Video: Arkansas Man Arrested After Videotaping Police From His Own Front Yard

We recently saw a video of a New York woman arrested in her own front yard for videotaping officers in the course of an arrest. Now, a video has been released of a Jonesboro, Arkansas man who arrested after filming police conduct a search of a neighbor’s vehicle and body. The video was taken last year.

The man is heard yelling “Nazis” and accusing the police of violating the 4th Amendment.

Police officers then confront the man for calling them Nazis and demand his identification. They then threaten him with a variety of possible charges from disturbing the peace to disorderly conduct to obstruction. Since when is it a crime to swear at officers?

The man is rude and clearly hostile to police. However, I fail to see the basis for the stop and eventual arrest. Police are trained to deal with obnoxious and hostile people which is an unfortunate reality of the job. The response is not to demand identification when insulted and threaten arrest.

We have been following the disturbing trend of police arresting citizens for videotaping them in public. There remains no significant response from elected officials to stop this abusive trend.

One site is reporting that after arresting him and searching his garage (and finding a gun), the prosecutors dropped the charges.

48 thoughts on “Video: Arkansas Man Arrested After Videotaping Police From His Own Front Yard

  1. While I agree that there is a troubling trend of police misconduct, you simply can’t lump this arrest in with what happened in NY. Citizens have every right to videotape police, but they have no right to be abusive and disruptive. If shrieking at an officer and calling him a nazi is not disturbing the peace I don’t know what is. This officer was nothing but corteous and professional. Codemn the officers who act inappropriately and condemn the idiots who act like this jag.

  2. The case of the two stupids. The officer apparently had no problem with the filming initially waiving his acceptance. Also, I saw no physical threat to the stopped citizen. The situation escalated with the name calling that was uncalled for in this instance. While I think the police overreacted as well with bogus charges, this is a case where the judge should step in and dismiss the charges and counsel the citizen that exercising one’s rights doesn’t have to be a provocative process. I don’t approve of unwarranted name-calling that could lead to violent outcomes. Here I saw the officer mid-stream of the stop and have no idea if his actions were justified or not. Likely, our cameraman didn’t either and provoking a fight is neither prudent nor lawful. He can have his day in civil court too.

    It’s hard to validly criticize excesses by teapartiers while countenancing similar provocations by folks with whom you share ideological identity. Both sides need to step back, take a breath, and realize that street confrontations are not the best way to vindicate individual rights though they are sometimes necessary — just not here, in my judgment. We have courts for a reason.

  3. In Illinois it is a crime to film police officers for any reason, even if you are being polite or cheering them on. It seems like a statute that will draw a constitutional challenge, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  4. Calling an officer a “Nazi” for conducting an illegal search is not “disturbing the peace.” He was not arrested for disturbing the peace. He was arrested for a “racial slur” and a legal firearm. The next day the charges were dropped. They were dropped, because they had no case. This man was arrested for exercising his first amendment right against oppression. He saw a female neighbor being groped and searched for no reason. The officer groping her was male. There were no female officers doing the search, which is policy common to all law enforcement departments. He expressed his feeling about it. Fortunately, free speech from you front yard against tyranny is not a crime. This “jag” is allowed to be an idiot. He should not be arrested or harassed for it. The officers involved in violating this man’s rights should be fired. They took an oath to defend the rights of idiots, if they don’t want to do their job, then they to find another. There are plenty of people willing to replace those officers in today’s economy.

  5. Calling an officer a “Nazi” for conducting an illegal search is not “disturbing the peace.” He was not arrested for disturbing the peace. He was arrested for a “racial slur” and a legal firearm. The next day the charges were dropped. They were dropped, because they had no case. This man was arrested for exercising his first amendment right against oppression. He saw a female neighbor being groped and searched for no reason. The officer groping her was male. There were no female officers doing the search, which is policy common to all law enforcement departments. He expressed his feeling about it. Fortunately, free speech from you front yard against tyranny is not a crime. This “jag” is allowed to be an idiot. He should not be arrested or harassed for it. The officers involved in violating this man’s rights should be fired. They took an oath to defend the rights of idiots, if they don’t want to do their job, then they need to find another. There are plenty of people willing to replace those officers in today’s economy.

