Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz defended the aggressive reaction of his officers in a Youtube video Tuesday, claiming the men in the car were “escalating” the situation by “recording the interaction,” causing one of the officers to fear for his life when a man “reached out of his window with a black object in his hand,” which was nothing more than a camera phone trying to record the cop’s name tag after he refused to provide it.
That cop slapped the phone out of his hand, then yanked the man out of the car, throwing him facedown on the grass while another cop with his gun drawn comes charging towards the other men, threatening to shoot one of them for who knows what.
“I’ll put a round in your ass so quick,” the cop said, even though none of the men in the car were doing anything more than being assertive about their rights, even if they were doing it in a profane manner, which is protected by the First Amendment.
The video cuts off when the gun-pointing cop moves to the backseat and arrests the man with the camera, eliminating the deadly threat they were envisioning.
The incident apparently took place last year but was uploaded to Youtube last month where it remained under the radar until Tuesday when Katz began defending the officers’ behavior in the comments section, trying to justify their behavior by claiming there had been a “violent home invasion robbery” within a two-mile radius when we know they didn’t stop everybody else in that same radius.
Katz, who prides himself on being a social media whore on Twitter and Facebook, comes across arrogant and condescending in his statement (posted below in its entirety), stating that the men deserved to be attacked because they did not show enough “fear.”
When I watch this video, I don’t see a car full of young men who are behaving in a manner consistent with fear of the police.
And that’s what it really boils down to in this video. Contempt of cop.
The driver and occupants of a vehicle have far more to do with the outcome of a traffic stop than does the initiating officer. Respect begets respect. Antagonism and hostility are met with defensiveness and it escalates the officers’ stress response – this never leads to a more productive and civil engagement.
The young, black men in this video not only questioned their authority, one of men turned up the attitude after a cop ordered him to stop recording.
No, I have rights. I’m not intimidated. I have rights.
Sir, I’m recording your ass. What the fuck you going to do?
Bitch, you’re on camera. What the fucks wrong with you. Stupid ass cracker.
That cop walks away, only for another cop to walk up to the driver’s side where the driver asked for his name and badge number. The cop provided a badge number but not a name, which is when the driver apparently tried to stick his phone out the window to record his name tag, striking fear in the cop’s heart, leaving him no choice but to yank the driver out of the car and slam him to the ground (his name was Danish, according to the man in the back seat).
Meanwhile, another cop comes rushing up with his gun drawn, also apparently in fear for his life.
Katz also said they were unable to fully investigate the incident because the men had never filed a complaint with the police department, even though we all know it’s pointless to expect the police department to investigate itself.
This is a common tactic that police use, insisting that a person who has been abused come into the department in person to make the complaint, when it’s the very same department that abused him. Even if a person does come into the station, many times they will be threatened with arrest or intimidated from filing the complaint. It’s just how the Blue Mafia operates.
Katz, according to his department’s website, has done “extensive research in destructive leadership, organizational incivility, and corporate psychopathy,” the latter which is defined in a medical report as having “a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.”
And that sounds just about right for the Boynton Beach Police Department, who have arrested several people in the past for video recording them in public.
A message from Boynton Beach Police. Chief Katz: Boynton Beach Police Chief Katz I’ve seen this video before – probably about a year ago. It continues to surface despite the fact nobody has made a complaint or provided helpful information from which we could put this incident in context or take corrective action if applicable. Despite this fact, my staff and I did an exhaustive search of our records in order to try to identify this incident, which occurred on February 4, 2013. What we learned is:
• The persons within this car were within a 2 mile perimeter officers established in response to a violent home invasion robbery in which the suspects were armed with a machete (BBPD Case number 13-5715).
• The persons within the vehicle were – as you can see on the video – less than cooperative and, in some cases antagonistic toward the officers.
• The driver reached out of his window with a black object in his hand. The sergeant immediately felt threatened by this gesture and took actions to protect himself and others on the scene.
People these days seem to like to draw strong and definitive conclusions based upon clips of video and information. That’s not how this complex world works, folks. The driver and occupants of a vehicle have far more to do with the outcome of a traffic stop than does the initiating officer. Respect begets respect. Antagonism and hostility are met with defensiveness and it escalates the officers’ stress response – this never leads to a more productive and civil engagement. When I watch this video, I don’t see a car full of young men who are behaving in a manner consistent with fear of the police. These young men are escalating this incident, being uncooperative with officers who are investigating a violent crime, and recording their interaction – presumably with the hopes of catching a “gotcha” moment on the part of our personnel.
I hate to disappoint them, but no gotcha moment exists here…which is why I suspect nobody ever came forward to make a complaint about this. Rest assured, absent a complaint we still looked into this incident and found the officers’ actions to be appropriate and justifiable given the totality of the circumstances. To those who are attempting to use this video to stoke racial tension and fear – I’d encourage you to work toward a solution and engage productive behaviors. For example:
• Report what you perceive to be police misconduct – and let us know when we are doing something right as well!
• Participate in our citizen’s police academy, and learn more about why and how we do the things we do… Ignorance is a terrible catalyst to judgment.
• Make an appointment to come chat with me about the direction of the department and offer your suggestions for improved service.
If you didn’t know the information I shared with in about the broader context and circumstances of this incident and drew a conclusion, reconsider with these facts in mind. Facts are a stubborn thing.
He’s right about one thing. Facts are a stubborn thing.
And the fact is, he never mentioned any probable cause for having pulled the men over in the first place.
Call Chief Jeffrey Katz at (561) 742-6104 to see if there is something else he hasn’t told us.
Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.