Mark Frauenfelder at 1:03 pm Thu, Nov 1, 2012
This badge sums it up.
They also threaten the videographer with arrest. (Via 22 Words)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder.
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TAGS: Police Blotter
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Why is videotaping an arrest illegal? What would they charge the cameraman with?
In my state it was illegal under an ‘eavesdropping’ law for a while, but it has been ruled unconstitutional for now. Of course they could probably just make up some kind of charge it they like, which is why it’s so important for bystanders to be able to film them.
Oh and this guy is not very smart…
Yeah exactly, probably changed to ‘interfering’ or something later….
I’m talking about the camera guy. Mischief probably does actually refer to jumping on / damaging the police car.
The one time I was arrested, for photographing police, it was for “interfering with an officer”. The town eventually dropped the charges in return for me agreeing not to sue them (which was ridiculous, offensive, and unjust, but my lawyer told me it was the best deal I was going to get, and as much as I hated to agree with him, he was obviously correct.)
I did at least have friends (one of whom was a lawyer) around during the incident, so I was able to make bail and avoid jail, though it took months to get the camera back, and mysteriously the camera had gotten damaged and the film gotten exposed during that time.
“Disorderly conduct,” or, “Interfering with arrest,” or something like that, if history is any guide. And the charges would immediately be dropped, but the camera-person would get to spend the night in jail and possibly have to jump through ridiculous hoops to get his/her camera back, assuming it wasn’t “accidentally” damaged while in custody.
Anyone who can do a backflip off a cop car and land on their feet deserves a free exemption from going to the drunk tank
I believe that is indeed the law in Margaritaville.
honestly, if some drunken bastard climbed on top of YOUR ride and did a backflip off it, wouldn’t you want some kind of recourse against them? The cops just happen to have the right tool for the job, which is the law and their authority to implement it.
That said I’m not with them on the videotaping part because in that, they WERE demonstrating incompetence. But buddy backflip deserves every part of the book being thrown at him.
I’m with this, totally. I hate all the bad cops out there, but it you climb on top of a police car just to do a back-flip, you’re almost begging for a stern warning at the very least. You have to give the police respect until they abuse it, just for the system to work.
The police did abuse their position, by threatening to arrest the videotaper, and if they actually took the Ghostbuster to jail, that was also abusive. (If they just stuck him in the back of their car and yelled at him a bit, that’s also not particularly legal, but within the bounds of “ok, he deserved that”.)
I would think it was awesome. Or I would think the guy was a jackass. But I certainly wouldn’t want to send the guy to jail for it.
Not if he didn’t do any damage to my car I wouldn’t.
I think the problem is that he could easily have damaged the car, and allowing blatant, potentially harmful, disrespect like that to go unchallenged just invites further acts until the police have no power except to go overboard.
Yeah, it’s definitely better for them to go overboard when they still have the option not to.
Especially the disrespect. In some counties that’s a capital offense.
Oh, I agree that doing this to a cop’s car is a bad idea, for that exact reason – they have the law behind them to protect the precinct’s property, as well as it being their job to assess if the situation is dangerous or irresponsible or illegal. If some dude got on MY car, though, and didn’t damage anything, I’d honestly probably just say, “Oh shit, nice backflip, man,” and move on with my life.
They certainly over-reacted, but my car’s roof is still damaged from when some drunken idiot walked over it at a party I went to :(
The public drunkenness thing should stick though, he was pulling a drunken prank while his friend videotaped it, that could have escalated fast
My ride is a bike. If someone managed to do a backflip off of it, I’d be pretty damned impressed!
Suppose some drunken bastard does a back flip off my car. My car is not dented or damaged. I call the police and try to press charges… what charge would that be?
I’m thinking it will be like most encounters where the public asks the police for help, they will laugh it off and say there is nothing they can do.
mischief? public drunkeness? also depends on the drunken bastard’s demeanor when the cops confront him of course – initially they will have your (and any other witnesses’) account to go on. Once they talk to the accused, perhaps they get an even better idea of how likely it is that he did what you’re saying he did. also depends on your demeanor when you make your report to them.
Wow serious over reaction. That guy didn’t appear to be threatening under the influence or anything like that and those cops went full force.
Why is it that they always shoot to kill? nobody ever gets shot in the leg or stomach it’s always instant death and destruction with these guys.
Now back flipping off the roof of the car probably not a good idea… Well provoking the “force” in any way is probably not a good idea. F*k da police comes to mind and MDC.
If you’re shooting someone, you’re generally shooting to “stop”. Shooting someone at all is shooting to kill, since the body is just riddled with critical components (Except the feet and hands, which are really hard targets), it just so happens that shooting to stop most effectively happens to be the most likely to be lethal.
