Palm Beach Sheriff's Sergeant Handcuffs Man for Video Recording Sheriff's Building


A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s sergeant handcuffed a man for video recording a sheriff’s department from a public sidewalk, an action he found suspicious.

But video recording government buildings from public sidewalks is completely legal and no grounds for detainment.

If anything, the man committed the crime of keeping his phone in the vertical position while recording, but we’ll forgive him considering it’s appears to be his first video.

Sergeant Brooke L. Thomas, Sr. begins by demanding his identification, but the man refuses on the basis he is not committing a crime.

The man then insists on asking to speak to a supervisor, but Thomas insinuates he is the top dog.

They go back and forth as we’ve seen so many times before until the man agrees to allow Thomas to frisk him.

Big mistake.

Thomas then orders him against the car with his hands over his head, ordering to spread his legs as he pats him down and even goes into the man’s backpack.

After the frisk, the man accuses the sergeant of frisking him illegally but the sergeant points out that the man allowed him to do so, which goes to show you the mind games these goons play.

Thomas continues to insist on knowing his name. The man continues to assert his right not to identify himself, even offering his first name, “Chris,” but that is not enough for the sergeant, who ends up handcuffing him.

According to Chris’s Youtube description:

Lawful citizen is stopped and detained illegally for photographing on a public sidewalk. The citizen allows police to “frisk” his person for weapons in order to calm the officers. Not shown on camera the Supervisor illegally searches the backpack on the person. After the “frisk” the citizen accidentally in the heat of the moment says he didn’t allow them to frisk. But that’s not the point. The video ends with the lawful citizen being handcuffed and arrested illegally. 15 minutes later the officers let the citizen go on his way.

Police need to be held accountable for violating lawful citizens rights. We are living in a police state.

It is understandable to be nervous in a situation like this. As you can see, law enforcement officers will lie and intimidate until you finally break down. And if that doesn’t work, they will simply arrest you.

But these cops are going to eventually have to accept that people are learning their rights, even if they still can’t figure out how to hold the damn phone while recording.

Thomas obviously doesn’t care because he knows he won’t be reprimanded by his actions in this video, even though he fully admits he is stopping Chris for doing something completely legal.

“You were standing there and you were taking photographs of my building,” he tells him shortly before arresting him.

The one good thing that Chris did that not enough citizens do in these situations is read the names of the officers for the camera, so we can at least begin to publicly shame them (and glance through their Facebook page if they have one as Thomas does, under the name, Ever the Clever).

Because that’s pretty much all the resources we really have in these situations considering anybody with any authority would rather turn a blind eye.

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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  • Jay

    Carlos, are these monkeys just antagonizing the police or are lawsuits involved. If they aren’t suing, then they are making matters worse.

    • Carlos_Miller

      The problem is, it’s very hard to find a lawyer to sue in a case like this because there aren’t any actual damages.

      • Mario K. Cerame

        There’d be some damages. How much?–not sure. Not $200,000. But there would probably be attorneys’ fees if he won. 42 USC 1988. That’s a big fucking “if,” though. Like tens of thousands of dollars (or more) of “if.” And if things go south, the lawyer will probably have spent a lot of time and money on something where he could have been chasing another case.

        I think the bigger fear for most lawyers is that most lawyers–and today, most judges–don’t know the First Amendment so well, and especially don’t know how it would work in this situation. It’s all new to them, which makes it a risk for the lawyer. There will be lots of research involved, which is expensive and time consuming. They have to draft things from scratch instead of modifying stuff they’ve used before. Generally speaking, lawyers don’t like risks, and the legal process generally doesn’t like new stuff.

        And what is the prize you’re chasing? Not $200,000. (Mind you, you probably have a debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars from law school.) At the end of the day, law is not a noble profession. It’s a business.

        I’m just too fucking stubborn to accept that :)

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          The advantage is that the law is fairly clear in Florida. There was no reasonable suspicion of a crime, therefore no requirement to ID, and therefore no obstruction. The photography could be relegated to a side issue, although it is fairly clear, and not just from Smith v. City of Cumming. See Abella v. Simon, No. 13-10255, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 13638, 2013 WL 3368872 (11th Cir. July 5, 2013) (not designated for publication).

          Not much money in it though. The best option would be for minimal damages and a declaratory judgment.

          • Mario K. Cerame

            I’ll grant you clearly established for QI purposes. But honestly–I think most people don’t know Smith exists. Moreover, I think most don’t understand TPM. Most private defense attorneys know a lot about breathalyzers. They know a fair amount about suppression. But generally speaking, they don’t know much about the 1A beyond a functional grasp of true threat or incitement or whatever crap they learned in barbri. This is not where their focus is. =(

          • $58984987

            “There was no reasonable suspicion of a crime, therefore no requirement to ID, and therefore no obstruction.”

            And yet you would attempt to lyingly convince that a sergeant with the sheriff does not know this when interacting with a citizen or suspect.
            Shameful bro’.

          • ExCop-Lawyer


      • theprez98 (总统)

        At the least, you can get a declaratory judgment from the court that such actions are legal and don’t violate the law.

      • io-io

        Here are a couple of law review papers that addresses this very question.They are somewhat dated.

        Yes, lawyers like to look at actual damages that can be measured rather than address the harm done by the taking of Constitutional Rights and what they might be worth. Some may see this as an argument on “how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin”, however in my view – the taking of one’s Constitutional Rights, should be measured in large part as a monetary matter, since that really is the only way to get the attention that it deserves. Putting a monetary value on something that is somewhat intangible is not easy, but if you can do it to one person, they you can do it to an entire Nation. That is what we are seeing. You start bankrupting some cities, towns and states – and the practice will come to a screeching halt.

        • tiny

          io-io wrong again about LAWYERS, read what i said and posted to CARLOS about LAWYERS/aka LIARS! [[ ]] carlos and io io read that and tell me what you think of lawyers, then tell me again how they could help, but only if you could find one that could get passed the money part of it, or whatever poor excuse your using now! it is all much worse then that! much, lawyers go to LAW SCHOOL to get brainwashed! no one seems to know this little fact! TIME TO WAKE UP SHEEPLE! TIME TO WAKE UP!

      • tiny

        CARLOS: fact, the problem is much greater then just finding a lawyer, the system is owned by THEM! even if you get it into the courts, they will wiggle out! fact is like someone here said already, it is OUR problem, WE put up with this shit, AND IT IS UP TO EACH AND EVERYONE ONE OF US TO GET IT STOPPED! lawyers are bought and paid for by the system, they are nothing but puppets of the COURT! is any of this waking anyone up? TIME TO WAKE UP SHEEPLE! [how many years has it been, the ole shootout on miamibeach? how many innocents were shot in the crossfire, etc.? how many cops are in prison for this crap? could it happen again tomorrow? you bet your ass it could!!!]

  • Bill Larson

    It’s sad that these officers do not know the extent of their powers, perhaps they need to be sent back to the police academy and when they successfully complete it be assigned as rookie officers again.

    • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

      From what I have reviewed in many of these video that have taken place in the state of Confusion, AKA, Florida, it appears that most the police officers have absolutely no knowledge of the Constitutional Rights of Citizens of the United States. Accordingly, suggest that it is not Police Academy that they should return to, but rather elementary school as they are nothing more than a bunch of totally ignorant Badged Uniformed Fascist Thugs.

      • Mario K. Cerame

        If they have no knowledge, who do you blame? The officer is wrong–no question–but I blame most the people who sit above street level.

        • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

          Who is to blame? A great question with a very simple answer.

          It is the voters of the counties and municipalities of Florida and all of the other states are the ones that bare the brunt of the blame! They are the ones that vote for the sheriffs and the representatives that control the police. They, actually, WE, are the ones that allow such mediocre management of the police forces. Police Force that not trained in anything but instead the use of force to carry out what they believe to be proper and legal law enforcement as if they were a military organization, no thinking about the laws just act.

