What began as a routine trip to the zoo with her children turned into a frightening encounter with an Ohio cop who accused her of “suspicious activity” for strapping her children in their car seats and walking back inside her home to retrieve snacks.
Brunswick Police Sergeant Jonathan Page appeared in Ginger Borshov’s open doorway as she was about to step back outside, demanding her identification, obviously accustomed to getting what he wants.
But Borshov was not certain if she was required to hand over identification, so she grabbed a camera and began recording.
“That made him tone his attitude way down,” she said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Sunday.
“He had been so aggressive before.”
But the cop was not going to let up, making subtle threats that he would take her children if she did not comply, refusing to budge from the doorway, preventing her from stepping outside.
“I was scared,” she said. “I know you are not supposed to touch cops but he was standing between me and my kids and I wasn’t sure if I should run out the backdoor to get to my kids.”
Not expecting to find herself in this situation and fearful for her children, who were sitting in the car happily listening to Raffi singing about mama taking them to the zoo, she ended up telling the cop her name after more than three minutes of refusing to provide it.
“He didn’t even write it down and I never gave him my physical identification,” she said. “He just needed that small win to satisfy his ego.”
The incident took place last Tuesday at 10 a.m. and left Borshov feeling violated and scared where she did not even drive her kids to the zoo that day.
Later that night, she edited her video with narration to provide a detailed analysis of what took place that night in the hopes to show people that police harassment can happen to anybody at any time in any place.
“I know this is a minor incident compared to what else happens out there, but it left me startled.”
“People need to know that you can just be loading up your kids in the car and have police accost you, demanding your papers,” she said.
Ohio law only requires citizens to identify themselves only if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that they are involved in a crime or if that citizen is a witness to a felony.
But that was not the case here.
At one point in the conversation, Page told her was investigating the theft of a lawnmower from her neighbor’s home where the garage had been left open, which she later found to be true.
But Page knew that was not enough legal basis to demand her identification, so he resorted to making subtle threats about her children.
She has since tried to file a complaint against Sergeant Page, but was told by a woman who answered the phone at the Brunswick Police Department that she would only be allowed to do that once Chief Carl DeForest is back in town.
“They told me I was not allowed to file a complaint because the chief is on vacation and they won’t tell me when he will be back,” she said.
She also called Brunswick Mayor Ron Falconi and has an appointment to meet with him next month, which she plans to record.
“My goal is to try and get the department to do some training with deescalation and nonviolent communication,” she said. “He came up to me with so much aggression.”
“It left me with a deeper understanding about my rights.”
Contact Mayor Ron Falconi at email@example.com
Contact Brunswick Police Chief Carl S. DeForest at 330-225-9144.