Teenage Sisters Legally Recorded Police, Who Tackled Them to the Ground

According to the officer who took them down, the phone was "evidence."


A North Carolina police officer is on administrative leave after a video surfaced of him tackling two teenage girls, apparently because they were recording him.

Video of the incident, which occurred Monday in Harnett County, shows 17-year-old Aumbria Urban and her 14-year-old sister, Jewelianna, being taken to the ground. What had they done wrong? The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that two officers were responding to a report of illegal drug activity. Eventually, they found their suspect—17-year-old Tyrese Namirr Gary—sitting in the driver's seat of a car. "When the deputy approached the vehicle, the smell of marijuana was detected coming from the passenger compartment," the police statement said, according to WNCN.

The deputies arrested Gary, who had other active warrants as well. Police claim to have found a handgun under his seat, which they also charged him for. The Urban sisters, meanwhile, were with Gary at the time (Aumbria is his girlfriend). The deputies searched them, too, but things quickly went south. "After each of us were patted down, we both started recording and asking why (my boyfriend) was being detained," Aumbria told WTVD.

That's appears to be when the now-viral video, taken on Aumbria's phone and later posted to Facebook, starts:

"You cannot take my phone," Jewelianna can be heard telling one of the deputies about 15 seconds into the 61-second clip. The officer responds by grabbing her around the neck and struggling with her for several seconds before taking her to the ground and informing her that she's "under arrest." After Jewelianna is incapacitated, another deputy holds her down while the first officer places her in handcuffs.

"Yo, what are you doing right now? She didn't do anything!" says Aumbria as her sister is arrested. "You snatched her phone from her. That is her personal property. It's all on video and you guys have absolutely no right to tell me I can't record this. I did nothing wrong. You searched me, I had nothing."

By that point, Jewelianna's phone is on the ground, but she kicks it toward Aumbria. Then, when Aumbria goes to retrieve it, the first deputy tackles her as well, explaining that her sister's phone is "evidence."

The sisters were ultimately released without being charged and given their phones back. But Aumbria says she was warned not to publicize the footage. "The officer told me not to post it anywhere, not to let it get out," she told WRAL, adding that she feels she was "harassed" and assaulted.

In addition to the first deputy being placed on leave, the incident is now being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. "We will have additional details/information at conclusion," the sheriff's office said, according to WNCN.

The sisters were well within their rights to film the encounter. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina:

You can take pictures of anything in plain view in a public space including federal buildings, transportation facilities, and the police, as long as you are not interfering with law enforcement.

Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photographs or video without a warrant, and they cannot delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

Police frequently violate this right. In Texas, for instance, private citizens are generally allowed to record police officers in public places, as long as they're not interfering with police work. But as Reason's Zuri Davis reported in July, an El Paso officer still arrested a young man who had filmed him pointing a gun at children.

Bonus link: Being able to record on-duty cops is important for police accountability. But as Radley Balko explained in a 2011 cover story for Reason, recording the police can be dangerous.

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  1. Procedures were followed, nothing to see here, reinstated with back pay.

    1. His paid vacation being no incentive to repeat the behavior.

  2. 17-year-old Aumbria Urban and her 14-year-old sister, Jewelianna

    Holy Surprise Skin Color, Batman!

    1. Really? The names screamed ‘white girl trying to seem black’ than Ke$ha to me. Like maybe Julianne-aniqua would’ve been more obvious.

    2. Feels more Jewish to me, but ok.

    3. Not Lolita and Tanqueray?

      1. Chlamydia

      2. Chiniqua and Placenta?

    4. You watched all of that video and all you can come up with is a racist comment? That’s truly fucking pathetic.

  3. Kid’s names these days…my uncle teaches and he had a student named Shithead…pronounced Shith-eed. Get ready for a lifetime of fun.

    1. Yeah, it must be just recently that people came up with crazy names. People never had crazy long names like Montgomery or Zachariah or Bartholomew or Maximilianus in the past, after all!

      1. I have a package for Mr. Asswipe Johnson.

        No, no. It’s pronounced “asweepay.”

        1. Damn, you beat me to it.

    2. Well Neal is also a pretty shitty name. We don’t get to choose what our parents picked for us, but we can sure be dickheads and make fun of teenagers and their names like real men can’t we?

  4. “”the first deputy tackles her as well, explaining that her sister’s phone is “evidence.”