  6. In contrast to the abuse the police dish out, name-calling seems pretty petty. Along with militarization of our police forces (tanks, rocket launchers?) and interference with citizens’ attempts to hold police accountable are not good signs for the future of our liberties.

  7. I am aghast…in his own front yard….what business was it that the officers needed to enter the property for……where is the warrant….the exigent circumstances….I smell a settlement…..

  8. mespo,

    I do not think that that is a factor to be considered…..

    False arrest n. physically detaining someone without the legal right to do so. … Other common false arrest situations include an arrest by a police officer of the wrong person or without probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and/or without a warrant.

    Only when the arresting party knowingly holds someone who has not committed a crime, is the false arrest itself a crime. However, probable false arrest can be the basis of a lawsuit for damages, including mental distress and embarrassment.

    Without the Police privilege:

    Under United States law, the police have the right to detain someone if they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, and that the person is so involved, or if the officer has reasonable suspicion that the person has been, is, or is about to be, engaged in criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts and inferences.

    So sir, what crime has he committed on his own property….Were they in pursuit of another criminal?

    If I want to tell an officer off and I am on my property…is that not my right? Do I have to fear arrest then….mind you it is not in all practicability the best thing to do…because they can always be waiting for you…..

    So I do not see words by the alleged defendant to be sufficient….its part of the job…..

    Personally, I was stopped in Jonesboro on my way from Texas to Michigan…it was about 7 am…I had all of my household belonging….in the truck and trailer…The reason for the stop was never stated to me…another deputy searched my truck….another one was talking to be….all of the kitchen knives were wrapped in paper towels….with tape around them…the officer came back brandishing the knife without the paper towel….I got out of the back seat as I was pissed off and started yelling at him for taking the paper towel off….the other officer looked at him and asked him if it was wrapped…he said yes….the officer that I was talking to apologized for the inconvience and and let me on my way….he then stated that this was a route that drug smugglers used and they were looking for marijuana….boy was I pissed….That is my experience with Jonesboro….. So this does not surprise me at all…..

    So in answer to your question no I do not think that it should be a mitigating factor….it is what it is….by the way the cops were searching the neighbors car….and he was on his own property….

  9. Arkansas is a beautiful state. Too bad it’s full of Arkies. Hands down the most ignorant state I’ve ever had the displeasure to pass through. They have the worst drivers too. Far worse than Dallas and Houston (and that’s really saying something). Arkie drivers have only have two speeds – 100 and 10. And they’ll go 100 so they can get in front of you and go 10. Arkansas is one gigantic proof for Sarte’s statement that “Hell is other people but especially Arkansans.” I believe it was Sarte who said that. No, no. Wait. That was me who said that. Nevermind.

  10. ” The situation escalated with the name calling that was uncalled for in this instance.”

    There’s a lesson in there somewhere for you, Mespo.

  11. 1. I have seen how the police officer searched the arrested female. It was done properly because he used back of his hands against her breasts while using the side of his fingers to feel for any hidden contraband. There is absolutely no way that these method be considered as “groping” like one poster said. Additionally, if there are female officers available (with the word “available” heavily emphasized” then the female officers should be called to conduct the body search. However, if there are no female officers available according to different department policies (based on how far away they are, if they are on duty, etc.) then male police officers will have no choice but to do it.

    I do not take any pleasure in doing this because it really disgusts me to no end. I don’t like to touch other people in this awkward kind of situation. But I gotta do my job.

    2. If you look in your state law, police officers or authorities have right to ask you for your identification for any reason or no reason. So, please don’t argue about police having no reason to ask for identification, that’s moot point.

    I suspect the reason why they asked for his identification is because they didn’t like his attitude toward them so they are looking for reason to arrest him. Outstanding warrants? History of criminal activities in past? Yep, digging for dirt. That’s a dirty tactic but we use it all the time if we have a strong feeling that a person shouldn’t be out on street and we do our best to help keep them off the street. (I’ve done that to a person during domestic violence call, other spouse refused to press charge out of fear for his/her life so we find other reason to arrest the abuser to keep him/her away.)

