Home / Badge Abuse / WATCH: Cops Steal Man’s Phone, Accidentally Record Themselves Conspiring to Falsely Charge Him

WATCH: Cops Steal Man’s Phone, Accidentally Record Themselves Conspiring to Falsely Charge Him

Hartford, CT — On September 11, 2015, journalist and police accountability activist, Michael Picard was illegally detained for lawfully open carrying and filming police on public property. During the illegal detainment, Connecticut state troopers confiscated his gun and his camera. However, the trooper who took the phone went on to make a critical mistake — he left the camera rolling while conspiring with fellow officers to falsely charge Picard.

On Monday, Picard informed the Free Thought Project the ACLU had picked up his case and they are now planning legal action against Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

The Free Thought Project spoke to the ACLU who put out a press release:

 In a complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU-CT) contends that three state police troopers illegally retaliated against a protester by searching and detaining him, confiscating his camera, and charging him with fabricated criminal infractions. On behalf of Connecticut resident Michael Picard, the ACLU-CT alleges that John Barone, Patrick Torneo, and John Jacobi, all employed by the state police division of Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, violated Picard’s First Amendment rights to free speech and information and Fourth Amendment right against warrantless seizure of his property.

On that September night, Picard and a friend were on public property and warning drivers of a DUI checkpoint ahead. They were several hundred yards from the checkpoint and not interfering at all when troopers drove up, without lights on, and against the flow of traffic, to begin harassing the two gentlemen.

Trooper First Class John Barone, Sergeant John Jacobi, and Trooper Jeff Jalbert falsely claimed that Picard was waving his gun around and pointing it at people. However, Picard was holding a sign the entire time and did not touch his gun. Also, as you will see below, the officers admit that they were lying.

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“Police should be focused on public safety, not punishing protesters and those who film public employees working on a public street,” said ACLU-CT legal director Dan Barrett, who is representing Picard in the lawsuit. “As the video shows, these police officers were more concerned with thwarting Mr. Picard’s free speech and covering their tracks than upholding the law.”

Had Picard actually been waving a gun, these troopers would have approached the situation in an entirely different manner, with guns drawn and possible SWAT backup. However, they did no such thing, because there was clearly no threat from the activists.

The fact that there was no threat did not stop the subsequent assault, however.

Two troopers approached Picard while forcefully removing his gun and then grabbing his camera, falsely claiming it is illegal to film. When Picard informs the officer can legally film here, the officer ignorantly asserts that “It’s illegal to take my picture. Personally, it is illegal.”

“Did you get any documentation that I am allowing you to take my picture”? asks the cop.

When Picard attempts to explain to the aggressive officer that he doesn’t need a permit because he is on public property, the trooper then makes the asinine declaration that, “No I’m not (on public property). I’m on state property. I’m on state property.”

State-owned roadways and right of ways are public property. The trooper’s assertion that it is illegal to film on his ‘state property’ was entirely false and in violation of Connecticut Bill No. 245, which “protects the right of an individual to photograph or video record peace officers in the performance of their duties.”

All this aggressive and unlawful behavior of these troopers, however, was about to come back to haunt them. After illegally confiscating the camera — the trooper forgot to stop it from recording.

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What happened next was a behind the scenes glimpse of what it looks and sounds like when cops lie to charge innocent people with crimes.

The corruption starts as an unidentified trooper begins to search for anything that these gentlemen may have done to make up charges against them. However, they were clean. At this point, Trooper first class Barone chimes in describing how they now have to charge these men with something to justify their harassment and subsequent detainment.

“Want me to punch a number on this? Gotta cover our ass,” explains the trooper as they begin conspiring.

“Let’s give him something,” says an unidentified trooper, pondering the ways they can lie about this innocent man.

“What are they going to do? Are they going to do anything?” says Sergeant Jacobi, noting that they are entirely innocent.

“It’s legal to do it,” he continues, describing how the actions of the two activists are completely legal, before going on to make up charges on them.

“I think we do simple trespass, we do reckless use of the highway and creating a public disturbance,” Jacobi says as he makes up these false charges against innocent people. “All three are tickets.”

Once they figure out the false charges to raise, the officers then brainstorm a story of lies to back them up.

“And then we claim that, um, in backup, we had multiple, um,” the unidentified trooper stutters as he makes up his fake story. “Um, they (the non-existent complainants) didn’t want to stay and give us a statement, so we took our own course of action.”

The corrupt cops had then solved their fake case, lied about a cover story, and were set to charge an innocent man with three crimes — all in a day’s work.

