First Amendment Audits and How to Respond

Recently there have been instances popping up all over social media regarding “First Amendment Audits” of law enforcement and government buildings and practices.  The entire focus of these audits is to judge the proper (or often improper) response of law enforcement to the presence of a cameraman.  The hopes of some auditors is to have a poor contact with law enforcement, resulting in a violation of their 4th Amendment rights and or a bad arrest.  This obviously places the officer and agency in line for civil damages and embarrassing online videos. This also leads to interesting and valuable training opportunities!

The question is, when and how should we act?

A review of many of the posted audit videos shows us, extremely well trained and professional law enforcement officers acting what I can only describe as “childish” when confronted with an audit and a camera.  From us blocking their view, following them, challenging them for ID, or even worse, pulling out our own cell phone and taking pictures and video of them.  What is the point?  The videos are never taken well by the public audience, and the comments; I won’t even mention them.

I know, some of you may be saying “But terrorists, they scout locations and police stations are a target.”  I agree.  They certainly do.  When was the last time you found a terrorist standing in wide open view, in public, blatantly videotaping a public building with obvious disregard for the police driving around?  Probably never.  If they were going to scout a location, they would do it and you likely would never know.

Honestly, as a law enforcement professional for the past twenty years, I have seen my share of video cameras, and baiting of law enforcement.  At no time have I felt a threat when someone with a camera was filming me, my police station, or anything to do with us as law enforcement.  Remember, the audits are carefully planned to remain in a place that they can legally be, and there is no law about recording activity or buildings from a public place.  They are well within their rights to do so, and from my experience, the best response to an audit roaming around your police station public areas is to ignore them.  They eventually lose interest and move on to somewhere they can make headlines.

Consider the audits as a reminder that we do serve the public, and in such, we should adjust our policing and our methods to suit the situation. We shouldn’t be carrying heavy stones over glass bridges as law enforcement.

Posted in

Sergeant Ryan Brett

Sergeant Ryan Brett is the Vice President of CALRO and works for the Corona Police Department in Riverside County, California.


  1. Beth on April 20, 2019 at 6:04 am

    Then why do they need gofundme accounts. I know they claim it’s for legal funds but exactly how many lawsuits have they filed. Perhaps they should be audited. If they are requesting funds for a specific purpose shouldn’t they have to prove that’s what they are doing with it.

    • Tim on April 22, 2019 at 2:26 am

      People still have rights in this country now if we can only get the rest of you law enforcement agencies to start realizing that you’ve become tyrants thieves and thugs since when did the good guys become the criminals you force your codes and statues on peoples civil rights every day people are tired of it and we want change codes and statues need to be abolished if somebody hasn’t broken in actual law you should not even be talking to them but you do it everyday you force people to pay and that’s all you’ve become is thugs you know better than any other gang of thugs out there

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on April 29, 2019 at 4:43 am

        We (police) don’t force laws that weren’t voted on by the people in the first place. Don’t forget, we also are held to the laws. Without law, society would be so much worse. We have to all be social and human and respect each other. Calling all police tyrants and thugs is a generalization which is so wrong. That’s the same as police calling videographers all “terrorists” or potential criminals, which is what I am trying to undo. It’s going to take everyone involved to realize this.

        • Cindy Giema on May 23, 2020 at 7:06 am

          The Police have made their name. It is what It is. One auditor state’s this. It takes a hair stylist 3 years before she can cut hair. A police officer trains 6 months and received a gun and a badge. Now they are set free. Some ppl cannot handle even a little authority. My suggestion is this. People in the EMS industry have in service they do thru out a 2 year time frame. They receive a book that has to be signed by each task that has been completed. Most Police Officers do not know our Constitution. Nor any amendments. They also Do Not know the laws yet they give arrests siteing aws. Most ppl can be arrested for potrsying a lawyer without a law decree. Cops need classes extensive classes on laws and their rights so they can impliment them accordingly. Time to get the bad taste out of civilians mouths when it comes to cops

          • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 23, 2020 at 7:23 am

            Thank you for the post! That is a very good point, and I am sure that some police agencies only do 6 month academies and then fall of the training program. However, most police agencies, especially in California, are governed by a commission on training and standards. Ours in known as POST. POST mandates that officers receive so many hours of initial training plus many additional categories of training such as crisis negotiation, de-escalation, dealing with the mentally ill and of course, Constitutional law.

