Our Police at Work: It's Not Public Property. It's State Property! And We'll Make Up a Reason We Bothered You to "Cover Our Ass"

Police are certainly not lacking for a nearly endless variety of petty reasons to harass and force money from you when you bother them by documenting their behavior.


A Great American Police Work story, reported at Raw Story, thanks again to the magic of cheap and widespread recording technology, involving:

Michael Picard's encounter with the troopers last September, when he and a friend were detained while standing on a highway to warn motorists about a DUI checkpoint in Hartford, Connecticut….

One trooper, identified as Jeff Jalbert, is seen approaching Picard's friend and saying that they were called to the scene because "somebody just said that one of you guys had a gun on them." Picard states that he is carrying a gun, but that he has a permit allow him to do so.

Trooper First Class John Barone is later seen in the video reaching for Picard's phone and telling him it was illegal for him to be filmed on a city street.

"Did you get any documentation that I am allowing you to take my picture?" Barone asks.

"No, but you're on public property," Picard replies.

"No I'm not," the trooper responds. "I'm on state property. I'm on state property."

Barone then seizes Picard's camera, but does not realize it captures his discussion with Jalbert, Sergeant John Jacobi, and an unidentified trooper after noting that Picard's gun is legal. Barone can be heard asking his colleagues, "Want me to punch a number on this? Gotta cover our ass."

Later, Jacobi recommends to the group, "I think we do simple trespass, we do reckless use of the highway and creating a public disturbance. All three are tickets."

"Then we claim that, um, in backup, we had multiple people, um, they didn't want to stay and give us a statement, so we took our own course of action," an unidentified trooper adds….

Picard says "As of now, the prosecutor has not dropped the case despite having video evidence of police misconduct."

Raw Story picked up the story from the Free Thought Project.

The video:

For extra police recorded dark tragi-comedy this morning, Oakland cops on tape telling Hernan Jamarillo in 2013 "sir, we are not killing you" minutes before the 51-year-old man they were all on top of died. His crime? Being in his room and acting erratically after his sister (foolishly) called the cops about a ruckus in his room she thought was an intruder.

Hat tip: Gabriel Starr