          This particular video is an excellent example of mediocre law enforcement, this gentleman taking the video did absolutely nothing wrong, he committed NO crimes but this Sheriff Sgt and deputy didn’t have a clue, he just acted like badged Uniformed Fascist Thugs demanding information because he believed that since he has badge and a gun that he can do any damn thing that he wants to under the color of law.

          WE ARE WELL ON OUR WAY TO A POLICE STATE! If more of We the people do not start speaking out in a rational manner that demands a cease to such activities by the police by providing better education and training as well weeding out the Bad Apples will be there within 10 years.

          We all are aware of the story that starts, they came for Jews one day. I wasn’t a Jew so they didn’t bother me…………..

          This is exactly what is happening a steady grain by grain erosion of our rights being carried away by the river of tyrants.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Somehow the deputies don’t seem like liberal socialists to me (which is what a Fascist is).

          • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

            You have your description of fascism and I have mine. A fascism to me a NAZIS. Do not give me an example of a 1927 statement of Hitler when the NAZIS were just a small minor party as your proof. Rather, suggest that you look at what the Fascist did in 1933 once were able to take over legally with the monied support of the Right Winged Industrialist and GmbH’s with names like Heinkel, Krupp, Thyssen, Bayer, Daimler-Benz Messerschmitt and the German Military It was their support and money that brought the NAZIS; to power. Some of Hitler’s first acts were to purge the NAZIS party of the Socialist element, the night of the long knives, ban unions and take control of the press. AKA The Military Industrial Complex

            Trust that you’ll agree that those were not acts of liberal socialists? While the National Socialist party of Germany did not start as the Military Industrial Complex, once in power in quickly became one for the money. I define a fascist as Far Right capitalist that will use every mean of tyranny to maintain control of all means of production to produce a profit. Himmler’s SS was in it for the money and power. That should sound familiar.

            So to me a Nazis is a fascist. If you don’t like it, sorry but that is how I feel. The reason that I call the Badged Uniformed Thugs fascists is that the somewhat remind of NAZIS, but I will not call them NAZIS because that name should be strictly reserved to the mass murders which believed themselves to the super race,

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            LOL, what more do you want? The Nazi party followed all the main socialist programs. Redistribution of wealth. The only income that should be kept is from labor – investment and dividend income should be seized. Industries should be run by the state. Pensions should be increased. Health care should be run by the state. All leftist issues.

          • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania



            fas·cism noun ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi-

            Definition of FASCISM


            often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralizedautocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

            Webster definition above

            Churchill called the Nazis’ – Fascists

            With all due respect, you are no Churchill

            The German pensions and health care systems were NOT started by the NAZIS but rather by Kaiser Wilheim. Now there was a real socialist for you.

            Look I was willing to walk away from this a couple of days ago. You brought back, let’s just forget it.

            I’ve been reading and concentrating on the History from 1875 to current now for over 50 years and I research what I write before I put it out.


          • Tijuana Joe

            Hemingway had a nice definition of Fascism; it is ” a lie
            told by a bully.” If you’ve had the unfortunate experience
            of visiting Palm Beach Co you know Ric ‘the Dic’ Bradshaw
            is the bully and safety/security is the big lie.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            No, you brought it back when you called officers fascists.

            The fact that fascists were socialists and leftists is not in dispute among reputable scholars, despite the efforts of the left to distance themselves from it.

          • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

            I do not agree and no amount of internet bullying directed to me by you will make me change my mind or my wording. You do not scare me.

            I’ve provided a definition of fascism as defined TODAY. You point to nothing. Just a another example of how extreme people that continue to shout the same thing over and over again making believe that it is true because you said it.

            So you stick to an this issue and I’ll GO FORWARD legally expressing my displeasure of the illegal and despicable actions of Badged Uniformed Fascist Thugs as they ignore, steal and threaten the honest exercise of the both civil and human rights of American Citizens under the color of the law.

            Wish you all the best in your endeavours in being the sole proprietor of the truth. Frankly, you bore me and we said in the Navy, THAT IS ALL!

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            No one is trying to bully you or scare you.

            If you’re that paranoid, maybe you should visit the VA. I’m sure that they can help you.

          • Voice-Of-Concern

            Ummm… Isn’t EVERY economic system some kind of wealth redistribution?

            Or, perhaps we can focus on what we have in common, ie PINAC, & avoid Left/Right politics, which only serves to divide us?

            For what it’s worth.

          • ts

            I concur.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Yes, a Nazi is a fascist. So was Franco of Spain. All of these were from the socialist side of the political spectrum.

            You can call it whatever you want and believe whatever you want, but that doesn’t change the facts nor the truth. All it does is speak to intellectual honesty.

            I’m also not willing to allow your mischaracterizations of officers to go unchallenged, so every time you call them fascists, I’ll be there to point out what fascists really were and are.

          • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

            As I’ve stated several times, you have your definition and I have mine. I’ve offered you logic and history as my rebuttal to which it appears that you have rejected out of hand as not being intellectually honest.

            While I strongly disagree; I will continue to believe and support that those that do not agree with me have the same absolute rights as I do. Hell, I would even defend your rights. As I have a history of already doing so, even though I was threatened by our government’s unequal draft laws, I served and served honorably.

            Understand that you feel calling a police officer a badged uniformed fascist thug is a insult to you and your colleagues. Well, in my years I’ve come to appreciate, understand and agree with the logic that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck it must be a duck! Thence what I believe to be a correct title for the ACTIONS.

            Accordingly, I will continue to call illegal executed actions such as the example provided in this Video of the Palm Beach County Florida Sheriff illegal actions as being carried by Badged Uniformed Fascist Thugs. To me this continuously repeated statement of show me your papers [ID], looks like this particular flock of ducks were wearing Swastikas.

            I ask you to recall my statement as to why I do not wish to call them NAZIS or even NAZI like. Taking a hint from the great comment of Mr. ” Tijuana Joe” , would you rather that I refer to them as Badged Uniformed Bullies [BUBs] ?

            At the same time, I will continue to refer to proper legal actions carried out by law enforcement officers. After all, I know that not all ducks are the same.

            But, let’s get back to the REAL POINT; leave the side track as what is or isn’t a fascist, of this debate. Simply stated were the Badged Uniform “WHATEVER” Thugs legally correct?

            So since you, by your own admission, are a retired cop, why do some of your colleagues behave in this manner? Please enlighten us, as I for one, would love not refer to them in the manner that I have. As I find having to employ such a distasteful title almost as repugnant as the illegal actions that they have taken. But it is they that must change and not the American People.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Look, you can call them whatever you want, and your studies in history are fine. The problem is that history is based on events that happened.
            The study of political theories is more properly in political science, which is what my undergraduate degree was in, and what I have studied. All I’m saying is that if you call police officers fascists, when in fact they are on the opposite end of the political spectrum for the most part, I’ll correct that statement with facts.

            If you want to learn more, I would recommend the following:

            David Beetham, From Socialism to Fascism: The Relation Between Theory and Practice in the Work of Robert Michels 25 POLITICAL STUDIES, Iss. 1, Mar. 1977, at 3.

            Reinhard Kuhnl, Problems of a Theory of German Fascism: A Critique of the Dominant Interpretations NEW GERMAN CRITIQUE, Iss. 4, 1975, at 26.

            Daniel Woodley, FACISM AND POLITICAL THEORY, 2009.

            Roger Griffin, THE NATURE OF FACSIM, 1991.

            Zeev Sternhel, THE BIRTH OF FASCIST IDEOLOGY, 1995.

          • JustaVetSailorfromPennsylvania

            That is all means that is all, This is my last communicate to you

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Buh bye.

      • Difdi

        Given that they operate by causing fear in order to maintain control, don’t call them fascists, call them terrorists. It makes for a better acronym anyway.

        You can even make it the BUTT of jokes. :p

      • tiny

        or AKA/gang members,hmmmm with a badge and gun! and ready to shoot upon command of their puppet masters! they ARE ALL MORONS! and ya cannot fix STUPID! uuggghhhh! i am so fking sick of this crap going on!

