Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sheriff Beary Keeping Orange Co. Safe from Rampaging Elephants,0,4356672.story?coll=orl_tab01_layout

Orange Sheriff's Office buys 14 elephant guns

Henry Pierson Curtis | Sentinel Staff Writer
(published) September 28, 2007

Orlando is safe from rampaging pachyderms now that the Orange County Sheriff's Office has bought 14 elephant guns.

The largest weapon in Sheriff Kevin Beary's armory fires a half-inch-diameter bullet with sharpshooter accuracy.

"The sole purpose for this weapon is large or exotic animals," sheriff's spokesman Jim Solomons said Thursday.

Each .499-caliber Alexander Arms Beowulf rifle has a laser sight to let shooters hit where they aim out to 300 yards -- a perfect tool to help the agriculture and marine unit deal with cattle that wander onto the BeachLine Expressway and Florida's Turnpike.

But the Sheriff's Office also is thinking bigger.

Orlando's theme parks are home to elephants, polar bears, lions, giraffes and hippos. Should any of them get loose, deputies need the right weapon to stop them if public safety is threatened, Solomons said.

If the worst happens, the Beowulf can stop it.

Essentially an assault rifle on steroids, the $800 weapon has "the power to kill anything that walks, swims or crawls!" according to a 2003 product review by "Everyone who shot the gun was grinning like an idiot, and muttering phrases like, 'I gotta get me one of these.'"

When considering whether to buy the rifles, the Sheriff's Office remembered that an elephant ran amok and killed its trainer in Honolulu in 1994.

"They had to go through a whole lot of bullets, and all they did was aggravate the animal and put it through needless suffering before they were able to bring it down," Solomons said.

In the 1960s, an elephant escaped from a circus in Winter Park. It rampaged along Cady Way into Winter Park Pines, leaving large mementos of its presence along the street, until it was subdued and recaptured.

Orange County's toughest neighborhoods may not have elephants, but the deputies who work there are getting a shipment of 25-shot machine pistols.

"Matching firepower," said sheriff's spokesman Capt. Mark Strobridge, when asked why.

"Our tactical squads that are getting the weapons are dealing with the worst of the worst and those types of neighborhoods," Strobridge said of the new semiautomatic, .45-caliber Heckler & Koch machine pistols. "They're more accurate than their [regular] pistols, and they can stand back further from the bad guys."

The agency intends to buy 49 of the weapons at $1,660 each.The arms race in law enforcement dates back to the 1980s, when cops across America complained they were outgunned by criminals. So they traded in their old six-shooters for 16-shot, 9 mm pistols.

A couple of years back, Beary replaced those with more than 1,000 more-powerful .45-caliber pistols for his deputies. AR-15 assault rifles joined the 12-gauge shotguns in many patrol cars.

And then killers behind the county's skyrocketing murder rate over the past two years increasingly armed themselves with AK-47s and other high-powered, high-capacity weapons.

"When I started out, there was only a small SWAT team that had these nontraditional weapons," said Strobridge, a 26-year veteran. "Unfortunately, the criminals have evolved and the types of weapons they carry. And we should not be behind. We should be ahead."

Henry Pierson Curtis can be reached at or 407-420-5257.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

At The Mercy of Taser Torturers

Published on Thursday, September 27, 2007 by Candide's Notebook

At The Mercy of Taser Torturers

by Pierre Tristam

It's a morbid game. I Google "Taser," click on the tab that brings up the latest news articles featuring the word, and scroll through the insanity. It never fails. Every search produces case after case of sadism posing as policing.

Here's Friday's crop. In California, cops Tasered a 15-year-old autistic child who left his treatment center and was supposedly going to hurt himself for running into traffic (after walking 15 miles without a hitch)."If that were your son, would you want him Tasered or hit by a car?" a sheriff's spokesman said. If that was my son, I'd want you to stop traffic. Isn't that what cops can do with one hand raised and the other behind their back? Also in California on Friday, a cop Tasered a high school student to break up a fight.

