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. “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

  2. 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:

  3. 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.

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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….

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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