    3. If calling a black police officer “nigger” is considered a racial slur, why can’t we use the same thing for “nazi” when used against white police officers with shaven head? Again, this kind of argument will be moot point because:

    A. You have every right to call anyone nigger or nazi, it’s your freedom of speech.

    B. Police officers shouldn’t respond to that kind of baiting (or race-baiting) which leads to more escalations between citizens and authorities. Police officers should know better than that and let it go. I’ve been called many names and they’re just words. No big deal.

    C. Police officers doesn’t have any ground to arrest anyone for using racial slurs. It’s not written in book. However, if crimes were done while shouting racial slurs, then we’ll have to label the crime as hate crime. (Personally, I don’t believe in hate crime and we shouldn’t punish people more for their beliefs, but only for the crime they committed.)

    4. Lastly, in my state, the law clearly says that I do not have to tell the people why I pulled them over or ask for their identification. Out of courtesy, I always tell people why I pulled them over, but I don’t have to. It really depends on the situation at hand.

    Overall, I think that if he calmly videotaped them without trying to provoking them, perhaps they wouldn’t have arrested him? I don’t think it was because he was “videotaping police on his front yard” but more of “provoking police for heck of it” that got him arrested. I’m glad the charges were dropped and police should have known better to ignore that.

  12. The citizen was well within his rights and the cops should have simply driven away. Cops routinely spout vile and abusive language at citizens and there is no recourse.

    In the future I would expect this citizen to be tailed, stopped and detained as payback for this “contempt of cop” crime. He should be careful that false evidence is not planted against him when that happens. Based on the lexicon he used, I expect that he is probably familiar with Alex Jones and other activists against the police state.

    The youtube channel that hosted that video has many recent examples of police abuses:

  13. “Police are trained to deal with obnoxious and hostile people” … they are? Okay, we know ChaZ was properly trained.

    Thanks AY, that was an informative post.

    anon nurse, most definitely

  14. Puzzling,

    After viewing your video that you have posted, I sadly would have to point out that it is not an example of police abuses.

    If you look at the video carefully, the person that they are trying to arrest is not cooperating with them. That person was still laying on his back and would not turn over on his stomach as ordered by police officers.

    It is not safe to arrest anyone who are still laying on their back. Per department policies set forth, police officers are authorized to use any forces necessary to make other person comply to arrest. They are authorized to use batons, tazer, pepper sprays, or kicking with their feet or hitting with fists to make them comply.

    If you observe the video, they are only hitting on body parts that are allowed per department policies: arms, legs. Kicking or hitting with baton on head, torso, or groin are not allowed unless absolutely necessary for self defense. You will also see that they are not kicking THAT hard. You will also observe that the police officer with baton is taking his time and hitting at right time so not to miss and hit other wrong body part.

    When that person turned over on his stomach, all hittings, sprayings, kickings, and tazings suddenly stopped! They promptly put handcuff on him and to me, it’s not an example of police abuse but good example of following department policies on proper arresting procedures.

    Of course to laymen, it looks extreme, unwarranted, and unnecessary but that is how police usually reacts if anyone resist being arrested.

  15. OFF TOPIC — Re: Mexican citizen executed in Texas.

    Shouldn’t the President have sent in federal marshals to prevent this execution?

    Professor Turley, could you please address this issue?

  16. Chaz,

    So the torture of a naked, handcuffed citizen is “proper police procedure”?

    The victim has four broken ribs and a punctured lung from the beating.

    The citizen is on their side and handcuffed at frame 61346 near the start of the video. The beating and repeated tasering happens after that. Few are capable of coordinating their body motions while restrained and being subjected to electroshocks. Even if the victim had control over his motions, he is told simultaneously to “roll over” and “don’t move or you’ll be tasered”.

    The incident is now under investigation by the TBI. No doubt the police will be cleared or wrongdoing, and the citizen will continue to be abused in jail where he sits for aggravated assault on these officers as a result of the incident.

    More coverage here:

    http://www.wsmv.com/video?clipId=6030659&autostart=true

  17. there wasn’t a problem until the photographer started the name calling.

    what’s fun is when you’re getting pulled over and your passenger starts acting like that.