    • tiny

      that in fact would not help, you cant fix “stupid”! get rid of em, all of em, let em get into the food line and fight for their next meal and see what happens when they end up in JAIL fighting to keep someone from poking them in the arse! morons, all of them!

  • Gomer Pyle

    The so called “Sargent ” must have got those three stripes on his shoulders from a cracker jack box !!! how dumb can you get?

    Hey dumb ass,,,,this is the yr 2013,,,,,,EVERYONE has a phone/camera/video camera on their person…ACTION CAMS are EVERYWHERE !….
    STOP acting surprised…this is not 1960 and the Cold WAR with RUSSIA is OVER !!!

    Learn what PUBLIC PROPERTY is,,,…..stop being an embarrassment to Palm Beach County.

    I grew up there in 1957 and finally got smart and moved away in 2005.

    • $22798478

      I know exactly how he got those three stripes. He was too damn stupid to earn them through test taking. Just ask those other cops that were there and I’m sure they will tell you.

  • pete

    Another example of a Florida cop using the constitution as toilet paper.

    • Difdi

      If the highest law is treated as no better than toilet paper by those sworn to uphold that law…

      Why should we the People, who are NOT sworn to uphold any laws, have any respect for lesser laws?

      If the sum total of someone’s argument in favor of respect for the law is “because we’re armed and outnumber you” then it’s not immoral to resist, up to and including lethal force.

      • McB

        Precisely the definition of anarchy….that is how our government rules – brute force and anarchy (lawlessness)

        • Difdi

          Exactly. We elect our leaders to represent us, but also to serve as examples for us.

          If our leaders can’t be bothered to keep their oaths and obey the laws they enact and enforce upon us in our names, why should we obey the laws either?

          If the highest moral authority a government can aspire to is LESS than that of organized crime (at least the mafia pays people), then it isn’t immoral to act accordingly.

          As Chairman Mao once said, political power grows from e barrel of a gun.

      • tiny

        got that right! 100% and those that would even attempt to argue that point are morons! fact is the world is full of morons! :((((((

  • Mario K. Cerame

    Thoughts I had while watching and in reflection:

    1) Mr. Sheriff, or Mr. Deputy, that is not your property, unless you stole it. That property belongs to the people of the state of Florida, whom you serve and protect. It does not belong to your office. You are not an earl and that is not your keep. Your castle, sir, is the home where you live with your family, not that government building.

    2) A handy phrase in similar situations may be, “I’m sorry officer. I don’t consent to searches.” Like repeated over and over and over and over. (Thank you, Flex Your Rights.)

    3) A handy phrase in similar situations may be, “I’m sorry officer. I do not consent. Are you asking me or ordering me?” Again, repeated. “Are you asking me or telling me, sir?”

    4) A handy phrase in similar situations may be, “I’m sorry officer. I’m exercising my right to anonymously speak in public.”

    5) It seems the young man was on a public sidewalk. I can’t tell for sure, but I think so. That is a traditional public forum. Individuals have strong speech rights in a traditional public forum.

    6) Moreover, the young man is criticizing a public official in that traditional public forum.

    7) Even more, the young man is criticizing a police officer in that traditional public forum in a manner that does not disrupt the officer’s lawful duties. As Justice Brennan wrote, “The freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.” Houston v. Hill.

    7) It would be a question of fact if the officers arrested the young man to stop him from taking video, or to stop him from publishing the video, or to punish him for taking video based on its content, or to punish him for his viewpoint that was critical of officers. Those are all impermissible reasons to arrest the young man and would be abhorrent to the First Amendment.

    8) Almost certainly, the young man knew he was going to get arrested. He escalated. He could have been a bit less obstreperous if his goal was simply to capture video. I would guess his goal was to exercise his rights, because the exercise of liberty is a satisfying end in and of itself.

    9) What crime was the young man committing? Obstruction of justice? Obstructing investigation of what crime? Trespassing on a public sidewalk? Taking video?

    10) The young man did not seem to be obstructing sidewalk traffic. His speech and capturing of video caused no disruption of itself beyond the psychological effect it apparently had on officers.

    11) The asking for ID–the officer said he wanted to verify whether the young man was a citizen of Florida. It doesn’t matter what state the young man is from, what country or what planet. Or did Florida pass a law prohibiting foreigners from using the sidewalks when I wasn’t looking?

    12) Here’s a wrinkle in the law. If the officers had a reason to believe that the young man was engaged in criminally related activity, then they probably could demand identification from the young man. The seminal case is Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada. In that case, there was a statute on point, and SCOTUS held that reasonable suspicion was sufficient to uphold the statute on constitutional grounds.

    Here’s the wrinkle–I am not aware of a case that sets that power against the First Amendment right to engage in anonymous speech. (Like the right affirmed in Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of NY v. Stratton. <3 J.witnesses) I am not sure how things would pan out if the power to demand ID went up against the right to anonymous speech. That's a whole kettle of fish Im savin' for some other day, though.

    In the officers’ defense, they get this crap from washington in the wake of the Patriot Act telling them to watch out for people taking pictures of government buildings. Giving the officers the most generous reading possible, that federal government directive could have been on their minds.

    They also probably don’t get trained in ths stuff. No one has trained them to not freak out over someone taking video. I know, sounds a little crazy, but–yeah, they deserve some training. Or at least a clear fucking policy.

    The young man did consent to the patdown. I don’t know whether officers conducted a patdown “frisk” or a more invasive search.

    • ExCop-Lawyer

      In Florida, they do have a stop and ID statute, but it is grounded on reasonable suspicion. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 901.151 (West); State v. Gonzalez, 840 So. 2d 401 (Fla. 4th Dist. Ct. App. 2003). It also does not provide for a criminal penalty. That’s why the sergeant kept telling the guy he would be arrested for obstruction, which is actually Resisting Officer without Violence, Fla. Stat. Ann. § 843.02 (West).

      Unfortunately for the sergeant, courts have ruled that he has to have lawful grounds to require identification for the charge to apply. C.H.C. v. State, 988 So. 2d 1145 (Fla. 2d Dist. Ct. App. 2008) (must have reasonable suspicion of a crime); Fournier v. State, 731 So. 2d 75 (Fla. 2d Dist. Ct. App. 1999) (citizen is not required to identify himself unless lawfully detained); Davis v. Williams, 451 F.3d 759 (11th Cir. 2006) (requesting a supervisor and name and badge number is not obstructing officer).

      From an officer’s standpoint, and echoing what Mario said, the deputies simply are not trained properly, not just on photography, but on stop and ID. At some point the sergeant decided that this was going to go his way because he honestly thought that he was entitled to the individual’s ID. If someone is to blame, it is the sheriff.

      • REALConservative

        Or maybe it’s as simple that these cops don’t give a $#!+ about the Constitution, and know that they can lie their worthless asses off without penalty in these encounters.

        I’m sick of the practice of kicking the blame down the road, and not surprised that it was used by someone who was in law enforcement. Cops do it all the time.

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          Do you want it fixed or do you want it to continue?

          If you don’t identify the problem, you can’t fix it. Part of the problem is training. It’s not the only problem. Over-militarization is a problem, as it the failed war on drugs. In this case the biggest issue is training.

          Of course, if you’re happy with the status quo, ignore the training issue. But it’s insane to expect different results if you don’t do anything different.

          • REALConservative

            90% disagree.

            I agree with the “identify” sentence, but the problem is not training. Yes, they may need more training, but that is not the foundation of this issue.

            The problem is attitude. And greed.

            It’s irrational to think this is happening because the cops are collectively dumber than the people they encounter in all these videos.

            It’s because they have no regard for people.

            The issue with the drug war is not simply that it is a failure, it’s that the police perpetuate the failure. An oncologist who cures cancer is out of a job. The police who win a war on drugs no longer have access cash and cars to confiscate. And then they have no money to buy all the gear to dress up like GI Joe.

            I’m furious with the status quo, but I don’t think for a minute that we solve this by sending them to school. We will gain far more benefit by exacting severe penalties on cops who pull garbage like this than we will by sending them to school.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Attitude and culture are a major part of the problem. Both the war on drugs and the militarization of the police have had a major impact on both attitude and culture, and it was not a good impact.

