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Must see video: It ain't all bad out there Statter. Look how this police officer handles one man armed with a camera & a gun! Plus, charges to be dropped against man with camera in Suffolk County, New York & internal investigation back after Las Vegas citizen photographer beaten.

Sunday's rant by Dave over police vs. photographer confrontations

Previous coverage & discussion of cameras at incident scenes can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, here & here

This may be a very disappointing "must see video" for many of you. No real action and it isn't a fire. But it is exactly what I needed to get me out of my funk after viewing the series of videos I posted Sunday of police officers around the country who have a funny interpretation of protecting and defending the Constitution.

The video posted to YouTube last November stars Badge #1093 of the Oceanside (CA) Police Department, Cpl. Matthew J. Lyons. I urge all of you to watch how Cpl. Lyons reacts to a man carrying a camera who records the entire interaction with the officer. Besides the camera in his left hand, the man, who only gives his name as Jeremy, has a gun on his side.

Listen to Cpl. Lyons' words and watch his actions. The officer is also a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Marines. He knows and respects Jeremy's right to not only carry an unconcealed, unloaded weapon, but to also carry and use a camera that is not concealed.

Now, compare this to what you saw from the Suffolk County (NY) Police Department sergeant (below) who arrested a credentialed news photographer on Friday. Or the officers you see in the other videos I posted on Sunday. If you were a police chief or commanding a squad of officers, would you want on your team cops who only uphold the part of the Constitution that fits their purposes or those who believe in the entire document?

Jeremy, who apparently gets stopped quite a bit with the gun on his belt walking around Oceanside, has recorded other transactions with police officers. They are posted on this YouTube channel. While the other cops aren't quite as charismatic as Cpl. Lyons, the best I can see tell is none of Oceanside's officers seems to get bent out of shape because a citizen has a camera in their face. My guess is that comes from good training.  

Corporal Lyons you are my hero. You not only served our country as a Marine, you serve the citizens of Oceanside by keeping them safe and safeguarding their rights. Thank you Doug Walton for finding this one and sending it our way.

As for the Suffolk County Police Department incident, the charges against the photographer are going to be dropped and it appears training is coming their way (maybe they can fly in Cpl. Lyons as a guest lecturer). Here's the latest in an excerpt from an article by Timothy Bolger at

Commissioner Richard Dormer said in a statement Monday that there is an internal review of the incident and all officers will undergo media relations refresher training. The announcement came about an hour after the Press Club of Long Island, a local trade group, called for the charges to be dropped.

“I am working with the Suffolk County District Attorney to have the arrest nullified,” Dormer said. “The police department believes in keeping an open line of communication with the media and we will be reviewing the department’s policy concerning involvement with the news media.”

And in Las Vegas, an internal review of previous case we told you about found that Officer Derek Colling violated several department policies, including using excessive force, when he subdued and arrested a man who was taking video from his own driveway of police responding to a burglary call. Here's the latest story and here is our previous coverage. The video from that incident is below.

Comments - Add Yours

  • FMCH

    Sounds and looks like ole Jeremy has an axe to grind and as soon as he gets an officer who doesn't give Jeremy the "right" response, Jeremy can say "Help, Help! I'm being repressed!"
    The local PD has better things to do than to be part of Jeremys agenda.

    • mark

      So, Jeremy was exercising 2 of his Constitutional rights, but he has an axe to grind. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't.
      Either way, it doesn't matter as the cop acted like a cop should have.

  • Legeros

    Let me lend a hand with the comments for a change. Here's a quick template for those readers unsure of their reactions to this latest video:
    (a.) Let it go, Dave.
    (b.) This is boring.
    (c.) I thought this was a fire blog.
    (d.) That cop did a good job.
    (e.) That cop should have arrested him.
    (f.). The guy with the gun was very respectful.
    (g.) The guy with the gun was trying to start something.
    (h.) This is why cameras are good.
    (i.)  This is why cameras are bad.
    (j.) Ban Legeros.


    • dave statter

      I choose all of the above.

      Thanks Mike.


      • Legeros

        The range of reactions as posted as YouTube comments interest me greatly, and are a partial source for my humor above.
        Makes you wonder what would happen if you filmed, say, a police officer and a citizen walking each up to each other, and having a conversation. Based on the viewer, they might infer or read all sorts of pending or anticipated conflict.

  • Fyrecapt

    NICE WORK BY THE OCEANSIDE OFFICER! I understand what "JEREMY" was trying to do, however dont be such a freakn TOOL when the cop is being cool and just wants to know your damn name!! 

