North Carolina Cops Assault Man for Video Recording them from Public Street

North Carolina police assaulted a man for video recording them from a public sidewalk after he refused to turn the camera off, which is obviously something they believe they can get away with considering a local judge has given them a green light to do just that, if not worse.

The incident took place in Salisbury on March 21, 2013 and was uploaded a day later, but has remained under the radar on Youtube where it has only received 265 views as of this writing.

In the video, two men are walking through downtown at night, which had been blocked off to traffic and maybe pedestrians to film an upcoming TV show based on the old Sleepy Hollow story.

Each of the men are recording with their cell phones. Two cops are sitting in their cars. One of them says something over the loudspeaker, sounding as if he was ordering them to leave the area.

The men ask to speak to the cops,which prompts them to step out of their cars. At 30 seconds, you can see two other men in the background walking through the streets, so the streets were not completely vacant.

One of men starts asking why the roads are blocked off, but the cops starts ordering him to turn the phones off.

Then the cop starts accusing them of loitering because they had stood on the corner across the street for 15 minutes before making their way to the other corner.

And then he starts demanding identification, which prompts the men to ask if they are suspected of committing a crime.

Meanwhile, the second officer walks to his car, grabs a pair of handcuffs and walks back and slaps the phone out of the man’s hand, forcing it to turn off.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    What the Fuck? Did we just hop in a time machine and travel back to 2008? Boy this pisses me off!

    • steveo

      Cops that are lawbreakers, don’t deserve any respect.

    • steve

      Me too the Cop should have taken his nightstick out and beat the snot out of the punk!

  • rick

    On a positive note (ha ha) all these videos are great training tools for new recruits on what NOT to do if PDs want to avoid civil liability.
    Cops that do this need to be taken to task every single time. I hope to see the lawsuit update soon. Good luck!

  • Dan Matthews

    This is worth following to the end.

  • rick
    Sec. 15-38. Loitering near church or schoolhouse. NO
    Sec. 15-39. Loitering in aisles of theatre or moving picture house. NO
    Sec. 15-40. Loitering in bus terminal. NO
    Sec. 15-45. Loitering for the purpose of engaging in illegal drug-related activity. NO
    Sec. 22-5. Congregating on, blocking street or sidewalk.
    “It shall be unlawful for any person to loiter or congregate on the sidewalks or streets, or in any manner block such sidewalks or streets by stopping and interfering with pedestrians or vehicles.” NO

  • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

    Just another example as to how American is being turned into a Police State by the Badged Uniformed Fascist Thugs!

  • Pádraig Pearse

    That escalated quickly.

    • Herbert Napp

      The skinhead approaching him that started the physical encounter is likely on steroids with a small penis, is a bad shot, and has no integrity at all and would probably be fking laid out by a real officer.

      • David Richard

        Would you change your judgement of him Herbert, if he could actually prove that he was packing an enormous penis?

        • Herbert Napp

          Yeah, it would make me think he isn’t on steroids, which he is.

  • REALConservative

    Long past are the days when it was noble or respectable to be a police officer in America.

    • Proud GrandPa

      Don’t you think that is a vast generalization to make about all police? Are you the kind of person who makes the same sweeping generalization about union members or blacks or Jews or Christians or Republicans or Democrats or Tea Party members? Just wondering what motivates you to make such generalizations.
      A far more reasonable statement is that the actions of these LEOs reflect badly upon all LEOS. Police officers are still highly-respected by the vast majority of Americans. Let us honor them. I like police who obey the law and respect them.

      • JdL

        Don’t you think that is a vast generalization to make about all police?

        This has been covered before, but let’s go over it again. There are three kinds of cops:

        . Those who routinely break the law.

        . Those who don’t routinely break the law, but say nothing about their fellow officers who do, even when they witness them in the act.

        . Those who don’t routinely break the law AND who actively seek to root out fellow officers who do.

        The number of cops who fall into category 3 is vanishingly small, from everything I can gather. Cops who fall into categories 1 and 2 are scum, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure which group I have more contempt for, the bullies or the cowards who enable them.

        Thus, I find BusPass’ statement, “Long past are the days when it was noble or respectable to be a police officer in America” to be right on target.

        • REALConservative

          And this is a precise analysis of my comment.

          Thank you.

      • Herbert Napp

        Nope. I know several retired LEOs on the same page as us.

