Man Photographing Phoenix Courthouse Gets Swarmed by Police Helicopter and "15+ Officers"

Chris | InformationLiberation
Aug. 07, 2013

Another man who went out to "test" whether or not the local police would uphold his right to film got his answer swiftly after photographing a federal courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona.

A police helicopter shined a floodlight on him from the sky and he was summarily swarmed by a gang of armed officers threatening him, demanding he ID himself, and forcibly searching him for weapons, despite the fact he was legally open carrying in accordance with Phoenix law.

Despite their thuggish intimidation tactics, he boldly asserted his rights and refused to ID. The cops, at least one of whom could clearly tell he was just testing their response, whined at him for trying to "provoke an incident."

He astutely pointed out he was merely photographing a public government building, and it was they, the costumed criminals with the multi-million dollar taxpayer-financed helicopter flying overhead, that were creating an incident, not him.

Eventually the cops give up on harassing him and let him go, probably because he actually knew the law, and they clearly didn't, which was making them look stupid.

Jordan McManus, the man seen in the film, emailed Carlos Miller of 'Photography is Not a Crime' to give his side of the story:
My name is Jordan McManus, and I live in Chandler, AZ a suburb of Phoenix. I have been a fan of PINAC for quite a while and appreciate everything you do! Some time ago a story was posted about a man named Raymond Michael who was unlawfully detained and searched by Phoenix PD for taking pictures of the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse in downtown Phoenix, and I’ve been a resident of the phoenix valley for over 12 years and I was having a hard time believing that PPD would respond in such a manner as AZ has some of the most respectable cops in the nation (in my opinion) compared to the rest of the country.

So tonight I set out to test them with a 1st and 4th Amendment test. I arrived at the Courthouse around 11pm. I parked my truck on Jefferson St and proceeded to walk the courthouse’s perimeter and towards the PPD HQ all while taking pictures. I had circled the PPD HQ and was on my way back to my truck when I saw two officers ahead of me about a block away, which is when I activated my camera. Just then, I was suddenly illuminated by a spotlight from a low flying Police Helicopter. That’s when I turned around to see what was going on (I had headphones in and was listening to music and didn’t realize the impending detainment) and I was being swarmed from every angle by PPD officers.

The PPD officer who initiated the contact tried to disarm me right off the bat. (I was open carrying my 1911 in a holster on my right hip). He was unsuccessful as I stood my ground and stated that I do not consent in seizures. Now I know I could have just kept my mouth shut and not played along with their game and not answered any of their questions, but I guess I have to admit it was kind of fun, as you can tell from some of my answers to the PPD questions.

Nothing dramatic ever really happened but I must say they sure did have one hell of a show of force with 15+ officers and an Air unit. I will admit, as my first time attempting to “cop block” I was a little flustered at first, and totally forgot to get officers names and badge numbers, but hey it was my first time of many I’m sure. In the video you’ll hear me make a comment about how “the only thing in my backpack is not a pressure cooker”, I said this because I overheard one of the officers behind me state that “we need to search his backpack”, I felt like responding with a smart ass answer.

Below is the link to the video, and I apologize ahead of time for it being vertical and a little shaky it was clipped onto my backpack. Feel free to contact with any questions, and you have my permission to post any or all of this description, my name, and the video to your website if you desire, just please omit my contact information.
Chris runs the website, you can read more of his writings here. Follow infolib on twitter here.

All original InformationLiberation articles CC 4.0

About - Privacy Policy