the Facebook page has only 9 likes and 8 visits (including yours and mine…).

          • IO_IO

            Would not then “Compelling government interest” provide the basis for the police to arrest your for not respecting their authority, in order to maintain the public trust?

      • Terry D. Waters

        If the site is paid for by the city or maintained by someone while on the city payroll then it is public property and subject to all ‘sunshine laws’ meaning every post is public information and cannot be legally deleted.

        • Baron von Papschmeer

          Another good argument. Facebook accounts are “free” (in that Zuckerberg monetizes your info rather than charging you directly) so it’s not paid for by the city. If whoever has the password to the account maintains it on his own time, is it still subject to the Sunshine Laws? If not, is it another abuse of authority to represent it as being “Hawthorne PD’s FacebookPage”?

          • Richard Lord

            It does not matter if its paid for or not. Its a official site of the Hawthorne police department if they have volunteers censoring free speech and violating the 1st and 14th amendments its still against the law in my opinion.

          • ExCop-LawStudent

            No one, government or not, is required to post your comments. It is not an infringement of your free speech rights.

            Free speech means that you can say what you wish, or publish what you wish. It does not mean anyone else has to publish what you want them to.

  • Sean

    This man is a true patriot. Need more like him; sacrificing his own comfort to keep the police honest.

    • Craig Mayberry

      I think he’s doing it to force them to rain twenties on him with a nice fat check from the city coffers. And I agree 100% that he has the right to do it and that the cops are abusive arrogant idiots.

      • Smarter than the Average Bear

        “I think he’s doing it to force them to rain twenties on him with a nice fat check from the city coffers.” That’s nothing more than a childish assumption, but the rest of your comment was adult in nature. Do you suffer split personalities?

    • Terry D. Waters

      Unfortunately he’s not ‘keeping’ the police honest, he’s trying to ‘make’ them honest.

  • Guest

    I hope this guy gets a 7 figure payout, minimum. And if he’s smart, he will take it and leave not only town, but the state as well, because the retaliation is only going to get worse. In fact, the retaliation issue should be pointed out to a jury. The problem with the cops is they have many slimy supporters that will retaliate against this guy, even physically, and then the cops will either not respond at all, or purposely show up too late to save him.

    • steveh09

      I hope he uses it to buy more cameras…

  • Mark Sheats

    Going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

  • Richard Schulze

    Way to go, Mr. Saulmon! Keep recording and sue those clowns out of existence.

  • Noble Furr

    While I normally side with the police, I believe this case sounds more like retaliation and official oppression. It also *appears* the police tried to frame him for misdemeanors he didn’t commit, just to be jerks.
    If you can’t trust your police officers to be honest about bicycle violations, how can you trust them on murder investigations and officer shootings!?!
    ANY time a police officer retaliates against a citizen — especially an innocent citizen — then it corrupts trust in the honesty and integrity of law enforcement, and should result in the officer and his/her chief being disciplined, and probably fired.

  • ConradBaylor

    Back in the sixties, hippies referred to all cops as “pigs.” But cops who engage in this sort of unlawful harassment really are pigs. I hope Mr. Saulmon is awarded enough in damages to break the department. Better yet, though, these cops should spend some time in jail for what they’ve done.

    I’m very much a law-and-order conservative, but cops like this just plain stink.

  • TerryHuggles

    If I was a tax payer in Hawthorne I would be insisting the liability of the fines should be carried by police officers. The money should be extracted from the police pension fund and not from the public purse.

    When I get a speeding ticket in my company car, my boss does not pay the fine. I pay for the infraction.

    • myronfrye