Florida Police Arrest Prankster Not For Prank But Filming Prank

charles-ross-arrested-jumping-over-cops-videoWe have another case of police arresting a citizen because he filmed them in public. This one however is with a twist (and a flip).

Charles Ross, 18, in this video does a pretty remarkable flip over an officer sitting on a bench. Ross runs the YouTube channel Ross Creations featuring his pranks.

It was an impressive but dumb move to be sure. The officers at first appear to be taking the stunt in admirable stride, warning the kid that if he did that again they would have to do something in response. I am not sure what that is precisely since I do not see the crime in the stunt. The officer however appears to be thinking of something other than an arrest in saying “Next time you do this I will break your freakin neck.”

However, the officers go from reasonable to rage when one asks if he filmed the stunt. When he says that it was filmed, the officers state that they intend to “ruin his day” and proceed to tackle and arrest him. The fact that it was filmed is no basis for an arrest since that is a protected act under the first amendment. The arbitrary basis for deciding whether to arrest raises serious questions of abuse and false arrest for these officers.

Here is the video.

39 thoughts on “Florida Police Arrest Prankster Not For Prank But Filming Prank”

  1. This “prankster” needs to learn that people have a right to be left alone… before someone gets hurt.

  2. The only enemies of the state these days are our own govt and police forces

  3. No sympathies for the guy.

    He causes embarrassment and potential harm to people, just so he can videotape it. It is breach of the peace. It is disorderly conduct. And if I were the cops and realized he did his action deliberately, just so he could film the event, I would have busted him, too.

    You pick your fights. This isn’t one of them.

    If he increases his fixation on these kinds of stunts, he’s going to hurt someone.


  4. Florida Statutes 784.05 (1) – “Whoever, through culpable negligence, exposes another person to personal injury commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”

    It’s a crime to commit an act which recklessly exposes another person to the potential of personal injury without their consent. One wrong move and one of those cops could have easily gotten a knee to the head, or something. Then, of course, it would have been a felony assault.

    It’s difficult for me to think of a more stupid thing to become a felon for.

  5. Looks like the police are pretty much identifying themselves as enemies of the public. What a conflict of interests, huh?

  6. raff

    if the kid was downloading and not storing the video in the camera/cellphone the officers can’t do anything as long as he can break connection before the officers get to it.

    but, other than resisting arrest, what else can they charge him with? unlawfully passing over the head of an officer?

  7. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/19-11

    Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Common Dreams
    Ignoring First Amendment Attack, Judge Dismisses Animal Rights “Terrorism” Case
    – Lauren McCauley, staff writer

    On Tuesday a federal judge threw out a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), without addressing the central Freedom of Speech question in the case.

    “The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) specifically targets animal rights activists by labeling as an act of “terrorism” any kind of “obstruction” for the purpose of “damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise.”

    Critics charge that AETA is written so broadly, “it could turn a successful labor protest at Wal-Mart, which sells animal products, into an act of domestic terrorism,” with non-violent protesters charged under the law facing up to twenty years in prison—depending on the amount of profit loss that results from their actions.”

  8. I was talking to a guy yesterday that I paid to post on YouTube….apparently his feed is about 7k a month ….. I never heard of such a thing…. Apparently you can get paid to post playing games on line…..

    In this situation…. The officers should be reprimanded for stupidly while on duty….

  9. http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/01/11998060-first-amendment-rights-can-be-terminated-when-cops-cameras-dont-mix?lite

    ‘First Amendment rights can be terminated’: When cops, cameras don’t mix
    Video from March 2012 shows Chicago police taking members of the media into custody.
    By Bob Sullivan, Columnist, NBC News

    The video is chilling, but it’s also a sign of the times.

    “Your First Amendment rights can be terminated,” yells the Chicago police officer, caught on video right before arresting two journalists outside a Chicago hospital. One, an NBC News photographer, was led away in handcuffs essentially for taking pictures in a public place.”

  10. ohn Ensslin, SPJ President, 719-650-0877,
    (contact link @ article)
    Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 215,
    (contact link @ article

    INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists calls on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city administrators across the country to drop charges against journalists arrested while covering the Occupy Wall Street and related protests.

    According to The Associated Press, at least six journalists have been arrested or detained while covering the protests in New York City and Chapel Hill, N.C. Reporters have also been arrested in Atlanta, Nashville, Milwaukee and Richmond, Va.
    http://spj.org/news.asp?ref=1091 (read all)

  11. http://reason.com/archives/2012/04/05/7-rules-for-recording-police
    7 Rules for Recording Police
    Courts are expanding rights but cops are cracking down. Find out how to keep your footage, and yourself, out of trouble.
    Steve Silverman | April 5, 2012
    Last week the City of Boston agreed to pay Simon Glik $170,000 in damages and legal fees to settle a civil rights lawsuit stemming from his 2007 felony arrest for videotaping police roughing up a suspect. Prior to the settlement, the First Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that Glik had a “constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public.”

  12. Sun, June 3, 2012 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2012-05/26/content_15392452.htm
    Human Rights Record of United States in 2011
    Updated: 2012-05-26 09:02
    (China Daily)

    Editor’s note: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a report titled “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011” Following is the full text:
    Sun, June 3, 2012 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2012-05/26/content_15392452.htm

  13. http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15214-alec-is-now-deciding-what-you-eat
    Tuesday, 19 March 2013 15:07 By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Show | Report

    “ALEC is now parading around bills in six states that would make it a crime to film animal abuse at factory farms, or lie on job applications in order to get a job in a factory farm with the goal of taking pictures. All of this is to stop animal rights activists who infiltrate slaughterhouses to expose their deplorable conditions.

    The bill proposals pushed by ALEC require all evidence of animal abuse at factory farms be turned over to law enforcement authorities within 48 hours, or those who took the pictures face a financial penalty.”

  14. Darren: Would the judge get to decide he “good faith” defense or would the jury get to decide it?
    I would argue, mockingly, “Its not fried chicken daddy, its Shake n Bake.”

    I would plead, in the Complaint, that the pltifs were “petitioning their government for redress of grievances, through the filiming of the event; that they planned to show it to the public, to City Council and to the State Legislature. The grievance is the over policing of sidewalks by opCays who will not allow acrobatics.
    42 United States Code, Section 1883 suit against state actors infringing on pltfs constitutional right under the First Amendment to assemble, exercise free expression of speech and acting, for liberty interests, under the 14th Amendment, add sectin 1988 for attorneys fees. The municipality is a defendant. Punitive damages against the individual opCays and their Superiors. Cant get puns vs. the city. Make em pay member of the jury or they will do it again and do it to your kids.

  15. I understand Darren, but we are seeing evidence of an increased tendency for the police to take these extreme positions and abuse citizens who are doing nothing wrong and are not held accountable. Anyone can claim police abuse, but they have to prove it. Of course, it is tougher to prove when police are trying to confiscate legally obtained videos of their actions. I don’t think anyone would disagree that we need to root out police corruption, but we seem to be losing that battle.

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