San Diego police needed three patrol cars and at least four officers to arrest a man recording video just for stepping off the curb.
“This shit,” said the man narrating his own video that’s going viral, which you can see below, “This is what we got to go through in San Diego.”
The three San Diego cops performed what looked like a “jaywalking sting” even though the man didn’t appear to impede any traffic on the wide open roads, just to record the police activity.
It’s probably the first time someone has been arrested for crossing the street illegally, when they didn’t actually cross the street.
The man’s video, originally published on Facebook page “Don’t Shoot,” continued as he tried to zoom in on a car which he believed to be a police officer.
Within seconds, he spotted another marked police car at the end of the block behind his original point of view and zoomed in to show the San Diego police cruiser.
“Now you see this shit? They’re trying to follow me. They’re trying to get me,” he narrated, “But I’m in the wrong, if I do anything. You see this shit? This is dumb.”
Moments later, a marked police car pulled up to the citizen journalist’s left side and two officers got out.
“How’s it going partner?”
“Alright. Did I do anything wrong?
“Absolutely, you can’t step off the curb like that,”
“Oh, I can’t step off the curb” he replied, “I didn’t take a picture, I just lightly stepped off.”
“No, no, no, no. I saw you over there.”
“I didn’t do nothing wrong”
“Do you have any weapons?”
“We’re going to back you down,” said the San Diego officer he and his colleagues began to arrest the man recording.
“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” the man persisted.
“You stepped off the curb,” replied the cop.
“So then, can I get my ticket?” asked the incredulous citizen.
“We’ll work abou- I’ll do my business, the way I do my business,” said the cop applying handcuffs.
The officer and his arrested citizen repeated the last two phrases as you can see the handcuffs going on, and the video cuts off.
“If the person is a danger to themselves or others, it could rise to the level of a state misdemeanor arrest,” said San Diego officer Castle from the office of the Chief
San Diego patrol officers should know their jaywalking code well after issuing 81 warnings and 328 citations in a 2013 city-wide pedestrian roundup – each paying over a $100 fine.
The sweeping jaywalking stings caught the attention and ire of Reason.com too.
Generally, California pedestrians are allowed safe access to public rights of way.
And the San Diego police officer probably performed an illegal arrest if he relied on San Diego’s jaywalking ordinance, which reads:
§83.0202 Interfering with Traffic
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to stand in any roadway, other than in a safety zone or in a crosswalk, if such action interferes with the lawful movement of traffic. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to sit in any roadway or along a curb adjacent to a roadway, if such action interferes with the lawful movement of traffic
“Generally we issue a civil citation for ‘jaywalking’,” said Officer Castle discussing department policy, “I don’t know under what circumstances our police would perform an arrest.”
But these four officers detained and cuffed this man for jaywalking anyways.