In this case, Phillip Turner, who runs a masterful cop watch Youtube channel, pursues a claim for wrongful arrest and detention. He was arrested because he was filming the police in Texas.
I want to focus on one particular part of this case, and how to use this part, and hopefully a tool I will include, as a way to protect yourself during filming the police.
The appellate court decision states:
Whether the Right Was Clearly Established in September 2015
For a right to be clearly established, “[t]he contours of the right must be sufficiently clear that a reasonable official would understand that what he is doing violates that right.” Thus, the right must already be clearly established “at the time of the challenged conduct.” When considering whether a defendant is entitled to qualified immunity, the court “must ask whether the law so clearly and unambiguously prohibited his conduct that ‘every reasonable official would understand that what he is doing violates [the law].’” “To answer that question in the affirmative, we must be able to point to controlling authority—or a robust consensus of persuasive authority—that defines the contours of the right in question with a high degree of particularity.”
The tool I want to give you to help you establish the contours (as the court has framed it) of your rights, is presented here, and you are free to copy, and print this out for use, if you acknowledge that I am offering it for entertainment, informational, and educational purposes only, and WITHOUT authority or intent as “legal advice.”
To any and all persons alleging to be “law enforcement”:
1. Are you trained in law enforcement law and legalities?
2. Are you familiar with Terry v. Ohio, and the standard of Reasonable Articulable Suspicion before you can legally require ID and/or detain me?
3. Do you have evidence that you have legal authority to detain someone for mere curiosity or your opinion of “suspicious activity?” If so, state that legal authority NOW, and explain how your alleged legal authority to detain without reasonable articulable suspicion works to supersede the Terry v. Ohio standard.
3. Please state NOW- your Reasonable Articulable Suspicion that I am involved in criminal activity, and do this immediately, and without delay. If you cannot, at this very moment, articulate your reasonable suspicion of my involvement in criminal activity, or you refuse to articulate at this very moment, then You are with notice: I am leaving (with or without your permission), or with the right to leave, and thus without duty to you. Leave me alone and unmolested.
“[T]he police can stop and briefly detain a person for investigative purposes if the officer has a reasonable suspicion supported by articulable facts that criminal activity ‘may be afoot’”. United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 7 (1989) (quoting Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968)). This type of stop is also known as a “Terry stop.”
And there you have it. I’m including a PDF of these questions on a standard letter print 8.5″ x 11″ with two on each page here. Turner v. Driver Questions
Go get those fuckers. Send me any comments here, or on my youtube channel: