Vernal man claims police arrested him for recording mother's arrest

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  • genielson EAST WENATCHEE, WA
    Aug. 18, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    @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?

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    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.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 6:51 p.m.

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

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Aug. 17, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    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!

  • PioneerStock Leander, TX
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:16 p.m.

    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.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 8:02 p.m.

    "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.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    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.

    Aug. 16, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    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.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:22 p.m.

    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...

  • JBT Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:12 p.m.

    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!

  • Frank Fourth New York, NY
    Aug. 16, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    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.

  • RDJntx Austin, TX
    Aug. 16, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    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.

  • McCooeye Phelps, NY
    Aug. 16, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    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.

  • CKirkland South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    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.

  • CKirkland South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    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).

  • CKirkland South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    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."

  • pharmacist South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    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.

  • 100%TruePAtriot cincinnati, OH
    Aug. 16, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    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!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    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?

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    What kind of kid records his mom getting arrested?

  • The Educator South Jordan , UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:57 a.m.


    We have some real amazing citizens here...

    Great examples.

  • Doug S Lindon, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    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"

  • intervention slc, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    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

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    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).

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    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?

  • dwalk Albuquerque, NM
    Aug. 16, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    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).

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 16, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    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.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Brent Garner Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 16, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    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!

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Burnham Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    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.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 16, 2014 2:13 a.m.

    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.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Aug. 16, 2014 12:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Aug. 15, 2014 9:50 p.m.

    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!

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Aug. 15, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    "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.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Aug. 15, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    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.