  18. I guess this will fit here:


    AUBURN, Wash. – Buying his own home was a big accomplishment for construction worker, Ikenna Njoku, of Auburn. He’s only 28 years old.
    “I was really excited. For the first time, I actually got to buy a lawn mower, mow my lawn and everything,” said Njoku.

    Njoku qualified for the first time home buyer rebate on his tax return.

    “It was really important, I had a vehicle I was looking on paying off,” said. Njoku. And it wasn’t just any vehicle. “It was a 2001 Infinity I-30, silver…just like my favorite car, “he said.

    Njoku signed up to have the rebate deposited directly into his Chase Bank account. But when the IRS rebate arrived, there was a problem. Chase had closed Njoku’s account because of overdrawn checks in the past. The bank deducted $600 to cover what he owed them and mailed him a cashier’s check for the difference–$8,463.21.”

    http://www.king5.com/news/125105599.html

  19. Puzzling,

    Yes, he was naked and handcuffed. You have to realize that it was he who was making it very hard for police officers to arrest him. The police officers obviously tried to grab a hold of him by grabbing his clothes but he snaked out of them.

    Did you see those snow on the ground? It must have been very wet and slippery. That would explain why police officers had difficulty trying to control him after handcuffs were put on him.

    The whole point is… he resisted by not cooperating with the police officers. Once you resist, the whole deal is off. Police can no longer assume that you will be cooperative and not hurt them so they have to tighten their grips on you, be more forceful toward you, and take extreme measures to control you before you could hurt yourself or others.

    Puzzling, why don’t you talk with other police officers and ask them questions about this situation? I am sure that they would be more than willing to explain to you how injuries have happened to prisoners, police officers, prison guards, etc because violence does happen all the time. Resistance toward police officers does happen all the time and unfortunately we have no choice but to use pain as a means to make them comply with us.

    Please don’t use the words “tortured” loosely. I think you have been watching too much Alex Jones’ video blogs. Not all police officers are jack-booted thugs, so give us a break.

  20. Buddha Is Lauhging

    I have encountered a great many Ignorant Bigots in my day, but you are clearly among the most Ignorant of the lot.

    Anyone who would slander millions of people based on an obviously simplemind observation, is nothing short of pathetic.

    It is childish narrow minded Racist Bigots like yourself that need to grow-up.

  21. I used a .gov as a link with my username the other night. I’ll try again; FYWP.

    ChaZ: “If you look in your state law, police officers or authorities have right to ask you for your identification for any reason or no reason. So, please don’t argue about police having no reason to ask for identification, that’s [a] moot point.”

    Anyone, law enforcement or not, has a “right to ask you for your identification for any reason or no reason”. That’s free speech, and also a moot point.

    That doesn’t oblige–say, a douchebag in Jonesboro, AR–to provide a police officer with a driver’s license while she or he is puttering around the garage. So, yes, I will argue about police asking for “papers please” in Arkansas or Montana (or anywhere in the 9th District).

    If you look in Arkansas law (or the law in my home state of Montana), you’ll see that no one that isn’t operating a vehicle on a public right-of-way has to produce identity documents on LE demand or be jailed. Full stop.

    Link the law in your jurisdiction that would compel this, please. Also the statutes in other [or any, or all] jurisdictions. Hiibel, anyone?

    tmartin

  22. These LE officers breached the threshold of the subject’s garage. Demanding a driver’s license[???].

    I was wondering about the Fourth Amendment status of a garage (attached/unattached to the “castle”). Is my garage part of my house or part of the publicly-available curtilage? My garage is not attached to the house, but (with countless dangerous instrumentalities in reach) is not a place where LE can make a good-faith argument about obstruction or fear. The “danger” is apparent from the driveway–chainsaws pegged on the wall etc.

    Wouldn’t the (curtilage) driveway make more sense? Inside the garage is a really bad place for any sort of interpersonal conflict as, y’know, a practical matter.

    Pardon me, these officers had a(n apparent mid-day, dude at his own house) disturbing the peace charge to investigate. Why didn’t they just deal with the associated vehicle stop (across the street) and move on to something less objectively dangerous and more subjectively able to produce a lawful arrest? Anyone?