In Warren, Ohio, an officer Tasered a woman because she was being unruly in his cruiser after an arrest. She slipped out of the cruiser to escape the shocks. He Tasered her again until he knocked her unconscious. She was in handcuffs the whole time. In Ocala, four officers are being investigated for Tasering a man who refused to drop his Quran. And, of course, nine days ago at the University of Florida, Andrew Meyer, a 21-year-old student who got long-winded with his questions to Sen. John Kerry during a public forum, was shoved away from the mike by campus police, pushed to the ground, pinned there by six officers (every cop wants a piece of the action) and electrocuted. Then he was told he was inciting a riot. If there ever was a case of cops inciting a riot., and deserving one, this was it. Still, they call this a "safe alternative."

But the stun gun, the single-most savage addition to police arsenals since the back-alley interrogation, has done the opposite of its intended purpose. Rather than lowering the level of violence necessary to subdue dangerous individuals, the stun-gun has lowered the threshold of excusable police violence by making the use of
brutal force seem protective. Briefly electrocuting someone, the story goes, is better than shooting him. But before that choice between two brutalities, there was a choice between brutality and reason - between Rambo with a shield and good policing. A cop whoíd never dream of unholstering a firearm against a lout or a big-mouthed
student isn't hesitating to unholster the stun-gun and use it repeatedly under the guise of restoring control.

What a convenient perversion of reality: a 5-second torture session, often repeated many times, often unnecessary, overwhelmingly directed at non-violent individuals, is called "improving safety." For whom? Earlier this year the Houston Chronicle analyzed the Houston Department's use of Tasers since they were introduced two years ago to that same crock fanfare - "to reduce deadly police shootings." Since then, the paper found, "officers have shot, wounded and killed as many people as before the widespread use of the stun guns." Houston officers used their Tasers more than 1,000 times in the past two years, "but in 95 percent of those cases they were not used to
defuse situations in which suspects wielded weapons and deadly force clearly would have been justified."

Tasers, in other words, are instruments of punishment, not safety. They're enabling cops to be executioners rather than law enforcers, not just metaphorically. (By CBS News' count, 70 people have died after being Tasered, including 10 in August. An Amnesty International report had tallied up 70 deaths between 2001 and 2004 alone.)

I was reading a story the other day about Nalini Ghuman, the Welsh music professor who, after teaching 10 years at a university in California, was suddenly barred from reentering the country 13 months ago and offered a choice: jail or a plane back to Britain. She went back. What struck me about her time in an isolation cell at San
Francisco airport is her immediate transformation into an assumed criminal. When this 34-year-old academic was groped, body-searched and interrogated, she was "warned that if she moved," as the New York Times described it, "she would be considered to be attacking her armed female searcher."

How familiar the warning. It's what police agencies down to their school contingents call protocol. The moment a cop appears on the scene and metes out orders, not following them can mean an immediate charge of resisting or battery if you so much as graze the cop's ego. Judging from public comments responding to incidents like the one at the University of Florida, thatís what people want from their cops - uncompromising control. In a cop's presence, your job is to conform, submit, accept that youíre guilty until proven otherwise. It's not brutality. It's protocol.


Pierre Tristam is a Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial writer. Reach him at or through his personal Web site at

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Deputies Take 38 Minutes To Respond Despite Six 911 Calls

The Channel 9 website had an embarassment of riches tonight...

Deputies Take 38 Minutes To Respond Despite Six 911 Calls

Pervert...uh...Police Officer Resigns from Local Force

Police Officer Resigns Amid Sexual Assault, Exposure Allegations

An Altamonte Springs police officer resigned in the wake of two investigations, one accusing him of having sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl. (09/25/07)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cop Taped Ranting at Driver Fired (via Strike the Root--A Journal of Liberty)

Police officer taped ranting at driver fired

ST. GEORGE, Missouri (AP) -- A police sergeant whose berating of a driver was captured on videotape has been fired.

Aldermen in the town of St. George, a St. Louis suburb, voted 5-0 in a closed meeting Monday to fire Sgt. James Kuehnlein. Notice of the firing was posted Wednesday at City Hall.

Kuehnlein's attorney, Travis L. Noble, said the officer received a letter Thursday detailing the reasons for his firing. Noble said he would review the letter with Kuehnlein before deciding on a course of action.

Brett Darrow, 20, had a video recorder inside his car when Kuehnlein approached him in a commuter lot in the early hours of September 7.

In a video that was widely viewed on the Internet, Kuehnlein is heard taunting and threatening Darrow, sometimes shouting and using profanity.

"It's what I wanted the whole time," Darrow told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The conduct was not forgivable."

