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Monday, September 2, 2013

Man Photographing Phoenix Courthouse Gets Swarmed by Police Helicopter and "15+ Officers"

Chris | InformationLiberation

Another man who went out to "test" whether or not the local police would uphold his right to film got his answer swiftly after photographing a federal courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona.

A police helicopter shined a floodlight on him from the sky and he was summarily swarmed by a gang of armed officers threatening him, demanding he ID himself, and forcibly searching him for weapons, despite the fact he was legally open carrying in accordance with Phoenix law.

Despite their thuggish intimidation tactics, he boldly asserted his rights and refused to ID. The cops, at least one of whom could clearly tell he was just testing their response, whined at him for trying to "provoke an incident."

He astutely pointed out he was merely photographing a public government building, and it was they, the costumed criminals with the multi-million dollar taxpayer-financed helicopter flying overhead, that were creating an incident, not him.

Eventually the cops give up on harassing him and let him go, probably because he actually knew the law, and they clearly didn't, which was making them look stupid.

Jordan McManus, the man seen in the film, emailed Carlos Miller of 'Photography is Not a Crime' to give his side of the story:

My name is Jordan McManus, and I live in Chandler, AZ a suburb of Phoenix. I have been a fan of PINAC for quite a while and appreciate everything you do! Some time ago a story was posted about a man named Raymond Michael who was unlawfully detained and searched by Phoenix PD for taking pictures of the Sandra Day O?Connor Federal Courthouse in downtown Phoenix, and I?ve been a resident of the phoenix valley for over 12 years and I was having a hard time believing that PPD would respond in such a manner as AZ has some of the most respectable cops in the nation (in my opinion) compared to the rest of the country.

So tonight I set out to test them with a 1st and 4th Amendment test. I arrived at the Courthouse around 11pm. I parked my truck on Jefferson St and proceeded to walk the courthouse?s perimeter and towards the PPD HQ all while taking pictures. I had circled the PPD HQ and was on my way back to my truck when I saw two officers ahead of me about a block away, which is when I activated my camera. Just then, I was suddenly illuminated by a spotlight from a low flying Police Helicopter. That?s when I turned around to see what was going on (I had headphones in and was listening to music and didn?t realize the impending detainment) and I was being swarmed from every angle by PPD officers.

The PPD officer who initiated the contact tried to disarm me right off the bat. (I was open carrying my 1911 in a holster on my right hip). He was unsuccessful as I stood my ground and stated that I do not consent in seizures. Now I know I could have just kept my mouth shut and not played along with their game and not answered any of their questions, but I guess I have to admit it was kind of fun, as you can tell from some of my answers to the PPD questions.

Nothing dramatic ever really happened but I must say they sure did have one hell of a show of force with 15+ officers and an Air unit. I will admit, as my first time attempting to ?cop block? I was a little flustered at first, and totally forgot to get officers names and badge numbers, but hey it was my first time of many I?m sure. In the video you?ll hear me make a comment about how ?the only thing in my backpack is not a pressure cooker?, I said this because I overheard one of the officers behind me state that ?we need to search his backpack?, I felt like responding with a smart ass answer.

Below is the link to the video, and I apologize ahead of time for it being vertical and a little shaky it was clipped onto my backpack. Feel free to contact with any questions, and you have my permission to post any or all of this description, my name, and the video to your website if you desire, just please omit my contact information.

Chris runs the website, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.

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..."I felt like responding with a smart ass answer."

The last paragraph indicates that he didn't respond with a "smart-ass" remark, instead, he opted for the lame-aSS answer, likely, something along the lines of: "I'll comply."

I would give out my contact info. but, the noncompliant get their accounts deleted, (at SState's discretion, of course).

This man clearly doesn't understand how viruses work. We have nature v. nurture, being played out in real-time, and, the programmers are losing to the universal. Ah, he'll get tired of being bitched at by the psychopaths sooner or later, (especially, if he tries to reason their unreasonable nonsense).

The guy could have easily get shot. Cause they can.
I know and you know. They don't care about you.
That's why they poison your water. They don't care.
End of story. There is no American dream. Just a nightmare. Probable cause: A set of facts, circumstances, or reliable information that would lead a reasonable, prudent, and cautious police officer to believe that a crime has been committed and that a certain person committed the crime. Neccessary for search, seizure, or arrest.

Reasonable suspicion: Less than probable cause but more than a hunch that a crime is about to be committed, is being committed, or has been committed. Neccessary to stop and temporarily detain someone. A pat down may be conducted on an individual that the officer believes may be armed or who may pose a threat under certain circumstances. Very subjective and different for individual officers.

Contact: Any contact with an individual for official police related matters where the individual is free go without being detained or answering questions. Neccessary for the police to talk to you.

The police may observe and contact any person at any time and are well within the law, however, when they surround someone it has been determined that a stop is implied and the individual is not free to leave. The police must be able to articulate what their reasonable suspicion is. Unfortunately as a society we have lost the ability as a whole to be reasonable and to reason. Those who understand the big picture are not really prepared to do what has to be done to stop what is coming before it comes.

Good on you man, you did more then most. You handled the ignorant public servants with enough respect. I think its good that they showed up in great force...for all they knew, you could have been plotting a terrorist attack in the heart of downtown Phoenix. You call this little joke if yours a "test"? Real idiotic if you ask me.

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