      • REALConservative

        It is a “vast generalization,” but it’s spot on in that I could replace “police officer” with “prostitute” or “drug dealer” and the only people who would be offended would be those prostitutes and drug dealers who don’t want to be associated with police officers.

        I would never make a generalization like that about blacks, Jews, Christians, Republicans, Democrats, or Tea Party Members, because none of those groups will rally around misbehavior among their ranks. Well, maybe Democrats will, but even many of them will condemn AND TAKE ACTION against unconstitutional behavior among other Democrats.

        The police…well, not so much. The Blue Code of Silence is no myth.

        I also like police who obey the law and respect civil liberty and the Constitution, but they are hard to find. When someone posts a video of one of these alleged “good cops” pulling a “bad cop” off a cameraman or using his firearm to stop the violation of a citizen’s civil rights by another cop, then I will retract my statement. Meanwhile, the entire institution of law enforcement as we know it today is horribly damaged, and they not only refuse to acknowledge it, they almost always blame the circumstance on everyone else.

        The people who ‘highly-respect’ law enforcement fit several categories. Some are naive and truly believe it’s a noble job, but they aren’t even remotely aware that incidents like this are happening. Others are enamored with the concept of a ‘being’ who has the appearance of ‘special powers’ and the magic suit which creates some illusion of immunity. Some have a form of Stockholm syndome; those are the people I see driving around with “thank a cop” stickers on the back of their cars and who mistakenly believe that the police put themselves routinely in harmful circumstances that the rest of us couldn’t comprehend. It’s all bullshit.

        And long past are the days when it was noble and respectable to be a police officer in America.

      • stk33

        OK, if “the actions of these LEO’s reflect badly upon all LEOS’s”, then certainly the system will take care of that sad aberration, and they will be investigated, found in violation, and punished. Right?

        I’m sure you’d bet $100 vs $1 that they will not. And that’s why this vast generalization is correct.

      • Mike Boodoo

        * Accidental double post *

      • Mike Boodoo

        “Police officers are still highly-respected by the vast majority of Americans. Let us honor them. I like police who obey the law and respect them.”

        What America are you living in??? You’re either very delusional or on some serious drugs. Get out of your house or do some actual research and you’ll see this is complete bullshit. You can like and respect them all you want but the hard truth is that their feelings for you are not mutual. Let’s see how quickly you change your mind when you find yourself being talked down to or beaten half to death over the most miniscule thing. I don’t know whether to pity you or laugh at you for your delusional view on those uniformed thugs.

  • $22798478

    Videos like these are actually good. I have had some friends who thought that if your doing nothing wrong then you wont have these problems. I’ve converted 2 and they now text me when they see these videos or hear on the news that another asshole cop violated someones rights. They both said that they never knew things were this bad and now their eyes and ears are wide open. These videos are making more and more people hate the police and that is a great thing. Can anyone imagine being in a profession where most people hate you ? Fuck that ! I’ll take my job where we all get along and we all make life saving decisions all day long and dont act like a bunch of authoritarian jackasses while doing it.

    • Batman

      Cops aren’t the problem, assholes who have a badge are. Cops are very badly needed to uphold the rule of law in this country. Without them, we’d plunge into chaos.

  • Voice-Of-Concern

    Respect My Authoritah!


    I look forward to the follow-up on this one.

  • Ron Grounds

    Evil cops

  • Tijuana Joe

    Ansel Adams was “loitering” when he took all those great photographs.
    Walker Evans too. They should have arrested/assaulted the bastards, as
    this fine Peace Officer does. I notice also the streets are strangely barren. Kudos to the
    citizens of Salisbury for not coming out of their houses and, er, loitering.

  • JdL

    Two sets of cowardly cops revealed in one day! The trickle is turning into a torrent.

  • Jim Morriss

    There is no state laws on general loitering. ( Carlos: there is one for Public transportation terminals in nc) only specific types of loitering. eg: loitering for prostitution.

    Then there’s the real tricky point. WHAT is loitering?

    Blacks Law dictionary:

    LOITER :
    term that describes to hang about and doing nothing in a public place.Websters:

    Definition of LOITER
    1: to delay an activity with idle stops and pauses : dawdle
    2 a : to remain in an area for no obvious reason
    b : to lag behind
    1. to linger aimlessly or as if aimless in or about a place:
    2. to move in a slow, idle manner, making purposeless stops in the course of a trip, journey, errand, etc.
    3. to waste time or dawdle over work:

    All definitions have the one common thread of “doing nothing.” So by definition recording what is going on is something whether the cops think so or not. I guarantee if they use the Public Defender here he will want to PB this. No way.