Police Chief Scott Uhrig said he recommended that Kuehnlein be fired based both on his language in the tape and because he violated department policy when he failed to tape the encounter himself with his police car's camera.

Watch the tape and police officer's tirade

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Orange Sheriff Ordered to Release Documents,0,1022798.story

Beary ordered to release documents

(published) September 22, 2007

ORANGE COUNTY - -Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary, under investigation over a nonprofit anti-terrorism organization he helped create with public money and worked for, was ordered by the state to turn over several personal financial documents and communications that show his involvement in the business.

The state Ethics Commission filed a request for the four-term sheriff to provide documents about him and his staff that detail their dealings with the National Domestic Preparedness Coalition Inc.

The seven-page document, filed Friday, requires Beary to produce more than 16 separate records.

Beary was paid a $43,000 consulting fee for work done off-duty. He agreed to repay the money.

Early this year, the commission said it found probable cause that Beary may have violated conflict-of-interest prohibitions against doing business with his own agency.

The business was created using public funds after the 2001 terrorist attacks to develop anti-terrorism software that was marketed statewide and nationwide.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

John Timoney, America's Worst Cop

Article from Miami New Times

Monday, September 17, 2007

University of Florida Student Arrested, Tasered at Kerry Forum,0,2849342.story?coll=orl_entertainment_dining_util

University of Florida student arrested, Tasered at Kerry forum

The Associated Press

8:56 PM EDT, September 17, 2007

A University of Florida student was Tasered and arrested Monday when he attempted to speak at a forum with U.S. Sen. John Kerry during a question and answer session, university officials said.

Andrew Meyer, 21, asked Kerry why he did not contest the 2004 presidential election, which he lost to President Bush, and why there had been no moves to impeach Bush.

"He apparently asked several questions -- he went on for quite awhile -- then he was asked to stop," university spokesman Steve Orlando said. "He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off then he became upset."

While as many as four police officers tried to remove Meyer from the forum, he yelled for help and asked "What did I do?" Minutes after Meyer started speaking, he was Tasered.

Meyer was charged with resisting an officer and disturbing the peace, according to Alachua County jail records. No bond had been set. Meyer was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning, a jail official said.

Orlando said university police would conduct an internal investigation on the incident.

"The police department does have a standard procedure for when they use force, including when they use a Taser," Orlando said. "That is what the internal investigation would address -- whether the proper procedures were followed, whether the officers acted appropriately."

The event was sponsored by the UF student government speaker's bureau, according to a news release. A telephone message left at the speaker's bureau office was not immediately returned Monday evening.

It was not known if Meyer had an attorney.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Deputy Charged with Plan to Rob Cop Posing as Drug Dealer,0,3219568.story

Deputy charged with plan to rob man
He and a suspected accomplice targeted an FDLE officer posing as a drug dealer, officials say.

Elaine Aradillas and Steven D. Barnes

Sentinel Staff Writers

(published) September 12, 2007

A Volusia deputy sheriff and a suspected accomplice were arrested Tuesday on charges they planned to take money from a Florida Department of Law Enforcement officer posing as a drug dealer, officials said.

Deputy Gene Walton, 40, was arrested on one count of unlawful compensation, one count of misuse of confidential information and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. He was held in a separate part of the Volusia County Jail for his protection, with bail set at $21,000.

Harry Cooke, who is not an employee of the Volusia Sheriff's Office, was arrested on one count of conspiracy to commit robbery. He was held at the jail with bail set at $10,000.

Volusia Sheriff Ben Johnson had harsh words for Walton, who had been with the agency 14 years.

"This is not one of the days you enjoy being a sheriff," he said. "I don't want a dirty cop. Cops don't like dirty cops, and that's exactly what he is."

At the time of his arrest, Walton was served with notice of an internal investigation, suspended without pay and served with a notice that the Sheriff's Office intends to terminate his position, said sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught.

Procedure allows three days for Walton to make an appeal, but he will most likely lose his job at the end of the week, Haught said.

The investigation started two months ago, when the FDLE received a tip. The investigation revealed Walton used the agency's computer system to collect information -- including information about a vehicle -- belonging to the person he thought was a drug dealer, Johnson said.

Walton planned to make a traffic stop and take the drug dealer's money, Johnson said.

"He thought he was ripping off a drug dealer for money," Johnson said. "He was trying to rip off a dope dealer."