    It would be evidence if there is a video of unlawful activity. So is the cop admitting they were doing some illegal?

    1. Fun fact: in order to lawfully seize evidence of a crime, police must have a warrant. But due to federal laws, if the recording is intended for journalistic purposes — posting it on YouTube would count — then a seizure warrant would be invalid and the police would be limited to sending a subpoena for a copy of the recording.

      Simply grabbing the phone away from her as ‘evidence’ is armed robbery, by the letter and spirit of the law.

      1. Some animals are more equal than others

    2. “This is evidence”

      Why, yes it is, but of something different than you think it’s evidence of.

    3. He is kind of right in a demented way. Evidence of his police brutality.

  5. Federal court doctrine considers possession of a firearm while committing a crime, particularly a violent crime, to automatically apply the ‘with a firearm’ enhancement even if the victim never becomes aware the perp had a gun during the course of the crime.

    It is impossible to handcuff someone, to say nothing of tackling people into the ground and kneeling on them, without committing assault. If such force is required for a lawful act, such as a lawful arrest, the necessity doctrine applies and the use of force is excused — in much the same way assault can be excused when it is a legitimate act of self defense. But when the force isn’t necessary to a lawful act or is part of an unlawful act, it remains a crime of violence.

    That leads us to the federal protections for civil, statutory and constitutional rights under Title 18, Section 242 of the US Code. To violate it, all that is needed is for someone to violate another’s rights while believing incorrectly that they are enforcing the law. Actual intent or good faith are irrelevant to a 242 violation, which applies the reasonability standard instead.

    Since on-duty, uniformed police officers are ALWAYS armed with guns, any 242 violation is automatically a felony.

    1. Those felonies are designed to be applied to little people.

      1. Actually 18 USC 242 is entitled, “Deprivation of rights under color of law”. It is specifically applicable to non-fed LEOs, though it isn’t used nearly as much as it should.

  6. Fuck these cops. I hope people continue to tape everything they do and send it out for everyone to see.

  7. Situation: I’m a cop. I see someone recording me. I don’t like it. I know it’s legal– or hell, maybe I don’t care. I tackle the teenage girl, taze her and arrest her.

    I’m put on paid administrative leave while there’s an investigation. Union fights my case in which it’s found I just need more training. I’m back on the force and nothing else happens.

    Why WOULDN’T I continue to tackle anyone who records me when I don’t like it? Do I really give a shit that some C list news source drones on about how it’s legal to film cops?

  8. Well, at least no dogs were shot; I mean, it was a drug bust.

    1. In a surprise twist, the black guy lives!

      1. Does it count that in (SPOILER ALERT) Dawn of the Dead the black guy is the last survivor until the zombie-hunters mistakenly shoot him?

        1. Isn’t that Night of the Living Dead?

        2. What makes you think it was an accident? /sarc

          But seriously, you mean Night Of The Living Dead. The black guy actually survives or isn’t obviously killed in Dawn of the Dead (both versions).

        3. SPOILER ALERT…No such thing happens in Dawn of the Dead. I think you meant Night of the Living Dead.

          1. I’m pretty sure both films are subject to the statute of limitations on spoilers. If you haven’t seen a half century old film by now, it’s pretty much on you to avoid spoilers.

            1. Also, Snape killed Gandalf.

              1. By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth! Dr. strange would wipe the floor with both of them put together.

  9. You want to see abuse of power?


  10. …but did the teenage girls still make the first down?

    1. No but I bet the cops got second base during that melee.

  11. Hartnett County is the birthplace of Link Wray.

  12. Pigs gotta oink.

  13. Police , ALL police, are scum. They are filth. They are not fit to live among members of the human race.
    If you don’t think so, why didn’t the second officer stop the first from arresting and confiscating the first girl’s phone?
    Because they are all mentally-deficient, incompetent bullies.

  14. No apostrophes or hyphens in the names?

  15. As long as we contract out the responsibility to enforce our laws and protect the vulnerable, we will experience occasionally the abuse of our trust.

    This is human nature. Nobody is perfect, most not even close. It’s a wonder we can even perceive the concept of trust. The world is becoming more dangerous and police more fascist.

    But we are good at coming up with technical solutions to our social shortcomings. Accepting them is another story.

    We need a nonviolent way to protect ourselves. We have the technology to wear micro recording devices that store our recoded memories offsite in the cloud. We only need the right to use them everywhere we go.

