A couple took to Facebook Live to document their encounter with Oregon Police, after officers detained them in a parking lot and claimed that the couple had been reported for possession of a torch, or butane lighter, and a methamphetamine pipe.
After making contact with the couple, police reportedly placed them in handcuffs, demanding to see their identification and said they must either be meth users or meth dealers. The man claimed he tried to explain to the officers that the torch they were using to light their cigarettes is cheaper than a Bic lighter, and that there were no drugs in the car, nor was there any reason to stop and harass them. The couple refused to produce any identification.
Under Oregon law, citizens are not required to hand over their identification upon demand. While other states do require such actions, Oregon does not. According to the Daily Emerald:
“Oregon law doesn’t require you to disclose your name or ID upon an officer’s demand. Refusing to give your name or ID or failing to carry ID is generally not an offense. The U.S. Supreme Court has previously found other states’ laws requiring citizens to carry or show ID unconstitutional.”
Strange as it may seem, the officers then informed the couple that if they got into their vehicle to drive away, they would be immediately stopped and at such time would have to produce identification.
The unnamed narrator identified the woman in the driver’s seat as “Sadie.” He said that he and Sadie decided to challenge the officers’ promise to pull them over if they proceeded on their way, something they believe is harassment on the part of the police.
Referring to the patrol car’s lights as “cherries and berries,” the man said, “This is the kind of shit American citizens put up with,” while the police were following them. “We employ police to police our fucking cities…and they harass us instead,” he said, describing the daily occurrence of police pulling over citizens on nothing more than a hunch.
The man, whose face is tattooed with the proverbial “FTP” tattoo, did not have to wait long to be pulled over. The officer, who was identified in the video as “Deputy Barton” approached the vehicle and asked Sadie if she knew why she was being pulled over. She responded that she did not know why the officer pulled her over. Barton explained, “For your tags, they’re expired.”
Sadie rejected the notion the tags were expired by saying she had purchased the car in September and suggested he take another look. The tatted up passenger couldn’t contain his emotions, one could say, and broke his silence screaming and speaking directly into the camera, which was live streaming the video to Facebook. “This is gonna be great!” he exclaimed several times and told the officer to go look at the license plate.
“You guys are gonna be embarrassed as fuck, we’re taking you to court,” the man said several times. “How’s that taste you idiot?” he asked, indicating the officer had made a serious mistake by claiming the license plate was expired and using it as probable cause to stop the couple and impede their civil rights.
The officer and his partner took a closer look at the license plate of the vehicle the couple was driving. Upon returning to the driver’s side window to make contact with Sadie again, the officer took on a more serious demeanor.
“The tags on the back expire October 17, October 2017. Do you know what today is?” he asked Sadie. She quickly fired back, “Yeah. September. It’s 2017.”
Clearly humiliated, Barton put on a big smile, possibly knowing he had been caught using a bogus excuse to pull over the couple. “Oh, okay. You’re free to go,” he said. The couple both started laughing, knowing they just caught the interaction on camera, and verifying the officer’s incompetence, who didn’t even know what month of the year it was, apparently.
The episode appears to be a rare moment of levity when a motorist got a little payback for police who routinely attempt to use their badge and their authority to harass law-abiding citizens. The video ends with the couple screaming absurdities and profanities toward the officer. The man even admitted he was in fear of getting shot, but that fear seemed to immediately disappear when the mocking of the police officer began. The lesson for police to learn is you do not have the right to pull people over without probable cause, and you better know what month of the year it is if you do.