Armed with nothing but a cell phone camera, a Southern California refused to comply with cops who had their guns pointed at him, ordering him to lay down on the ground Sunday.
Miraculously, Alejandro Natividad lived to tell about it.
But he could easily have been killed as we’ve seen so many times with this “comply or die” mentality of police militarization where cops simply have to claim they were in fear for their lives to get away with murder.
Natividad recorded for almost four tense minutes until his phone stopped recording. That was when La Quinta police moved in and handcuffed him, but not before threatening to tase and beat him with a baton.
They placed him in the back of the patrol car before releasing him 30 minutes later with no charges.
The incident began when Natividad was a passenger in a car driven by his friend, who suddenly began having seizures at the stop light.
“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” Natividad said in an interview with Photography is Not a Crime Monday.
“The light turned green and cars were honking and he was unresponsive, making these weird movements.”
Eventually, a police officer walked up and tried to figure out what was happening.
But his friend suddenly drove off, driving about 50 feet and making a right turn where they both stepped out.
By then, the cop had his gun drawn.
Natividad’s friend had since regained control of the seizures and immediately placed his knees and elbows on the sidewalk.
The cop then pointed his gun at Natividad and ordered him to do the same. That was when the drama begins.
“Get on the ground.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
“I know. Get on the ground til I figure it out.”
And it went on for 3:40 with Natividad insisting he is not armed, he did not commit a crime and he will not lay on the ground while the cop points a gun at him.
Natividad’s friend was charged with being under the influence of marijuana, even though marijuana is not known for causing seizures. His friend also has a medical marijuana card but Natividad is not aware for what condition.
“This isn’t the first time they harassed me but this is the first time I recorded it,” said Natividad, 29, who spent two years in the army.
“I started recording because I was afraid for my life. I knew it would be my word against their word and I needed some form of evidence.”
And perhaps that is the main reason they did not open fire; the fact that the video makes it very clear who was really in fear for his life.