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But there was just one more thing…. “Oh shit!” blurts out the cop as he realizes their entire scandalous corrupt conversation was just recorded. Apparently, however, the officer felt that it must not have recorded their conversation as the phone was returned.

The cops then gave the innocent man back his weapon, and it’s back to the DUI checkpoint for them — to harass and detain more innocent people.

“Community members like me have a right to film government officials doing their jobs in public, and we should be able to protest without fearing political retribution from law enforcement,” said Picard. “As an advocate for free speech, I’m deeply disappointed that these police officers ignored my rights, particularly because two of the troopers involved were supervisors who should be setting an example for others. By seeking to hold these three police officers accountable, I hope that I can prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.”

 

Watch the video below and remember that this can happen to anyone anywhere and at any time. All a corrupt cop has to do to ruin the lives of those they do not like, is make up a lie and get their fellow cops to corroborate that lie. Had the cop not left the video going, Picard’s situation would be much different and the world would think he’s a criminal.

“The evidence clearly shows that these police officers violated Mr. Picard’s rights,” said attorney Joseph R. Sastre, who defended Picard against the criminal charges and is joining Barrett to represent Picard in the civil case. “We are confident that the court will agree, and we hope that it will send a strong message to police and the public alike that enforcing the law means respecting free speech, not trampling on it.”

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court is available here.

  • That ZiNOist

    Boy, this is really shocking stuff. The cops blatantly disregarding
    someones rights? It’s hard to fathom. There’s only about nineteen
    thousand videos of cops doing this shit on YouTube, which is hardly
    evidence of an endemic problem, if you don’t know what “endemic” means.
    Obviously this will be called “isolated” incident, if indeed we are witnessing an
    incident, which we may not even be witnessing. And in case that’s
    confusing, it’s “isolated” in the sense that it happens everywhere, all
    the time.
    On another note, this election cycle please be responsible and NOPE THE
    VOTE! http://www.redbubble.com/people/bad-nuze/works/23149867-bad-nuze-nope-the-vote?grid_pos=1&p=t-shirt
    Buy a shirt! If I sell eight, I get one for free.Then I can wear my own
    shirt. I’ve sold one. Please help, election day is soon!

    • JdL

      What is “Nope the vote” supposed to mean? If you mean “Don’t vote”, why not say so?

      • That ZiNOist

        It’s a play on the “Rock The Vote” campaign you fucking gimp.

  • mirageseekr

    And they wonder why people think they are corrupt.

  • Daneel

    Black and Blues Lives??…a pox on BOTH their houses.

  • Terry Henning Sr.

    And this is just one set of bad cops, in one town, in one state. Just think about all the other towns, in all the other states!!! There are a TON of bad cop’s out there, and for years they’ve been left to lie, cheat, and steal all they want with no repercussion.

  • Jake Seilman

    typical low IQ revenue collection agents

    • maida.sweeney

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      • Jake Seilman

        that ain’t nothing compared to what yo mama pay me for my “services” to her

    • nick98514

      I’m sorry!, but that should state “No IQ”…. not low IQ, and they wonder why almost everyone is beginning to literally ‘Hate’ cops?… it’s hardly surprising, especially since the supposedly ‘good cops’ that are meant to be ‘out there somewhere’ haven’t got the balls to even make an attempt at stopping the rot & corruption within their ranks?… personally I think that what ‘good’ cops there may have been, have either left!, or been forced out of the job by the rest of these corrupted scumbags. I myself would ‘never’ go to a cop for ‘anything’ and would advise others to do the same!… yet when I was a child, all kids were told “If you ever get lost or in trouble?, find a cop & he will keep you safe”…Not anymore!, you’ll likely end up dead, with 3 bullet holes in your back!.

      • Ed

        The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops. ~Robert Higgs

        • nick98514

          On reflection of your reply, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say!, though I still insist that “It didn’t used to be like this when I was growing up!.. and personally, I would never have believed the cops would end up being the biggest criminal gang in all western countries, especially the U.S….If they ever manage to take the guns or repeal the 2nd amendment?…….the world is finished!.

          • Jake Seilman

            Ed was using incorrect terminology by referring to them as cops, there
            are peace officers, and in their alternate role act as police officers.
            This altercation was definitely not that of three “peace officers” and
            most certainly didn’t require the police officer big boy pants. They
            were acting against their sworn oath and duty as a public servant and
            conspiring to collectively commit a crime of purgery..

          • John Cokos

            See my post. It was a “mission creep” of Militarization….

