Camp Beauregard, Pineville Louisiana Friday, July 7, 2017, while conducting a First Amendment audit of the access control point to the Louisiana National Guard headquarters at Camp Beauregard, David Worden, a.k.a.(News Now Houston) was arrested for not repeating his name (RS 14:108 — Resisting an officer) when asked by a Pineville police officer.
As the video begins Worden is outside the main entrance to Camp Beauregard when he first encounters a uniform military police officer, the conversation is friendly as they discuss where and where not David can stand and document his surroundings. The conversation continues and David discusses street signs and the state right-of-way, as well as various military post’s practices and procedures as they relate to static displays of military equipment and the procedures civilians would have to go through in order to photograph the displays on base.
All seems to be well as the uniform military member walks away and heads back towards his vehicle when suddenly out of the entrance arrives a state-owned and marked official vehicle driven by Rufus Jones who holds the rank in the Louisiana Army National Guard of Command Sergeant Major, assigned to 528th Engineer Battalion. Yet listen while you watch the video and he says something completely different, he claims to be part of force protection responsible for counterterrorism activities. Which none of which is true. When we come to find out is Mr. Jones is a local police officer with the city of Pineville Louisiana and was formerly employed by Rapides Parish Sheriff’s office, but was terminated when the current Sheriff was elected.
Mr. Jones was acting as if he was conducting official National Guard business while acting as if he was conducting official Pineville Police Department business simultaneously, we have reached out to both the Louisiana governor’s office as well as the Louisiana National Guard Adjutant General’s office to help us determine Mr. Jones’s status and who exactly he was working for at the time of the incident.
A few minutes into this interaction with Mr. Jones a Pineville police officer arrives and begins interacting with David, Mr. Jones seems to have some sort of influence over this officer as Mr. Jones seizes David’s camera and the officer places handcuffs on David then places him in the back of a police car and begins to question him. David complies and begins to answer the Pineville police officer’s questions, first he identifies himself as a journalist and gives his full name and date of birth. David fully compliant with the officer’s requests after, David asked if he was being arrested and if so he would be invoking his right to remain silent and is refusing to answer further questions without his attorney present. Seconds later all of David’s remaining equipment was seized.
The video continues with only muffled audio and portions of the low-volume conversation between Jones and the Pineville police officer, where Jones can be heard saying that he is going to view the videos on David’s cameras to see exactly what was recorded. The video ends showing Mr. Jones shutting down the body camera as he sits in his state-owned vehicle.
I was made aware of this incident moments after it occurred and immediately began contacting the command staff of the Pineville Police Department, management and Mayor of the city of Pineville as well as the District Attorney’s Office for Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Initially, all calls went to voicemail, I left messages for the appropriate parties to contact me back. A few minutes went by and the chief of police for the city of Pineville Louisiana callback where we discussed the incident. At that time he knew very little about what it happened and he promised that he would look into it and if needed intervene and correct the individuals involved. I also received a call back from the District Attorney’s Office where we discussed the matter in great detail based on the information that we had at the time which did not include the video. We discussed the scenario in the situation in which David could be arrested lawfully and it included his legal theory that your name is not private nor protected by the fourth amendment of the United States. This individual is under the impression that Louisiana state law allows law enforcement officers to simply walk up to anyone that they feel is necessary to determine if a crime may or may not have occurred. Regardless of the circumstances and no matter if no reasonable articulable suspicion is claimed.
We also discussed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Turner vs Lieut. Driver and that regardless of the ruling the state law of Louisiana rule supreme applying the concept of Jurisprudence constante, which is French for stable jurisprudence or literally constant jurisprudence. And this is due to Louisiana being settled by the French and as such the concept of civil law is applied versus the common law as is the concept applied in areas settled by the English. No worries the Louisiana Constitution protects the Freedom of the Press as well as the individuals’ right to privacy.
Monday is not a work day for the Louisiana Army National Guard and the City of Pineville District Attorney is only part-time. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.