Home / PINAC News / Florida Cop Accuses Cop Watcher of Masturbating in Car in Order to Stop him from Recording him

Florida Cop Accuses Cop Watcher of Masturbating in Car in Order to Stop him from Recording him

 

Like most cops, Lakeland police officer Javier Perez does not like to be video recorded by pesky citizens with cameras, especially a particular individual named Michael Burns from Cop Block Central Florida who video records cop in his area on a regular basis.

But rather than threaten Burns with arrest as so many cops have done in the past, Perez decided to resort to a more creative method to prevent Burns from recording him as he worked an off-duty security shift in front of the Hookah Palace one night back in January.

Never identifying himself as a cop, Perez called his own department’s non-emergency line to report a “suspicious person” sitting inside his vehicle in front of the hookah lounge, telling the dispatcher, “I think he’s masturbating.”

Within minutes, a pair of Lakeland cops confronted Burns in his car, demanding his identification, treating him as if he was a sexual offender that needed to be locked up.

To his credit, the responding cop wasn’t too concerned that Burns was recording him and eventually figured out that Burns was only recording cops.

And Burns figured out pretty quickly that it was a cop who had accused him of masturbating, so he decided to make a public records requests for the number that called on him, (407) 221-5923, tracing it back to Perez.

“I did a Spokeo search and it came back to a Javier Perez,” Burns said in a telephone interview. “I then Googled the name and discovered a Javier Perez had been hired by the Lakeland Police Department.”

Several of us at PINAC also called the number several times, only for it to lead to a generic voice mail.

Lakeland

On Friday, July 13, 2012, eleven officers were sworn in as members of the Lakeland Police Department. This completed their six-weeks in the Mini Academy, and now they are ready to begin the next phase of their training as Lakeland Police officers. These officers will begin the Field Training phase and will be learning more about the department and community they have been sworn to serve. Police Chief Lisa Womack welcomed the officers during the ceremony and told them “I look forward to the great work you will do for our community, and I know you will be an asset to the department.” The new officers are: Justin Conatser, Biko Duhaney, Jason Gates, John McLaughlin, Orlando Pacheco, Javier Perez, Jaclyn Rose, Cory Suttle, Jerry Wallace, Rodney Wilkerson, and Scott Weech

 

So can we still be certain the Perez in the picture, whom we can assume is one of two of the Hispanic-looking men on the right side, is the same Perez who accused Burns of masturbating in his car, even though when pressed by the dispatcher, the caller stated that he couldn’t tell whether Burns was black or white?

Burns did another public records request, asking for recordings of all the calls made to the non-emergency number from the same number that reported him to be possibly masturbating.

And that further confirmed the number belonged to a cop.

But the Lakeland Police Department bleeped out any references to the officer’s name, claiming they are required to do so by a law.

The other calls were mostly boring cop business, including at least one call inquiring whether he should bring pretzels to the office.

However, a Lakeland police sergeant who is Perez’s supervisor has since confirmed to Burns that the officer is being investigated for making false reports as you can see in his video above.

But we already know that when cops investigate cops, it usually leads to cops protecting cops. And we can already see that being the case here when the sergeant states he is investigating Perez for making false 911 calls.

But since it’s already been confirmed the calls were made to the department’s non-emergency line, we can already see where they are going with this; essentially preparing to sweep this under the carpet by informing Burns that no law or policy was broken because the calls were not made to 911.

But the Florida law regarding false reports of crimes does not require them to be made to 911.

817.49 False reports of commission of crimes; penalty.—Whoever willfully imparts, conveys or causes to be imparted or conveyed to any law enforcement officer false information or reports concerning the alleged commission of any crime under the laws of this state, knowing such information or report to be false, in that no such crime had actually been committed, shall upon conviction thereof be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Tonight, Burns is visiting with the sergeant, ensuring he will record the conversation, so we will be updating this piece with that recording by morning hopefully.

But the sergeant will also be recording the interview, which, of course, is recommended in order to conduct a thorough investigation.

However, Perez will be allowed to review the recording before he provides his own statement, which goes against any proper protocol for a thorough investigation.

And from there it goes to internal affairs, so Perez should have nothing to worry about.

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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.