Watch As Activist Asserts Rights Against Constitutional Threats From Police – And Wins

By Jack Burns

Phillip Turner has made a name for himself as a 1st Amendment activist. As TFTP has reported, Turner won a landmark decision at the U.S. Court of Appeals (5th Circuit) effectively securing the rights of all citizens in LA, MS, and TX to film police in the course of their normal duties. But some police departments, specifically Austin PD (Lamplight Village Substation), still don’t get it and continue not only to infringe on citizens’ rights but break the law in doing so.

In a recent upload to his YouTube channel (video embedded below), Turner recorded himself sitting at a picnic table on public property outside Lamplight Village PD headquarters. Predictably, police officers soon arrived and began questioning the videographer and demanded he identify himself.

In customary fashion, Turner remained silent and refused to answer any of the officers’ questions. He knew they would ask for his ID and would likely illegally search him to obtain his identification. Therefore, he did not carry his driver’s license or wallet with him.

If I’m not doing anything wrong then there’s no reason for you to be here…Texas is not a stop and ID state Is it?

Turner repeatedly asked for the police officers to cite the “penal code” which allowed them to stop and ID him. They refused to answer likely because they did not know the very law they were sworn to uphold. Turner said:

You know you’re violating my 4th Amendment rights…Texas is not a stop and ID state.

Not having an ID and refusing to answer their questions seemed to infuriate the officers who insisted they knew the law better than he did and that “by any means necessary” they would ID him, search his name for outstanding warrants, and possibly arrest him or let him go.

Turner repeatedly asked the officers if Texas was a “stop and ID” state. It’s not. He knew it wasn’t but he wanted to have their responses on video. One over-confidently incompetent officer (unidentified) ordered his fellow officers to handcuff him and place him in the car.

He quite confidently informed Turner that he had been a police officer a lot longer than Turner had been an activist. Unfortunately for the officers, they were dealing with a professional. Turner has uploaded several videos instructing citizens how to deal with police without cooperating with their procedures which often trap people into incriminating themselves.

Turner expressed that he was remaining silent and exercising his 5th Amendment right to remain silent. For amateurs, the temptation to “help” the police “just do their jobs” often gets them in trouble with the law. The Constitution is clear: simply because a police officer makes contact with a citizen does not obligate that person to speak to them. The commanding officer promised:

You will not be released until we identify you.

But he was wrong—they did release him. After not getting their way, officers Tripp and Smith were forced to release Turner, although they promised to file a “suspicious person” conducting “suspicious activity” whose name could only be identified as “John Doe.”



Is that not what most people want? Do they simply want to go on their way, free to exercise their liberties to walk where they wish, film what they wish, and not be interrupted by police officers who seem paranoid someone may be watching them do their jobs.

It’s called accountability. Police officers are accountable to the public and the citizens, and part of that accountability is not making contact with people who simply do not want to talk with them, nor harass, handcuff, and detain entirely innocent people who have committed no crime.

Once again, Phillip Turner has instructed citizens everywhere how to remain silent, be uncooperative, and be set free when officers do illegally detain them, place them in handcuffs, and threaten them with arrest. Unfortunately for the Austin PD, they were sued for their actions. Turner reportedly received a check in the amount of $5,500 for being illegally detained.

Turner does not do it for the money. It is about freedom, the 1st Amendment, and citizens’ rights to film in public. These 1st Amendment audits will not end until police are properly trained and respect not only citizens’ constitutional rights but also their rights not to be approached by police.

Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

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5 Comments on "Watch As Activist Asserts Rights Against Constitutional Threats From Police – And Wins"

  1. Since it is TX I’m surprised they didn’t arrest, fingerprint & DNA swab him. Wonder what finally made them see the light? Calling the supervisor? Hang onto that $5500 brave soul; you may need it for medical or court if you meet up with crazier cops. Kudos for showing folks how it’s done though.

    • lightingstrikesthrice | January 31, 2018 at 10:46 am | Reply

      Good call on hanging onto the $5500 for a just in case mode. Yeah, they will definitely have that man on their radar. Useful idiots hate it when exposed for the useful idiots that many are.

  2. lightingstrikesthrice | January 31, 2018 at 10:45 am | Reply

    I’m laughing at the incredulity of it. Don’t those bully boys realize that they are not on the remaining -500,000,000 list? Or, if so, they and their descendants utter slaves? Nascence can be forgiven, but not ignorance by those whom are supposed to know. But, perhaps some of them do, so that makes it vile. Put up a fence, that’s funny as shit. “Fodder for you tube, big brother, Ohh the sky is falling!”; what a riot. That in charge who knows the law better than you bully boy’s uniform should include big orange hair, giant floppy shoes, a bike horn, and poke-a-dots. Activistpost has covered many related articles where the kakistocracy’s useful idiots are cracking down all over the country asking for papers, ID, ect. If they say it is because they don’t know who the terrorists are, they are in fact not wrong in their demented thought processes; they may be able to ID via phone or computer, but walking around they cannot unless we have our ID on us. Because we who have knowledge, who know truths, who question and investigate; ARE terrorists to the criminal cabal called the kakistocracy.

  3. You have got to ask the question. Is this really my government? The answer is no. The reason is that the cops are the criminals. For starters, extortion is a crime. They are all guilty of extortion. They are extorting information without a warrant. Criminals cannot represent government.
    Extortion is defined as the act of obtaining a persons’ property, or their signature, with their consent, under threat or color of official right. Without a warrant they are the criminals. They are in violation of their oaths of office. They are waging war against this individual. That is treason. They kidnap and hold you for ransom and get away with their crimes because of peoples’ ignorance of the law. They roam as gangs. That is what they are; glorified gangbangers.
    “The menace of communism in this country will remain a menace until the American people make themselves aware of the techniques of communism. No one who truly understands what it really is can be taken in by it. Yet the individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.”
    August 1956 Elks Magazine

    J. Edgar Hoover
    Director of the FBI for nearly 50 years
    WikiQuotes

  4. aside from observable criminal criteria which will hold up in a court of law, that mad has rights which the police criminally violated. One man’s suspicion is another man’s way of minding his own business or even keeping an eye on those who won’t let a man mind his own business.

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