    There is nothing to be confiscated and destroyed by the corrupt, caught in the act, whose behaviour will be reviewed from many angles by the court and public opinion.

    This will change our behaviour because it is the truth that threatens our social weakness.

    Don’t be afraid of this technology. It will change the world for the better, trust me.

  16. It’s not just the Constitution that interferes with police work, today it’s also technology.

    Taking phones to destroy evidence worked fine until Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc. started offering the option to automatically upload every photo and video to their cloud storage.

    It’s getting harder and harder for bad cops to get a break. But there’s still hope, California Congressman Ted Lieu wants to regulate free speech. So maybe someday the cops won’t have to worry about the Bill of Rights and the right to record cops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59pMnfYstZY

  17. If we don’t fight for more rights and freedoms as progress and technology make them available, laws will be written to restrict them before we can ever enjoy them.

    It is our right to witness anything we can. Digital recordings are simply the stored memories of what we have witnessed. Who has the right to say we can’t record some or all of our memories? The corrupt already have written laws on the books doing exactly that. We have done nothing about it.

    All it takes for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. EB

    Fight or lose.

  18. If these cops were Clintons or FBI peeps they would have known to bleachbit that phone.

  19. Such injustice applies to this USN retiree; in my experience with evil, corruption, & kleptocracy in San Diego, CA; transitioning into poverty & austerity amid crime & corruption while abusive negligent criminal individuals & parasitic organizations (Veteran’s Administration, city & county along with state cronies, fraudulent foundations, evasive NGOs, …) indulged at my health, well-being, & expense; enduring injury, injustice, rights violations, parasitic exploitation, negligence, fraud, theft, abuse, & harm without protection or exposure since suppressed & obscured by misinforming propaganda promoted via complicit media; considered a budget liability, physically harmed & exploited as my earned benefits & entitlements heisted by kleptocrats & terrorist agents with my blood on their hands.
    All California reps ignored requests for assistance, protection, & involvement during incidents of injury, crime, injustice, & growing disparity then indulged beside forced into homelessness & property stolen, still not provided deserved assistance & recovery, legal protection, or medical treatment for injuries & life-threatening complications.
    No security, protection, or consideration provided to this impoverished destitute homeless crippled honorable USN retiree.
    Battlefield America: War On the American People; John W. Whitehead

  20. What philosophy & purpose promoting, protecting from what supposed external threat when indulging abuse, harm, injustice, disparity, crime & domestic terrorism? What purpose served when systemic corruption, kleptocracy, hypocrisy, & parasitic exploitation prevalent in San Diego, CA, that can injure, commit crime, rights violations, steal property, & force into homelessness yet exposure suppressed & no protection provided? Systemic corruption indulged & suppressed exposure of abuses, fraud, crime, & neglect in Veteran’s Administration, city & county agencies, NGOs, fraudulent foundations, dubious non-profits, & other parasitic scams. Abuse & harm indulged by kleptocracy & systemic corruption, injuring & persecuting a citizen, wantonly violating rights by suppressing truth & evidence along with media exposure, then promoting misinforming propaganda along with fraud by manipulating records.
    Further crime & harassment, my vehicle sequentially vandalized, burglarized, then stolen but each crime was by kleptocracy & systemic corruption in San Diego, CA. Then fraud when altering reports & changing records to reflect I had committed those incidents to my own vehicle.
    Battlefield America: War On the American People; John W. Whitehead

  21. When it’s their self-serving convenience, politicronies, kleptocrats, corporateers, NGOs, & complicit media exploit military, indulge illegal alien invasion, & promote misinforming propaganda but suppress exposure & ignore reporting injury, injustice, disparity, & crime endured by an honorable USN retiree.
    In San Diego, CA, all reps ignored my requests for assistance, protection, & involvement during incidents of injury, crime, injustice, & growing disparity then indulged beside forced into homelessness & property stolen, still not provided deserved assistance & recovery, legal protection, or medical treatment for injuries & life-threatening complications.
    Promoted Power for Peace & accepted the Oath upon entering honorable US Navy service, willing to fight terrorism from supposed external threats, resolve human rights violations, protect people from harm, but enduring injury, injustice, abuses, & rights violations while unprotected from crime, systemic corruption, persecution, kleptocracy, & domestic terrorism in my native country.
    Battlefield America: War On the American People; John W. Whitehead

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