  • John Mitchell

    280 charachters with spaces in that title.  And it's still not the longest you've done…..

  • No.1 Statter fan from Virginia

    If I had have acted like that in the area that i lived, i would have got my ass beat, camera or no camera. As long as people film stuff in a respectful manner, have no problem with it and go out of my way to help with the story at the scene of emergcny incidents. The word is CLASS!

    • Joe Paczkowski

      To be fair, why would someone respect and help the police when the police have a lengthy history of detaining people for an extended period of time needlessly (I can't find the video now for the Huntington Beach incident from a few years ago), and in one case, a police officer joked around online about murdering law abiding citizens (1)? There are too many officers who lack class that ruin it for the rest.

  • Dickey

    This "Jeremy" character seems like he needs his bell rung once or twice. The officer was a top notch officer, very respectful and very decent. This guy was down right uncooperative. Seems as if he is asking to be persons checked by cops with carrying a weapon around….hmmm..very strange in my book.

    • Anonymous

      He was asserting his rights. He has a right to open carry. He has a right to video police. He has a right to refuse to consent to search and to give his name/ID if he was not involved in a crime and or pulled over in a car. If you don't stand up for your rights, they get taken away eventually. More people need to be that assertive with police. That being said, the officer acted the way all police should. I wish there were more like him.

  • Joe Paczkowski

    To give a little background on the Oceanside video, its an offshoot of the gun rights movement in California. A few big key pieces of information that's important:
    1. A concealed carry permit is almost impossible to come by in urban counties (California is a "may issue" state with the power granted to the local police chief, who has the option (and many do) to delegate that power to the local county sheriff.
    2. In California, it is legal to carry an unloaded firearm provided you aren't within 1000 feet (it might have been upped to 1500) of a primary or secondary school, or you aren't in a government building or a university, unless you have explicity permission or certain other exemptions apply. No permit is required to do this and just because the firearm is unloaded doesn't mean 
    2.1. A part of the law does allow officers to check to ensure that the firearm is unloaded, which is commonly known as an "E" check based on the penal code subsection (important if you dig up the plenty of other issues). There are different legal opinions about whether police officers can run serial numbers, especially if the serial number is not in plain view, or run a person's ID during these stops (which are akin to the police pulling over cars randomly to check if they have a current drivers license).
    3. Too many police officers are ignorant on the law in regards to this. Similarly, too many police officers view it as their place to lecture law abiding citizens on the officer's views of the law.
    4. California does not have a "stop and identify" statute. A police officer cannot legally require anyone walking down the street to give their name or produce ID (note: required to and being polite are two different issues).

  • Mike Unthertz

    Take a lesson from this 22 year Marine Corp. Vetrean/Police Officer there "Mr. Suffolk Sgt. 30 years"!!!!

  • WVFirefighter

    A very respectful exchange between police officer and citizen, arefreshing change.  Two points though…1.  I thought it was the law that you must identify yourself when asked by a law enforcement officer, not necessarily carry ID but still give your name.  2.  I understand that it is not normal to see someone legally walking down the street with a sidearm that is not a police officer, but the ones who are legal are not the ones the police should be concerned with, it is the gang bangers and thugs carrying concealed that are the problem. just my opinion.  If you want to see a good video of a police officer abusing his authority and completely making a fool of himself with his own camera, look up  Conton Ohio Police dashcam video from June 8, 2011.. BTW for the record, I spent four years in the USAF as SP and 8 years as a federal law enforcement officer before becoming a career FF. 

    • Joe Paczkowski

      California's "stop and identify" law was struck down in 1983 as being unconstitutionally vague and the legislature hasn't seen fit to replace it since then.

  • WVFirefighter

    Sorry for typo Canton Ohio Police Dashcam

  • MongoFF

    Ha. Good reaction from the cop. There used to be a guy down in Radford, VA when my friend was going to college who took advantage of Virginia's open carry statute. He chose to carry a loaded 12 ga pumper which resulted in nearly weekly 911 calls from the grocery store when someone who hadnt seen him before saw the gun… Have to say though it looks like Jeremy was baiting the cop and this is how EVERY cop or FF should react to getting filmed. If you want to film me doing my job that is fine, but please…PLEASE film me from the back so you get my "good side"…

  • Sharppointy1

    Cpl Lyons, thanks for the appropriate, respectful and humorous way you handled Jeremy the resistant.  You give me hope that there are decent police officers out there.
    Wish I could give a shout out to the Cache County Sheriff who recently pulled over my dearly beloved while we were driving at an excessive rate of speed on one of his roads.  He not only listened to us (me) but he had a sense of humor and let us off with a warning. He too is a decent police officer and not a nut case like the Suffolk County officer. 