    This is a city with a law that prohibits driving on main street more three times in one hour. The city leaders are controlling, uptight and very near sided. They historic district’s board is ridiculous in its restrictions. They work hard at keeping business out of the city. I have lived in the area since 1980. Rowan county isn’t bad buy “Salisbury city limits” is an accurate sign.

    People pay thousands of dollars to have these debates, we do them here for free.

    Thank you Rick for the post on Salisbury codes. There is one unwritten code in this little burg, You must be an ass to have a gun and badge.

    I could go on but Obama is going to forward the recordings of this post to all the rulers of all the little fiefdoms and they’ll be on to me.
    Law Dictionary: L Information and Definitions from Black’s Law Dictionary

    JMG: No we are moving to the future – 1984

  • steveo

    Leos are used to the tough guy act. It usually works for them. But with videographers it shouldn’t because 1) videographers are usually not criminals 2) most have at least a high school or higher education 3) most are schooled in their rights during a police encounter. Some leos just are not ready for this type of “suspect”, so they just act like they always act. The camera tends to bring this out.

  • Boomer

    I’m as sad as I’ve been viewing any video on this site in the four years I’ve been reading here. Salisbury is the closest thing I have to a home town, having been a military brat who moved so much I didn’t know what “home town” meant until much later.

    The behavior of the first officer was as disgusting as it gets, a frustrated, overweight, obsolete old man with no sense of honor or dignity, who, to make himself feel relevant one more time in his unhappy pointless career just had to show “those punks” who was running the town. His counting was simply was going to be him demonstrating that he could reach 21 because he had a hard on.

    The second officer, the Skin Head, is simply a thug with a gun and badge. At no time did he tell the cameraman “You’re under arrest”, or “put your hands behind your back”, or anything else resembling the expected actions of a real police officer.

    I’m disgusted for my home town. Completely.

  • Nick

    This fat asshole thug nazi cop should be fired!

  • Exador

    I’m all for the lawsuit, which he will win, but it won’t make much difference until the police feel the pain personally. Limited immunity needs to be ended. These cops need to be responsible for their own actions.

  • Joseph Von Zipper

    Now if we as American Citizens slapped a phone out of an officers hand,we would be charged with felony assault…Start charging officers with crimes.Its legal to go to the courthouse and file Citizens arrest papers…

  • Steve

    There is little respect for anything left in our Country. This person set out to antagonize the police officers. Sure there are police that abuse their authority, but I do not feel it it the norm. Who can blame some of them for losing their tempers. Look at what they have to deal with. I would like to see every police officer in American go on strike for a week, and first advertise they were going to do it. If they did just watch what would happen. The only thing stopping people from kicking in your door, robbing and killing you is the police. By the way the police are not an occupying force. They are your family members and neighbors. Personally I think we are getting very close to needing martial law to restore the rule of law.

    • Dan Matthews

      “Personally I think we are getting very close to needing martial law to restore the rule of law.”

      Steve, I believe the point being made on this site is that the police should obey the “…rule of law.” that they have sworn to uphold. If they followed the Constitution, they would not be arresting people for video recording them under some trumped up charges.
      The cops are breaking the law, not the kids. The police are supposed to follow the letter of the law, like they expect civillians to, not make it up to meet their own desires.

    • RobiDon

      If the police get antagonized so easily then they have been poorly trained: first by their parents and then by the Police Dept. These cops had a chip on their shoulder and violated the 1st Amendment Right of the photographer to “peaceably assemble.”

      What you’re saying is “don’t believe what you see in this video, believe what I tell you about how nice the police are.” You may have the wool pulled over your eyes but I’m not going to let you pull it over mine.

  • Pissed Off

    Just another episode in their unceasing war against cameras.

  • David Richard

    Some police departments are unrelentingly oppressive while others are more relaxed. While living in Springfield,IL I was constantly harassed for living in my automobile. They didn’t even allow me to use the public parks while Iowa City ,IA was totally the opposite with compassionate professional types that didn’t bother you.

  • Joe Stauffer

    Those pieces of shit don’t deserve to hide behind a badge.

  • jackassletters

    I remember when Wilford Brimley wasn’t such an asshole.

  • ksskidude

    Does anyone have any idea who the officer is, and where it took place, other than in just NC?