California Cop Refuses to Take Report because Man Insisted on Video Recording Conversation (Updated)

A California cop responding to a call about a fender bender refused to take a man’s side of the story because the man insisted on video recording the conversation.

Simi Valley police officer Corey Baker told the man identified as Jeff Knapp in the video that he had every right to record him, but he, as a cop, had every right not to take the report unless Knapp turned the camera off.

In other words, he needed as much room to manipulate the truth without the annoying presence of a camera to hold him accountable.

We should expect more from a cop who has led the department in making DUI arrests during the past two years. After all, it was only last year that a Utah state trooper was fired after leading the department in DUI arrests, when evidence emerged indicating she falsified many of those cases.

So transparency is key. Especially from a cop who receives more than $174,000 in pay and benefits to serve the community. The people deserve better, especially for the money they are paying.

The video was posted on June 7, 2014, but has only received less than 300 views as of this writing.

And while the Supreme Court has ruled that police do not have a Constitutional duty to protect citizens, you would think they have a departmental duty to do their job despite the fact somebody might want to record the interaction.

A similar incident took place in Pennsylvania last year where a Lancaster police officer claimed departmental policy forbade him from taking an accident report while on camera, which turned out to be a lie and forced the department to issue a public apology.

I wonder if the Simi Valley Police Department will do the same. Call them at (805) 583-6950. Or leave a comment on their Facebook page.

UPDATE: Baker is the only police officer in the Simi Valley Police Department that made more in overtime than he did in base salary in 2012, according to an online database that lists all the cops from that department, indicating that he is milking the system for all he can, which probably explains all those DUI arrests.

Perhaps Lt. Stephanie Shannon, who oversees internal affairs and made $122,376.78 but with zero overtime pay, should look into that considering how he didn’t feel the need to spend any extra time interviewing all parties involved in the fender bender.


Screenshot 2014-06-30 22.14.47


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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  • Fotaugrafee

    Ahhh, just like the story out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania!!

    • El_Toro

      LOL, Simi Valley PD has taken down their FB page

      • RS

        Yup.. they got to much bad Publicity and couldn’t take it. I will be calling them in the morning and recording the call if they just hang up I will continue to keep calling till I get answers.

        • Fotaugrafee

          Gentlemen, I think they just blocked you, which means you can’t see them. I’m able to access their FB page still, although it doesn’t appear as if they have any discussion being permitted?

          • KB

            remind them that FB is a public forum. As they are an OFFICAL governmental agency they must keep all records LOL that should throw them for a loop

          • inquisitor

            But the hard drive crashed, the data was lost, and it was melted down.

          • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

            Remind them of that in a FOIA and include a forensic hold of the database. That should keep them busy.

        • f.x.koch

          Westerly R.I. had their FB page disappear also… and the associated YouTube video is gone….Is the original poster of the video still around ?

          • inquisitor

            This is why it was a great idea for Carlos to transfer all videos over to his own liveleak account to be preserved should youtube ban them or the original poster of the video takes it down.

  • Bridgett Cash

    The guy doing the talking seems to be harassing the guy on the phone. He should have just stayed quiet and waited for the cops to show.

    • Sherry Mitchell

      I think so too but with all the craziness with situations going wrong when police are involved I might worry that the police would show up with a preconceived notion that I was a threat or something ( with him telling the cops, he’s a big guy, he’s following me around etc) and then treat me as such when they got there because they already have it in their head I was trouble….so I can see why he acted that way….maybe not how I would have acted but I’m a girl…he’s a big guy so maybe he had something to worry about. :) Hope your day is going great :)

    • Alexander Lopez

      But it follows logic to want some type of documentation as to what type of bullshit the guy on the phone was saying. Without knowing what he needs go disprove, the guy on the phone could claim he physically assaulted him or verbally threatened him, and the police would arrest the one recording. The country has changed to the point where innocence now has to be proven, not guilt.

  • harry balzanya

    So they are refusing to perform a right and or a privilege this citizen is entitled too because this citezen exercised a clearly established right. I believe that is illegal.

  • coastx

    Once a cop shows up, it’s Tau2 Gladiatorial unless you can diffuse his prevarication via documentation to refute this. Tau3 criminalizes the victim. Make note, because this is 100% what they are doing. Tau1= provocateur harassment. In these circumstances, the victim has also likely been targeted ahead of the incident. Tau rendition is the cop gets to kill someone for entertainment albeit they have documented against the victim. It’s called Tau3 SIM. This is how they took out Kelly Thomas and got away with it.

