Officer to Citizen: “You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights”

Two videographers were in Jacksonville Florida conducting a First Amendment Audit on Wednesday. They were filming prisoners being transported in and out of the Duval County Courthouse’s sally port.

A sally port is usually behind a wall or other fixed protection but the this one empties right on to a public roadway.

The first cameraman is approached by two Jacksonville officers and immediately asked what he is doing, to which the cameraman responds, “I am filming in a public space.”

Sgt. Richardson of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office informs the cameraman that this public space is a “secure area,” and he cannot be filming here, and begins to ask more questions.

When the cameraman invokes his 5th Amendment right, he is told by Sgt. Richardson, “You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights.”

Let that sink in…..

This statement by Richardson could have been a Freudian slip or a brutally honest admission. Either way, it is disturbing.

SCOTUS ruled in June of 2013, in Salinas V. Texas, that remaining silent could actually be used as evidence of guilt.

To prevent the privilege against self-incrimination from shielding information not properly within its scope, a witness who “`desires the protection of the privilege . . . must claim it'” at the time he relies on it.

In other words, simply remaining silent is not enough, you must specifically invoke your 5th Amendment right. However, if police treat those who know and invoke their rights as criminals, what does that say about the current state of affairs in police state USA?