Home / California Man Arrested after Video Recording Oil Refinery from Public Sidewalk

California Man Arrested after Video Recording Oil Refinery from Public Sidewalk

In the ongoing battle between Daniel Saulmon and Southern California police over the right to record in public, which has resulted in him being arrested so many times he has lost count, El Segundo police arrested his friend last week after they were recording the Chevron oil refinery from a public sidewalk, ripping the camera out of his hand and tearing the battery out, leaving the last video clip he recorded corrupted and unable to be viewed.

Tony Rachall, the man referred to as “Poetic” in the videos, spent two hours in jail before he was released with a citation of  “impeding traffic” – a traffic violation normally reserved for cars driving too slow in a single lane where cars behind are unable to pass, not bicycles using a single lane of a double-lane street, which is what took place as you can see in the video below.

If anybody was impeding traffic, it was the cops, who blocked an entire lane with their cars as they accused the men of doing the same.

But the cops obviously needed an excuse to charge the men considering there is no law against recording the refinery from a public street.

In fact, there are numerous photos of the monstrosity on the internet, not to mention that Chevron claims on its website that it maintains “an open door policy with refinery neighbors.”

But it appears someone from the refinery called police on the three men on bicycles standing outside the plant with cameras on April 15, which is not the first time this has happened.

Saulmon, who runs the site, Mistaken Bacon, obtained the dispatch conversations of police responding to the scene through a site called Broadcastify, which he pays $15 for every six months, including the audio in the above video.

Police arrived and did their usual shakedown of demanding identifications and asking to search their backpacks and insisting on knowing why would they want to record the refinery, but the men knew their rights and did not consent to searches or volunteer anymore information than they were legally required.

So the cops drove off, telling the men they were free to be on their way.

However, the cops continued monitoring the men from a distance, watching as they started riding their bicycles down the street before pulling them over again for impeding traffic.

According to this bicycle advocacy sitea minimum of five cars must be driving behind the slow-moving vehicle, unable to pass, for this citation to be valid.

However, unless they can get the citation dismissed, they will be required to pay a $236 fine.

As they were harassing the men for impeding traffic, the cops demanded identifications, but they did not have any on them as there is no law in California requiring one to possess a drivers license to operate a bicycle.

But the men did not hesitate to identify themselves verbally, which is why Saulmon and his friend, Ricky Munday, were cited, but not arrested.

Rachall also identified himself, but at one point, the cop tried to grab his camera and Rachall pulled it away. The cop then ordered him to sit on the curb, which he did while still recording.

Eventually, they ordered him to place his hands behind his back, which was when they snatched his camera and removed the battery.

El Segundo Chief Mitch Tavera

El Segundo Police Chief Mitch Tavera

He was released two hours later with his camera, but when he tried to search for the last file he had recorded, he was unable to access it, so they initially thought it had been deleted.

But he later realized the clip is still in the camera, but it most likely became corrupted when the cop pulled the battery out as it was recording.

Now he is trying to figure out how to repair the file. The camera is a Samsung HD  S10, so if anybody has any suggestions, please post them below.

Call El Segundo Police Chief Mitch Tavera at 310-524-2280 or email him mtavera@elsegundo.org Or leave a comment on their Facebook page.

 

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.
  • G

    ITS TOM ZEBRA BITCH

  • Ray186

    It’s funny how they didn’t arrest the guy who called him an A-Hole too his face.

    • Photography is a crime

      There’s always a next time though.

      • DISHONORYOUROATH

        He should have gotten a ticket for not having a light on his bike. The kind Deputy gave him a warning , then afterwards calling both the two kind Deputies goons.

        • G

          You starting to talk too much idiot.

        • discarted

          In LA County you need a light for night, not day. Try again.

          • tom zebra

            discarded I was just looking at your webpage trying to figure out how I can some day record with you?

          • discarted

            Any time. Just give me a shout via discarted.com or boywithgrenade.org. I don’t go around recording police though. i’m a photographer who wears a body camera because I often photograph police in my neighborhood. It’s a little different.

            But to avoid any confusion, you DO NOT need a light on your bike to ride it during the day in LA County. It is a requirement for NIGHT!

          • tom zebra

            I am aware…I did not expect we would chase the police around. Of course if we came by some, I would probably record them. I was interested in the documentary type videos you do that tell a story with audio and still photos. Maybe my ego is over inflated, but I hoped I could tell a short story of how I got where I am, and the mistakes I have made along the way that may be a bad influence on others recording the police…to the tune of still photos. You pretty much told my story in one of your other comments. Acting like an idiot has put me in a position where police are free to arrest me and it is difficult to get representation. When I do get representation, they do not want to go to jury trial, because the defense has my videos to show the jury.