  • Rake

    Here is a guy walking around with a gun and a camera, just looking to have a confrontation with police. While I recognize the legitimate message he is trying to convey (that the legal rights of gun-owners are being wrongly infringed by police who don't properly uphold the law, probably because they are too concerned about getting shot by some random guy with a gun), surely there are better ways to address this issue. Congrats that the cop here didn't take the bait.

    • Legeros

      Rake, speaking of walking around with a camera, we all probably are thinking this guys cruising a long with a camcorder in tow.
      But this was just as easily recorded with a smart phone. How well is your department prepared for "surprise video cameras," those little devices you don't spot from a mile off?
      It's a learning curve. These have blossomed in just the last couple years. Prior, a video camera looked like a video camera!

    • Joe Paczkowski

      Why should police officers be any more concerned about the random law abiding citizen with a gun than a random law abiding citizen with a car? More damage have been done by random law abiding citizens with a car than random law abiding citizens with a gun (when was the last time a gun accidently hurt a bunch of people at a farmer's market. I can provide links for a car…).
      To accept that the police have a right, or even a duty, to solicit ID from random, armed, law abiding citizens would mean that the police have a right, or even a duty, to pull over random law abiding drivers in search of a driver's license. Strangely, the police definitely do not have a right to pull over random cars for what is essentially no reason at all.

  • Lizard

    Professionalism in todays world is hard to come-by.  The Oceanside officer exemplifies professionalism.  The gentlemen was looking for a confrontation and didn't get it. 

    • dave statter

      The best I can tell from looking at YouTube and reading a few things there are groups who have gone to jurisdictions to exercise and test their open carry rights and are recording some of the activity. I don’t know if “Jeremy” is a part of that.

      You are correct that he didn’t get a confrontation and that is a great way to look at it.

      • Joe Paczkowski

        I will add, after lerking on one of the major open carry forums (personal opinion: open carry, and the police response to lawful open carry are often both insane and over the top), most would consider this video to be a victory. The officer complied with the law, didn't harass the citizen, and didn't overly detain (both in terms of time and response) the citizen. From what I've read, most are not playing the police lottery, but are looking to protect themselves with the video camera.
        Dealing with a man who is impowered by the state to take away your liberty, and if need be end your life, while unfortunately very necessary and are powers largely unabused, is not a man to be trifled with, especially when that man honestly believes that he is doing the right thing, even when it's the wrong thing. 

  • mark

    Interesting how no one has mentioned that Jeremy isn't all that smart walking around with an unloaded weapon. He may have been asking for trouble from the cops, but he is really going to get himself in serious trouble if he continues this habit. Might as well be carrying  a baseball bat as an unloaded firearm.

    • BH

      Jeremy is obeying the law.  It's the State of California that forces him to do something dumb, since the cops would rather eat their handcuffs than issue anyone a CCW permit.

  • G Money

    Jeremy is a loser just trying to start trouble.  Karma is a ……well u know… 

  • No.1 Statter Fan in Virginia

    Hey , I thought this was a fire blog? We are getting off on a tangent. Who is Joe PHUHSUBZXFGCSCYJHVSAUI? Don't sound like no fireman to me. Apparently, when he talks of having a problem with a cop stopping some guy walking down the street with heat he has not heard of some of the small, mass shooting incidents that have occured lately. I am a staunch supporter of people's rights, including the right to lawfully carry fire arms (hell, I carry 95% of the time myself). I also believe that some a*&^(^e with a weapon has no right to take inocent life on a large scale. Yes, there are cops out there who are rude, down right mean and on a authority kick. However, that is the system. Look at the world we live in. That thin blue line is all that stand between us and even more chaos. To an extent, we need to cooperate with them if they are trying to do their job to protect the public. There's that fine line there. I don't want to live in a commy state, but I also want people to be safe. I have been let down by law enforcement before when I needed assistence with some issues that came up with my family. However, I must say that most I know are there to do a job and are professional about it. Many officers in our country as of late have given their lives in the line of duty (just like firemen; got back from the Ashville funeral day before yesterday) and I have to respect a profession when it has people in it who are willing to lay down their life to protect me or my family. I am not talking about this anymore. Back to fire stuff.

  • William Sullivan

    Wish all cops were like the first one