Walton, who was a resource officer at Campbell Middle School in Daytona Beach, was working when he was summoned to a district office Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

Haught said Walton's personnel records showed two reprimands in 1996, two years after he was hired, for minor procedural infractions.

For example, instead of calling an ambulance after he stopped a driver and his pregnant wife on their way to a hospital, Walton provided a personal police escort.

Before joining the Sheriff's Office, Walton worked at a post office and as a security supervisor at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, records show.

Johnson said he spoke with Walton when he was arrested.

"I told him, 'You had kids that were looking up to you. You were a role model.'"

Elaine Aradillas can be reached at 407-931-5940 or Steven D. Barnes can be reached at or 386-851-7911.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Orange Co. Deps. Shoot @ Car During Traffic Stop; Driver Later Dies

Source: Orlando Sentinel

Updated: 6 minutes ago

Investigation continues into man who died after traffic stop

April Hunt | Sentinel Staff Writer
3:10 PM EDT, September 7, 2007

Two law enforcement agencies are still sorting through details that led to a deadly shooting during a routine traffic stop Thursday night.

The sheriff's office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement are conducting concurrent investigations into the incident, which began when two motorcyle deputies pulled the man over during a speed check on South Rio Grande Avenue and Michael Terrace.

When deputies Chester Parker and Aaron Wilson walked toward the car, the driver revved the engine and hit one of the men with his car, said sheriff's spokesman Jeff Williamson. The officers, fearing for their lives, shot at the car before it sped off into the woods, Williamson said.

The driver dumped the car in the woods and began running. The deputies chased the driver through the woods, where they found him bleeding heavily. It was unknown Thursday night if the driver was hurt while driving through the woods or if he was shot by officers, Williamson said.

The man was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he later died, Williamson said. Deputies have not released his name, because they have not been able to locate next-of-kin.

The driver did have a criminal record, Williamson said.

Parker, 48, and Wilson, 40, have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice. Parker is a five-year veteran of the department, while Wilson has been a deputy for 12 years.

Neither of the deputies was seriously injured.

Local TV Coverage of Incident Involving CopWatch Member

(awkwardly written story; it should be "Leclair" not "LeClair')

CopWatch Keeps Eye On Local Police

POSTED: 6:44 pm EDT September 6, 2007
UPDATED: 7:22 pm EDT September 6, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Volunteers are patrolling local streets to keep a close eye on the area's police force.

A man wrestled to the ground in a recent [Orlando] CopWatch video is actually a[n Orlando] CopWatch volunteer. (The media needs to get the name of our organization right.)

Josh LeClair was never arrested, but officers took issue with him because they said he was far too close -- 10 feet -- while they worked to arrest a DUI suspect.

"I think it's scary that a guy is taken to the ground and handcuffed and detained," LeClair said.

CopWatch patrols with video cameras.

The National Latino Officers Association has taken up the fight for [Orlando] CopWatch, saying LeClair was the victim of excessive force and unlawful detainment.

LeClair said he was 40 feet away.

(garbled partial quote) "Work hard to do the right thing," Sgt. Barb Jones said.

The Orlando Police Department said it has received an official complaint, it has seen the video, and it will look into it.

"Whether the actions of the officers were justified or not will be part of the investigation. It'll be up to internal affairs," Jones said.

To comment on this story, send an e-mail to Dave McDaniel.

Copyright 2007 by WESH.COM.


Cell Phone Video Shows Officer Throwing Down Bystander Videotaping Traffic Stop
29-Year-Old Handcuffed, Then Allowed To Leave

POSTED: 4:54 pm EDT September 6, 2007
UPDATED: 5:19 pm EDT September 6, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Cell phone video of an Orlando officer throwing a bystander to the ground after the man was noticed videotaping a traffic stop has prompted accusations of police brutality.

IMAGES: Cell Phone Video Orlando police are investigating why Josh Leclair, 29, was handcuffed and forced to the ground by an officer this week, Local 6 has learned.

Leclair said he was on his way to a friend's house at about 1 a.m. when he noticed a police officer arresting a suspected drunken driver with his weapon drawn.

Leclair said he had a camera and began videotaping the incident until the officer until the officer noticed him.

Leclair's friend Rick Weedamen's cell phone camera videotaped the officer running over to Leclair and then forcing him to the ground and handcuffing him.