            The way you correct it is not a simple, punish the cops solution, which would just reinforce the us v. them attitude and would play to their benefit, not the public’s benefit. Most citizens support the police, and if you start harshly punishing them, you will spark a second round of police “bills of rights” and protections for the officers.

            It needs a multifaceted approach. You need more basic training at the start, and no officer should be allowed on the street until they have completed an academy and a licensing test. Some states allow a department to hand an officer a badge and a gun and hit the streets, so long as they go to an academy within a year or two. You need more in-service training, and new supervisors need training.

            You need civilian oversight that has real power. The power to subpoena, the power to override a chief’s decision on discipline, the power to set and enforce policy.

            You need to pull back the militarization of police, and limit SWAT and SWAT equipment to only those situations where it is truly needed. You need to go back to community policing and more of a “beat cop” approach. That takes more officers, but they are not running from call to call to call.

            There needs to be an end to the failed war on drugs. A “war” on anything is not conducive to good law enforcement.

            Most officers are good people. But they are doing what we have asked and taught them to do. We need to change that.

          • io-io

            We agree across the board. However, there is more. If an officer is terminated for cause, it needs to stick. I understand the police union and their lawyers taking the side of the officer, having to take the officer back is dangerous to the public’s well being.

            In instances like this, there is little in the way of traditional damages – however the damage to the individual AND the citizen’s Constitutional Rights are large. Each instance where the officers are able to “get away with it”, and to be backed up by the pronouncements of Homeland Security, just undermines whatever good is done by the DOJ letters and positions. The only thing that the city, county and state (along with their insurance companies) understand is monetary damages. The law is setup around property – not loss of rights (which are treated essentially as not a “real” loss. In order to prove a loss, you need to find a way to turn it into a property loss in order to get an attorney interested (unless you have a substantial bank account and fund it on your own – then it comes back to what you are actually going to be able to be compensated for).

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            In the court of law system, damages = $. It is how the court keeps score.

            In equity, you can get an injunction, but no damages.

            That is overly simplified, but is the gist of it.

          • $58984987

            The war on drugs is a failure because the government imports the drugs.

            The Florida Keys all the way up to Jacksonville is my home territory and stomping ground.
            I know the score when it comes to specifically…southeast Florida.

            I know people, who shall remain nameless, who have run drugs since the marijuana seventies and the cocaine eighties that did so for the government and still do so to this day.

            They don’t get arrested because they have the best job protection you can get in the drug world by working for the feds.

            Law enforcement over drugs is about keeping down competition, keeping prices high and perpetuating profits in the court and prison systems.

            In my younger days I used to buy weed from a Broward Sheriff and he would tell me all the stories about cop corruption.

            It is institutionalized…a mafia.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Yeah, they bring it in through Roswell too, and warehouse it in Area 51 for distribution. Funny looking delivery drivers however.

          • $58984987

            You must have had a desk job while on the force or cleaning the toilets.
            With that your ignorance of reality is understandable.

            My Columbian connection was doing business through the Miami River Cops and Scarface Garcia.
            It was nothing for him to drop off 5 kilos to a Broward Sheriff for distribution or a few other police department reps who wanted in on some action to make a few extra bucks.
            It was rampant.

            I have experiences spanning thirty years of how the feds, LEOs and departments really operate in south Florida.
            I have seen a local cop execute a man that was sitting on his knees shot in the back of the head.
            I won’t go into my own operations as some of them are still ongoing enterprises.

            Here is another tale that I was involved in…to an undisclosed degree.

            Go to sleep princess and have some sweet dreams as reality is just too much for you.

            But seriously, unless you were a cop in Kansas…you know this already so stop playing the fool about it.

          • tiny

            you have that only partly correct, it is “THE FEDERAL MAFIA/Irwin Schiff” a book everyone in the USA needs to read, and it is currently online and free to DL.

          • tiny

            you have hit on something that matters a lot and most dont, and have never heard of. a BEAT COP! i agree 100% with that, no matter how we do it it, this would help situations like in the video! failed war on drugs, also 100% agree!!! end it now, people have to be responsible to run their life, and the only reason, i think, THEY have drugs laws is simply because the USA is the largest drug dealer in the world! and about the “civilian oversight”, i think it needs to happen yesterday! thank you for posting that, there is still some hope for you yet. [by now i know you have read that, i am reposting it for everyone else that may not have had the chance!]

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            I would strongly advise against using the information from that site, for the reasons I outlined several months ago. He is simply wrong. Quotations that he attributes to various cases don’t appear in the opinions, opinions have been narrowed or superseded by statute, and he has cases out of order. Very bad legal analysis.

          • $58984987

            I am not convinced this particular instance is about training at all.
            To have an officer on the street, questioning someone who has broken no laws, who doesn’t know the basics of asking for ID and DOB and what is legal?
            Give me a break.
            My dog isn’t that stupid or that naive.
            It is clearly obvious that this is about power and the authority the officer wishes to have over someone who is not following his commands.

            You were filming MY building punk, I don’t like that and it looks suspicious. Don’t do what I say? You are under arrest.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            So your dog is smarter than you are?

            Big surprise.

          • $58984987

            Almost better than your false interpretations and cop apologetics.

          • LibertyEbbs

            If they do know that what they are doing is illegal and do it anyway because they KNOW there will be no repercussions for doing so, it is not a training issue.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            From viewing the video do you really think that they knew they couldn’t demand ID? That’s not what it looks like, it looks like they believed that they were entitled to ID him. That’s a training issue.

          • LibertyEbbs

            I think in most cases like this one, yes, they are very aware that they cannot legally demand ID. This one I am not so sure of, but the way the Sgt. refuses to be specific about what he is ‘suspicious’ of until after the subject presses him on it, I am thinking he knew.

            I think that he is just so uncomfortable with the fact that he isn’t getting 100% compliance that he decides to press beyond the legal limit. I know I am doing a lot of speculating here, but I think the Sgt. has the habit of playing it slow and dumb for advantage but is actually not slow or dumb at all.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            I’m just basing it on experience and talking to other officers. I’ve had to tell a number of my officers in the past that they could not require ID without reasonable suspicion. It was usually officers that were just assigned to my shift.

            You’re right about the Sgt. wanting 100% compliance. That’s what they are used to and have come to expect. It throws them off when there is not compliance and sometimes people think that they know the law and don’t. For example, in Texas it is illegal to carry a knife with a blade of over 6 inches. I stopped a car for speeding and saw a knife with about a 10 inch blade on the floorboard, in plain view. The driver insisted that I could not go into the car and seize the knife, absolutely sure that he was correct (he wasn’t).

            The officer has been taught to control the situation, and that’s what the Sgt. appeared to be doing.

          • LibertyEbbs

            As you have said in other threads: Officer safety does not trump constitutional rights. This part is a training issue…we need to train police that there are limits to their powers and they don’t get to control every situation absolutely.

            I know there are some LEOs out there with the tools to handle varied situations with professionalism and courtesy while using only the force necessary and staying within the legally defined limits. They are few and far between. For most, every problem looks like a nail.

            Sure, better training can ameliorate this, but I think we are not going to see that any time soon. The answer is accountability.

            The Sgt. committed a litany of crimes in that video and he will never be held to account for a one of them. If the photographer had stepped onto the roadway or didn’t have the proper reflectors on his bike they would have cited him to the max.

            If there is one law for you and one for me, no rule of law can there ever be.

            So, how do we go about getting the Sgt. prosecuted? Before you answer, please imagine the Sgt is not an on-duty LEO…say…just some cat at the grocery store and he engaged in the same behavior with an innocent person minding their own business. What crimes has he committed? Since the detention itself was unlawful, there should be no QI for any of those crimes in this case and he should be held to account. Only then will we see improvement.

          • Difdi

            By that standard, someone who unknowingly breaks the law, who can claim they were trained to do so and did not doubt their training could not be convicted of breaking the law.

            No mens rea.