Also, this doesn’t really have anything to do with the video!
Actually, ‘always shoot to kill’ is a really good policy. If you’re not at the point where you need to kill, you’ve got no business shooting at all. If it’s sufficient to shoot at someone’s legs… you didn’t need to shoot.
What a horrible cop. Do we have no dignity left in the US? Fuck this police state.
One, there is nothing that horrible there. Two, this is taking place in Canada.
Well, the appropriate response for the cop would have been to grab the kid, headbutt him and say “Don’t do that again you stupid ****.”
But people tend to not like behavior from the police either.
Just so we’re clear here — are folks saying the cops SHOUDN’T enforce the law and arrest someone drunk in public who just climbed atop their police car and backflipped off?
Should they have chuckled and given the man a hearty handshake for amusing shenanigans?
Explain why doing a clean backflip of a car should be illegal.
(Not doubt he could be drunk but my only evidence as to his level of intoxication is that he did a clean backflip. The cops didn’t seem to take a great deal of trouble to check.)
Most people would not want people climbing on their cars and likely denting them up.
’Likely’ denting them? As far as I’m concerned there should be actual damage before it becomes criminal, and as it happens I’d say this guy was being non-reckless regarding that possibility anyway.
What most people do not want is not, in itself, ground for making something a crime.
I don’t have a car anymore (almost 2 years now of liberating car free life) but if I did and you or somebody else climbed up on it like a dumb, privileged idiot I’d be tempted to knock your block off before checking for any possible damage I’d be on the monetary hook for…..
If you started monkeying with my bike I’d be tempted to do the same.
I would also like to be able to have the police assist me in stopping you from jumping on my stuff even if you don’t think there’s a problem with it, or it’s ‘unlikely’ to do damage.
Obviously we have different ideas about the sacrosanctness of the outside of cars.
I can’t resist pointing out many of the same legal issues and social taboos apply to the phrase “get off my lawn”.
I’m the same way. I do more damage to myself by giving a shit than anybody could ever do by walking on my car.
Obviously we do, and we probably have different ideas about entitlement and about how many hours it takes to pay for things like cars and other possessions that people care about.
You can do that, but there’s no comparison. I’d say that you’re more on the side of the guy in the bar who jumps up and dances on the bar and tries to pour himself a drink, because really, it’s not like he’s really harming anybody….lighten up folks! Right?!
Luckily, the law is not based on what most people wouldn’t want.
What IS the legality of climbing on top of another person’s car against their wishes? Is there a law?
It seems like kind of a dumb thing to do.
The law in almost all countries is that if you disrespect the police, they can arrest you, rough you up, and throw you in jail for the night and make it your problem. Whether you actually get officially charged with anything is an entirely separate question of law :-) But most police are a gang, and he was dissing them, so yeah it was a dumb thing to do.
Awesome, though :-)
I’m no lawyer, but I don’t think I really need to explain why /climbing atop a police car/ and jumping off over a cop after being warned to get off is illegal, do I?
When was he warned? I’m no lawyer either, but I guess it could probably be a trespass if he was. My impression is you normally some sense of either being forbidden beforehand or likely malicious intent for that to (ahem) fly. I submit to the court that acrobatics is not malicious intent.
I can see where it’s annoying and disrespectful (though in answer to the ‘if it was mine’ question, I’d think it was awesome) but I think this is the perfect opportunity for a stern talking to. He looked pretty alarmed to me at the end.
PS elsewhere in thread suggests he was released after a night in the cells. You take the night in the cells, I take the released and we’ll call it a draw,
Well, at the very least I’d expect them to avoid threatening the cameraman.
Asking someone to stop filming is okay, that’s just a request, threatening them with arrest if they don’t is the stupid part.
I would be mightily impressed with that reaction.
You seem to think it’s really obvious that the guy should be arrested. Why shouldn’t he just be given a citation for petty vandalism or something?
Because he disrespected the police. It’s not against the law to disrespect the police, but police treat it like it is. That’s a much more serious problem than some jackass doing a backflip off a cop car.
Context is everything, here. From the look of the video, the cops here are dealing with a streetful of Halloween partiers, and one of them just climbed on their car.
This isn’t just about “disrespect”, though; being a dick to cops on purpose is always a bad idea, but pulling this kind of stunt is definably criminal mischief and almost definitely public drunkenness. In this sort of context, I can definitely see why they’d at least throw him in the back of the car for a citation rather than just say “hey buddy, that was pretty sweet, but GTFO eh?”
”almost definitely public drunkenness” — really? Every time I’ve been pulled over on suspicion of intoxication (twice I think) the cops were pretty satisfied when I could walk a straight line and touch my nose. You think the usual field sobriety test is more difficult than doing a backflip?