  23. @Mike Appleton

    Um, you you found that user’s post “informative and sensible”? Take a look:

    “2. If you look in your state law, police officers or authorities have right to ask you for your identification for any reason or no reason. So, please don’t argue about police having no reason to ask for identification, that’s moot point.”

    I looked in my state’s law (Mont. Code Ann. §46-5-401) and the law in Arkansas [among others]. The offhand, link-free “check the law” is as valid as it usually is (i.e. bullshit). That’s not “informative”, nor is an assertion of police officer/authorities “rights” in most contexts. But you know that.

    ChaZ’s post is 9.8/10 otherwise, but we need to pay attention to the deets, no?

  24. ChaZ wrote Puzzling, After viewing your video that you have posted, I sadly would have to point out that it is not an example of police abuses.

    There is an update on that case today. The citizen was released from jail:

    Humphreys deputies placed on administrative leave

    … Deputies suspended were Tim Hedge, James McCord and Benji Lee…

    With the enhanced audio, right before the beating begin, you hear an officer say “He’s a douche. Let’s fuck him up.”

    Hedge, McCord and Lee beat Ring intermittently for the next seven minutes.

    At one point a deputy said, “Stand on his arms,” and then one deputy said to another, “You want a turn?”

    At one point a handcuffed Ring stopped moving. “I appreciate you being compliant,” said one deputy.

    At this point, if not sooner, Raybin said it was time to take a compliant Ring to the squad car.

    “This protracted meeting was pure raw punishment,” said Raybin. “All they had to do was handcuff him and just carry him away.”

    Instead, Waverly Police officer Parnell showed up with a Taser. Now Ring is beaten with an asp, kicked and Tasered repeatedly.

    He is only then dragged back to the squad car where he sat with a punctured lung and four broken ribs, breathing heavily for nearly half an hour.

    Ring was arrested on Jan. 23 and charged with aggravated assault on police officers and resisting arrest.

  25. chaz i read your posts and i must disagree with you Overall, I think that if he calmly videotaped them without trying to provoking them, perhaps they wouldn’t have arrested him? I don’t think it was because he was “videotaping police on his front yard” but more of “provoking police for heck of it” that got him arrested. I’m glad the charges were dropped and police should have known better to ignore that. what about the woman who was calmly videotaping the cops from her front yard? she didnt say a word to them. and when asked questions she responded nicely. it was the cop who decided to get nasty when he told her to go in her house. and she refused.

    suddenly he claims he doesnt feel safe with her standing behind him. even though he was facing her and she was in her front yard. not all cops are bad but they are getting there. and im sure you know why. just a couple weeks ago i watched my neighbor get arrested for trespassing and loitering

    while going inside of his home. he had the key in the door and was about to walk into the building. when the cops stopped him and his brother and demanded id they were given the id’s. then the cops proceeded to search them. they found nothing. it wasnt until my neighbors wife and kids came outside and asked what was happening. that the cops decided to get nasty. and arrest them for trespassing and loitering. what does that say about the cops of today???

  26. ChaZ,

    Even the local sheriff and prosecutor now seem to disagree with your so-called professional judgment about the recorded video where you wrote, Puzzling, After viewing your video that you have posted, I sadly would have to point out that it is not an example of police abuses.

    Charges Dropped Against Man Beaten by Deputies

    WAVERLY, Tenn. –
    The Waverly man who is shown on videotape being beaten and Tasered by Humphreys County deputies had all the charges against him dismissed on Tuesday.

    District Attorney Dan Alsobrooks filed the motion to dismiss the charges.

    Humphreys County Sheriff deputies responded to a call involving Darrin Ring, 35, on Jan. 23. Ring was allegedly handcuffed, stripped naked, kicked, hit with a baton and Tasered by deputies and a Waverly police officer.

    Ring was charged with aggravated assault on police officers and resisting arrest for the incident. He was held in jail for five months until being released on Friday. Ring suffered four broken ribs and a punctured lung in the attack.

