How many times have lawyers tried to tell the passionate believers in videotaping the cops that there are still laws that apply, even to them? This video, taken at the Babylon, New York Long Island Rail Road station, is a fascinating example of a fellow who believed a little too much in his invulnerability and the righteousness of his cause.
Smoking is prohibited on LIRR platforms. The guy taking the video was smoking a cigarette. Had he not been, he would have been fine taking video, but he was. And that means he’s subject to a summons, which means the cop is authorized to demand identification so he can write the ticket.
Upon failure to provide ID, the otherwise summonsable offense becomes an arrestable offense. And anyone subject to arrest gets a search incident to arrest to make sure he doesn’t possess a weapon or contraband.
If you want to screw with the cops, then it behooves you to know the law. Not the internet version of the law. Not the twitter version of the law. The law.
The fellow taking the video, Joe Tucker, has set up a gofundme account to solicit donations to retain a civil rights attorney to sue the cop. As of this writing, he has yet to receive a donation.
You may not like the cop. You may not like the way the cop handled this situation, enjoying far too much the fact that he could make this fellow’s life miserable for what appears to be no better reason than he could, but the point remains that if you’re going to take on the law, don’t be a dope about it.