In my opinion (after watching the video) Coty Tabbee was doing nothing that
could be deemed as interfering with the officers. He was on a public sidewalk
filming what was happening. Had the officer not pressed his "authority"
and simply asked Tabbee to take a couple of steps back nothing else would have
happened. Instead, the officer uses the cover of authority to order Coty away
from the area and then pushes things over the cliff by arresting him without
cause.It's time to file a false arrest lawsuit against the
officer and the city of Vernal.
"This was an officer-safety issue, ..." - Vernal Police Chief Dylan
RooksOh give me a break ... Coty Tabbee looks to weigh all of 155
pounds soaking wet and was alone on the sidewalk. Both officers clearly weigh
more than 200 pounds and appear to be at a minimum 6 feet in height. Coty should
have been about as threatening to them as a little kid.There is no
doubt in my mind that the "Supervisor in Charge" simply did not want to
be filmed. Well, that's too bad. You Sir are a public servant, conducting a
public service in a public area. Coty has every right to film you as long as he
does nothing to interfere with your official duties.Dropping of all
charges, a letter of apology and a public act of contrition needs to be
forthcoming from both the officer involved and the Vernal Chief of Police.
I' all for police officers being there, but when they get on their little
power trips and try to boss US around because they have a badge then it's
time for them to go.I think Vernal has a little man syndrome problem
going on that they need to address.Power to the people.Remember the Alamo!
I know that the police have a stressful and dangerous job at times but I am
getting leery of the increasing amount of news stories of officers abusing their
authority.Chief, this had nothing to do with "safety!" The
officer involved just didn't like being corrected ("You can press
charges at any time.") by a "kid." And he was told to leave and he
was leaving, walking backwards, when the officer grabbed him and cuffed him. The
officer just didn't want to be videoed, regardless of what you say,
Chief.It would be much better to regain respect by the community you
serve if you just admit that the officer made a mistake and will learn from it
than by making lame excuses.
Police were justified, any one off to the side pointing weapons or equipment of
bomb detonators as officer arresting a criminal is a threat to police and
distracting police from focusing on their jobs. People think they have to record
everything but its illegal spying without a search warrant or permission to use
their picture for profiting. If this kid sells his pictures or movies without
written consent of everyone in the picture it is illegal.Police have
a right to be on edge and threatened by bystanders who are making threats to or
interfering with trier duties. Bombers can detonate IUD and suicide bombs with
cell phones and this kid looks like a serious threat and not even citizens have
to tolerate these kinds of actions of paparazzi activist.I think we
need some federal laws to protect the rights and freedoms by prosecution people
who photograph people in public and post it on social media or news print are
violating the laws of privacy and personal activities. This is illegal bully
actions that is now laws in this state.
It seems that the police today think they are autonomous and that no one should
be able to question what they are doing and evidently recording it. I believe
they were less than truthful in their determination about him disbursing. Give
me a break! On a power trip as many officers now think they are entitled to.
I'm not an attorney, but witnessing an arrest on public, or ones own
property, with or without a camera is hardly something to be taken in hand for.
It goes on all the time. You see it on Youtube. The fact is, if the police are
behaving properly, there is hardly cause for objection, in fact to the contrary.
Cameras don't lie, forget, fabricate or dissemble. This should be to the
If I were an attorney I'd take this case in a heart beat. Open and shut
violation of the young man's civil rights. Wonder how much the fine people
of Vernal are going to end up paying because of these officers' arrogance?
Officer safety issue? Baloney. The young man has BOTH hands full of cameras.
He was backing up, i.e., complying. But that's not good enough. The real
issue was the video recording. The jackbooted thug cop didn't like it.
The Vernal police chief is also a liar and trying to use the issue of
"officer safety" as a screen to justify and protect his department. He
needs to go also! Rise up Vernal! Rise up!
The brutal nature of how the arrest was made for recording is scary. The
officer made a mistake and now they have to defend the action if it goes further
at taxpayers expense. The local tax dollars at work.
Police are supposed to work for us, yet I know of so, so many instances (in
several different states) where they just like to bully people, push them
around, show who's boss, etc. Looks like this might have been one of those
Filming Police Officers in action has already been approved by the U.S. Supreme
Court - in more than one incident. Does not this Police Chief understand the law
or keep current on judicial proceedings?Power trips by Police Departments
have become far too numerous and need to be scaled back. Police Officers are
still servants of the citizens and they need to remember why they were hired and
who they work for.The excuse "This was an officer-safety issue" by
Vernal Police Chief Dylan Rooks is disingenuous and this commonly used term has
worn out its welcome. It is time for Vernal residents to stand up remind Dylan
Rooks that he can be replaced with someone who respects the law(s).