    Any my “layman’s” intuition about the treatment of this citizen in jail, where I wrote above “… the citizen will continue to be abused in jail where he sits for aggravated assault on these officers as a result of the incident…” may sadly turn out to be quite accurate. From the same article:

    NEW AT 6: There are new allegations that there was another beating of Ring inside the Humphreys County Jail. See the exclusive interview on Channel 4 News at 6.

  27. Mr. Turley or others…how does this case compare with the Chaplinsky – New Hampshire “goddamn fascists” case that helped start the “fighting words” view? Chaplinsky was arrested for disturbing the peace (yes he was in very public place) and yet the language of the verdict seems to indicate it was the “goddamn fascist” comment that clinched it.

    It would be good to see an examination of those cases against each other.

    Otherwise, time to dust off the camcorders.

  28. cHAz SAID “Lastly, in my state, the law clearly says that I do not have to tell the people why I pulled them over or ask for their identification. Out of courtesy, I always tell people why I pulled them over, but I don’t have to”
    seems to be a damn good reason for a Jonathan Turley piece all by itself.

    If true, a stupid law as it will certainly lead to antagonistic attitudes and suspicions of racial profiling or other unwarranted harassment. Combine that with legal concealed carry of weapons except in Illinois, thankfully, and yet another reason for cops to wear those vests.

    I believe the Illinois state law refers to audio recording without express permission. How to prove to some irate cop that the little red light on the camera means audio on mute could be a problem.

  29. The key issue here is the perceived violation of the law.
    Had the man NOT yelled at the officer, there would have been absolutely no cause to enter his property, interact with him, demand id, etc. Notice that the officer seemed to be ready to enter his car and leave. He waved at Joe Citizen filming him. But when NAZI! came blaring out… Well… heck.

    This incident seems to be, from a legal point of view, no different than if the officer had “witnessed” any other “crime” on his property, ie a noise violation, a fist-fight, a gunshot, a dog fight, etc.

    The officer claimed it was “disturbing the peace” and that legally allowed him to enter the property. Period.

    I say the citizen was clearly in the wrong for yelling at the officer. If you want to “play the game”, as we say, “ya gotta know the rules.” Yelling gave the officer a pretext, no matter how slim, to enter the property for a suspected misdemeanor “disturbing the peace.”

    Note to anyone dealing with police in the future: don’t scream NAZI at a cop who seems to be merely doing his job. Absent any knowledge of what is going on, film it and don’t be part of the problem.

    Yeah, if you see somebody getting curb-stomped by police, you may want to handle it a little differently, but you can’t help anyone if you get wrapped up in the problem also.
    My 2 cents worth…
    Tom Stedham

  30. Chaz,

    Another updated in the Darrin Ring case today, which you described above as “not an example of police abuses”:

    Humphreys man files suit, says sheriff, deputies beat him

    According to the complaint, even after Ring was taken into custody and placed naked in a jail cell, Davis personally beat and kicked him, with a deputy standing by.

    “Although Ring was restrained hand and foot by mechanical devices, the sheriff then began to beat and strike Ring. Ring was also kicked in various places in his body,” the complaint states.

    Though he had been blinded by pepper spray, the complaint states that Ring knew it was Davis who was beating him, because he recognized his voice. Davis was Ring’s high school football coach.

    The suit further charges that Ring was later Tasered by another deputy who wanted to show a colleague “firsthand a Taser experience.” Ring was “cuffed and shackled and laying on the floor of the jail cell” at the time.

    The complaint also charges that the sheriff’s department delayed seeking medical care for Ring, who suffered broken ribs and multiple bruises as a result of the beating. He was not taken to the hospital until the next morning.

  31. First Nazi is a political party that took over Germany. It’s not a race.. Therefore it’s not a racial slur. Calling a police officer a political party member because his actions in your opinion line up to the actions of Nazi’s and their actions in regard to the SS is apart of our free speech. Sorry if you think it’s offensive but that’s what the 1st ammendment is about. Now days you have to pay a permit to protest, now they can enter your property and arrest you in your garage because you speak out in your home at them.. They will make you pay because you are a lamb.. We are not free at all.. Arrested for yelling your breaking our laws aka Nazi!

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