Even though Florida law enforcement officers have pried into Jeff Gray’s personal records more than 200 times over the years for video recording them in public, not to mention opened a Homeland Security investigation on him, they still haven’t gotten the hint that he is doing nothing more than auditing them on their adherence to the Constitution.
This time, it was a trio of DEA agents who walked out of the Drug Enforcement Administration building in Jacksonville, demanding identification and insisting to know why he was recording their sacred building that can be viewed from public as well as from anywhere in the world through Google Earth.
And when that didn’t produce the desired results of intimidating him into submission, they sent a fourth DEA agent out to flex his muscle against Gray and PINAC’s Epic Old Guy, Thomas Covenant, who is usually on-hand to record any possible violence against Gray.
The fourth DEA agent used a more casual approach, a Rick Ross look-alike claiming he was “just chilling,” while using his own phone out to record them – holding it vertically, of course – refusing to accept Gray’s advice to switch it to landscape mode for better footage.
The three men bantered for a few amusing minutes before the DEA agent attempted to grab Covenant’s camera – clearly not chilling anymore.
“That’s assault and battery, I’ve been recording you the whole time,” Gray said.
“That’s not assault and battery,” the agent said. “I don’t want him filming me.”
“If you don’t want us filming you, I suggest you mosey in back to your building over there, buddy,” Gray said.
A Jacksonville Sheriff’s officer pulled up, obviously having been called by the DEA, stepping out of his car with his phone recording – in the vertical position, of course – and also refusing to accept Gray’s advice to turn the phone sideways for better video.
But he at least confirmed that they had every right to record the building and didn’t feel the need to further throw his authority around.
But this is an agency that uses Gray’s videos to train its deputies, so it has obviously paid off.
Now we’ll see how long it takes the DEA to get the message.
Gray requested an incident report from the sheriff’s office, but was told no report was created. However, he did ask for a recording of the phone call the DEA placed to the sheriff’s office, so we’ll be updating this story with that recording when it comes in.