Pennsylvania Officer Threatens Ron Paul Supporter With Arrest for Filming Him in Public

We have yet another case of an officer threatening to arrest a citizen for filming him in public. In the perfect libertarian nightmare, the officer was threatening a Ron Paul supporter who he had accused of distracting traffic with his sign in Exton, Pennsylvania.

The officer is clearly agitated in the confrontation just outside of Philadelphia. Philadelphia recently issued a memo to its officers telling them to stop threatening people with arrests for such filming, which is allowed under state law.

The officer was upset that one of the men was standing in the median — creating a “blind spot” for drivers. Fair enough. However, he then gets increasing irate and abusive. He says that “being nice” to citizens is not part of his “job description” and accuses the man of committing unlawful wiretapping — a common threat in these cases.

As we have seen in so many such cases (here, and here and here), this type of abuse rarely results in any type of discipline for the officers — creating a lack of deterrent. In most cases the citizens meekly comply and do not question the officer’s account of the law.

20 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Officer Threatens Ron Paul Supporter With Arrest for Filming Him in Public”

  1. The officer looks jittery. I think he is drinking too much caffeine, or needs better training to deal with conflict situations. But I am leaning more so on the caffeine or some other stresser that aggravated the situation.

    The Officer needs to take a few day’s off, relax and take it easy on the espresso.

  2. I wonder if Officers acting in the apparent scope of office….which is a valid defense can be charged with Ethic Intimidation under state or Federal authority? I do see a 1983 action….and the Plaintiffs should be pleased that this is the 9th Circuit….but if appealed past that I am sure they might take a hit….Who knows….

    Thanks for the article….

  3. In a related incident, police in a Roosevelt, Utah town used pepper spray to break up a group of Polynesian men and boys performing a traditional dance called the Haka after a high school football game. The police sprayed the dancers, and managed to hit bystanders watching the dance as well. The matter is “being investigated.” I’ll bet.

    1. Goll-blame it,

      We ain’t gonna have none o’ this here Heathen dancin’ in our Christian town.
      Pack up them canooos and paddle on back to pollyanna or whatever pagan island you came from. Thishere is Amerca.

      And as sure as Ol’ Joe Smith lost the Moronic tablets before he could show them to anyone, ya’ll ain’t believers and you gotta’ go.

      Cause we ain’t havin no heathen worship here. Thishere is a free country so we feel free to say no to whoever we don’t like.

      And the twisting and wrenching and strangling of the Constitution goes on.
      Like sands through the hourglass; so are the rights that we had.

  4. What is it with these White Shirted NYPD cops? They seem to want to escalate a protest into a riot. The cops need to enforce the law not to create arrest situations. Get off the manly scooters and talk to people. Cowards.

  5. Bette Noir,

    On that subject (legalization of marijuana) …

    A retired DEA agent once told me that, in general, law enforcement is a lazy man’s game and marijuana bust are some of the easiest busts to make.

    Therefore, I suspect that, once legalized, the legislators will regulate the hell out of it because some marijuana manufacturing and distribution lobby will pay them to and to give the lazy-ass cops something to do looking for “moonshine-type” growers. In other words, no basement or back yard will be safe from “law-enforcement”.

  6. Bette Noir, ever hear of a “drop gun.” I once worked on a case where a constable murdered a drunk on the side of the road after pulling him over. The constable claimed the man pulled a gun on him, but the investigators traced the gun back to the constable’s girlfriend.

    The constable was never charged with a crime.

  7. AY–

    “maybe a fine officer can manufacture guilt….of something…”

    Ah, there’s the rub. If marijuana is legal, cops can’t plant it on suspects to seal a case/create the impression of probable cause.

    Could that be a contributor to continuing prohibition?

  8. How about this video of an NYPD officer punching someone in the face. Skip to 1:40.

  9. Just finished reading the first chapter of “Breaking Rank” by Norm Stamper, ex police chief. Already he reveals the attitude of “us against them” and made up charges, power trips and violence for the fun of it.

  10. Carol Levy,

    The self discipline is admirable and underlines the principles of your cause. Keep on keeping on.

  11. I have been to Occupy Pghilly 3 times, 2 sats and a Wednesday. The cops have been very good, friendly-ish, out in force for sure but have ridden along on bike patrol and walked while they closed off Walnut st so we could march down the entire street to independencre Mall. That being said this past Saturday the police, plainclothed, in suits and I think one female officer was even in a skirt, once the march finishedf stood in front of us, about 12 where they had never been before. It was at a crosswalk and we had all benn very good about being not being in street or very close to sidewalk. This time I was told it was to keep us safe when I asked officer why there and that they, the officers, were blocking us from the cars, from their being able to see us. She told me that was not so, altho was. They stayed there for about 20 minutes, maybe longer and finally they dispersed. There was no reason for that number. Philadelphis Inquirer I am told has running total of costs of police protestion but this was sheer unadulterated waste of taxpayer money. I, and some others also felt that it might have been a ploy to provoke us into going into street so there could be arrests. None of us did so if it was they were out of luck. I and many others are very grateful to the police for being there and making sure everyone is safe. Philly seems to be a better acting class of protestors I guess, or no one is quite ready to provoke by, horror of horrors, walking off the sidewalk.

  12. Now this, is class war. It’s also “No Class” war but you can’t legislate morals and you can’t legislate manners.
    I wonder if that “it’s not part of my job description to be nice” is part of the Exton police training manual. Hmmmmm

    And it’s not in my citizens description to be pushed around and threatened by a tin badge with a gun in his pocket. Flashback—1933-Deutschland. “Seig Heil”

  13. Dredd, better video of Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas of Roosevelt, NY. The officers look just a bit timid when confronted with a 6’5″ Marine wearing his combat medals on his BDU shirt. It is a lot easier to attack women and old people. Like the 81 year old holocaust survivor they left bleeding on the side walk or the female Italian tourist. Notice they try to tell him to “back off” but don’t really do anything with thirty or so video cameras going.

  14. Arrest them…they must be guilty….if they aren’t guilty…maybe a fine officer can manufacture guilt….of something….I am sure….

  15. The cop’s got a bully attitude, but staying out of the street or off the median is reasonable as you imply. Like most drivers, I’m always surprised when groups or people of just individuals come into the street for all manner of things like collecting for charity, washing windshields, or just to talk their neighbors into giving them a ride. It’s dangerous and the cop was doing the right thing but handled it the wrong way. On the issue of intimidating the camerman, this cop is clearly overstepping his bounds.

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