A man in Youngstown, Ohio recently captured captivating video as he stood up for his Constitutional rights when a police officer began harassing him for no reason as he sat outside his own house.
“I was sitting in my car in front of my house drinking a redbull around 12:30 am on august 29th 2014.” explains Hunter Sanders on the citizen-run watchdog website Cop Block.
“The police were called to a house across the road from mine. After leaving the neighbors house the two officers had a short chat in the neighbors driveway then walked up to my window.” Sanders writes.
Sanders explains that he told the officer his full name, and said he was outside his own home, after the cop asked Sanders who he was and what he was doing.
When the cop asked Sanders for ID, he asked for what reason and if he was being detained. The cop then attempted to open the car door, presumably to pull Sanders out or get inside the vehicle.
“At this point I was scared for my personal safety so I started recording.” Sanders writes. The following video documents the exchange.
The footage shows the officer repeatedly asking for ID, while Sanders stays firm and asks if he’s being detained and for what reason. The officer tells Sanders that he is being detained, saying “Yes, you are sitting here and I don’t know why.”
When Sanders retorts that it is not a crime to sit outside your house, and that there is no reasonable suspicion to detain him and demand ID, the cop runs a check on the license plates of the car.
“I will give you my ID if you can tell me why I am being detained officer, Sanders politely says to the cop, adding “I am not trying to be uncooperative.”
When the car comes back as registered to Sanders and a check confirms he does not have any outstanding warrants under his name, Sanders states to the camera “He’ll probably leave now, because this is America.”
The cop then leans into the window and says “Videoing me doesn’t really matter, Ok, because I don’t really care. You’re sitting out here late at night. There have been break-ins around here, I don’t know who you are, so I have a right to identify you, OK?”
As Sanders attempts to reply, the cop states “I don’t care, I’m DONE.” and walks off.
“After the typical super cop mumbo-jumbo he refused to give me his name and badge number.” Sanders writes.
The officer, later identified as John Fields 1059, was with a deputy, Hannah Banks 1135, who states in the video that the police do not have to identify themselves because “you didn’t give us your name,” even though Sanders did tell them his name.
Sanders remained calm and polite, and the footage he captured serves as an excellent example of how to stand up for Constitutional rights in the face of law enforcement bending and twisting the letter of the law.
The footage is the second example in as many days of a law abiding citizen holding firm in the face of police harassment. Mr Avel Amarel uploaded the following video to YouTube this week documenting how police attempted to enter his home without a warrant and threatened to “drag him out” for no reason whatsoever, other than they had a report of domestic violence somewhere in the vicinity.
Americans are increasingly standing up for their rights and documenting their actions on video to ensure their own safety and to send a message to the rest of the citizenry that they must protect their rights at all times or risk losing them altogether.