The original documentary report of the incident is available at KCCN.tv
A recent call to the San Luis Obispo County Sherriff’s department reported shots fired at a two-acre privately owned residence in an unincorporated area of the county.
When Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they immediately moved to detain homeowner Matt Hart, who was sighting in his .22 caliber rifle, as he had done for years, legally, on his own property.
What happened next is nothing short of a clear setup of the homeowner for criminal violations, and a subsequent cover up to protect the arresting officers. As luck would have it, much of the arrest and search and seizure of Mr. Hart’s home and weapons was caught on audio and video surveillance by police issued equipment.
At question is whether or not the Sheriff’s department violated the fourth amendment rights of Mr. Hart by searching his premises without a warrant and without any justifiable cause.
Officers, knowing full well that they were walking a very thin line, discussed how they would go about justifying the unreasonable search and seizure, go so far as to conspire to charge Mr. Hart with multiple crimes including:
- Gross negligent discharge of a firearm
- Brandishing a firearm
- Possession of a machine gun
- Resisting arrest
After watching the video below, most, if not all, American citizens will be outraged at how the Sheriff’s department deputies, in order to save their own skins from criminal and civil penalties, moved to take away the freedoms of a single American who should be protected by Constitutional laws specifically designed for this scenario.
The following portions of conversations are highlighted, as the discussion between officers clearly shows an effort to trump up charges, set up Mr. Hart and save their own butts:
Deputies contemplate how to justify entering the premises without a warrant and seizing weapons:
Deputy Murphy: You’re the detective…do we need a warrant to get into that gun safe? [Deputies had already entered the premises]
Det. Twisselman: …I don’t think…welll…I don’t think under…
Murphy: …exigent circumstances?
Det. Twisselman: …exigent circumstances, you have to.
Det. Twisselman: Let’s get your brain going…was the exigency for enter the house…
Deputy Murphy: ‘…bodies?
Deputy: We take the guns as safe keeping.
Exigent circumstances are those when police believe that entry is necessary to prevent physical harm, destruction of evidence, or escape of a suspect (Supreme Court US. v McConney).
Obviously, the officers enter the home first, then realized they violated Constitutional protects, and had to come up with a reason for doing so. they did this by way of trumping up a criminal charge:
Unidentified deputy: There’s targets down there.
Murphy: Are there any houses down there?
Unidentified deputy: Well, I saw a car driving back there.
Murphy: Well, that’s an area where there are house and stuff?
Unidentified deputy: Yeah.
Murphy: Well, Screw Him. Negligent discharge.
And that’s how it works folks.
The homeowner, Matt Hart, apparently had told the police he would file a complaint about the police entering his house. Deputy Murphy was none to happy about this:
Unidentified deputy: He’s already talking about calling andÂ complaining about us being in his house, so I want whoever writes this up to articulate the reason why.
Murphy: I will supplement it and use very flowery language.
Flowery language to essentially charge an innocent American citizen with at least three felonies, potentially imprisoning the man for decades, all so that Deputy Murphy can keep his job and avoid criminal prosecution himself!
In an effort to make themselves feel better about stripping a man of his rights, Deputies Murphy and Wells had this to say:
Murphy: We are totally…totally justified in everything we did.
Wells: I believe so, too.
It was but a stroke of luck that video and audio surveillance existed, otherwise Mr. Hart could be spending a long time in prison. The felony charges were dropped, but Mr. Hart had to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge. This, in itself, was a travesty, as Mr. Hart had a public defender, likely due to a lack of funds, and therefore did not have the ability to rigorously defend himself.
This is happening in America right now. And, it will continue to happen as the police state expands its reach. Regardless of how we believe the Constitution should protect us, the fact of the matter is that many law enforcement officers, district attorneys, and judges have already suspended those rights which it should protect.
The only way for individual citizens to protect themselves, it seems, is through personal audio and video surveillance technologies in the home and for mobile applications. Without evidence of abuse, it is nearly impossible to prove one’s innocence, as the deck is stacked against the individual.
Recently, a Texas man was arrested for photographing a police officer who entered his home illegally. Proof that video evidence protects the citizenry is rampant on the internet, though mainstream media has, for the most part, shied away from covering the story. Recently, an Iraq war veteran was arrested, beaten and subsequently released after footage from a private surveillance camera was brought to light. There are hundreds of instances similar to this one, that had a video or audio recording not existed, innocent people would be in jail for unlawful actions by police.
Currently, several states have an outright ban against the public recording of law enforcement officials, though a movement against such bans may be making its way into State and Federal legislation soon.
Hat tip NOYB