I'm Pretty Sure There Isn't an Ap for That


Another arrest for shooting video of an on-duty cop, this time in Ohio.

When a deputy sheriff began questioning Melissa Greenfield's boyfriend at a Delaware County truck stop, she began recording video with her cell phone.

She never thought that she, or her phone, could be viewed as a danger as she documented the activities of public employees in a public place.

"I'm a 115-pound, 20-year-old girl wearing a cervical collar with nothing but a cell phone. I was not going to harm any officer," Greenfield said yesterday.

However, a sheriff's sergeant saw the situation differently after Greenfield announced that she was recording video "for legal purposes and our own safety."

Sgt. Jonathan Burke wrote that he repeatedly ordered Greenfield to place the "unknown" object in her pocket and keep her hands free. When Greenfield refused, she was arrested and charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest.

Burke wrote in his report that he feared that Greenfield could have been holding a dangerous object such as a "cell-phone gun"…

"Not knowing what the item in her hand was and having prior knowledge of all types of hidden weapons, including a cell-phone gun, I asked her several times to place it in her pocket and to keep her hands free," Burke wrote.

Greenfield said that, while driving her to the jail, Burke said that it was "unacceptable for me to be filming his activities."

"I wish I could be surprised," she said, "but I've heard so many stories of incidents like this happening before. … There's no law against videotaping police encounters."

Emphasis mine, to draw attention to the utter inanity of Dep. Burke's report.

Greenfield is right. There's no law in Ohio against videotaping police encounters. Unfortunately, there's also no punishment for cops who violate the rights of Ohioans who try to do it. Delaware County Sheriff Walter L. Davis III is defending Dep. Burke and his cell-phone gun fears.

Greenfield says when she got the phone back, the video had been erased. Davis denies any of his deputies erased the video. Must have been a glitch.

Greenfield spent three days in jail. She pled no contest to the obstructing official business charge and was fined $20.

NEXT: Growing Pains

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  1. But there’s a Reuters.

  2. a “cell-phone gun”

    That’s it. We’ve reached the end of the line for utter nonsense.

    1. The time has come for all of us to use our cell phones to video cops no matter what they are doing. Wether it’s making an arrest or eating donuts at Crispy Cream. If enough people did this, the cops would be placed in the position of having to arrest far more people than they could easily process. I plan to begin today.

      1. “cell-phone gun”…not to be confused with a hand gun…no, no, no, not an actual gun carried in the hand. I’m talking about the pretend guns fashioned by 5 year olds playing cowboys and indians by using their index fingers.
        Seriously. You wait and see.
        ATTORNEY: Explain to the court why you fired your service revolver.
        OFFICE: Your honor, I thought the ring on her finger was one of those Green Lantern rings, that could change matter, and that she intended to vaporise us, or turn us into Koala bears, so we had terminate her with extremem prejudice.

      1. Those all require a cell phone of a certain volume. Many modern phones much smaller than that.

        With most phones, you point the thinnest part towards someone to shoot video. How are you going to make a gun you can aim with any accuracy that has a barrel 9.5 mm long?

        Besides, if you’re going to shoot someone with a gun hidden in a cell phone, you’re going to have to point the top or bottom at the copy and you’re probably going to keep it close to you, not hold it up in the air.

        I don’t think the cops have thought this through beyond something pointed at me equals gun.

        1. —“I don’t think the cops have thought this through beyond something pointed at me equals gun.”—

          Or, more likely, he knew it was a cell phone/camera and just didn’t want to be recorded.

      2. Despite the fact that the accuracy on such things is even worse than a typical cop’s shooting ability, and despite the fact that the thing looks so unlike a real cell phone, nobody would shoot video with a cell phone in the same position as one would shoot bullets at a person standing next to them with one of these lame devices.


    2. Actually, those walking the thin blue line might want to adopt this strategy of claiming “having prior knowledge of all types of hidden weapons, including a cell-phone gun” in all cases.

      I realize that Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss were acquitted, but they could have saved themselves so much trouble by claiming “wallet gun”.

      (and yes, I had to google the names of the officers in the Amadou Diallo case)

    3. No. The incredibly stupid part is if that is what he thought she actually had – he told here to put it back in her pocket! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!?!

  3. But what of so-called “killer aps?”

    1. Ugh, don’t perpetuate the misspelling, the term is “app.”

      1. I know, I just typoed.

      2. in as much a “app” is not even a genuine word, I wouldn’t fret about it much.

