"When you're out here filming the police for no reason you have to give us your ID."
Tracy, CA -- A video was uploaded to YouTube Tuesday which shows an infuriating interaction between a man practicing his first amendment right to film in public and arrogant SWAT officers.
The video was published to YouTube by Troy Stevenson.
Stevenson was a victim of ill informed police officers whose complete disregard for an individual's rights, epitomizes the state of police today.
According to Stevenson he saw a raid going on in Tracy, which happened to be in a place of interest to him, so he began filming.
On Friday Oct. 17th I saw what appeared to be a police swat team raid in Tracy, Ca. I just so happened to live behind the house that was being raided when I was a kid 15 years ago. Our landlord from when we lived there owned and lived in the house that was being raided.I don't know if he still does or not, but he was a friend of my Aunts. So I had a particular interest to film what was going on.
I realized pretty quickly it was a training raid while I was across the street filming.
After realizing that it was a training raid he was approached by two plainclothes SWAT officers, Officer Ramirez (Badge #129) and Officer Sisneros (Badge #126) who immediately start questioning him without identifying themselves. Shortly after the conversation began one officer tried to grab his camera.
A few seconds into our conversation, he tries to grab my phone out of my hand. I put my right hand up in the air while keeping a firm grip on my phone. A short struggle followed and this is when my recording was stopped. His partner came up mid-struggle and that's when he let go of my phone. They continued to ask me for my ID and ask what I was doing here while I was trying to start recording again. That's when the second part of the video starts.
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As Stevenson continues to proclaim his innocence to these overzealous officers they become more and more offensive. They demand his ID, then they try and frisk him, then they have the audacity to claim that the reason they are detaining him is because he had a "concealed weapon." A pocket knife, which was visible to the officer, was apparently a concealed weapon.
At this point I tell him he can actually take that [the knife] if he likes, purely for my safety. I move my hip forward and voluntarily allow him to take my legally carried and partially concealed pocketknife. Then all of a sudden the "Concealed Weapon" is the cause for the investigation and my detention.
After running his information and finding out that he is completely clean, he is let go.
A quick search of the California penal code and we can see that Stevenson had done nothing wrong by having this knife; it could have been completely concealed and he would have still been adhering to the law.
These officers were completely out of line and provide a repugnant example of what law enforcement should be. They denied Stevenson his rights as well as lied to him about the law, and even went as far as to say that Stevenson tried to reach for the knife!
This interaction was merely an attempt to bully and harass a man for knowing and practicing his rights. The last second of the video is quite possibly the most disturbing part of this entire interaction. Officer Ramirez, who was just making up charges that could have gotten Stevenson jailed or even killed by these cops, tell him to "Enjoy your safety."
As if these officer provide some sort of safety; the only immediate threat to the safety of Stevenson at this time, were the cops.