        • Tinker Bell

          You are referring to the video Tom Zebra made with the LA County sheriff deputies. The two deputies were wrong on the law and the correct code is cited by a viewer in the comments section. A person does NOT need a light on their bike for night time riding. A light or lamp attached to the rider is also legal….which is what Tom Zebra (Daniel Saulmon) uses when he rides at night.

        • inquisitor

          Incorrect.
          With your type of serial idiocy, I don’t think anyone can put much faith into any analysis you make regarding anything.

        • tom zebra

          Those deputies and I get along just fine. The title was a joke. I am sure they did not mind.

    • tom zebra

      Yeah Poetic is always a perfect gentlemen. He could not have been more polite, violated no law, but they chose him to arrest.

      • really

        Just like a pack of wolves, singling out the easiest prey.

      • discarted

        I hate you so much Dan.

  • http://www.policemisconduct.net Film The Police Always

    The El Segundo Police Chief Mitch Tavera needs to take these moronic cops in his office and tell them that violating a citizens rights by harassing them for stupid shit will only generate more attention and it’s uncalled for. He needs to make it clear that they (photographers)
    were doing nothing illegal and that THEY (asshole cops) were the ones that caused the scene.

    Drive up, investigate and leave if citizens are doing nothing wrong. I don’t understand why these pussy ass cops take things so personally when a citizen doesn’t want to talk to them or give them any ID when they are doing nothing wrong. Hey asshole cops, IT’S JUST BUSINESS alright? Just drive the fuck away. WHO CARES?! If you don’t like it then find another job you big PUSSY’S!

    • ENTWAFFNUNGDERGESTAPO!

      afnmfh

    • Heisenberg

      IF you do not like their conduct you can contact:

      Scott Doukakis
      Lieutenant
      Patrol Division
      Watch Commander
      310-524-2226
      sdoukakis@elsegundo.org

  • jwalsh

    It is scary having the police make up tickets.

  • inquisitor

    It is with this type of behavior that eventually a reckoning will occur.

    Should someone had shot all of these cops dead in their heads I would not have convicted the shooter if I were seated on the jury.

  • tom zebra

    Please watch my videos on my youtube channel. If you want to donate to me, you can do so by making comments on my youtube channel. Keep your money. Thank you for watching.

    • ENTWAFFNUNGDERGESTAPO!

      I like the way you’re talking. I have lots of hot air to donate, not so much cash.

  • tom zebra

    Also, Katman is posting his videos to ONUS on youtube. ONUS stands for One Nation Under Serveillance. The guy arrested, I call Poetic, posts his videos on my channel. Lastly Ricky Munday is the channel of the other guy you see in our recent refinery videos. Thanks Carlos Miller for bringing attention to this matter.

  • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    Carlos, PINAC needs to send me out to California so I can document Daniel and friends in action. Then I could head down the road and visit JC Playford.

    • Reddit_Guy

      Oh, man that would be too good. Wish I could afford to buy your ticket myself :)

    • Carlos_Miller

      You can team up with Shawn Nee while out there.

      • Tinker Bell

        nee is a wanna be. for some reason he is the darling of the aclu. some people believe he is a mole for the aclu and was sent out for a specific lawsuit. problem is there are lots of proliferic cop watchers in the streets who have paid a lot more dues getting arrested and abused by the police and the aclu wont even talk to them.

        • Carlos_Miller

          Perhaps those other cop watchers don’t capture their abuse on video as Nee has done, which is what the ACLU needs to file lawsuits.

          • tom zebra

            Hello Carlos. There are other comments here made from my name, but using profanity. You probably already know but just in case…that is not me. Thank you for writing this story. I appreciate it.

          • Photography is a crime

            Find away around your blocking fucktard.

        • discarted

          Any time you wanna ask me some questions rather than put this bullshit on here just send me an email or come meet me in Hollywood. You sound like LASD with this “mole” nonsense.

          And quit being so butt hurt because the SoCal ACLU won’t give you the time of day. I’m not even represented by ACLU for LAPD case. My lawyer for LAPD suit is Carol Sobel—very talented and very aggressive.

          See, when you don’t act like a fucking idiot on camera, lawyers are willing to represent you when you’re arrested for taking pictures in public space. Various news publications are also willing to write about your story, too. Not just PINAC.