        1. It’s a word now: languages grow.

    2. The Dangerous Cop-killer apps must be banned!

      1. The Dangerous Copcareer-killer apps must be banned!


  4. A cell phone gun? They’re not even fucking trying to be credible.

    Fuck you Sgt. Jonathan Burke and fuck you Sheriff Walter L. Davis III you lying, authority abusing pieces of shit.

    1. Cell phone gun:

      I don’t think police have ever found one of these in the US, and they would require registration as an AOW (Any Other Weapon) to be legal (if they could even be imported legally), but such things do exist.

      1. Joe M, as I pointed out in an earlier thread this morning, if it is a rent seeker’s word against a non rent seeker’s word, logic dictates that you go with the word of one who is not wearing one of caesar’s clown costumes.

        1. That’s a piss-poor method if you’re looking for truth.

          1. Why?

        2. Just to clarify, that’s not me. That’s an unmarked Joe.

          1. Yes, different person. I need to come up with a different handle.

            1. you have no idea how badly you need a different handle…Being associated with “Joe” (not Joe M) is not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

            2. [Hendrix music drifts thru head]

              Goddamit, stop that!

    2. Agreed. They should both lose their jobs immediately.

  5. A “cell phone gun”? REALLY? Maybe this cop saw too many 007 movies. How much ridiculous nonsense do we have to put up with over our ability to provide a video account of police encounters?

    1. Hey cops! If you haven’t been informed yet, Get Smart was fictional parody, not a documentary.

      1. In his report: “Missed me…by that much.”

        1. As a public service to LEOs everywhere, here is a list of things you need to be on the lookout for.

          Communication devices, Guns and Weapons (non-gun) are all detailed.

          1. Ping pong paddles can be used for evil? I though they were only actually used for spanking naughty stewardesses.

            1. Nurses man, nurses. Get your perversions straight.

              1. Helllooooooo – Elementary School Teachers. NAUGHTY Elementary School Teachers…they like teh paddulz…

        2. The old gun in the cell phone trick. Third time this week.

    2. Oh, yes. It’s the latest from Q branch. And do try to return it in one piece, 007.

  6. If there were some sort of firearm app or attachment available for the Nokia E63, I’d rather have that than the video camera.

  7. You silly libertarians. I have a cell phone gun and it’s dangerous. It shoot z-rays (two better than x-rays) causing immediate pants wetting among the constabulary. It’s a jungle out there man. They need all the laws they can get. And if they can’t get ’em they need to be able to make ’em up on the fly. Leave the poor officer alone.

  8. Weak.

    Thanks for covering this.

  9. Burke wrote in his report that he feared that Greenfield could have been holding a dangerous object such as a “cell-phone gun”…

    Let’s not go jumping to conclusions about Deputy Burke’s intelligence or honesty. I know for a fact that he’s this close to perfecting his sunglasses death ray.

    Why do think cops always where mirrored sunglasses anyway? A mere 50% green tint won’t deflect the blinding rays a key fob fusion torch.

    1. In Ohio, apparently, the mirrors are on the inside of the glasses.

    2. Sounds like he was trying to find the legal language that could validate shooting her.

      Notice how every other cop you meet these days looks like a ‘roid freak?

      1. Dude, it’s just sculpted body armor.

  10. If police misconduct were actually taken seriously, I would expect many officers to want to be recorded, to prove their innocence in the event of wrongful accusations.

    …I crack me up sometimes.

    1. The local SWAT team works out at my gym, and one of my friends said that he started the policy of carrying a video camera in his cruiser with him for just such occasions.

  11. Dep. Burke knows of the hidden dangers of cell phone guns be thankful that we are under his watchful vigilance.

    1. That’s actually 2 sentences. Capitalize and insert your own period at your convenience.

      1. No. It’s crying out for a semicolon after cell phones guns; just like that.

      2. Burke knows of the hidden dangers. Of cell phone guns be thankful that we are under his watchful vigilance.

        1. Have you seen John, Milton?

          1. Are you sure you don’t want the Al Pacino filmography thread?

            1. “Lets eat grandma!” vs “Lets eat, grandma.”

              Punctuation saves lives.

    2. that looks like documentary evidence of displaying a terrorist threat on a cell phone…er, by showing a 2 dimensional representation of a object on a cell phone…that when someone…like a policeman sees it, could think that they could be harmed…by some means not explainable by reality based physics in this dimensional plane.