Sounds like both mother and son are outstanding citizens.Wanna bet
there's a lot more to this story than what these two want us to believe?
The cops messed up on this one. Tabbee was in a place where he had a legal right
to be and was engaged in an activity protected by the Constitution. He and his
mom were incorrect in their assertion that they could insist that the cops
pursue an investigation into allegations of assault, but that has nothing to do
with the question of his right to film what was going on in a public place by
public officials (or by anyone else, for that matter).
@my2cents Actually the courts have ruled many many times that citizens do
in fact have the right to photograph and video tape such actions as long as they
do not interfer with the officers. It should further be noted that if an
officer or anyone else is in a public place or a place viewable by the public
they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy
I agree that there's a right to record; but I also agree with the Vernal PD
that that right isn't really what's at issue here. Mom wanted to
press charges against the tenant. The police officers told her she needed to
contact the city attorney to handle that. Tabbee initiates an argument with the
cops by stating (falsely, by the way) that "That's not right at all.
You can press assault charges at any time."You have a right to
record cops. You do not have a right to distract them from making an arrest by
making bogus (frivolous?) legal arguments. At that point, I think an officer is
justified in saying "get out of here, punk" without going through the
rigamarole of saying "Take five--no, ten--no, fifteen--large steps
Wow...We have some real amazing citizens here...Great
What kind of kid records his mom getting arrested?
Police officers are public servants. They work for the public. The public has
the right to watch those who work for them, to photograph those who work for
them. To video those who work for them.Where's the Civil
Liberties Union? Are they too busy to handle this case? Isn't it worth
their time? Is the fact that white police officers mishandled the arrest of two
white people not something that the Civil Liberties Union is concerned about?
Coty Tabbee was arrested July 27, 2014, by Vernal police and charged by city
prosecutors with interfering with an arrest and disorderly conduct.How about see these:Title 18 part 1 section 241 of the United
States Code of Law.“Each person has the right to resist an
unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the
position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self-
defense.” (State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100)“One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as
he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is
not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even
though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” (Adams
v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910)American Jurisprudence, 2nd
edition, Sec. 177; late 2nd edition sec. 256, “No one is bound to obey an
unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it."You
see, the guy had every right to IGNORE the cops. Cops have absolutely NO
authority as per the constitution.Go look it up!
Makes me glad I no longer live in Vernal. I felt the police were overbearing
when I lived there back in 1978. I personally had no run in with the police, but
I saw some different things, and this arrest comes as no real surprise.
Right now the Vernal Police will only consider one solution to this
"problem". They are going to wait it out. After enough people call and
complain (IF they call and complain), they will start an "investigation"
into the actions of the officer. Perhaps slightly faster if they allow the
individual to file a formal complaint, which they will try to keep him from
doing. Keep in mind that this "investigation" will be conducted by the
officer's boss and co-workers (aka "friends"). While a normal
person may think could take only a few hours or maybe a few days to gather
testimony from all who were present and make a determination, it will actually
take the chief MONTHS. Why months you say? The answer will be something like,
"We want to make sure we get this right and review all the facts."
Logic will tell you there is no way that should take more than a week, but
nonetheless, months later they will release the "findings": "We have
determined that the officer acted according to policy and the complaints against
him are groundless." This determination was made before the investigation
even began however. He will keep his job, as will the chief and the internal
affairs officer (aka the guy who acts like the police can police themselves when
one of them screws up).
From the DOJ Civil Rights Division just last year, re: Garcia v. Montgomery
Co.:“The United States is concerned that discretionary
charges, such as disorderly conduct, loitering, disturbing the peace and
resisting arrest, are all too easily used to curtail expressive conduct or
retaliate against individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights. Core
First Amendment conduct, such as recording a police officer performing duties on
a public street, cannot be the sole basis for such charges."This
will not matter to anyone investigation this officer. He will be found innocent
of any wrong doing by a jury of his coworkers and friends, and the city attorney
would rather spend taxpayer's money defending him than doing what is right:
firing him on the spot.
The young man was asked to come and get the car, but he showed up with a camera
looking for a fight. Police officers have one of the hardest jobs known to man
kind and all we as the public can do is complaine about how they do or do not do
their jobs. When enteracting with any type of police (local, state or federal)
the best course of action is this. SHUT UP AND DO AND YOU ARE TOLD. Respect the
institution even if you don't respect the person.
