The officer in the following video blatantly misrepresents the law, bullies & intimidates the teen for exercising his 1st Amendment right to photograph (violating the teen’s civil rights), and reveals his own ignorance for suggesting the teen is violating the law when filming ‘security areas’ where the public clearly has access, passes through and can SEE them. The security staff in Thurston’s Family Court building (Bob Drewett) can be seen committing the same violation of the same civil right at:
“You should take your badge off and stomp on it,” the teen tells the officer who fails in his attempt to bully and intimidate the young photographer. Not only is the LEO violating the teen’s 1st Amendment rights, but also federal law as he 86’s the teen from a public building w/o due process or just cause.
It’s yet another example of how corruption and incompetence are distinctions without a meaningful difference in our public officials.
by Carlos Miller (1-30-14)
Kansas Capitol Police Sergeant Terry Golightley [no joke!] figured he could easily intimidate Addison Mikkelson from video recording in the state capitol earlier today, even though there’s no law against it.
But the 17-year-old Topeka resident did an impressive job of not falling for any of it.
Mikkelson, who was arrested last month by Topeka police for jaywalking while trying to record them in public, had shown up to the capitol to inquire why capitol police did not arrest anybody for jaywalking during the previous day’s Kansas Day ceremonies, which was commemorating the day the state was admitted into the union. [Selective Enforcement?]
But Golightley was more concerned with the teen’s video recording the security checkpoints.
First, Golightley did the usual–invading Mikkelson’s personal space, forcing him to walk backwards, then accusing him of crashing into a lady a day earlier, almost knocking her over, which Mikkelson emphatically denied.
Mikkelson insisted he did not do that, but Golightley assured him he had it on camera, though he didn’t offer to show the clip to Mikkelson when he asked to see it. [It’s possible the surveillance cameras don’t record.]
Then Mikkelson asked the LEO why he did not arrest jaywalkers the previous day, but Golightley claimed he had not been outside that day.
Mikkelson, however, informed him he has video documentation this wasn’t true, that Golightley was, in fact, standing outside that day, watching the jaywalkers, but doing nothing about it.
Golightley then erroneously and repeatedly asserts the teen was not allowed to record the security checkpoint, but was allowed to record everything else in the capitol, mostly “things of interest.”
When Mikkelson counters that the checkpoint interests him, Golightley pulls out the ‘terrorist’ card.
“If the security interests you, then maybe we should talk to you about some terrorist stuff,” he says.
“I’m interested in seeing how you interact with people,” Mikkelson responded. [Come to think of it, that’s sufficiently close to ‘terrorism’, in this instance, to qualify.]
When Golightley realized the ‘terrorist’ pretext wasn’t going to work, he fishes for the old “need to have their permission” tactic, referring to the general public that has no expectation of privacy entering the capitol.
Golightley vacuously informs Mikkelson he could be sued by people who end up on his online videos, blissfully ignorant/unconcerned that can only happen if he uses their image for commercial use, which is not the case here [photojournalism].
As Mikkelson shoots down that misapprehension, Golightley accuses him of ‘stalking’ the general public by recording them–[an absurd argument most grade school children would avoid]. It is, of course, either a deliberate lie or evidence of gross incompetence because the Kansas stalking statute states that a “specific person” must be the victim, not the general public.
Finally, Golightley decides he has no choice but to resort to the old “I don’t want the camera in my face” as he advances into the photographer, putting his face into the camera.
“You’re the one walking up to me, you can back up anytime and won’t have a camera in your face,” Mikkelson responded, standing his ground with his camera.
When all tactics fail, Golightley unlawfully orders the teen out of the building. Mikkelson complies only to avoid arrest.
“You’re a corrupt officer, you know that?” Mikkelson says. “You should take that badge off and stomp on it, that’s what you should do, because you do not deserve that badge.”
Mikkelson, who plans to major in criminal justice as he starts college this year, wanted to be a LEO at one point, but he’s now disgusted by what he’s been witnessing since his first arrest last month.
Mikkelson had a second incident with an officer from the Kansas Highway Patrol because of his camera, which oversees the Kansas Capitol Police. They now follow him when he leaves his house, says the teen.
But, this young photographer now never leaves home without a camera. Perhaps the local official bullies so enthusiastic about violating the civil rights of our youth will realize they should leave this young patriot alone–especially now that the local media is paying attention.
He is scheduled for a hearing on his jaywalking charge in March.
Kansas Capitol Police: (785) 296-3420.