A pair of women making a public records request inside a Los Angeles police station made officers fear for their lives because they were recording the interaction with a camera.
After all, expressed one officer, the camera could have been a gun.
“What kid of camera looks like a weapon?” asked one of the women.
“You ain’t been out there on these streets,” the cop responded, trying to pass himself off as a grizzled tough guy who comes under regular fire from cameras.
But the women have been out these on those streets recording police officers every chance they get, posting the videos on their respective Youtube channels, Ida “Foxy” Queen” and “LaurasharkCW”.
In fact, it was during one of these recent sessions where they were recording LAPD cops pulling a pair of men over in a hydraulic car that one of the officers spotted them and pulled out his own camera to photograph them.
While the officer had the right to photograph them, those photos might fall under the state’s public records law, which is what they were seeking that day at the Harbor Division station in San Pedro.
Considering they had recorded the officers in bright daylight, it should not have been that difficult to identify them, especially considering there can only be so many officers working a particular shift out of that station.
Not to mention the women had before entered the Harbor Division station back in April to ask a desk sergeant for the identity of another pair of officers who had refused to identify themselves when asked and obtained those names within a minute.
That desk sergeant is described by Ida “Foxy” Queen describes as “probably the most down to earth, polite, mild mannered, non-arrogant officer I have ever encountered.”
But both women had a completely different experience last week when they entered the same station and encounter an officer named Pham, who tried his best to dissuade them from asking the identity of the officers who were involved in the most recent video where one officer had taken their photo.
And while he was giving them the run around, telling them they could not record, clearly acknowledging they were holding cameras, another LAPD cop stepped out from the back and began fearing for his life.
“Hey, ma’am, are you sure that’s not a weapon? Don’t be filming me. I don’t know what that is.”
Don’t be filming me because I don’t know what that is?
It was a GoPro camera, for the record.
“I’ve seen a weapon that looks like a camera, a lot of times,” the officer claimed.
Then, as they tried to explain it was nothing but a GoPro, an LADP sergeant named Morales chimed in, claiming “there are weapons that look like cameras.”
And then another cop walked in carrying two rifles, turning to them and saying, “don’t worry, ma’am, we’re trained to handle that.”
Now if they could only be trained to tell the difference between guns and cameras.
So the women left the station without obtaining the information they were seeking, but they returned on another night and encountered another desk sergeant, this one named Havican, who also refused to provide that information, first, claiming he did not have the time to do provide it, then saying he does not have to provide that information.
Below are all the videos mentioned in this story.
Call the LAPD Harbor Division at 310-726-7700 or 310-726-7701.