A major ubiquitous misapprehension by many LEO’s is their belief they can arbitrarily trespass a citizen from public property when/where the public has legitimate access to the same. In fact, a person may, indeed, be trespassed from most private property without just cause, but public property requires substantially more than that including a violation of the law by being in an area without permission the public does not have legitimate access to or disrupting the functions of the facility (e.g. hospital, library, school, etc.), harassing/threatening a public employee (remonstrating with public officials doesn’t qualify) and receiving a WRITTEN warning/notice of trespass from the public facility which must include the specific reasons why along with an outline of the established procedure by which you may object to or appeal the ‘trespass’ notice. This isn’t simply a good idea, it’s established common law by virtue of a number of federal court decisions which protect our fundamental liberty interests in accessing such public venues without being detained, harassed, or threatened by gun toting poorly trained badge monsters or preening ignorant public officials. Perhaps security guards (who have NO ‘arrest’ authority) are the most pernicious of all–the most violent poorly paid and trained at the same time.
The following video provides an example of the problem as the arrogant young LEO throws his weight around to intimidate the photographer for having the chutzpah to take pictures in a public venue documenting the officer’s actions while performing his duties. This is dramatically contrary to precedential court rulings in all 50 states emphasizing such conduct (photography) is lawful and a protected 1st Amendment activity.
by Carlos Miller
Apparently, an Indiana officer attempted to buffalo a young photographer into believing “city property” was different than public property, giving him the authority to demand identification from a man video recording him from across the street.
The man reluctantly complied to avoid arrest. The interaction begins at 1:30 in the video.
The Kokomo police officer, a poorly trained fresh-faced young man, ended up running a warrant search on the man, whose name is Alan Bowen.
The LEO then misrepresented to Bowen he had the right to trespass him without a valid reason because they happened to be standing in the Kokomo Housing Authority neighborhood, which is a government-funded housing project for low-income people.
The officer said, ”My concern is you’re over here filming.” He continued, “I don’t know who you are or what relation you have to the crimes going on.”
Next, the LEO said he would not trespass Bowen because his girlfriend lived in the neighborhood.
Not only was the citizen’s fundamental liberty interests to photograph in a public venue being denied/threatened, but his right to travel freely. The officer tried to give the impression the photographer’s right to do so was dependent on police discretion–a flatly false premise popular among LEO’s.
Kokomo Police Chief Robert Baker: (765) 456-7118