            I have yet to see it work for anyone but police, however. The person making such a claim tends to be informed by the judge that ignorance of the law does not excuse breaking it.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            I’ve seen civilians get off because of lack of mens rea.

            Mens rea and ignorance of the law are two separate issues.

          • Difdi

            That’s the thing though — if someone does not know they are breaking a law, they cannot intend to break one.

            While it’s certainly possible to lack mens rea without ignorance, being ignorant that you are breaking a law at all almost automatically includes a lack of mens rea.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Not entirely accurate. To meet the mens rea of an intentional crime, you have to intend to commit the act. The fact that you don’t know the act is a crime doesn’t negate that you intended the act. You thus have met mens rea while being ignorant of the law, and would still be liable for the crime.

          • Difdi

            That’s insane. Without intending to break a law or otherwise do wrong, there can be no guilty mind.

            I often intend to not break laws. I get up, intend to eat my breakfast and then eat it before reading the news. If cornflakes were outlawed while I was asleep, and I found out after eating breakfast when I opened my web browser, I did in fact break the law, but since I did not know it was illegal and had no way of knowing and had no intent to do anything wrong, an arrest for eating cornflakes would be the height of injustice and insanity, to say nothing of a conviction.

            Ignorance of the law includes a lack of mens rea automatically. One cannot be guilty or remorseful (in the senses of the words used by courts) at the same time one believes they have done the right thing in full accordance with the law.

            If people were convicted anyway, then they were wrongly convicted — or the system has utterly lost its way and needs to be torn down, ASAP.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            “Ignorance of the law includes a lack of mens rea automatically.”

            No, I’m afraid that it doesn’t.

            “The principle that ignorance of the law is no defense applies whether the law be a statute or a duly promulgated and published regulation. In the context of these proposed 1960 amendments we decline to attribute to Congress the inaccurate view that that Act requires proof of knowledge of the law, as well as the facts, and that it intended to endorse that interpretation by retaining the word ‘knowingly.’ We conclude that the meager legislative history of the 1960 amendments makes unwarranted the conclusion that Congress abandoned the general rule and required knowledge of both the facts and the pertinent law before a criminal conviction could be sustained under this Act.

            So far as possession, say, of sulfuric acid is concerned the requirement of ‘mens rea’ has been made a requirement of the Act as evidenced by the use of the word ‘knowingly.’ A person thinking in good faith that he was shipping distilled water when in fact he was shipping some dangerous acid would not be covered.”

            U. S. v. Int’l Minerals & Chem. Corp., 402 U.S. 558, 563-64 (1971).

          • Difdi

            Before I started discussing law with you, I envisioned the legal system as a needlessly overcomplicated thing that never-the-less strove for justice for all.

            The more I discuss it with you, the more it resembles the Geneva Conventions and laws of war in my mind.

            To a uniformed soldier the laws of war are fair, offer decent protection at worst and great protection at best, and allow for common sense. To a civilian caught in a war zone, the laws are nothing more and nothing less than codified brutality and tyranny in which that civilian has a right to die, a right to be executed by his own side if he tries not to die, and no other rights whatsoever.

            The legal system, as you have described it, and however it started out is obviously nothing more than an inscrutable tyrant for the common man. We cannot comprehend it, the parts of it that seem to be in plain language are not, and great swathes of it are effectively kept secret from us, due to a lack of ability to spend all of our time studying it (unlike a lawyer, most people get paid to do other things, not study law, and don’t get paid if we study law instead).

            Is it any wonder that most people read the law and think they understand how not to break it, but are utterly wrong? The legal system as it functions now is a thing of madness to the average person it governs.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            That’s why lawyers are so vital to society.

          • jimmarch

            The solution is to get rid of qualified immunity on civil rights violations.

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            Good luck with that.

          • Difdi

            Qualified immunity doesn’t protect against criminal charges. But with prosecutors unwilling to file such charges, we’re left with civil remedies.

            One problem I see is that courts tend not to consider that qualified immunity should not apply to civil lawsuits over acts that violate criminal statutes (and therefore cannot be something a police department can lawfully order an officer to do) until you get to your appeal after losing in the first court you sue in.

        • Mario K. Cerame

          Hmm. I think it’s kicking the blame up the road, not down. :) And I’m not kicking all the blame. Having interviewed lots of cops, I think lots of police are just average Joes and Janes who have been indoctrinated into a culture. They’re trained to get control of a potentially deadly situation. Sure, there are plenty who really like being a dick. (Plenty of lawyers and people in other professions who are like that too.) Most just don’t know better. They should know better, and in no way do I hold this guy blameless.

          But when I see a video like this, I see something not shown in the video–how someone else allowed this guy to think that this was okay. And I’m hell of pissed at that someone else not in the video.

        • steveo

          They really don’t have to lie because they’ll document that they’ve arrested the defendant for not giving ID and then the SA will drop the case before trial only, 1) if the guy hasn’t plead guilty already (75% of the cases) 2) only if he has a lawyer or the court appoints one 3) if the leo doesn’t show up for the depositions or court 4) if the pre-trial motions are done properly. But most of these charges end up with the leo never seeing any testimony or courtroom appearance, so why not arrest the guy.

      • LibertyEbbs

        IIRC this Sgt. had three stripes. You think he might be involved in training deputies himself? Sure, the buck stops on the Sheriff’s desk, but does that mean that all violations of the law by his employees are just “training issues?”

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          No, it doesn’t. That’s the main issue here though.

          • LibertyEbbs

            When you train people to be aggressive and take control of every contact situation, as we train our LEOs in this country, you get this. You can try to also train police to know that without RAS they cannot legally detain, but it doesn’t work. As soon as the non-LEO says “no sir, I’m not doing that,” the cop just lost control and (except for the very rare exceptional officer out there) becomes a bully and violates the persons rights in order to reestablish that control.

            I think that your vision of policing is quite admirable, but I doubt that there are enough humans on the planet with the integrity and smarts to fill the vacancies and do the job the way it should be done.

        • Mario K. Cerame

          I follow. I don’t hold the guy blameless. See my comment above.

      • Mario K. Cerame

        Thanks for the heads up on 901.151 (and the generally informative post). I’m going to take a closer look later.

      • $58984987

        I believe the officer knew exactly what he was doing and there was no confusion or error on his part to be blamed on his alleged insufficient training.

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          Well, since you’ve already established that you’re a whackjob, we’ll give that all the consideration that your opinion is due. In other words, none.

          • $58984987


            You…and the other…cops?

          • Difdi

            Him, possibly other cops, but certainly the rest of your audience of fellow commenters on this forum.

            You don’t convince anyone of your views by acting like a raging loon, and there’s little point in posting commentary that does nothing but convince most people here that you’re just a crazy coming out of the woodwork.

        • Mario K. Cerame

          Maybe you’re right. I have this horrible habit of giving my adversaries as charitable and generous of a reading as possible.

      • tiny

        ExCop-LawStudent have you ever seen or even read this, just asking! [by any chance you are already beyond help, and are a lawyer. NM] if your already a lawyer, or/and beyond the help of that URL, then youll come up with whatever to dispute it in the words they taught you with your now, “ability” to confuse any issue and/or argue any point with nothing but BS! or what you would call the “LAW”! also, if your a LAWYER, you also know by now the only “CASE-LAW” that have standing are cases that come from the SCOTUS! and you also know why!

      • steveo

        Leos in Florida use 843.02 all the time to arrest people who won’t give ID (and no, it’s not done because of improper training, it’s done for the same reason a dog can lick his genitals and you can’t, because they can), but in reality they have to have a RAS of something else to explain lawful detainment before charging the the defendant with 843.02. With 843.02, the courts repeat this over and over and over. “Words alone rarely rise to the level of obstruction.” Here we have a words only arrest. There are four instances where a leo can arrest someone for obstruction with words alone. 1) where the leo is serving papers/warrants and the subject falsely or won’t give ID 2) In an emergency situation, where the leo asks for help and the defendant says no 3) when the defendant is acting as a lookout in an undercover operation and signaling vocally to the others that there are police present and 4) when the defendant refuses to give ID when lawfully detained. So, the leos have to prove that they were lawfully detaining him first, in order to use 843.02. In my reading and looking through numerous arrest reports, leos only use § 901.151, when the defendant refuses to ID after an arrest.

