A private security guard for one of the nation’s largest defense contractors knew that Jeff Gray was not breaking any laws when he was standing outside the facility with his camera late last month in St. Augustine.
But the guard at Northrop Grumman decided to call the cops anyway after Gray refused to identify himself, claiming that Gray was “verbally abusive” towards him.
However, Gray’s video shows he didn’t come close to being verbally abusive, which is not listed as a crime in Florida anyway.
Through a public records request, Gray obtained the recording of the dispatch call and discovered the guard had run Gray’s license number through Florida’s Driving and Vehicle Information Database (D.A.V.I.D.), which is frequently abused by law enforcement officers and interesting that a private security guard might have had access to the database.
The guard also told the dispatcher that he had been observing Gray on camera as Gray was recording the facility.
At one point, as Gray was standing on a public sidewalk, the guard accused him of trespassing.
Seconds later, the guard invited Gray to come onto the property to further their discussion with other guards.
Gray declined his offer and drove off, not having time that day to engage with law enforcement, who are already investigating him as a “suspicious person” for standing up for his right to record in public.
The guard said he was only protecting the country from terrorism.