Law enforcement is back to bending the law once again. This time we see a very questionable ‘stop and frisk’ in Coppell, Texas where a Journalist from NewsNow named Patrick Roth is illegally searched and held at gunpoint.
This recent incident occurred on a late cold night(3 am) when Patrick was seen filming with his phone outside the police station. After being seen by 4 police officers he was immediately told multiple times “put your hands straight up in the air” and then detained. Patrick immediately told the officers that he has no weapons and is then told to get on his knees and cross his feet. Mr. Roth then tells the officers that he’s “just recording, don’t stop the recording”. However, this doesn’t stop the officers from asserting their authority over him and frisking him moments after with no warning or reason given.
Filming the police is entirely Legal in Texas and most other States. For the police to have the right to detain a civilian they must have what’s known as reasonable suspicion. I do think that the officers make a decent argument for this suspicion but in order for them to also frisk a civilian, they need what’s known as probable cause. Probable cause is a bit different than reasonable suspicion because it requires that the officer has a good reason to believe that a civilian is armed and dangerous with the possession a weapon. When Mr. Roth asked the officers why he was searching them, he is told “you understand, across the country officers have been sniped”, attempting to justify the search without any probable cause. However, officers being ‘sniped’ is actually an extremely rare occurrence that has only happened once or twice in the past few years. Not to mention, it’s gonna be pretty hard for someone to hide a sniper rifle in their pockets.
“You can’t do that,” says Roth, as the officer reaches into his pocket to search him and grab his ID.
“I just did”, says the officer in a confident tone.
You really have to wonder what else could have possibly happened if Roth had not told the officers that he was filming them while he was being detained. All throughout the country we’ve seen cases of unarmed innocent civilians who have been attacked and shot by police. In the occasions when these officers are charged in court, they very rarely result in a guilty verdict.
After watching the video, what is your opinion on this matter? Did the officers have the necessary probable cause to rightfully search Mr. Roth? Or was this just another example of the police abusing their authority?
Sanger, Texas Incident:
Roth was also recently detained in Sanger, Texas while again, doing nothing more than filming near a police station, this time in broad daylight. This time he was frisked and detained by one officer who demanded Roth’s ID with no reason given, other than being “suspicious” looking. Once again, Roth refused to provide his ID because he was unlawfully asked to provide it without reason. When he tells the officer that he’s a journalist and just wanted to get some pictures of the lobby, the officer responds “you’re not acting like a journalist, you’re not cooperating with me”. Apparently, this cop does not like it when civilians know and exercise their right.
You can check out the full video below.