Comments about ‘Vernal man claims police arrested him for recording mother's arrest’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 8:10 p.m. MDT

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Burley, ID

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.

Burley, ID

"This was an officer-safety issue, ..." - Vernal Police Chief Dylan Rooks

Oh 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.

San Antonia, TX

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!

Glendale, AZ

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.

Taylorsville, UT

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.

Bountiful, Utah

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.

Vince Ballard
South Ogden, UT

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 police's advantage.

Brent Garner
Idaho Falls, ID

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!

Lehi, UT

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.

Buena Vista, VA

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 times.

Albuquerque, NM

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).

one old man
Ogden, UT

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?

Pleasant Grove, UT

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).

slc, UT

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

Doug S
Lindon, UT

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 backwards"

The Educator
South Jordan , UT


We have some real amazing citizens here...

Great examples.

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

What kind of kid records his mom getting arrested?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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?

cincinnati, OH

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!

South Jordan, UT

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.

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