    • Thank You Carlos

      WTF are you talking about?

      • coastx

        This is beyond you.

    • inquisitor

      I have been reading your posts for years since the psycho Alex Jones scrubbed his comments section of anything resembling information.

      • coastx

        hahaha We’ve made progress since, but let tell you something, these folks are rabid in perpetuity! There’s something compelling in the human psyche of modern man (precursor of the Novus) that is addicted to macabre and chaos akin to monkey minded wildness. Mark Dice is doing some wonderful work, BTW. My biggest prayer lately is, “Dear God, WTF?” ^5 BTW> Today, Tuesday, 1:47?

  • cj

    I called and spoke to the deputy chief who said they are taking care of this..As a citizen of this are where they patrol,I don’t like what I seen whatsoever!!

  • nospamformo

    Deputy Chief McGinty is head of the Patrol Division. You may want to ask for him if you call.

  • Arnt Johnsen

    The police do not have a Constitutional duty to protect citizens since 2005, so what gives the POLICE the right to arrest any one, if they dont protect and serve the states population then what is all this about then??? This is up to the public because they pay their checks.

  • Christopher Shepard

    I’ll do just about any job for 174k. For that kind of cheddar, I’ll record myself for you.

  • JdL

    What next? Cop refuses to take a report from a woman because she declined to flash her tits for him? We allegedly pay cops to do their jobs, not to find excuses for shirking their jobs.

    • Peacefulstreets Lewiscounty

      There was already an incident of a LEO arresting a woman for refusing to show him her breasts. :/

  • DT

    Are you people kidding? Youre blaming the camera guy for being annoyin and harrassig when the dude on the phone is straight out lying manipulating and using the system to his poor and victimized beniftit. As most cop callers tend to do!

  • oh there you go again

    Exactly why you film. Law enforcement officers are not your friends. I hope the videographer wipes the floor with the lier and the lazy Burt hurt LEO.

  • dravo1

    Jesus, next we’ll be seeing a tip jar on the hood of the police cars.

    • inquisitor

      Right next to the hood mounted M-60.

  • agiftedcurse

    once cops become public figures they are agreeing to being recorded, they however do not have to be a police officer!! if they choose not to do their jobs because they are being recorded they should not be an officer.

  • Jason O


  • frank-kintz

    I can see it now. Call comes in, bank robbery in progress. Parking lot full of squad cars. Swat team in place. Perp walks out with a bag of cash . Whips out a cellphone. “In am recording all of you for my protection”. Cops crowd around and converse for a moment and start walking away. Chief of Ploice, on a bull horn proclames ” Stand down men, he has a camera. We will not make an arrest if we are going to be on video. It’s for our protection”.

    • Rail Car Fan

      Now THAT (your bank robbery comment/stand down), is perfect! Couldn’t have said it better if I tried. Would have been nice if I had thought of it. You go get’em Frank… go get’em buddy.

      Rail Car Fan

    • coastx


  • James M Morriss

    They do have a duty to do their jobs for the pay they receive. That has no bearing over if they stick their neck out for us. When this guy gets no money from the insurance co. I think he will be “damaged” and it seems there was an attempted prior restraint by coercion. The cop needs to be fired or at least retrained and reprimanded |I guess it’s all in how you see the cops actions.

    • coastx

      Non moving vehicle. Not a police issue. Potential fight was a police issue.

  • Don Foster

    This is the message I left on the police Facebook page:

    Why, as I understand it, on June 7, 2014, did Officer Corey Baker refuse to do his job and take an accident statement from Jeff Knapp when Mr. Knapp was recording the interaction as is his right under the Constitution according to several findings by the U.S.Supreme Court? You would think that an officer who receives more than $174,000 in pay and benefits, would avoid such suspicious dereliction of duty. Is this department policy or is officer Baker ignorant of the laws he is supposed to enforce? Dereliction or incompetence in either case makes me wonder why he has kept his job. What else has he screwed up? All of the other tickets he has written and been recognized for? Does the District Attorney know about this or are they implicated in some scheme?

    • El_Toro

      They have deactivated their FB page as best as I can tell. I was writing a comment and it just went away.

      • BigTwinOne

        They were deleting replies and posts. It’s back on minus anything regarding this story. Please go back and repost.