  12. I believe Sgt. Jonathan Burke when he says that he thinks cell phone guns exist. I believe that, in fact, they may exist.

    What I don’t believe is that Sgt. Jonathan Burke thought for one second that there was even a slight possibility that the device Melissa Greenfield was holding could be a cell phone gun.

  13. I bet I can conceal a Spike in my old VHS camera. THEN we’ll be talking about a camera gun!

  14. Must … have … duct tape … head … asploding …

  15. She should’ve been streaming the video to an online site. Might have saved her a trip to court.

  16. So he thought it might be a gun, and instead of pointing his own gun at her and demanding that she drop it and get on the ground, he told her to put it in her pocket?

    What a pathetic, lying piece of shit. And then the videos are gone – and the police have the fucking balls to disingenuously say “oh, we couldn’t have done it – we would have needed a warrant to search the phone.”

    Jesus, this makes me want to puke nails.

    1. Hey if you had somehow gotten possesion of a camera used by the police and when it was returned to them they found it erased, you would be on the hook for destroying evidence and impeding.
      When they erase it, it’s just an accident. Unexplained. like UFO sightings.

      1. The erasures are necessary to protect state secrets.

        “State secrets” being, of course, government speak for government misconduct.

        This American Life recently featured a piece on United States vs Reynolds in Origin Stories. The author of Claim of Privilege was on along with one of the daughters of the RCA engineers killed in the crash.

        The book sounds like a good book for Reason to review. The author’s newspaper columns got a link in some old H&R posts.

      2. She should have emailed the video before handing it over.

    2. Wow, I didn’t even catch the part about putting it into her pocket. His story could not possibly be more transparent.

    3. Shit happens.

    4. And then the videos are gone

      All the bullets in the phone were gone too.

    5. This. If he considered it a gun or dangerous I can’t think of a procedure anywhere that would dictate placing this possible deadly weapon back in the suspects pocket.

      I’m no lawyer, but this guy on the stand would be nothing but lols.

  17. “Burke wrote in his report that he feared that Greenfield could have been holding a dangerous object such as a “cell-phone gun”…”

    He should be fired for being a fucking retard.

    1. By the standards at that police department, he should be promoted to all knowing wizard of oz for being the most geniuslly of all the Ohio police.
      I fail – you can’t parody this stuff.
      At this point, the only thing that can outdo this is the police taze a blonde toddler, and the police claim that they think that it could have been Bin Laden, who went back in time, and came back after a race transplant, so that he could infiltrate this society from the bottom up.
      CNN: BREAKIGN NEW: Prosecutors state that they will not investigate the tazing of babe blonde because they cannot prove that Bin Laden cannot turn into a blue eyed toddler. The Police Union stated this was a victory for all the police who put their lives on the line every day…

  18. By this pig’s reasoning, any object could be considered a potentially threatening weapon.

    “Well, I thought his head might have been a bomb disguised as a head, so I blew it off with a shotgun. Can’t be too careful with officer safety.”

  19. Where are the cop apologists? Tulpa?

    1. I tried to write something sarcastic that is a defense of this cop’s actions, but I cannot bring myself to do it.

      Sorry, Epi.

      Tulpa is out tacofucking at the moment, and is too busy for his obligatory bootlicking.

      (I am going to try to use the term “tacofucker” and its variations as much as possible from now on…online, and in real life.)

      1. Does he eat the taco after he fucks it? I certainly hope so.

        1. No, he finds the nearest police officer, gives him the taco, and tells the cop how appreciative he is to have a big strong man to protect him.

          The cop then tazers Tulpa for giving him a previously fucked taco…with “sour cream”. Tulpa then thanks the law enforcement officer for tazing him.

          I laugh…hahaha tacofucker.

      2. I’m sure there are some middle-aged women who would like to fuck Taco.

  20. Cell Phone Gun.

    I’ll give Steve Jobs a call and get right on it.

    1. Don’t buy Microsoft. Gunsite Vista doesn’t shoot it just catches fire in your pocket.

  21. Panama, Costa Rica, maybe Uruguay. I’m outta here. Sure, cops everywhere pretty much have the same “respect my authoritay” gene, but I’d rather deal with cops that are in it for a little petty graft, rather than cops who are self-righteous, paranoid assholes.

    C’mon, who’s with me?