Being a dick to cops on purpose is only a bad idea because they have legal authority to abrogate your rights and you don’t have legal authority to do the same. I’m suggesting that maybe respect has to be earned by something other than threats of violence or incarceration.
I can see why they did it too but I don’t really like the reason.
I back-flipped off of my neighbor’s car, and he seemed upset about it for some strange reason. I told him I was just joking around! Jeez, what a stick in the mud.
What was the actual reason for the arrest? I couldn’t understand what the cop said.
He said “Bustin’ makes me feel gooooood!”
Mischief and being drunk in public.
Did he say ‘under arrest for mischief’? I always said these anti-clown laws would end up being used on the rest of us.
So looking up mischief laws, I think they started planning the charge thinking he was going to jump up and down on the top or the car and probably damage it.
Yeah, I guess it falls under “(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;” in regards to his and the cop’s personal safety? I would think the cop might also have assumed he was trying to escape by getting behind him and running? I’m curious to see how the court case goes, but I doubt we’ll get a followup, haha.
Maybe he can get the charge reduced to “shenanigans.”
Actually these are two Canadian RCMP officers. You will find them in many of the smaller communities, and some of the larger one’s who choose to outsource their local policing, throughout Canada.
I suspect that the back-flipper got chucked in the drunk tank for the night and was later discovered to be sober once all the other partygoers were released.
Certainly not a smart move, but I’d have to say “very well executed sir!”
Yup – apparently he was released the next morning with no charges… and a good story.
Incorrect response: Violence, “you are publicly drunk because I say you are”
Correct response: Okay sir, move along right now, don’t let me see you again tonight.
No, that would be the incorrect response.
I heard that there was this cop who was eating at a diner. And when some dude dropped a spoon the cop killed the whole town.
Then he cracked a giant boner why wailing on his electric guitar so hard that you could hear it from the moon. A flying hippo dropped from the clouds and then they rode off looking for a giant crotch so that he could calm his rage.
I heard this cop totally uppercutted some kid just for opening a window. :/
They shouldn’t have threatened to arrest the videographer, but I can’t muster up much sympathy for the backflipper. Even if you convince me that they shouldn’t have thrown him in the tank, there are surely bigger fish to fry than securing everyone’s right to backflip off squad cars as the police stand by respectfully.
He didn’t harm the car, himself, or anyone else. And it was halloween. If you can’t take a little sass without freaking the fuck out you probably shouldn’t be a cop/trusted with deadly weapons. I want cops to be the most calm, hard to piss off levelheaded guys in the room, but they NEVER are. Kids in school regularly do things to teachers that are much MUCH worse than what this guy ‘did to’ this cop, and they just get a talking to. Cops shouldn’t get to just arrest anyone that pisses them off on trumped up charges. Public drunkenness? Oh yeah, that clean backflip was clearly done by a severely impaired person. -_-;; The cop was in the wrong.
It’s true, this cop has no…sense of humor
Those cops need to lay off the doughnuts. They’re giving humorless bullies a bad image, what with all that lard bulging out of their armor.
“You Will Respect My Authoritah!”
Halloween is one of the most stressful nights for police officers. As the badge says, THE POLICE NEVER THINK IT’S AS FUNNY AS YOU DO. Halloween is the night when a quarter of the population run around breaking the law. Another third are running around drunk in masks, (there’s a fine line between enjoying yourself and causing trouble, even if inadvertently).
Not the night to be pissing them off.
Also, the cameraman was exceptionally close to the scene, close enough to interfere with what was happening.
Not justifying everything, but have some common sense, and try to understand that they are just trying to do their job It’s not like they grabbed a guy out of the blue and started beating on him.
“If you piss off a cop you deserve what you get” – I truly hate this sentiment. You’d sing a different tune if you’d ever been teargassed and beaten for being on the wrong street at the wrong time.
Their job is arresting people for not comiting crimes and threatening witnesses to that action?
Sorry, have to side with the cops on this one. That was an insanely stupid thing to do. Impressive backflip though.
Being in a position where I have to frequently work around drunks (I do not work in a bar), I’m pretty fed up with the attitude that I need to “excuse” or “ignore” somebody because they’ve intentionally, and repeatedly, taken a course of action to make themself more stupid than average. No matter how much they insult, bother, or aggravate other people, you’re supposed to not notice them, and simply forgive them, just because they’re drunk.
To hell with that.
1) You’re certainly allowed to dislike those people and their annoying practices as much as you want. 2) Being stupid is not a crime, nor is lowering one’s level of intelligence on purpose. 3) Only things which are actually criminal offenses are crimes. 4) If folks are committing actual crimes, that’s bad, and being drunk doesn’t excuse it (like people sometimes seem to suggest it does). We made a lot of progress on that with the anti-drunk-driving campaigns.