        • BigTwinOne

          Gone again. Went to the instead.

          • El_Toro

            Thanks for the update. They can delete posts, but they cannot keep us down!

          • Prisoner416

            All posts are being deleted.

  • Juan

    This cop made more in overtime than his base salary??????? WTF????????NameJob titleRegular payOvertime payOther payTotal
    benefitsTotal pay &
    benefitsCorey BakerPolice Officer
    Simi Valley, 2012$61,075.32$66,276.26$11,805.58$35,721.00$174,878.16

  • Juan

    How the hell does Officer Baker make more money in Overtime?? Whats going on here???

    • Carlos_Miller

      He probably waits until right before his shift ends to arrest somebody for DUI. He probably camps outside the bars.

    • Carlos_Miller

      I just updated the story with that info. He’s the only cop in the department that raked in more overtime than base pay.

      • Charlie

        I think noticed a typo in your Update:

        “Baker is the only police officer in the Simi Valley Police Department that made more in overtime than he did with his overtime <<> salary in 2012”

        • Carlos_Miller


  • Michael Mayo

    All of these cops are making in excess of $150,000 per year? Dear god, that’s how much executives make.

    • Dolt

      Many public servant jobs make more than the average person. Teachers and Cops are always at the top end of salaries, but somehow they always are able to convince the public that they are never paid enough and constantly are able to get new penny taxes passed every couple years to increase their salaries.

      It’s one of my personal peeves when people say “we need a 1 cent sales tax to raise teacher pay” and everyone just nods in agreement. Yet no one ever says the average teacher is making $50k-$100k on average depending on the state/county they are in. Either way, it’s a far cry from the “woe is me, I”m a lowly teacher who isn’t paid enough for my ‘hard’ job with all weekends, holidays and summers off.”

      • dufas_duck

        Regarding the school teachers and pay, I agree with you.

        While attending a parent/teacher gathering, I became engaged in a heated discussion with a teacher that made $87,000.00 a year. He felt that he deserved a whopping 25% raise in pay. I asked him why he thinks he deserves such a large raise. He stated that he doesn’t get paid for 3 months out of a year. I tried to explain to him that in our state, he has the option to be paid every month for 12 months or just the 9 months when school is in session. He said he knows but if he takes the full year pay scheme, his monthly checks are smaller and he gets paid less.

        I tried to explain to him that his yearly salary remains the same and that it is just divided by 12 instead of by 9…he still earns the same amount of money, plus the fact that getting a larger payout per month increases the amount of taxes that are withheld each paycheck…

        He was undeterred, being paid every month gave him smaller pay checks and therefore, he was getting less money, he wanted a 25% raise….

        A few other teachers became involved in the conversation, each were displaying mixed emotions on the subject. All the teachers would have loved to get a 25% raise but at the same time, not one could get through to this one teacher how far off his math was. Some were even embarrassed for him and later told me so..

        I was amazed that the teacher could figure out that he was not receiving a check for 25% of the year but couldn’t figure out that he was getting the same pay no matter which way he collected his pay checks…and he is teaching kids??

  • bob smith

    I usually side against the police in these things but even though the officer was a douche bag it was not a criminal incident or a motor vehicle accident. basically its a civil matter between the two and the officer is just there to “keep the peace” and facilitate things. but i will still email and call because he is a dick and will (if he hasn’t already) violate someones rights somewhere down the line when it comes to filming. keep up the good work PINAC.

  • Azzmador

    How many times have we heard the police tell us, “If you have nothing to hide…”
    So what’s the problem, Officer Dipshit?

    • f.x.koch

      How to grow a cop: Plant him face first !

  • steveo

    I think one of the problems here is that leos generally won’t answer fender bender calls in parking lots because they can’t write any tickets in a private parking lot. Also, if the damage is under a certain amount, probably in CA more than a grand, you just exchange documents and make the claim to your insurance company. But here, there was no damage. The chick is pissed, I guess, that his door hit hers on the handle or something, but if there is no damage, there’s no foul.

    The dude calling the leos is making up an harassment story and threat of violence story to get the leos to come to scene, so that he can get an accident report written, probably. Leo should have arrested him for lying to dispatch.

  • inquisitor

    Refusal of service because he did not want the encounter recorded for evidentiary purposes.
    Refusal to conduct a complete investigation because he did not want the encounter recorded for evidentiary purposes.

    Is this not impeding an investigation, attempting to tamper or prevent the collection of evidence and-or obstruction of justice?