        See this scholarly article by the State Attorney.

    • flipadoo

      This is not a training issue. If it were, he wouldn’t be teaching criminal justice at Keiser U, as his linked in page says. I think I might send a note to Keiser to ask if they really think he is qualified, since he clearly does not understand the law.

  • Matthew

    Yet another great post – thank you for posting and reviewing these videos. They have served me very well in educating myself on my rights. Best wishes to PINAC.

  • Rob

    Don’t argue or try to debate with cops. Ever. They’re paid liars, and many are not intelligent enough to carry on a conversation with, which was plenty apparent with this deputy. However ignorant they may be of your civil rights, they are also trained in the art of deception, and will do whatever they can to get you to say something that conflicts with what you have already told them, thereby giving them reasonable suspicion to detain you.

    “Am I being detained, or am I free to go; and I do not consent to police searches or seizures” is all you should say to a cop. If they tell you that you aren’t being detained, then turn around and walk away, don’t press the issue with them. Don’t tell them they can frisk you, then in the same breath tell them you don’t consent to searches or seizures. That was just plain stupid.

    • Difdi

      When a private citizen lays hands on you, wrestles you to the ground, slams your face into the pavement and ties you up because he’s losing a purely verbal argument, that’s assault, battery, unlawful restraint, possibly even kidnapping if he transports your tied-up person somewhere.

      But when someone sworn to uphold the law and trusted by society to behave in a lawful, professional way does it, that’s purely in the line of duty despite the fact doing so often adds a color of law offense to the above list. Is it any wonder people are talking about police states, high court/low court and police being above the law?

    • Prothink


      • Rob

        There is that as well. I don’t talk to police without my attorney present.

      • Difdi

        Given a recent court case, you should probably increase that to seven words, by adding “fifth amendment” to the end. If you don’t specifically invoke your right to remain silent, you lose it.

    • $58984987

      Time to…stand your ground…against the rogue with a badge.

  • Wicked Vet

    Shame he isn’t a better oath keeper.

    • $910553

      Shame there aren’t any REAL “Oath Keepers”. If there WERE, pigs such as this would soon be gone.

  • rick

    At least file a formal complaint.
    Assuming it’s not filed under “G” it should become permanent record. Should future egregious violations occur those records would highlight patterns of abuse by officers. They also serve to show what conduct is permitted by the PD.

  • Allen Drozd

    Carlos, can he not sue for false arrest? Perhaps a civil suit for false imprisonment and or assault/battery?

    • Mario K. Cerame

      He can sue. Can he win? More importantly–can he win enough to make it attractive to a competent attorney? Case should settle fast in my view, but I don’t know the culture around there.

      A complication: if he takes a plea, that can bust his civil case due to qualified immunity. If he doesn’t plea, he could be in the justice system for months. Most collateral consequences come into play after conviction, but some can trigger from just being charged. Being arrested sucks.

      • LibertyEbbs

        Take a plea? I believe he was arrested but not charged. Did I miss something?

        • Mario K. Cerame

          I missed that! You’re totally right. He was detained for 15 minutes and released apparently without charge. Yeah, he’d likely be able to open all kinds of claims, QI free. I mean, it’s like a torts final–you can go through the counts but there are quite a few to be had.

          But how much would a jury award the guy if it went all the way to the mat? What’s to be compensed? Okay, the offense of the touching. The apprehension of being touched. Some 15-20 minutes of liberty. The offense of being accused of a crime that doesn’t exist. A brief prior restraint–some of that video is lost forever, I’ll grant. How much is it worth though, to a jury of 6 Floridian peers? No maiming, no broken bones, no blood, back injury, loss of quality of life, or loss of earning capacity.

          In 1763, he might have been able to get a good sum. Today? Not sure. Say they offer $8k–can he really turn that down?

          • LibertyEbbs

            Oh, I agree that this is no money-maker. Not sure if I would try suing at all if I were in this gentleman’s place. It may be worth wasting some of his time and risking further harassment by filing a formal complaint at least, but I would understand if he chose not to take it even that far. I just hope that exposing this systemic criminal behavior will eventually educate LEOs and the non-LEO public both that refusing to ID in these situations is not a crime. Anything beyond consensual contact without RAS is a violation of the man’s rights and, therefore, a criminal act by the LEO.

            There’s the wrinkle: The photographer did not violate the law and was detained, arrested, threatened, etc. The Sgt. violated the law and will probably not be detained, arrested, or disciplined in any way. So where is the incentive for these people to change their behavior?

          • Mario K. Cerame

            @libertyebbs:disqus I’m with you. A personal hope is to over time lower the transaction costs to see justice done (with articles and so on) and over time help effect a change in awareness.

          • LibertyEbbs

            No, the answer is to prosecute the person committing crimes caught on video. Just my opinion. I know the system is not geared to do this currently, but that is where the reform needs to start.

          • LibertyEbbs

            Also, my apologies for nit-picking, but I don’t think he was just detained. It looks like he was arrested at the end of the video but later released without charge.

          • Mario K. Cerame

            @ LibertyEbbs Yeah. I didn’t mean detained in the Terry stop sense. I kinda doubt he went to a cell–booking etc. would have eaten that time. Sorry if I implied otherwise.

          • tiny

            heck with all the rest, anyone here ever hear of, “PUNITIVE DAMAGES”? as in, sock it to them so they think twice before doing it again! and why isnt the MSM going after, and reporting crap like this? i mean with it happening so often! fact is, THEY all in bed together, and having an ORGY and we all paying for it. as in, bending over getting it up the arse.

          • Difdi

            What would a jury likely award to someone treated exactly the same way without the badge being involved?

            Say one citizen grabs another citizen on the street, assaults him, ties him up, then lets him go 15 minutes later?

            Ignoring the oath to uphold the law, would a court result be any different?

          • Mario K. Cerame

            @Difdi:disqus How much would you guess? Say it was a dispute between neighbors instead.

          • Difdi

            I’d consider the fines possible for a criminal conviction as a starting point, but they’re not terribly high in a damages sense. But since a civil case cannot result in jail time, it would probably be up to the jury to assign punitive damages.

            It would probably come down to how outraged a juror would be to be in a verbal dispute with a neighbor only to be beaten up, hogtied and stuffed in a closet.

          • Mario K. Cerame

            @Difdi:disqus At the risk of accidentally sounding like a dick–I’m wondering what the number is, in your view, and maybe a reason for how you came up with it.

          • Difdi

            A quick Google search for Florida statutes and sentencing guidelines yielded information on several statutes:

            775.083 — Lays out maximum fines that may be applied in addition to prison time upon a conviction. Aside from the fines for the offense itself (varying from $500 to $15,000 per offense, depending on severity), this statute appears to allow a judge to order a convict to pay up to twice the damages suffered by the victim, such as medical expenses arising from battery.

            784.03 — Battery, which is a first degree misdemeanor. Statutory fine: $1,000. I don’t know Florida statutes and case law on the matter — Does being visibly armed with a firearm but not drawing it enhance simple battery into aggravated battery? If so, then aggravated battery is 784.045 and is a second degree felony, with a statutory fine of $10,000.

            784.021 — Aggravated Assault, which is a third degree felony. Statutory fine: $5,000.

            787.02 — False Imprisonment, which is a third degree felony. Possibly difficult to prove, but if the officer knew he lacked lawful cause for an arrest, it’s possible. Statutory fine: $5,000.

            Total would be about $11,000-$20,000 which isn’t much. But if the man suffered any injuries during the arrest, double medical expenses would also be legal under 775.083.

            Probably not enough to interest a lawyer, but remember these are all statutory damages on the criminal law side. A civil case could also result in punitive damages, which would likely be set quite a bit higher by a jury.

