FBI agents in Texas ripped two cameras out of the hands of a PINAC reporter who was standing in front of a federal building legally recording from a public sidewalk Thursday, claiming they were in fear for their safety.
“I don’t want to be struck in the face,” said Keith A. Byers, an Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the El Paso FBI office at 660 South Mesa Hills Drive.
However, David Worden made no indication he would strike the agents in the face with his cameras.
In fact, Worden had been standing on the public sidewalk in front of the FBI building for more than 15 minutes, debating with a pair of other FBI agents about whether or not they had the right to tell him to stop recording, including one agent who made it clear he was not threatened by the cameras.
But Byers stormed up and swiped his camera anyway, a hulking man claiming to be terrified of cameras.
Byers then had the two other agents grab Worden’s wrists to snatch his iPhone, which was live streaming, claiming that it could also be used as a weapon.
“When you don’t put the camera down and you tense up and I’m afraid you’re going to strike me or one of my agents, that’s why I physically took it away from you,” Byers said.
Worden said he was actually trying to call 911 for El Paso police to report the agent for ripping his other camera out of his hands.
“Am I being detained,” Worden demanded to know as they continued twisting his wrist.
“Yes, absolutely, because you’re being noncompliant and noncooperative,” one said, referring to the fact that he did not stop recording when they had “asked” him to do so.
Once the agents had him in handcuffs and the two cameras were laying on the sidewalk behind them, they noticed a third camera, the body camera camera he was wearing that was recording the egregious Constitutional violations.
So they attempted to remove that camera as well, but failed to do so because he had it fastened to his shirt in a way that made it impossible for them to seize it.
Instead, they just shoved it downwards where it continued recording for 90 minutes as they sat him down on the hot asphalt in handcuffs.
El Paso police arrived and after conversing with the agents, issued Worden a citation for disorderly conduct, claiming he used “fighting words” against the agents.
These words, which you will hear in the video below, include Worden calling Byers a “fucking idiot” and a “fucking coward” and “fucking lying coward.” He also called all the agents surrounding him “dumb motherfuckers.”
But these words were only expressed after he had his cameras swiped from him and his arms twisted behind his back in handcuffs.
In other words, in Texas, you can be the victim of robbery and battery, but if you dare respond with vulgarity, you will be the one charged.
At least when it comes to the thugs with badges.
Below is the video of the incident followed by another video from the El Paso Times confirming the attacking agent’s name as Keith Byers, who seizes the camera shortly after the 15:30 mark.
Call the El Paso FBI office at 915-832-5000. Or contact FBI Director James Comey at 202-324-3444 or email at James.Comey@ic.fbi.gov.