Except it happened in the land of the free.
A military police officer at Luke Air Force base in Glendale, Arizona was caught on video arresting a peaceful cop watcher who goes by “Silent Citizen” on YouTube.
Because that’s his schtick.
Silent Citizen records police all while never saying a word, refraining from comments, insults or questions solely intended to incriminate the person answering them, which is supposed to be a Constitutionally protected right in the so-called land of the free.
But not in this February 21 video because, ironically, that’s just what Silent Citizen was doing – silently recording from a public crosswalk – when a camera shy, angry Air Force cop approached in a vaguely marked police vehicle, barking orders as if he had broken the law.
“Do you mind putting the camera away?” the Air Force cop asks, glaring at Silent Citizen for daring to have a camera out in public near the Luke Air Force Base, recording various things in plain, public view.
Isn’t the purpose of the military to protect our freedoms, not violate them?
“Do you mind putting the camera away?” the cop asks Silent Citizen, requesting he relinquish his protected freedoms.
His orders are met with silence.
“Do you mind putting the camera away?” the military cop with the name Ledford printed across his uniform repeats.
“Do you speak English?”
Silent Citizens remains silent.
“Do you speak English?”
The Air Force cop responds to Silent Citizens silence, radioing in to dispatch.
“B-dog, this is Police 2. Individual is being . . . non-compliant,” he whines to the dispather.
“Sir, I’m gonna ask you again to put the camera away,” the Air Force cop requests.
“Alright! I need you to put the camera away,” the obviously angry cop barks.
Apparently feeling threatened at this point, Silent Citizen breaks his silence long enough to inform the overzealous Air Force cop he indeed speaks the language in which the law of the land was written.
“I have the right to remain silent,” he informs the service member.
“You do!” the cop says before radioing into dispatch.
“This is Police 2. I’m on scene,” he squeals into the radio.
“Subject is being non-compliant.”
That’s when the Air Force cop orders Silent Citizen to put his hands behind his back, eventually placing him under arrest.
Police claim in their arrest affidavit that Silent Citizen was attempting to enter an Air Force base building in order to justify the arrest.
“When you see the video, he clearly never leaves the corner of the crosswalk,” PINAC’s David Warden, a veteran himself, says during his commentary about the video.
Update on 2/25: After several readers, likely stationed at Luke Air Force Base themselves, could not put two and two together or understand what’s clearly visible in the video, a reader familiar with the area and civil rights abuses emailed an image proving Silent Citizen was standing in a public right of way at the point Ledford arrested him.
Video of the incident caused concern among several YouTube users, including Warden, who not only added his thoughts about the incident before sharing Silent Citizen’s video for his subscribers to see, he also added some public contact information including the Pentagon Air Force Public Relations telephone number, which can be seen below along with the entire video.
Warden routinely conducts civil rights audits around the state of Texas and other parts of the country. Videos of his work can be seen on his popular channel News Now Houston.