WATCH: Officer Demands Reporter's ID, then Refuses to Identify himself

1st Amendment Audit: North Carolina Cop Demands PINAC Reporter's ID
1st Amendment Audit: North Carolina Cop Demands PINAC Reporter's ID

Ben Keller

If being a hypocrite is wrong, this cop didn't want to be right.

A North Carolina police officer in Charlotte was caught on camera last week demanding identification from one of our reporters.

But that same officer refused to give his name and badge number when asked.

And it was all caught on camera.

In fact, this officer was captured refusing to identify himself several times even though Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's policy states officers in public must identify themselves.

That didn't matter to this CMPD officer, whose name appears to be "Carter," although we did verify with the department that the officer's name is Jerry Carter.

PINAC reporter J. Brown encountered the officer after he observed police and medical personnel at a gas station on September 12.

Brown — a journalist who typically writes about stories involving video and police misconduct — decided to record the incident.

​It turned out to be a domestic violence situation, but Brown was unaware of that before he began recording near the scene.

"One of the female paramedics said I wasn't allowed to be on scene," Brown recalled.

"I told her I have every right to be here."

Brown didn't say whether or not the victim was injured or post any video identifying the victim involved in the incident.

He did, however, want to assert his right to observe and record public officials in public even if it involved a medical situation in public, which people often mistakenly assume to be an act prohibited by HIPPA laws.

"I began to video record, which is when the police approached me demanding ID. But I flexed my First and Fourth Amendment rights."

The officer in the video accuses Brown of knowing or being related to, or possibly involved with, the victim.

But Brown refuses to hand over any ID or verbally state his name after the officer makes several attempts to convince him to hand over his ID.

"I invoke and refuse to waive my Fourth Amendment right. I have every right to be here. I have every right to record and take pictures of everything here," Brown tells the officer.

"I understand that. But until I figure out who that person is and who you are — " the officer says before Brown cuts him off.

The officer continues asking for Brown's ID before Brown tells the officer to have a nice night and continues recording.

A Moment of Hypocrisy

A few seconds of silence ensues before Brown turns the camera to the officer, asking him for his name and badge number and catching him in a priceless moment of hypocrisy.

"That's nice," the officer nods, then shakes his head.

"So, you're refusing to identify yourself right now. And it's the CMPD's policy to identify yourself," Brown says.

"Yes, I am."

"Do you work for CMPD?"

"Yes, I do," the officer replies before the video ends.

PINAC reached out to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department yesterday regarding the officer's name and badge number, and they informed us the officer's name is Jerry Carter.


Citizen Journalism