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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South Jordan, UT

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."

South Jordan, UT

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).

South Jordan, UT

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.

Phelps, NY

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.

Austin, TX

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 range.

Frank Fourth
New York, NY

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.

Provo, UT

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 cops!

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

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.

Cedar Rapids, IA

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 on it.

Pleasant Grove, UT

"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.

Leander, TX

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.

Johnny Moser
Thayne, WY

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!

one old man
Ogden, UT

No, baddog, the son was interfering when he began yelling and trying to get closer and closer to an arrest in progress.

Kearns, UT

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.

Reasonable Person
Layton, UT

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?

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