Saratoga County Deputy Shawn Glans had no idea he was being recorded as he tried to intimidate a man into allowing him to search his car, which is why he slapped him on the back of his head while yanking the keys out of his hand, tossing them to another deputy who searched the man’s car and found nothing illegal.
But he does know now after Adam Roberts uploaded the video to Facebook where it began going viral Friday.
In a Facebook message interview with Photography is Not a Crime, Roberts explained that he and his buddy, Colin Fitch, who owns the car, had parked it at a business that was closed and walked to a nearby party Thursday night. They didn’t spend much time at the party but when they walked back to the car, they were confronted by deputies who had spotted a rifle in the back seat and wanted to search the car.
Fitch had purchased a .22 rifle earlier that day and had left in the back seat, Roberts said.
When Deputy Glans asked to search the car, Fitch would not give him permission, insisting he had done nothing illegal.
“We’ll get a fucking search warrant, alright,” Glans said. “Wanna do that?””Let me see your fucking keys,” Glans said.
“Why?” Fitch responded.
“I’m going to search your fucking car, that’s why,” Glans replied.
“You can’t do that,” Fitch said.
“Wanna fucking resist?,” Glans said before striking him.
“If you have nothing to hide in there, we’re just going to check and be on our fucking merry way. Understand? Asshole.”
Unfortunately, that slapping part was not caught on video, but the sound of the slap is loud and clear. But he followed it up by making more threats, proving to be the real asshole.
As they were searching the car, Firth showed them his receipt for the gun and they allowed him to leave.
UPDATE: PINAC reader Joseph Grabko dug up the following about Glans:
UPDATE III: The Times-Union reached out to Glans and got him to comment about the incident, saying he would do it all over again – but not if he knew he was being recorded. Not exactly the brightest of the bunch.
Reached Saturday, Glans said there was more to the encounter than is captured on the video.
“You saw the video. It doesn’t look good,” Glans told the Times Union. “I’m all about doing the right thing. I had to go to that point because of the factors that came into play. There was a gun that was involved (that) I spotted in the vehicle.”
Asked if he would have handled the matter the same way again, Glans said he would, but not if he knew it was being filmed. He acknowledged that he did not know the incident was being videotaped.
“I was concerned. It was a public safety issue,” the sergeant said. “If I had to do it all over again … I’d probably do the same thing. If I knew the camera was there, no, because it does look bad.”