Police eventually removed the handcuffs and Leclair was allowed to leave.

Leclair, who is a member of the Cop Watch group, said police initially appeared to be acting lawfully during the traffic stop until they turned their attention to him.

"My video could have been used as an asset to their actual investigation until I was detained," Leclair said during a news conference Thursday.

The [Orlando] Cop Watch group has watched the video and claims the incident may be indicative of a bigger problem with police behavior.

"Where there have been threats made against [Orlando] Cop Watch when [Orlando] Cop Watch was out doing what they have every Constitutional right to do -- simply videotape law enforcement in action," [Orlando] Cop Watch representative George Crossley said.

Leclair has filed an official complaint with the Orlando Police Department and he said another complaint will likely be filed with the U.S. Justice Department over a civil rights violation.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

Copyright 2007 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and


Police Investigate After Controversial 'Copwatch' Video Surfaces

POSTED: 12:01 pm EDT September 6, 2007
UPDATED: 5:45 pm EDT September 6, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A group that uses video cameras to try to catch cops crossing the line said an officer went after one if its own members and they videotaped the whole thing.

In his own report, one of the officers said the amateur cameraman was interfering with his investigation, but the Orlando Police Department is doing an investigation of its own to see if the officers recorded on the [Orlando] 'Copwatch' DVD truly went too far.

RAW VIDEO: Copwatch Raw DVD video

Before an officer took him down, [Orlando] "Copwatch" cameraman Joshua LeClair [Leclair] said he didn't have a problem with how Orlando police handled this arrest of a DUI suspect early Sunday morning. He said trouble started when officers turned their attention to the camera.

"There was a second person out here who pulled out a cell phone with a video camera in it and kept rolling," said LeClair of the DVD police were investigating.

Sgt. Barbara Jones of the Orlando Police Department said the police had seen the video and will conduct an internal affairs investigation. But Jones would not criticize the officer's actions.

"We don't have a problem being videotaped. The question is, am I being distracted while affecting [effecting] an arrest," Jones said of the 'Copwatch' videotaping.

At a news conference, organizers of the group 'Copwatch' said they plan to file a federal civil rights complaint. Despite an officer's claim that LeClair got in the way, he said he wasn't picking a fight.

'Copwatch' said it will be out again in Orlando Thursday night. Orlando police said its investigation could take up to two months.

Copyright 2007 by

Thursday, September 6, 2007

CopWatch says video shows intimidation


CopWatch says video shows intimidation

Willoughby Mariano

Sentinel Staff Writer

(posted) 11:15 PM EDT, September 5, 2007

A police watchdog group accused an Orlando officer Wednesday of manhandling a volunteer who was trying to take video footage of an arrest near downtown.

Two CopWatch videos of the incident were released exclusively to the Orlando Sentinel. It shows a man who was videotaping an arrest being pushed to the ground by an officer and handcuffed.

Volunteer George Crossley said that Sunday's events demonstrate that Orlando police are trying to intimidate the group's members.

"The Orlando police chief says that CopWatch has a right to exist. That message clearly hasn't gotten down the ranks," Crossley said. He also serves as chairman of the Central Florida American Civil Liberties Union.

If CopWatch members have a complaint, they should take it to the department's internal-affairs office, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones.

Crossley said the group plans to file such a complaint early today and will have a news conference at noon.

The incident took place about 1 a.m. Sunday in the Colonialtown neighborhood of Orlando, according to a police report written by Officer John Seth James.

CopWatch volunteer Josh Leclair and a friend who is not with the group were driving to a nearby home on the 1200 block of Portland Avenue when they spotted an officer on the street holding a gun to the head of a belligerent drunken-driving suspect, Crossley said.

Leclair grabbed a camera and began filming. His friend, Rick Wiedemann, took out his BlackBerry, which has a video camera, and began filming as well.

When the officer spotted Leclair, he left the suspect, approached the volunteer and told him to go indoors, according to video footage.

Leclair did not.

"Detain him," the policeman said to an assisting officer.

"I'm not interfering with anything, sir," Leclair replied.

"Yo, hands behind your back!" the assisting officer said. He pushed the volunteer to the ground and handcuffed him. The officer's identity could not be confirmed Wednesday night.

Leclair later was released without charge. The incident left him with numerous bruises and scrapes to his chin, shoulder and arm, Crossley said. He did not go to the hospital.