          • Mario K. Cerame

            @Difdi:disqus I think that’s a pretty good estimate and good analogy. Seriously, well put, sir–that’s how it might be argued, too. Since it’s a 1983 action, there would be fees too, but there’s also a risk that stuff goes south. So, say the counsel for the city offers a check for $8k–or even half that. Can a fellow say no?

      • tiny

        qualified immunity. MARIO; and everyone else, that is pure bullshit! first off, where does it come from! I sure as hell didnt give it to them, did anyone here give it to them? i doubt it! and what the hell is it suppose to be? can do anything, even if its illegal and have a free pass??? what? can anyone answer, and if ya a lawyer, dont waste my time! and, you cannot give up rights you have, and under those conditions, those rights are there to protect you, and everyone in the USA from conditions just like this! anyone am i wrong on any point? THEY give themselves qualified immunity. so THEY now may do anything to usl, doesnt anyone else see what a bunch of shit that is, and being right on point! not the BS they try to feed us everyday!!

        • Mario K. Cerame

          QI comes from the Warren court. The Court made it up. I agree that it’s malarkey. This is why I have been denounced as a constitutional necromancer.

      • RichieRich

        If one wants to get the attention of these ill trained and abusive cops, learn how to file a PRO SE federal 1983 suit and other relevant suits..if you are poor, you can get a pauperis form that allows for the waiver of filing fees. Sure it takes some time to learn the steps, but when the suit shows up and the cop finds out he will have to appear before a federal court and stand trial, he will certainly tell his pals about the downside of such conduct, and there is a very good chance he will settle and the plaintiff will prevail..even if the money is not major, it is a teaching tool that will no doubt cause that cop and likely more to comprehend the law and follow it in the future. I agree with ExcopLS that training and holding the brass accountable will do the most good for the future, but we cannot allow these cop bullies to escape altogether. Since the law is so clearly established, there is little chance of an immunity claim being recognized….either the cop knew better OR was trained so poorly that he did either case there is an entity to sue. If the dept. says ” Hey, we trained him well “, that means he knew better and violated policy….if they say ” we did not train him sufficiently in that area ” they are admitting allowing an untrained cop to administer the enforcement of laws adequately. It is better to win even a token judgement and drag the cop through an embarrassing and, for him, expensive legal battle than to let him get away with abusive behavior. To illegally detain, handcuff and harrass a citizen for exercising their Constitutional rights deserves punishment, and we all know that the cop brass will do nothing to reaign in these jackboots unless forced to do so. If a cop lost his savings and home and future earnings due to misconduct, he would serve as a warning to other cops: Violate rights and pay the price…nothing else would work as well as that, and it should happen far more often.

        • ExCop-Lawyer

          It’s not quite so simple.

          You can file the action pro se, but you still have to meet all the requirements and procedures of the court. The officer’s attorney (which is paid for by the agency) will likely make a 12(b) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and you have to respond to that or it goes away. The response has to cite authority on why a claim has been filed.

          If that doesn’t work, then they will file a motion for summary judgment and will request qualified immunity. Again, you have to respond or your case is dismissed.

          Federal court is primarily a motion or paper based action, and anything that you miss will get your case tossed.

          I would be extremely leery of trying to do a 1983 case pro se.

          I can also tell you from experience that the officer is not going to worry a lot about the lawsuit unless it actually gets to trial.

          • Guest

            “Do you know what Rule Eleven is, Mr. Schlichtmann?”

          • RichieRich

            I am no attorney, but the claim should be included in the original suiu make a valid point though: pro se filers should be able to counter the tricks of the cops, and it would be great if lawyers would donate somto pro se filers so they can be heard. Summary judgement is not granted automatically just because they ask for it…if the law was well established at the time and the suit is filed properly simply responding should stymie that tactic. Of course the cop will have a union lawyer behind him, but if he acted outside the scope and authority of his job I doubt the lawwyer will keep on going…someone has to pay and an obvious cae of malfeasance will leave the cop out on a limb in many cases….sure, a lawyer is always the way to go, but most victims of cops are poor, and so simply letting them off the hook is not a good choice..even a case that fails will inconvenience and frighten the cop, which is better than nothing…maybe some rich benefactor with an interest in justice will someday step up and set up a fund for pro se filers assistance…we can hope at least…it is better to go the legal route any way you can than put up with abuse…no wonder so many people hate cops…

          • ExCop-Lawyer

            The officer will have a city / county / state attorney representing him normally, not a union attorney.

            I’ve seen the AG in Texas refuse any offer to settle, lose a 12(b) motion, lose at summary judgment, take it to the U.S. Circuit Court on an interlocutory appeal, and then take it to a jury trial. Self-insured jurisdictions are more likely to take a case to trial.

            On a motion for summary judgment, responding appropriately means that you have to show what authorities you are relying on, with citations. If you don’t include the cites, the judge can decide the other party is entitled to summary judgment.

            Finally, while it may inconvenience the officer, very few are frightened by a lawsuit.

        • tiny

          your 100% correct, time to start doing this stuff ourselves and stop depending on others, lawyers/AKA-liars. time for the SHEEPLE to wake up, get off the couch and do what it gona take to get our country back.. starting with our local GOV’s, they are the only targets we all should have, we get all of em in line, then WTF are the FEDS going to do then! they wont be able to do shit, then the LOCALS will throw their asses out from where they are, out of the STATES! and if they wont leave, then PRISON time! everyone in the USA that has the ability to read, needs to read this>>>> [[ CARLOS AND ALL, READ AGAIN WHAT RICHIERICH SAID, AND IF IT DIDNT SINK IN, READ IT AGAIN!!]]

  • srandallthomas

    Not bad Chris a few mistakes but not to bad. I understand being nervous in that situation.

  • Tijuana Joe

    When the cop says “I’m about to accuse you of a crime” (3:42) he reveals ways too much
    about his motives.
    He’s saying that he will manufacture a criminal accusation in order to enable
    him to take the ID by force. Sue the assholes. PB County has taken so much
    of other people’s money (Madoff, Conrad Black, etc)….time to return the favor.

  • $910553

    I would only point out that this officer is part of the Palm Beach County Pig Pen, run by Sheriff Ric Bradshaw who was only too glad to have the chance to set up an SS “snitch” phone line, courtesy of the Florida Legislature. Fortunately, Governor Rick Scott vetoed the law in one of his few good acts. But this officer’s attitude and performance comes all the way from the very top of his department.

  • txjazzman

    “I’m a Tourist from Europe and I just love your Art Deco Buildings, do you know where I can take tour/s?” (Spoken
    with some sort of Accent)……….and then walk away slowly

    • $58984987

      Where can I buy an art deco twenty piece officer?
      I happen to have some of that right here in my pocket young man.

  • $58984987

    The kid was doing fine until :52 when the officer asks why are you videotaping the building and the kid then defends himself by saying he wasn’t taping the building.

    The proper answer would be that filming is not a crime and I choose to remain silent, I am not answering any questions, please leave me alone to my personal business and any further questions is harassment.

    Don’t debate with an armed psychopath with a god complex.

    To say he is not videotaping the building may later mean, upon examination of the images on the video, that he was lying to the officer should even one moment of the video or a picture could even accidentally contain the building or a portion of the building.

    The officer now states he saw the kid filming the building, thus insinuating the kid is lying.

    Best to not have answered that question.

    Is that assault at 1:19? If so, then state it explicitly for the record that action by the officer is assault.

    After this, in response to further questioning and rather than debate the cop, again state I exercise my right to remain silent.

    It is this verbal jousting back and forth that makes the cop feel like the impotent, lowly public servant he really is and bursts his delusional bubble that he is god.

    At 4:05 when asked about having weapons. REMAIN SILENT…or state you do not consent to any searches or seizures.

    At 4:12 the kid gives consent to a frisk and then seconds later declared he does not consent to a search or seizure. That type of contradiction and mind fog shows that the kid is an idiot.

    Why consent to a frisk? Who knows?

    5:17 the kid declares the officer just did an illegal seizure, which was actually a search and not a seizure and was not illegal because the kid gave his consent to be frisked

    Idiocy stacked upon idiocy with these types of contradictory statements can get you arrested or killed by these armed psychopaths. They would love to pound your face into the pavement so let’s not give them any reason to gain such sadistic satisfaction.