    A good default answer to a cop asking why are you recording…

    “I am recording because I am a party to this incident and am documenting and gathering evidence of the incident in its entirety, as it transpires, for accuracy. It is my right to record and for you to coerce or prevent me from doing so is a violation of my rights, is interfering, obstructing and tampering with the gathering of the evidence that I may later need in a court of law.”

  • Bob

    The guy recording this is a real jerk off. He opens his door into someone else’s door and when called out could care less. And so what of the cop did not want to be recorded. He was there to take a statement. He never said he was not allowed to be recorded, just that he was not interested. So let’s start harassing people because someone is not interested in being part of some YouTube event.

    • Carlos_Miller

      He made it a Youtube event by not taking the report. Otherwise, it would have remained at almost no views.

      • Mike TheVet

        Hey Carlos! Love your videos, Sir.

        If you ever come out to Seattle and do some CopBlocking on the weekends, I will join you.

      • Simulacrum

        Carlos, if you watch the video carefully, you will see that this is a civil matter. I’m guessing like most states, California cops don’t take reports on civil matters. As soon as the camera operator told the officer that he door dinged the guy’s car, and both cars were parked (not a collision by the way) that was all the info the officer needed. In my state it’s illegal for an officer to get involved (or take a report, what I’ve been told) in a civil matter. Finally, at the very end, the officer called for the camera operator to come over to exchange info. What else should the cop do?

    • inquisitor

      You have absolutely no proof that his attitude was of one who “could care less”.
      There is no proof that there is even any physical damage the car door handle.
      In fact, he stated on the video he tried to give them his insurance information if they wanted to make a claim.

      The cop said he did not want to be recorded, but it is the right of a citizen to record an officer while performing his public duties no matter how the officer may feel about it, much less refuse to conduct an investigation properly as a coercive act to not record.
      The recording is documenting for evidentiary purposes and is far more accurate than a lying second party or relying on the memory of an officer to remember what someone told him and then write it down accurately in a written report.
      And it only became youtube worthy when the officer attempted to coerce this man with a refusal of service, tainting the investigation and attempting to obstruct justice by interfering with the gathering of evidence.

      But I guess if that part needs to be explained to you, then you probably just won’t get the point anyway.

      • Bob

        I have no problem with recording cops and holding them accountable. The guy who opened his door into someone else’s is a jerk off. In fact he was trying to obstruct the other guy from gathering his own information.

    • Mike TheVet

      Gettin tired of CopBlockers destroying you on their boards, Jon?

      • Bob

        Who’s destroying me? Maybe I was left out of that conversation. Are you tired of being wrong all the time.

        • Mike TheVet

          Lol that’s right: play dumb. That’s all you know.

          Kick rocks, Jon.

          • Bob

            Yeah, so because I think the guy recording is a jerk off, I must somehow be wrong. Don’t let your hatreds blind you.

          • Mike TheVet

            I don’t hold any hate. I just have questions and when I ask them, people get upset.

          • Bob

            Just as an FYI, your questions come across more as attacks than questions which is probably why people get upset. Use that info any way you want. Bottom line is that the guy doing the recording was a real jerk and that is all I took away from the video. Was the cop wrong. Yup. But he wasn’t a jerk to the guy.

          • Mike TheVet

            What I don’t understand is this:

            If the Police have:

            -Qualified immunity in courts
            -A Utility belt FULL of lethal and “non”-lethal weapons (Tazers are now being deemed “lethel” in some cases currently on going in the US)
            -Unlimited Defense/Prosecutor funds (via Taxes)
            -A working relationship with the Judge in his/her precinct
            -Internal Affairs who are 95% former police officers

            Why do the Police even care about being audio/video recorded or if the guy is being a jerk?

            Being a jerk isn’t against the Law. Yes, it sucks that some individuals act like that, I agree, but Police are supposed to be professional IN THAT words that are non-threatening should be of no concern what so ever.

          • Bob

            You’re right being a jerk is not against the law but show me anyone that ever wanted to be nice or cooperate with a jerk.

          • Mike TheVet

            All do respect, it doesn’t matter, Jon. The Police don’t have “the right to refuse anyone service.”

            When they take the Oath, they chose to help anyone that asks for it. Even the criminals they are pursuing.

  • nospamformo

    Commander Stephanie Shannon is out of the office for the entire month of July. That is some serious vacation time.