Gotta love all these non-lawyers lawyering it up here. Most of you are wrong.
and state rulings in Gerogia and North Carolina have nothing to do with state
law in UTAH so those rulings are irrlevant and immaterial. All the
kid had to do was back off a few yards and they would have let him alone. When
you try to engage and officer in conversation or arguing with him you distract
him from what he is doing, and distracting him COULD cause him, or you to be in
danger. The kid was wrong in what he said about the law, and wrong in what he
did. Do I think he should have been arrested for what he did? maybe not. but
he got what he asked for by not complying with the officers directions. too
many times a relative has suddenly decided to take action against officers when
a relative is being arrested. As a cop you want spectators to be well out of
1. Son should have kept his mouth shut. It would have put him in a better
position. I think people should video the police but be smart about it. Keep
your mouth shut.2. Officer safety is a very powerful argument.
Nobody, including judges and juries, want to put people who are performing a
high risk job at greater risk.Cops have no way of knowing who at a site
might have a weapon, especially in a right to carry state. And the more people
at a site, the more possibility that someone might have a weapon. So the cops
are within their rights to keep people away so they don't have to worry
about what other people might do. So the best thing to do is to stay as far
away from the cops as you can and still get a good video. If it looks like you
can't get far enough away to make the cop happy and still get the video, be
smart and stop taping.To review:Keep your mouth shut.Stay as far away as possible.
I think the title of the article should be "man arrested after he interfered
with an official investigation". Pretty clear he wasn't just sitting
there videoing. Fun fact for ya - you can video all you want. Every cop knows
that! HOWEVER, the minute you start getting involved, you're interfering.
kinda like this guy did when his MOTHER was being investigated. Good job Vernal
If he filming the police and also communicating with his mother or trying to
communicate with the officer thus distracting the officer from performing his
duties, there might be an issue. If he was a reasonable difference and not
communicating but just filming, I think there is no issue filming...
Another victim? I have no sympathy for this son of a criminal. His reasons for
filming his mother's arrest was unnecessary and suspect. He definitely
didn't show any respect or appreciation for those who we pay to protect and
enforce the law.
one old man -- "Outstanding citizens" have the right to due process. A
son was recording his mother's arrest to make sure she had due process.Sounds like the Wyatt Earp Syndrome took over the officer who arrested
the son. I'd hope an apology and a handshake would resolve it. But from the
police chief's inane comment about officer safety, I'd not bet money
@100%TruePAtriot"You see, the guy had every right to IGNORE the cops.
Cops have absolutely NO authority as per the constitution."1. US
Code isn't applicable to enforcement of State laws.2. No court has
found the law under which she was arrested to be unconstitutional. No one has
even challenged the constitutionality of the law.3. State v. Mobley and
Adams v. State are North Carolina and Georgia state court decisions which have
absolutely no precendental value in Utah. 4. AJ 2nd is commentary, not
law. Now settle down. We're in Utah, not Ohio.
He should get in touch with Antonio Buehler of the Peaceful Streets project in
Austin, TX who has been arrested for the same thing several times. Just Google
Antonio Buehler and read the Wikipedia article on him and also an article in the
Austin American-Statesman newspaper two weeks ago describing that a U.S.
magistrate judge this week upheld his constitutional right to photograph and
film police officers.
I will bet that Vernal pays some monies to these "upstanding citizens"
before it is all said and done. Besides the cost of paying for their lawyers
they will have some pain and suffering and character cost issues. No way the
city ends up paying less than $10,000 before it is all said and done. D'oh!
No, baddog, the son was interfering when he began yelling and trying to get
closer and closer to an arrest in progress.
IF this dude was close to the action, up in the officers face, they might have
justification to arrest him.The fact that he was a distance away and
kept backing up means no justification for the arrest. They should have ignored
the kid unless he started actually interfering and proceeded with the arrest of
the mom. After they took care of her, they could have answered his
questions.As a former cop, it appears that these officers just took
things too far, and now the taxpayers of Vernal will have to pay for it.
Unfortunately, this young man's past record of assaults and other crimes is
well known to the local police. I'm sure they were wary of his actions
and I do not blame them.Perhaps he should not emulate his mother.
@One Old Man: There probably is more to the story, and perhaps there are things
in the mother and son's background that are unsavory or seem to predict
more trouble to come; in this instance of police intervention, there
doesn't appear to be anything that would logically trigger such an
overbearing response.@My2Cents: An IUD bomb? Really?