        • Jake Seilman

          you’re using incorrect terminology by referring to them as cops, there are peace officers, and in their alternate role act as police officers. This altercation was definitely not that of three “peace officers” and most certainly didn’t require the police officer big boy pants. They were acting against their sworn oath and duty as a public servant and conspiring to collectively commit a crime of purgery..

          • Ed

            “Peace officers” have always been paid with stolen money to force people to pay for things that they don’t want. I would say that whoever calls them peace officers is lying.

          • Jake Seilman

            no rebuttal here

        • John Cokos

          SEEMS TO SUM ALL THE CONFUSION ! -:)

  • Hugh Culliton

    Oh my: Christmas in September!

  • Paschn

    Hmm conspiracy to commit perjury, they better hope they’re dual citizens or sure as hell they’ll get their wrists slapped. What’re the ACLU gonna charge him?

    • John Cokos

      It’s called Aggravated Perjury. It’s broader and more inclusive in scale. They have to really work at it to get at that level, and they did. A Conspiracy and Collusion amongst members to agree to a lie.

      • Paschn

        Aggravated because it was done under color of law? There’s more than one = conspiracy, they’re colluding amongst themselves to lie = perjury
        So is it the fact they’re L.E. which kicks it up to aggravated?
        Hell, I’d be amazed if they didn’t just give them a paid vacation until their “fellows” can corrupt any evidence.
        Any port in a storm though.

  • Amor Terra

    Aaaaaand once again, cops are lying sacks of shit.

  • David Hall

    They are taught in training to be professional liars. That is no joke! They are good at it too.

  • Guy

    But, The Pd Chiefs are boldly standing in front of the Medias Nightly Broadcast, bravely telling the Nation, that they, are being Transparent, Building Bridges Of Community Trust and Seeking Justice ! Just as long as they are given that opportunity from not having a Rush To Judgement or Trial By The Media, the truth and facts will come out for the American Public To Believe !

    In other words boy’s and girl’s, Give them enough time to spin it, usually 2 or 3 years or untill we lose interest, then they will quietly make the situation go away, the Family Pay Off will be done and all will be forgotten and forgiven !

    That is untill the next time. Case In Point, Recent Unarmed Innocent Man’s Murder By Cop In Oklahoma. She was in fear for her life, because “The Big Bad Dude, had A Vacant 1000 Mile Stare And She Was Convinced He Was On Something, While He Was Walking Away From Her With His Hands Up”, So, She Shot Him In The Lungs As The Helicopters Were Flying ! She ? Is relaxing at home on payed vacation, while the family is making funeral arrangements, the attorneys are lining up and the Chief, DA & Union are circling the wagons seeking justice !

    Question; Who’s Justice ? Your’s Or There’s ?

    Until ! The next time and the next, and the next and the next or untill you have had enough !

  • Ed

    Suppose There Were a Gang…
    by Kent McManigal

    Suppose there were a gang… A gang which required members to rape, pillage, and attack people as a condition of membership. A gang which financed all its activities, and bought all its clothing and equipment, with money it stole from the local population. A gang which bragged about driving nice cars stolen from people they attacked. Any member who didn’t commit those acts on a regular basis would be kicked out, and quite probably be subject to revenge by the other members.

    As a condition of gang membership, you are agreeing to pretend other people’s property rights can’t apply to you. You pretend no one has the right of association where you are concerned—if someone tries to walk away when you insist on talking to them, the gang’s rules say you can murder them. If someone tries to defend themselves from unwanted physical contact—or from even worse—the gang’s rules say you can murder them. The rules you impose on others don’t apply to you.

    If you are a member of this gang you are openly admitting support for what the gang does. When you wear the gang colors, you are identifying yourself as a member in good standing. You are leaving no room for mistaken impressions of what you are, what you do, and what you support.

    Any non-member caught wearing the gang colors or claiming to be a member would be kidnapped and caged, robbed, and quite possibly killed by actual members of the gang. The membership must be kept pure. There is no room for pretenders.

    Sometimes the gang’s members actually do helpful things. This is what the gang and its supporters want everyone believing the gang is all about, but it is actually a small and uncommon part of what the gang does. In fact, it is rare enough to be newsworthy when it happens.

    The rapes, theft, and murders committed in the name of the gang are said to be committed by a “few bad apples”, even though a “good apple” who didn’t do those things—or at least turn a blind eye to those who do—would be kicked out of the gang and targeted for revenge. By staying in the gang, a member is endorsing all the gang’s activities—official and unofficial.

    The gang has done a good job convincing your family, friends, and neighbors that without them, other gangs would commit the same acts, but that this would somehow be worse; it would be chaos and mean the end of civilization. It is a lie, but few are willing to admit they are being lied to, and many actually believe it is true.