          • Onus

            Interesting. I have heard many times that lawyers don’t like people who swear.
            Its unfortunate because I was hoping even idiots had constitutional rights in America and lawyers would defend them.

          • discarted

            I agree with you, but juries decide trials and they don’t always make decisions based on the law. Image, perception, and ideologies play a major role in decision-making. Which is something that concerns lawyers.

            It’s quite strange though that tinker bell is squawking about this “mole” bullshit because LASD did the same thing during lawsuit. On the other hand, no one else has pushed this misguided belief. So you might wanna check into this person; could be a cop himself or someone working them.

          • discarted

            Why are you so chicken shit to face on camera?

          • tom zebra

            Ouch! I have learned the truth of your comment the hard way. Because of my ignorant behavior in the past, even when I am on my best behavior now, my attorney is much less interested in hearing from me. For the record the other commenter here using my moniker with capital T is not me. I am not swearing in these comments.

          • discarted

            Dan, you’ve always had my support despite your many criticisms of me and animosity stemming from the ACLU not giving you the time of day but representing me. FYI, I tried to get you help and always sent your videos to people. Regardless, based on what Tinker Bell said, I believe this person is associated with LASD in some way or another. Get a copy of my deposition and you’ll see what I’m talking about. No one else has ever claimed this mole bullshit.

          • tom zebra

            I do not even take that mole comment seriously. I know a stupid comment when I read it. I have never criticized you. I have never tried to get the ACLU to represent me. I am and always have been represented by Donald Cook. He answers my calls, I come to his office anytime I need to talk to him. He takes very good care of me and is a much better attorney then I am a client. Please email me at tomzebra84@gmail.com.
            I want to clear up any misconceptions you have about me saying anything bad about you. I have never met you. I have seen a couple of your videos and I think they are great. I am going to guess somebody signed in as “Tom Zebra” then insulted you. If you notice there are 2 tom zebras in this comment thread. I am the one that is not using profanity.
            Even if we do not ever meet or record anything together, I want a chance to talk to you and make sure you know, I most certainly have never said anything bad about you. This is the first I ever heard of that. And the comment above from tinker bell I thought was offensive as well. Who ever it is knows my LASD videos based on their comment, but for whatever reason putting you down. Email me.

          • tom zebra

            The mole is the person saying bad things about you. No need to defend yourself against such a stupid comment. Whoever made that comment is well versed in the comments of my LASD videos, but more importantly, completely full of shite. When you have time, email me. I may search your websites for proper contact info.

          • Guest

            I am beginning to suspect that you are making these rude comments. I have no desire to have any more contact with you. Just get ob with your life ok.

        • discarted

          I’m not a cop watcher either, so get your facts straight Tinker Bell.

      • Tom Zebra

        ITS TOM ZEBRA BITCH!

      • Ricky Munday

        Bring 3 forms of valid IDs if you want a contract with me.

    • frank-kintz

      Jeff and JC together!!!! Now were talking HBO SPECIAL.

    • Tom Zebra

      YOU’LL GET THE TOM ZEBRA BITCH VIP TREATMENT!

    • Ricky Munday

      Bring 3 forms of valid IDs if you want a contract with me.

    • tom zebra

      Would love to meet you one day Jeff. Please do not confuse my comments for the ones here using profanity under a similar moniker. Have a good day.

  • Elliott Whitlow

    Sounds like a great lawsuit to me..

  • uncommon_sense

    a cop cant write a ticket for another cop

    • TheFlashingScotsman

      Cops on the ground write speeding tickets for the cop in the aircraft every day. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying it’s California law.

      • JdL

        Cops on the ground write speeding tickets for the cop in the aircraft every day. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying it’s California law.

        When I lived in CA many years ago, I got a ticket that way once. They have stripes on the road a certain distance apart, and the cop in the plane times the car between stripes, then radios his thug friend on the ground to nab the driver who is breaking arbitrary rules on a road which would be plenty safe at twice the speed. Quite a racket! But then, cops ARE a shakedown racket.

        • TheFlashingScotsman

          It’s not about public safety at all.

  • Florida_Native

    There are several programs out there that can be used to recover damaged files. I used one several years ago on a damaged hard drive and was able to recover data and video. I once accidentally erased a file on my DSLR. I was able to recover it also. Unfortunately I can no loner remember the name. I Googled “damaged phone video recovery software” and there appear to be a number of options. Good luck recovering the files.

