Although Florida law enforcement officers are trying their best to criminalize PINAC crew member Jeff Gray, running his name through their database more than 200 times even though he has never given them reasonable suspicion that he was committing a crime, Gray is using technology and public records to expose their shenanigans.
After last week’s incident in which he and PINAC’s Epic Old Guy Thomas Covenant were detained for standing on public property outside a prison video recording inmates, which is completely legal, Gray obtained the 911 dispatch call from the Lancaster Correctional Institute to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office where a corrections officer accused him of “suspicious activity” and the dispatcher referred to Gray’s reference to his Constitutional rights as “blah blah blah.”
That recording can be heard in the above video.
And while he was being detained, a camera inside his car caught Gilchrist Sheriff’s Sergeant William May posting an abandoned car warning on his car, even though he knew good and well it wasn’t abandoned, using that excuse to run his license plate through the state’s Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID) once again.
That video can be seen below.
On Tuesday, Techdirt posted a story on how Florida’s law enforcement agencies are abusing the DAVID system to build up a possible legal case against him.
The number of times Gray’s records were accessed shows that law enforcement officers are looking for anything they can to shut his activism down. While a number of the records requests were probably linked to officers running his info while interacting with him, there are way more hits to the database than can be explained away as adhering to data-access policies. Plus, there’s little doubt that most law enforcement officers in the area are familiar with Gray and his activities at this point, making any running of his info completely extraneous.
And, as the sheriff in the latter video states, Gray’s conduct is perfectly legal, so there’s really no reason for officers to be interacting with him at all at this point. Photographing public buildings and figures may make those on the other side of the camera uncomfortable, but they’re just going to have to learn to get over it. Running records requests over and over again is simply abusing a tool because you have access to it.