Video Shows Confrontation With Police Over Demand For Warrantless Search of Home

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 7.00.03 AMA Youtube video is going viral showing an Inglewood (CA) man, Avel Amarel, confronting police officers who were demanding to enter his home without a warrant. He recorded the encounter with his cellphone and the incident captures the growing concern of some regarding police powers. It also reveals the level of animosity that can arise in such cases between officers and citizens.

On the video below, one of the officers orders Amarel to turn off the camera. The officer says that they are searching for a wanted felon who allegedly beat his girlfriend nearby. The officers demands Amarel’s name and he refuses and says “I don’t have to tell you that.” He then demands three forms of identification since they could be “anybody dressed up in a uniform.” That leads one officer to respond “You want to play games? I’m gonna drag you out if you . . . ” Ameral tells the officers to get a warrant if they want to search his house.

Nonetheless, the officer repeatedly asks “Will you allow us to check your house?” Ameral repeatedly says “Get a warrant.” Finally, the officer leave with a “thank you.”

A news report quotes Ameral as having some very anti-police views from his Facebook page, including

Police think they can do whatever they want nah not today not with me I’m never ignorant of The law tawmbout they gone drag me out my house making empty threats to a boss! You gotta kno ya sh*t out here cause these devils scanless out here

And another entry later saying “F*** the police… they give us no peace.” A third entry on September 1st reportedly says that he will be “shooting back” if the police shoot at him “like they did Mike [Brown]” in Ferguson, Missouri.

Neither side comes out necessary well in the video and its aftermath. It is an illustrative video of these types of confrontations.

60 thoughts on “Video Shows Confrontation With Police Over Demand For Warrantless Search of Home”

    1. Annie – that story about the arrest cannot be factually true. The Democratic mayor says those types of arrests no longer occur in NYC.

  1. I’d like to know more about tactics and techniques, and tricks of the trade. The guy in this video explains the legal side. Something about his eyes makes me suspicious.

  2. “Neither side comes out necessary well”
    I do not agree. Avel Amarel, the home owner, knew the law and asserted his rights. And the video shows that.

  3. David,
    You might be right. It’s undeniable now that the public can record police officers in the course their duties, yet we still have these cases. The most reasonable explanation, besides police officers blatantly ignoring the law, is that departments are not giving them explicit instructions and training on court decisions and law in this area. I suspect that it is so officers can claim qualified immunity in their actions by saying they were not trained and therefore did not know it was clearly established law. If this is the case, it should be addressed at some point by the courts.

    1. Bailers – when I took criminal law there were several police officers in the class. Interestingly enough, the longer they had been on the force, the lower their grade in the class. Whatever interpretation of the law they had learned when they went to the academy was what they were sticking with.

  4. Dr. Harris,
    Yes, it IS wonderful that the 7th Circuit Court deemed Wisconsin’s banning of gay marriage unconstitutional! I’m happy for you and your wife and for the many who didn’t get to marry in that short window of time before it was appealed.

  5. The victim was socially inept, but essentially within his rights – at home bothering no one; the officers, on the other hand, were unprofessional at the very least. They should be aware -and trained- that not everyone they meet will know which corner of a calling card to fold over for each occasion of a social visit nor the appropriate ego soothing etiquette with which to receive such illustrious but unexpected officials as themselves.

    That the officers would insist someone inside their own home shut off his/her camera/video just shows how entitled they have come to feel – and alas that is almost certainly communicated or implicit in their training.

  6. RE: Gary T, September 5, 2014 at 9:03 am.

    Perhaps, had you been through, and somehow survived, the intensely and excruciating forms of bullying and traumatic abuse that I have encountered through people who believe that profound autism is necessarily some sort of brain defect, and that being seriously transgendered is other than a necessary and normal aspect of human biological diversity, you could understand why, in self-defense against further similar sorts of abuses, I write what I write in ways that I guess folks predisposed to abuse and harm me for my being who I am will not understand accurately enough to launch destructive attacks toward me.

    I write, at present, only for those who can make sense of what I write, and I do not write for anyone else. I have no clue as to who can, or who cannot, make sense of what I write, so I write as I do and leave the rest to others to sort out.

    As an aside, I note that the 7th Circuit deemed the Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment banning “gay marriage” to be unconstitutional. For all practical purposes in my life, my wife and I may well be of a marriage that Amendment would deem unconstitutional.

    I am known to have one X and one Y chromosome in the cells in my body that have been evaluated for chromosomes; that, however, does not make me “a man” in terms of the Amended Wisconsin Constitution. Gender simply is not at all that simple.

    There is an old phrase in biology that people not conversant in, or cognizant of, biology, may not recognize or understand.

    The phrase is, “Independent assortment of genotypic and phenotypic traits.”

    Simplistic old-fashioned high school biology knowledge may leave people believing that genes control human life; it has long been understood by well-informed biologists that gene expression is regulated, so that the effects of genes on a person is a function of the interaction of genes with the person’s inner and outer environments, or, to use a perhaps better word, is epigenetic.

    It continues to grieve me to observe human society’s values continuing to damage the brains of little children by teaching them to believe the biological falsehood to the effect that people make avoidable mistakes.

  7. It looks to me like the cell phone is using its led(s) to light up the subject. As such, the police officer(s) were probably blinded by the light. For that reason alone, I don’t have a problem with the police officers attempting to physically move that blinding light away.

    When the officer said “Can you turn that off?” I think the officer was referring to the bright light. –The officers needed to assess any threat. It’s kind of hard to do that when you can’t see.

    So, if you want the police to treat you with respect, at least take into consideration that the video you’ve decided to record might be using an LED light that is blinding the police officers. -Lawfully recording the police is one thing, shining a blinding light in their eyes could be, if one wanted to push it, an assault.

    1. Jack – I have a security door with a fine screen on it that prevents anyone from doing more than hearing my voice.

  8. David Walters,
    some one “who passes for a constitutional Lawyer on tv”? Really? Read JT’s numerous posts and articles and look at his body of work representing numerous clients in constitutional law cases, not to mention his law professor background, if you really have any doubts. You don’t have to agree with all of his positions, but to doubt his credentials, that is just wrong. Besides, at least spell his name correctly when you take your hit.

  9. David

    Supposedly there are ways to live stream to youtube, but you have to have some special kind of account or setting.
    There are several services that DO allow you to record to an offsite server, which prevent Porcine Americans (cops) from destroying the footage to conceal their crimes. The most popular free one is called Bambuser, and it’s my go to for filming police interactions. If you use Bambuser or a service like it, make sure to put a passcode on your phone, or they may be able to access your account through the app and delete the video from the server.

  10. David, if you have the right equipment and set-up, you can send your recording to be stored elsewhere as you are recording. The blog Photography is not a Crime has some information concerning how it can be done.

  11. Is this not a prime example of why law enforcement should be required to wear video cameras? I am willing to accept as fact that the officers would have abused their power had the camera not been on. At the least I bet the homeowner would have been drug out of his apartment unlawfully.

  12. Some random dude with a bad attitude is no threat to my liberty. Some cop with a bad attitude coupled with either ignorance of or disrespect for the law, however, is.

  13. I don’t think so, David, but while the homeowner was claiming the ability to instantly disseminate the video, the ‘straight to youtube’ is still merely hyperbole that he can obviously upload the footage quickly.

  14. Can one really upload cell phone camera video real-time to YouTube or to any other location?

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