I suggest getting a bag of cheap shiny objects to hand to these folks, it will distract them long enough to make a clean getaway.
There needs to be repercussions for police who waste the time of judges or waste the time of the District Attorney’s office. It isn’t enough that judges laugh at these sort of complaints and dismiss them, there needs to be a penalty that the cops feel. Maybe docking their pay by $50 for each wasted-time arrest. It would encourage the cops to learn to focus their resources. I’m sure I have the details wrong about how these false-arrests work, but the concept is good: find a way to stop cops from acting like freeloading power-trippers, and get them to focus on crime.
Typically, the penalty is that the cops have to hang around the station doing paperwork to book the guy, which they dislike, instead of being out making people Respect Their Authoritay. (If they’d left him in the back of the car for a while and let him go, or taken him down to the station and kicked him out onto the street, they’d have avoided that.
The penalty is that they have to do their job. That’s horrible!
Maybe, just maybe, we can put an end to this ‘police state’
nonsense if we clear up a couple things:
1) the backflipper was arrested at the scene, but released later
with no charges
2) “I knew my rights,” says [the cameraman]. “I knew that I was in a public place and I knew I was allowed to legally film a public servant on duty, so I just cooperated with the cops. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about shining a light and camera in their face, but nothing came about it.”
When an ostensibly drunk dude does a cheeky backflip off the top of your car while you’re standing beside it, it’s disrespectful. In the context of this video, I think it’s fair to say it’s also a little antagonistic. I fully acknowledge that police brutality and abuse of power are very real problems, but adding this video to the list and proclaiming Petitcodiac, N.B. part of the ‘police state’ cheapens the conversation about what is a very serious issue.
There are good cops and there are bad cops, pretty much like every other job. I’m going to give these two the benefit of the doubt and say they’re somewhere on the good side of the scale, but in all likelihood they are just plain ol’ mediocre cops. They don’t to anything demonstrably horrible in this video, but they do appear uncomposed. Plus that one officer might look a little out of shape, but I digress.
They were unprofessional and out of line (and they threatened the cameraman because they _knew_ they were being unprofessional and out of line.) If they weren’t aggressive jerks, they could have been _appropriately_ unprofessional (because hey, cops are a gang and the guy _did_ diss them, so they do get some slack about giving him a hard time.)
I’m more concerned about why the cop ran right up to the dude, he could have gotten himself kicked in the face.. was he purposely trying to do that? What else was he going to do, grab the dude’s ankles? He could have gotten hurt and had the backflipper land on him, and probably would have claimed assault or something stupid like that. If he were standing just a few feet back he would have been hit either way. Why didn’t these cops just surround the car and shout from a safer distance than that? Anyways, since the dude was apparently released and had no charges pressed, I guess their silliness didn’t hurt anyone. But still, wtf?
Disrespect is not a crime; if it were, many police should start by arresting themselves for disrespecting us.
Every time the police show up, we should ALL whip our all our phones and cameras and start videoing them. We vastly outnumber them; they literally can’t arrest us all.
Authorities abuse their power only so long as we let them get away with it; and so long as it’s only one or two of us objecting, they can get away with it.
Fired?!?! Dream on. These clowns will get a commendation,
All cops are pigs hunh… again, when I hear this, all I can ask is – What is the alternative – anarchy?
IF THERE WERE good cops they would arrest the bad ones. the only people who love police are the privileged ones who aren’t harassed by them regularly, or have them in their family/married to them.
Umm, cops who are held accountable for their actions? Cops who don’t circle the wagons when one of their own steps across the line?
Read the agitator for a few weeks and we’ll see if you’re still so quick to defend the police.
Your reply is funny for two reasons:
1. You clearly are not familiar with what the political philosophy of anarchism stands for.
2. Yes, anarchism is actually the proper alternative.
Not thinking that every person in law enforcement is a ‘pig’ is a far cry from “loving” police. And good cops do sometimes investigate, whistle blow, and arrest bad cops.
so, by definition, the good ones!
i have pre-judged those who are privileged by the police state. so be it!
He has a different view of the world than you do. How many times does someone have to get treated like shit by the police before they’re allowed to be “prejudiced”? Note that unlike race, “policeman” is something one chooses to be.
Power corrupts. Police have power. I guess that means logical syllogisms are a form of prejudice?
But maybe we should vote on it :)
And if you’re not one of those people who understands anarchism, then “letting cops do what they want instead of making them obey the law” ought to sound at least as anarchic as “letting drunks do mostly harmless stupid things.”