    “Polite society”—particularly including newspapers and television and radio stations—ignores the nature of the gang, and instead praises the members for the few good deeds done—deeds that don’t require gang membership to perform. They also ignore the evil nature of the acts that only members of the gang can get away with committing. Those who refuse to ignore the institutional evil are ostracized.

    When a member of the gang gets killed while wearing the gang colors, “Polite Society” weeps and wails and tears at its clothing, acting as though the death came out of nowhere and was completely beyond understanding. No matter what the gang members have done recently, and no matter that the supposed “good apples” didn’t disavow the acts of the members who committed the acts. Polite Society demands everyone weep and wail along with them, and voice their loyalty to the gang over and over again, lest they be thought of as horrible, uncivilized monsters.

    I’m not Polite Society. I can’t grieve when members of the gang are killed. Even if they weren’t currently attacking the innocent, by remaining in the gang and wearing the gang colors openly, they are declaring themselves an enemy to everything good and civilized. How can anyone see the deaths of these gang members as a “bad thing”?

    Well, this gang actually does exist. It infests every town and city in America, and in most of the world. They are the police—the Blue Line Gang (in America). They pretend they have no choice in the acts they commit because politicians made up “laws” by saying magic words which made their perverted opinions “official”. Never mind that Nuremberg proved this to be a worthless defense. Individually, they each have the ability to refuse to do evil, even if a politician says they must. And, if a person can’t avoid committing these acts without removing himself from the Blue Line Gang, then to be a good person he MUST quit the gang, regardless of the personal costs. If I have a job and my boss tells me I am required to overcharge a customer or lose my job, I can’t remain in the job and still be a decent person. It simply isn’t possible.

    It doesn’t matter if you believe these “laws” are a good idea, or even “necessary”. It doesn’t matter if the lack of them scares you. Any “law” which seeks to control something other than aggression or property violations is a counterfeit “law”—the few that are left are unnecessary laws.

    In the absence of police some people might get away with violating life, liberty, and property of others. The existence of police guarantees it.

    This is why there is no such thing as a “good cop”, and why there can never be. It is self contradictory.

    The police is where the boot heel of tyranny meets the human face. Without them no evil ruler could impose his will on large numbers of people—people would simply kill him in self defense. Which is why politicians work so hard to whip up support for cops.

    No good person can remain consistently good and continue to support the police. It simply isn’t possible. I know good people who do support the police, but by doing so they are being inconsistent, and actually being evil at that moment. Withdraw your support; be a good person all the time.

    The sooner you accept it, internalize it, and act on it, the sooner you will be free.

    http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle881-20160717-03.html

    • Guy

      Well said !

    • John Cokos

      GREAT POST. I THINK I’M IN DEEP SHIT, ONE OF THOSE IS WORKING MY TOWNSHIP AS WE SPEAK !!

  • But hyper-patriotic conservatives say that police are angels and are always right, to question them is equivalent to Islamic Communism! /sarcasm

    • John Cokos

      Yep, nothing like a “true believer”. There was a book published 70’s or 80’s called the True Believer by Eric Hoffer. It will give you an insight just what we are up against.

      • Just added it to my Amazon list, thank you for the recommendation

  • Jay

    NWA said it best: F T P

  • Ibcamn

    cops are criminals,every last one of them….they commit crimes against the people every day.road pirates is all they are,low brow criminals,nothing more.

  • TStephen

    I feel so much safer now that the thugs and bullies got that patriot off the street.

  • Michael Sievers

    So did those complaints come in over 911? They need proof of their probable cause to perform a warrant-less arrest.

  • doucyet

    Just imagine how “creative” these thug cops get when they shoot someone unjustifiably!

  • jim short

    I have read all the documents. What ultimately happened ,if anything, the two Officers which fabricate false charges against these two young men? If these Officers will fabricate false charges against 2 men then they will do it to anybody. These officers should have been arrested and indicted for fabricating false charges, an action unbecoming of an officer. They also need to have there commission stripped an the arrested Officers are never to be an Officer of the law again.

  • John Cokos

    RODGER THAT ! I once had a high placed sgt in my local PD explain that he taught a class at the Academy called “verbal jujitsu” . That’s cop speak for lying.
    It’s amazing that the higher up the law enforcement food chain you go, the more blantant it gets.
    In my youth there was a perception that the State Police were the creme of the crop of Law Enforcement. That Myth dies hard. The gene pool is so debased now, there is no expectation of professionalism.

  • The standard procedure of pigs. Don’t have legit charges? Who cares? Make them up!