    • rust

      Recuva

  • JdL

    Drip … drip … drip. Cops, are you blind to the ocean of resentment that is building up against you? Is acting like even bigger assholes every day than you did the day before the only thing you can think to do? This is not a stable situation.

    • $910553

      ECLS sez the Courts have no problem with what they’re doing, so they’re right and you’re wrong.

      • JdL

        ECLS sez the Courts have no problem with what they’re doing, so they’re right and you’re wrong.

        Well, if ECLS sez so, then it must be true. After all, the courts could never be corrupt havens of government power-loving shitheads, could they?

        • $910553

          You betcha!

  • Yogi Lee Felder

    In the state of Florida they being in abusing their power in the legal system with the assistance of their criminal affiliated United Way deputized associated Harbor House, in Orlando Fl. Girls teaching girls, how to become victim for the almighty dollar with the state of Florida’$ court blessing. They enjoy abusing people, the disabled, the mentally ill, murdering children and their friends. The man to change this is James Fraleigh, the nex’t governor of Florida, vote for him May 25, 2014 and Nov 2014. Read his facebook profile’s pages to get his views on Stand your grounds, the Trayvon Martin”s case and Judge Nelson, Join us in boycotting Florida for the lives of ur children, your rights to stand ur grounds against domestic terrorist in the legal system of Florida. Don’t say Trayvon who! Because justice has not been served for all of us in this state. I am the disabled vet, and my daughter, they forced to be homeless, and they tok and sold ur home without our permission, and removed my name from the deed as well. While violating all of their laws.

    • Yogi Lee Felder

      So how come they are not under arrested?

      • rust

        Hey Yogi, this aint F*c&book

      • Scott Leigh

        Yogi, WHAT does your spam post have to do with PHOTOGRAPHY? Its not called Police Brutality is a Crime. Maybe you clicked wrong link? :)

  • POETIC

    You are greatly appreciated Carlos. Many thanks!

  • Rusty Gunn

    Samo samo, they just make up the law as they go along. We are scum and they are an elite, special class of people.

  • Guest

    Right hand raised: “I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

    Traitors!

    Do cops ever read the Constitution and Bill Of Rights they swore an oath to support? Are they allowed to read it? If they are caught reading it are they reported to Homeland Security under suspicion of being a right wing extremist terrorist, and fired?

  • Christopher Shepard

    What rhymes with corruption?

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Way to piss away our taxpayer’s funds.

    I truly hope the individual involved gets P.A.I.D.

  • Onus

    Here is another video of El Segundo Police harassing two innocent photographers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJVpQJkYbLE

    • http://www.policemisconduct.net Film The Police Always

      I hope Officer Chang is run over by a truck and is wrapped around the axle alive, but knows he’s not going to live through the accident. All this because he’s a LIAR! FTP

      • Heisenberg

        That is harsh instead use the formal process this is where you need to start. Contact for Scott the watch commander.
        You can start the formal compliant process if you have issues with Chang.

        http://www.elsegundo.org/depts/police/contact.asp

    • inquisitor

      Look. A piece of shit exuding the stench of pseudo-kindness and courtesy.

  • StreyDawg

    Nobody cares about this guy unless he rides a horse and wears a cowboy hat…and makes millions selling hamburgers.

    Sad society we live in.

  • Unkk

    to recover the video, copy what you can of the file to a windows system and rename it with an AVI file extension. Then use a program to convert the file to mpeg format
    SUPER © Free Video Converter
    http://www.erightsoft.net/SUPER.html

  • Heisenberg

    If you do not like the standards of policing being applied you may want to contract this person.

    Raymond Garcia
    Lieutenant
    Professional Standards Division Commander
    310-524-2260
    rgarcia@elsegundo.org

  • Heisenberg

    You may want to call Maggie the chief assistant, the Chief may be a busy man. He has to protect the refinery against photographers, especially Black ones that were not even taking pictures of the refinery.

    Margie Randall
    Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police
    310-524-2270

  • Heisenberg

    If you don’t like the conduct of these officers you can contact the watch commander and put in a compliant. Especially that moron Scott.

    Scott Doukakis
    Lieutenant
    Patrol Division
    Watch Commander
    310-524-2226
    sdoukakis@elsegundo.org

  • Heisenberg

    He is a link: if you want to give a commendation for those officer’s excellent performance: http://www.elsegundo.org/depts/police/contact.asp

  • Robert Pilla

    another douche. being a douche. Giving bad names to legitimate photographers.

  • tom zebra

    His channel is now ONUS.

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