A Florida police officer pointed a gun at a man and threatened to kill him after another was slammed to the ground and handcuffed for recording an officer on his cell phone during a confrontation in Boynton Beach.
The footage begins with an officer having a conversation with a group of men in a parked car after a routine traffic stop. When the cop demands to see everybody’s ID, one of the men informs the officer that he is recording the encounter.
“Turn that phone off right now,” states the officer, to which the man responds, “No I’m not intimidated, I have rights, sir, I’m recording your ass,” before unleashing a string of profanities.
The officer then walks around to the other side of the car and gives his badge number but refuses to provide his name, which according to one of the men in the car is “Danish.”
“What’s your name sir?” asks one of the men, before the cop swats the cell phone out of his hand and drags him out of the car, throwing him to the ground.
Another officer then arrives with his gun drawn before stating, “I’ll fucking, I’ll put a round in your ass so quick.” The cop then opens the passenger door with his gun drawn and the video ends.
The incident happened last year but only began receiving attention earlier this week when Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz took to YouTube to defend the actions of his officers.
According to Katz, the men in the car were “escalating” the situation by “recording the interaction.” The officer’s actions were justified because one of the men “reached out of his window with a black object in his hand” (a cell phone). Katz also cited a “violent home invasion robbery” that had occurred within a 2 mile radius as justification for the hostile response to the men in the car.
Although the men in the car were foul-mouthed, they could hardly be described to have been acting in an aggressive manner.
Katz asserted that the men were deemed a threat because they weren’t displaying an appropriate level of “fear” towards the officers, stating, “When I watch this video, I don’t see a car full of young men who are behaving in a manner consistent with fear of the police.”
The men had apparently done nothing to arouse suspicion in the first place apart from ‘driving while black’.
As Carlos Miller explains, “That’s what it really boils down to in this video. Contempt of cop….The young, black men in this video not only questioned their authority, one of men turned up the attitude after a cop ordered him to stop recording.”
Miller notes that the Boynton Beach Police Department have arrested several people before for nothing more than filming officers with cell phones.