What Picking Up Trash in a Police State Looks Like: Man Cited by Police for Improperly Cleaning a River

By Rachel Blevins

Columbus, GA – Two college students learned the hard way that life in a Police State often includes unnecessary interrogation, false accusations and citations for victimless “crimes,” even when the suspects in question were helping to clean up the community.

YouTubers Brandon Jordan and Tristan Yaptengco, both students at Columbus State University, were interrupted by police while they were filming what they referred to as a “river treasure” video. This consisted of Jordan and Yaptengco diving into a local river, and recovering the objects they found at the bottom—sometimes unique finds, and sometimes pieces of trash that they removed from the river.

Jordan told The Free Thought Project that he and his friends have gained a reputation in the community for helping to clean it up, while featuring their adventures on YouTube.

“We all do ‘river treasure’ videos in the river where we are always cleaning up old lures, nets, bundles of fishing line and anything we find on the bottom of the river,” Jordan said. “So we are always cleaning it up. Everyone down there knows us from our YouTube channels and how we do a lot of good publicity for the city.”

Well I’m not sure if it really covers it in the video but myself jake and Tristan all do “river treasure” videos in the river where we are always cleaning up old lures, nets, bundles of fishing line and anything we find on the bottom of the river. So we are always cleaning it up. Everyone down there knows us from our YouTube channels and how we do a lot of good publicity for the city. So that’s also why at one point in the video i say “as much as we do for the city.”

While in the water, Jordan and Yaptengco were interrupted by a police officer who was calling to them from the edge of the river, and demanding that they meet him on land. The men complied, and when they did reach the officer—who was patrolling the area on his bicycle—he began asking them about their knowledge of the law.

“Are you guys familiar with the code sections that cover swimming in the river [with] flotation devices?” the officer inquired.

When he asked if the two men had any I.D. on them, Jordan and Yaptengco replied and said that their driver’s licenses were in the truck they traveled in, which was in a nearby parking garage.

The officer then responded and said, “Well, I’m going to issue both of you guys a citation.” When Jordan inquired what the citation was for, the officer said it was “Code violation 1445,” which would have meant that Jordan was receiving a citation for not wearing a life jacket.

However, Jordan noted that he had, in fact, been wearing a life jacket the entire time—as is clearly documented in the video. In response, the officer said, “No, you didn’t have that on, sir.”

Jordan stood his ground, and insisted that the cameras he and Yaptengco were using to film their underwater video showed that he was wearing a life jacket at the time they were approached by the officer. In response, the officer insisted that he also had documentation of the encounter on the police-issued body camera he was wearing.

When Jordan began questioning the logic behind the officer’s claim that Jordan was not wearing a life jacket when he was in the water, and then he magically had the time to find one and put one on as he and Yaptengco approached the shore, the officer changed his strategy, and began talking directly to Yaptengco—who was not wearing a life jacket.

Jordan continued to question the officer, who insisted that the only way he would not issue Jordan a citation was if he reviewed the footage from his body camera, and saw that Jordan was, in fact, wearing the same life jacket the entire time.

“What I do for you, okay, I turned my camera on when I walked over here,” the officer said. “And if it shows you with that on, you won’t get a citation. Plain and simple … You got a camera and I got a camera. If my camera shows that you had that on, then you’re good.”

“So I’m guilty until proven innocent?” Jordan replied. “This is incredible … as much as we do for this city, and you’re going to give me a hard time about this, when I clearly have this on.”

The officer proceeded to justify the encounter by insisting that Yaptengco needed a citation because he was not wearing a life jacket. Even though Jordan was wearing a life jacket—which the officer criticized, because both the jacket and his shirt underneath were black—the officer went on to threaten Jordan by saying that if he ever caught him without a life jacket, he would receive a citation.

Jordan said that Yaptengco now owes a $250 fine for the citation he received for swimming in the river without a life jacket.

As The Free Thought Project has documented on numerous occasions, the Police State is alive and well in the U.S., and police often waste their time pursuing victimless crimes, such as issuing citations to children who are running a lemonade stand without a permit in California, or children who are mowing lawns without a permit in Alabama.

In the case of Jordan and Yaptengco’s “river treasure” filming adventure, which substituted as a trash cleanup, it could be argued that if they had chosen not to wear life jackets, and they had encountered trouble in the river, they would have faced the consequences for their own actions. As for the officer who questioned them, it could also be argued that he had better things to do with his taxpayer-funded time.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.


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25 Comments on "What Picking Up Trash in a Police State Looks Like: Man Cited by Police for Improperly Cleaning a River"

  1. These officers should do outreach in India, ticketing people pooooping in the Arabian Sea.

  2. The guy needs to take his video and his life jacket in front of the judge and prove his case. From there, he needs to file a formal complaint with the police for a false police report/document and then he needs to file suit.

