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Idaho Cop Assaults Man for Video Recording Traffic Stop From More Than 50 Feet Away

A Boise police sergeant stormed up to a man video recording her making a traffic stop from more than 50 feet away, accusing him of interfering with her investigation.

Sgt. Lori Sperry ordered Gavin Seim to take his hands out of his pockets and hand over his identification, which he refused to do on the basis that he was not committing a crime.

Sperry, who made more than $99,000 in 2011, became extremely unsettled by the fact that he asserted his rights, claiming it was an “officer safety issue,” then insisting she was unable to multitask because she couldn’t focus on the driver she was ticketing as well as on Seim.

At one point, she grabbed his arm, but then backed off as if realizing she had crossed the line.

She finally relaxed when another officer named T. Green showed up to the scene, who’s demeanor was the complete opposite of his superior.

Seim explained to him what had happened.

“She said I had to give ID and wanted to pat me down, she also grabbed me too,” Seim told the male officer.

“She assaulted you?” the cop asked, sounding surprised.  (read correction below).

The two have a mundane conversation for several minutes until Sperry is done with her traffic stop and pulls up to Seim at the 10:00 mark.

And once again, she orders him to take his hands out of his pocket, insisting he had been interfering and claiming she had not assaulted him by grabbing him.

Call Boise Police Chief  Mike Masterson at  (208) 570-6190.

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CORRECTION: I just received the following email from Gavin Seim, who clarified that it wasn’t officer Green who asked, “she assaulted you?” but a friend that was with him.

Hi Carlos this is Gavin Seim. Thanks for posting my little encounter from last night. Interesting times. Truth told I did not expect the escalation. I was some distance away and was not even interacting until the officer approached me. I just wanted to correct something.

It was not green that asked if she assaulted me and sounded surprised. That was one of my traveling companions that walked over. Green was polite, if a bit smug.

He did answer most of my questions and was non aggressive. I just wanted to be clear about who was speaking in the video. That third voice that spoke once or twice was there to support me but it was not an officer.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.