    Could this kid be a dope smoker? Would explain the short-term memory problem.

  • idiots

    You are an frigging moron, you have nothing better to do with your time than to screw with the police? Get a life, get over yourself.

    • $58984987

      I believe the police pulled up on him.

      • Guest


      • Mario K. Cerame

        .(%#@ please delete the other one)

    • Difdi

      By that standard, police are frigging morons because they have nothing better to do than to screw with criminals.

      Why are you so irate that someone chose to screw with criminals in uniform?

  • flipadoo

    The article mentions Mr. Brooke’s LinkedIn page, where he list “Criminal Justice Professor” at Keiser University. If this is the man teaching future cops and criminal investigators, then he will be perpetuating his own ignorance. We really need to get Keiser University to drop him as a professor, for the safety of that community.

  • ht

    As a retired florida cop,he violated the law 100%..Standing on public property not private,he didn’t do nothing.Call the internal affairs unit,Florida dept of law enforcement(cops above cops),and get ur self a good attorney and sue.You will win and he will be reprimanded,suspended or even fired.These posts are entertaining as none are from actual officers or retired.

    • $910553

      FDLE has become as thoroughly corrupt as many of the local and county “Law Enforcement” agencies across the state. He would be lucky if THEY didn’t decide to charge him.

    • ExCop-Lawyer

      “These posts are entertaining as none are from actual officers or retired.”

      Excuse me? I did 20 years in Texas, ht.

    • LibertyEbbs

      Fired??? For just harassment and assault? I don’t think so!

  • flipadoo

    I followed the link in the story to this officers LinkedIn page. He is a Criminal Justice Professor at Keiser University. Yep, poisoning the minds of future law enforcement officers.

    So, Kimberly Dale ( is the public relations officers at Keiser. I think she needs to know that one of her professors is not qualified to teach (or should I say indoctrinate) his ignorant view of the constitutional rights of the citizens. I sent her an email, with the link, asking if this officer was employed there as a professor. I can’t stand by and let this ignorant man indoctrinate more impressionable future-officers.

    Anyone else following up with the university would probably get them looking into his qualifications.

    • $58984987

      A criminal justice professor?
      Hmmm…you don’t say?
      So much for it being a training issue.
      Right…ex-cop, but everpresent and everlasting apologist?

    • ExCop-Lawyer

      If true, that should negate the training issue.

      • LibertyEbbs

        Well, color me surprised ; o

      • $58984987

        duh…like I said.

        Don’t feed the fool.

  • No Photos Please

    When situations like this happen to me, I handle things a bit differently. I don’t argue or tell them what my rights are, or that I have not committed a crime. They should know. When I was approached I simply made the following statements and followed up with a response of walking away before they have an opportunity to answer. Especially if they approach me in an aggressive way such as this cop did here.

    In a nutshell this is how things went down for me on several occasions and most recently when approached by an idiot telling me taking photos was suspicious and illegal and wanted I.D. from me.

    “Good evening Officer. I have no intention of playing Roadside Attorney with you, so I need to ask you a question…. Is this a Terry Stop Officer?” (no matter if it’s a yes, no or unresponsive
    continue with this… )

    The reason I ask is because you are much better versed in the law than I am. However, it’s well known that a Terry Stop is for the purpose and an opportunity for you to confirm or dispel your suspicion that crime is afoot. The encounter we’re having at the moment appears to be consensual only to me, unless of course you would kindly explain what crime may be afoot
    here, and I will happily answer any questions you may have. Otherwise, unless you object to my view on this encounter, I am going to be on my way. Thank you and have a great evening.”

    The ole am I being detained and am I free to go thing doesn’t work. They are questions only and never get a response and leaves you wondering if in fact you’re free to leave. The only response is usually “Give me some I.D.”

    If you quote the above to the officer and start walk away and he orders you to stop, then there’s no question you’re being detained. So don’t ask if you are or why. Any reasonable
    person would not believe they can walk away at that point. When this happens,
    you have been seized under the 4th Amendment. Do not tell them you have not committed a crime. Don’t tell them they can’t detain you.

    Rinse and repeat this statement, “Officer, clearly you disagree with my view that this is a consensual encounter. If you would kindly explain what crime may be afoot here, I will happily answer any questions you may have.” Make them explain to you what crime you have, are committing or about to commit. Their first response is usually “What are you
    doing here?” Simply tell them that would be a critical element to the determination why they believe crime is afoot. Therefore, they should be telling you why you’re there, not the other way around. So it’s best not to answer any questions.

    I tell them “With all due respect Officer, I am going to decline any questions beyond the scope of the detention.” “Again Officer, If you would kindly explain the reason for the detention and what crime may be afoot here, and I will happily answer any questions you may have regarding that alleged crime.” They will continue to ask you questions to build suspicion. Just repeat the above. When you are tired of hearing the same foolish questions, then you can move to the next step and offer yourself up for crimes that are not crimes.

    When he stated that the young man was taking pictures of “his” building, my response would have been, (and has been on every occasion) “If you believe that is a crime for me to do such a thing, please issue me a written charge or arrest me for that crime and I will offer no resistance to your efforts to enforce that law. In fact, I admit to taking pictures and I am
    turning myself into you right now. What is the next step from here Officer?”

    Talk about putting an end to polite chit-chat and witch hunts….. They have no idea what to do when you turn yourself in for something that’s not a crime. The usual response from them is for me to get the F*** out of the area or I’ll be arrested for disorderly conduct. However, there have been some cops that actually learned something and walked away.

    • vad

      > “If you believe that is a crime for me to do such a thing, please issue me a written charge or arrest me for that crime and I will offer no resistance to your efforts to enforce that law. In fact, I admit to taking pictures and I am turning myself into you right now. What is the next step from here Officer?”

      “Taking picture of the building is not a crime; however, according to our experience and training, this may be a sign of a real crime being conspired, which is what I’m investigating, and which is why I need you to identify yourself*. So if you don’t dispel my suspicion of that another crime, the details of which I am not going to share with you, I will have no other choice to continue my investigation but to arrest you”.

      *) note that if needed, they most likely would have no problem to produce materials from DHS and FBI to that effect. Domestic terrorist if cite Constitution, support Ron Paul, etc.

      • No Phots Please

        “”according to our experience and training, this
        may be a sign of a real crime being conspired, which is what I’m investigating,
        and which is why I need you to identify yourself.”

        May be and is are two different things………

        My response is the moon MAY BE made of blue cheese. Articulating
        a “Conspiracy” is difficult to do in court. That line is complete BS.
        besides, you don’t have to (and I
        suggest never answer any questions).

        The moment you’re not free to leave, you are for all intense
        and purposes “in custody”. You
        do not have to answer any questions. Period. If they have enough probable cause
        (Not suspicion) to arrest, then let them. You are not obligated to answer any

        They can suspect you conspired
        with the devil to bring Bin Laden back
        from the dead, but without probable cause they can’t arrest you. Unless it’s an
        illegal arrest of course.

        Don’t forget that they have to ARTICULATE what brought them
        to the decision to arrest you in court. Articulate is a simple term. “Based
        on the totality of the circumstances, would any reasonable person believe that
        you were conspiring to commit a crime, and that you were required to answer the
        officers questions when asked”

        Simple answer. NO

  • vad

    Since Brook L. Thomas’ linkedin page says that is is professor of criminal justice in Keiser University, it amazed me that the man who has just demonstrated total disregard for the law, is teaching criminal justice. So I picked up the phone, called dean’s office of Keiser University (contact information at , also email address) and shared my surprise. I encourage everybody to do the same.

  • seekjusticefl

    Well, I am sure surprised someone other than my local newspaper picked up on my story. You have all made great points and arguments, I have noted them. I’m an amateur and was not expecting the outcome that occurred. I was there gathering evidence regarding a traffic infraction when the thug approached me.

    I am currently waiting on the public records request for the officers dash camera of my illegal detainment.

    any questions, comments, concerns can be sent to: