A video uploaded Sunday shows a Florida man being arrested while his wife and children were in the car for refusing to show his identification to an officer, even though he was not being detained nor had committed any crime.
The video begins with a Fort Pierce officer approaching Michael King claiming that the manager of KMart had reported that he seemed suspicious and was “looking in cars.” He proceeds to ask for the man’s identification, which King refused to provide.
“I’m standing outside my car because I’m waiting on my wife in the store and I don’t smoke around my children. I keep looking in the car to check on my 5 year old son and my infant son, and zoom here comes a cop. This begins the cycle of harassment, lies, and cops breaking the laws they are sworn to uphold. Fuck the police. If I would not have started to video I’m sure they would have tried to pin something on me. So many lies, it’s crazy.” King wrote of the incident.
His wife asks if they are being detained and the officer tells King not to go anywhere. King continues to ask if he is being detained or if he is free to go.
The officer plays the “good cop” card hard, acting like he is having a friendly conversation while continuing to push for the man’s identification and radio calling for back up.
“Well you ain’t done nothing wrong, I guess you’re not.” the officer eventually replies.
Instead of leaving when the officer tells him that he is not detained, King continues to press for the officer’s name and badge number. It is a common misconception that all officers are required to provide this information. It is not currently a law, except in Massachusetts, and the policy varies by department.
Moments later, three “bad cops” arrive to help the bumbling “good cop” out. King’s wife pleads with him to stop so they can go as they have their infant in the car.
One of the deputies, wearing sunglasses, black rubber gloves and a bullet proof vest is very clearly unamused by being asked for his badge number.
“Are you investigating an incident?” The “bad cop” asks.
“Yeah, he [the KMart manager] flagged me down.” The “good cop” replies.
“If he don’t identify himself, put him in handcuffs.” The “bad cop” asserts.
“Really?” King asks.
“Absolutely,” the “bad cop” replies.
“For resisting, obstruction.” One of the female deputies chimes in, smiling.
“Obstructing what?” King asks. “What crime have I committed?”
“Hes investigating an incident,” the “bad cop” states.
“What crime have I committed? You cannot detain me-” King says.
“Okay, detain him. Put him in handcuffs. We’re not playing this game.” the “bad cop” replies.
King offers up his identification at this point, but the video cuts off as he is being handcuffed.
The officers were unable to articulate a reasonable suspicion that King was involved in a crime. It needs to go beyond, “we got a call” or “you look suspicious,” but he was illegally arrested anyways for contempt of cop and pushing his luck.
“If you’re going to talk to police (which you shouldn’t) I just wish people would ask this one simple question this way: ‘What crime do you suspect me of committing?'” Warren Redlich, a lawyer for PINAC, wrote in response to the video.