    1. My back-up plan involves living in a hole in the ground in New Zealand.

      1. We were evicted from our hole in the ground. We had to go and live in a lake

        1. You had a lake? Consider yourself lucky!

        2. A lake? LUXURY . . .

          1. Kids today. When I was young, I had to live in a sewer, that had molten lava, as well as turds the size of volkswagons….
            the good ol’ days…

      2. I recommend living up in a tree. They can fall into your hole but they seldom bother to look up.

        1. I was going to live in the holes they dug for the Hobbits when filming The Lord of the Rings. I figure I’m big enough and smart enough to enslave the Hobbits.

          1. Don’t tyrannize harder, tyrannize smarter…

        2. Dogs can’t look up.

          1. Sole. Sole has no eyes…

        3. The local green party crazy decided to hold an impromptu protest in a tree outside the police station while high on shrooms several months ago. He fell out.

          So if you’re planning on living in a tree, strap yourself in.

    2. I figure Iowa is foreign enough, at least it is in the eyes of denizens of the major metropolitan areas.

  22. A CELL-PHONE GUN????

    Seriously, how can this cop’s testimony on any subject be taken seriously from this day forward? Imagine the field day a cross-examining defense counsel would have hammering the guy. “Excuse me, but aren’t you the same officer who accused a young woman of pulling a CELL PHONE GUN on you???”

    1. Come now, that’s a red herring. I happen to know that you were able to switch Number 6 from being right-handed to being left-handed. Surely it’s within your capability to develop a cellphone gun.

      1. Damn! Word’s out.

  23. Quick! Somebody build a donut gun!

    1. If you have the dough…

  24. I had no idea the police of Delaware County had signed Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act and had Game Andes Redshift clearance…

    I’d love a basilisk-enabled camera phone.
    (Still waiting for The Fuller Memorandum to come out.)

    1. Still waiting for The Fuller Memorandum to come out.

      Your wait is over. I’m reading it right now.

    2. I got my copy two days ago from Sci Fi Book Club, so surely Amazon has it by now.

    3. I finished it a week or two ago…

  25. Techno guys, would this work?

    I am considering buying a police radar jammer and installing it in a local speed trap area to see if it jams robo cops radar gun. My thought is placing it in an area that they would typically pick up the first cars speed rendering any readings for any cars impossible.

    Tell me that it will work and I will do it and post video of robo cop dicking with his gun trying to get it to work.

  26. Seriously, someone should organize a Film the Cops Day. Everyone around the country just carry your camera and photograph/video every cop you see.

    1. ^^THIS^^


      BTW, Be safer to draw Mohummad.

  27. Hey. Don’t be so hard on the cops. They may not be trained in this. That seems to be a running theme for defending their shitty actions. If a cop violates the law is a lack of training (knowledge) a defense? It sure seems to be.

    1. Hey. Don’t be so hard on the cops. They may not be trained in this.

      I don’t think they’re trained for anything.

      That seems to be a running theme for defending their shitty actions.

      Sen. Carl Levin is the one doing the shitty defending, it seems.

    1. I saw that. Think he’s related to the Techno Viking?

      1. That would be awesome.

        1. You know something awesome? To this day, the Techno Viking has not been identified. He doesn’t have his own reality show. He hasn’t been caught on tape again. He’s not blogging. He’s completely anonymous and uninterested in pursuing fame and fortune. He just is.

  28. I think the cop was brilliant for playing the “don’t point unknown objects at me” card. But he failed to carry it through. Shouldn’t have said anything about filming. Stick to the personal safety line of defense.

    No, I don’t agree with him, I’m just impressed by the cleverness of demanding she keep her hands visible and empty.

  29. What happened to the boyfriend? They have a suit on their hands as he is a witness.
    And remember, while it is great fun to post things to provoke cops, in this “land of the free” the cops main job is to strike fear and unease in the citizenry, not trust and calm. They have the power to screw you into eternity and will use it just to spite you.
    The courts will always back up the cops.
    Why in hell did she plead guilty?

  30. Where do I get one of those cell phone guns? What caliber do they come in?

  31. Prediction: Hidden, wearable cameras will soon become standard wear, for our own safety against goons such as this.

    At some point, police officers will start sweeping an area to detect hidden cameras before abusing their authority, but shortly afterward someone will invent biologically based cameras that cannot be so easily detected.

    Do a search for “hidden camera”. Many for sale.

  32. “cervical collar”?

    Huh? Ohhhh… one of those neck brace thingys.

    Man, I was totally thinking of something else.

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