James, the police officer, said in his report that Leclair was detained because he came within 10 feet of him and the suspect. He said he thought Leclair might interfere with the arrest.

Crossley said the video shows that Leclair was farther away.

The suspect, Michael Glenn Wallace, 25, of Casselberry was arrested on one count each of driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence. He was being held in the Orange County Jail with bail set at $1,700.

Willoughby Mariano can be reached at wmariano@orlandosentinel.comƒo or 407-420-5171.


Source: Joshua Leclair

I, Joshua M. Leclair, was visiting a friend's residence at 1209 Portland Ave., Orlando, FL 32803 at approximately 1:00 am on September 2, 2007 when an Orlando Police Department squad car made a traffic stop roughly fifty feet north of the residence. The officer approached the vehicle and drew his gun upon the driver's head. Being a member of Orlando CopWatch, I started to film the traffic stop. After Ofc. John Seth James removed the driver from the vehicle and had him handcuffed on the ground, Ofc. John Seth James left the scene of the traffic stop and approached me to demand that I "go inside." I then informed the officer of my legal right to film and told him I was not interfering. He then ordered another officer to detain me. The second officer ran up to me and told me to put my hands behind my back and threw me to the ground. The second officer then handcuffed and searched me while I was face-down on the ground. I repeatedly asked the second officer what I was being detained for and he said that he "didn't know." I was then picked up and led through the scene to a curb next to a squad car. At that time, Ofc. Richard Studer approached me and asked what I was doing. Before I could answer, Ofc. John Seth James yelled to him that I was interfering. I then told Ofc. Studer that I was not interfering. Ofc. Studer asked me if I thought he would believe me over his officer. He then asked if I had it on tape. I responded affirmatively and the second officer handed him the video camera. After viewing the video footage, Ofc. Studer ordered the second officer to release me. Ofc. Studer asked me to fill out an affidavit on the original traffic stop that I had witnessed and I did so. At approximately 1:35 am, I was escorted back through the scene and let go.

I went into my friend's home and noticed blood on my chin and a scrape on my shoulder. After returning to my residence, I took photographs of my injuries including a scrape on my chin, shoulder and elbow. I have since found a couple of bruises on my right knee and shin.

(signed) Joshua M. Leclair
(dated) September 6, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

BREAKING! Orlando CopWatch Member Injured While Being Detained by OPD

Orlando CopWatch member Josh Leclair was physically assaulted by members of the Orlando Police Department last night. According to an e-mail from another Orlando CopWatch member: "Josh was 'detained' after being thrown to the ground by OPD tonight while filming a traffic stop. He has scrapes on his face, shoulder and arm. We have Josh's video plus a friend's who was filming Josh with his cell phone. ... He's ok and not in jail."

By coincidence(?), Josh and Orlando CopWatch member Mark Stevens had appeared yesterday on George Crossley's radio program PEOPLE POWER HOUR (WAMT-AM 1190, Saturdays 2-3 p.m.) to talk about CopWatch.

More details will be reported as they become available.

UPDATE 1: Josh explains that he was outside a friend's house, around 1:30 a.m., observing a traffic stop by OPD of a pick-up truck with two men, one of them drunken and belligerent. He was standing 30 feet away when an OPD officer ordered him to go inside the house. When Josh repeatedly asserted his legal right to observe the police on a public street, the officer ordered a lower-ranking officer to "detain" and handcuff Josh, who at that point was walking away. So the other officer tackled Josh, handcuffed him and sat him on a curb. Subsequently, an OPD captain showed up. Josh attempted to explain the situation to him, but the captain's attitude at first was that he wasn't going to believe Josh over one of his officers. However, after Josh showed the captain videotape he had taken of the incident, which backed up Josh's contention that he wasn't "interfering" in any way with the police (as the officer who ordered him handcuffed had contended), the captain ordered Josh released. Josh has photos of the abrasions and contusions he suffered while being "detained," and says he intends to pursue a formal complaint against the officer who ordered him to be "detained."

Josh says that the officers didn't appear to be doing anything inappropriate during the traffic stop itself. If the one officer hadn't reacted the way he did, the whole incident would have ended uneventfully as far as Orlando CopWatch is concerned. Law enforcement officers have no reason to be uneasy about Orlando CopWatch as long as they do their jobs properly and don't break the law or violate citizens' rights.