    When you encounter this criminal trash, you owe it to youself to go after them with everything you’ve got.

    • Actually, he needs to argue needing to have the mandatory life jacket, at all. Fck them. It’s a fcking river.

      • Bill the eighth | August 2, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Reply

        Exactly! I can swim, I have been swimming for several decades. I have swam across rivers bigger than that with no life-jacket. This cop is a drooling moron.

  3. Officer retarded traitor jackass should commit suicide.

  4. It is strange that the Gestapo did not site them for not having a permit to clean up the river.

  5. Carl, the judge would cite them for contempt and double the fine. Remember, the rot starts at the head.

  6. Officers complain that citizens (the “us” vrs “them” mentality) don’t respect them, but fail to recognize THIS is why they are losing support daily.

    • L. A. McDonough | July 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Reply

      I won’t even report someone in the store shoplifting because people don’t appreciate anything anymore. Two men were fired from a major chain store for trying to stop (pushed him down) a shoplifter. Lesson learned: look other way. Who wants to go to court and testify as a witness anyway?

  7. Due to this officers desire to fine people for cleaning up rivers and such, he should be put on dumpster diving patrol on a full time basis. He will never be bored or run out of people to ticket

  8. I.M. Pistoff | July 31, 2017 at 10:27 am | Reply

    You can’t give inherently stupid people badges; i’ve also had a run-in with one of those. Make your quota, officer?

  9. Loki Luck III | July 31, 2017 at 11:26 am | Reply

    Great cheers for the Deputy of Nottingham!!! Flush!!!!

  10. Betsy Singh-Anand | July 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Reply

    Maybe this is totally out of line on my part – and I get as tired of the whole race thing as the next person – but I did notice something ……

    That aside, this is a ridiculous example of police state over reach. Aren’t there actual victims to protect in that city???

  11. L. A. McDonough | July 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Reply

    Lesson learned: Few appreciate a damn thing anyone does volunteering! I help several children’s homes that also get help from churches and individuals, collecting items from others and taking things to the homes. I will never volunteer for any community project like trash pickup or friends of the river, etc. esp. after reading this. Other than donations to an animal shelter finding homes for pets, it’s nada.

  12. Obviously a racist cop

  13. It’s called a Police State. The Bolsheviks are now running the White House. Read some history folks, you’ll see it does have a tendency to repeat itself.

    • Doran Zeigler | August 2, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Reply

      They are called FASCISTS, not Bolsheviks. Why can’t people get that straight.
      AmeriKKKa is not communist. It is a FASCIST state that recruited elements from
      Hitler’s Gestapo to streamline the CIA and NSA. Most of AmeriKKKa’s rich
      supported Hitler. Capitalists LOVE fascism. CAPITALISM = FASCISM.

      If you cannot recognize your enemy, how can you possibly defeat them?

      • Bill the eighth | August 2, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Reply

        Well you sure cannot, so we don’t have to worry about you.

      • The neoconservatives who control the U.S government are the ideological descendants of the Bolsheviks most of whom originated in America. Zionism did NOT originate with the Nazis though I do realise many Nazi personnel were transferred to America after the War and have played a major role in turning America into what it is in their quest to create a FASCIST, ZIONIST, BOLSHEVIK, COMMUNIST, TOTALITARIAN NEW WORLD ORDER behind a facade of capitalism that’s being run by a cabal of oligarchs (referred to as the Illuminati by many). They are human excrement regardless of what “ism” you want to use to define them. My question to you is how do you propose defeating them?

  14. anticriminals | July 31, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Reply

    How can you get a fair hearing in any court that stands to make money off your conviction? You can’t! The whole system is a Satanic racket. Racketeering is a crime. Extortion is a crime. You are the victims of ignorance.

  15. Don’t you think that a swimmer would have difficulty swimming while wearing a life jacket? And, how does one dive to retrieve junk while wearing a life jacket???

  16. I live in Columbus and I understand where the officer is coming from. Although he could have handled the situation a bit differently, I understand his frustration. Every week, someone gets stuck out on the rocks in the middle of the river because they choose to ignore the warnings that the dam is about to release water. Just two weeks ago, a couple got stuck out there with their baby. Everyone who lives in this area knows how dangerous the Chattahoochee is. Many people have drowned there. There have been three or four just this summer. It’s the law to wear PFDs in and around the river. They have just started enforcing the law as needed.

  17. Here you are Boobus Americanus. Proof you are a farm animal for the producers of nothing to harvest your posterity.
    Go on and grab your beer, toys , and Demo/ Repub football pendants. Now squench your eyes and wave them furiously saying land of the free and home of the brave.

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