            Once out of the academy, officers in California are REQUIRED to complete on-going training in these and additional areas as their agencies see fit. We actually never stop receiving training as police officers, even though some of these videos seem to show otherwise. Consider this; I began the research and training on First Amendment Audits in response to seeing Youtube videos where police were getting it all wrong. We never received this training and these types of occurrences never occurred when I was a younger officer. Consider this; it takes a written and behind the wheel test to become a driver. Those who pass are turned out on the streets with a 1000 pound weapon and they aren’t required to re-test for YEARS (in California). Other states – never. Scary.

            I had the experience to work in EMS before this as an EMT 1 and an EMT 2. We had all the initial training and then a little on-going training as certifications were earned. We of course had to be updated on changes in the EMS world. It is very similar to police.

            I believe that we as police (mostly) work to better community relations. My agency has some of the best officers out there and they are working hard to make things better for those in the community. Thank you for the post and stay safe and informed!


            • Bob on May 29, 2020 at 7:02 pm

              Receiving training and absorbing information are two separate things, I’m sure you know or have known a straight a student that’s an absolute idiot. LE isn’t any different, terrain as much as you’d like but it’s what’s happening in practice in the field that actually matters and I’m sure you know of a few situations where officers are instructed to act in a way other then how they were trained at the academ and that’s the problem. It all falls to leadership to do at least a marginal amount of quality control in field and from what I’ve seen personally that “field training” is often provided by an officer who isn’t fully aware of basic law enforcement like terry v Ohio, I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve had a cop tell me I have to provide I’d simply because that’s “their policy” cool, awesome, it does however fly in the face of legitimate law and creates a intended situation of coersive and intimidatory behavior in a foolish attempt to satisfy their internal policy.

            • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

              This is very true and a good point. We train everyone to a certain level (or try to). They do show proficiency in training but are then turned out to the field. Police have annual reviews which, if done right, identify these critical deficiencies and should address them with additional training or discipline.

              The problem comes when a toxic officer is found or suspected, and no one confronts it. There are built in protections for officers from the past abuses of administration (and there are some crazy stories here). These police rights do make it hard to get rid of a bad seed officer. Perhaps it is time to review the process of internal discipline. Another way to help prevent the bad cop from ever affecting the public is during the hiring process.

              Thank you for the comment.


            • WeThePeople TyrantWars on December 10, 2020 at 4:09 am

              Hello Sergeant Ryan Brett,

              While we understand your view on ignoring Auditors, and you having to be politically correct, we respectfully disagree with that assessment.

              We study and follow most of the auditors out there and they will not accept being ignored. They will bate.

              If ignored they will have a person call 911 and say there is a suspicious person outside. While it is illegal it is never researched.

              They also will antagonize and provoke businesses to call you. Once called you must respond. Or They will block vehicles, film peoples license plates, and even film the officers computer when they arrive. I have footage of them filming and posting the complainant name and all their contact information from the cruiser computer.

              In any case, ignoring can be problematic, especially when real criminals will now think that they can now surveil with no police interaction.

              We will keep following them and reporting them as we have always done. Maybe you heard about us.

              They despise us, but we have to do our part in helping you keep track of their tyrant behaviors.

              Take care and thank you for your service.
              We The People Tyrants Wars,

            • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on December 10, 2020 at 5:49 am

              Thank you for the post and what you’re doing to help keep all accountable. Luckily, I understand the purpose behind their actions (mainly). The beauty of the First Amendment is that you can also film the auditors and post, and it seems that is what you’re doing.

              I have personally experienced them not getting any negative contact from my agency, which then leads them to calling 911 and false reporting “suspicious persons” which is usually themselves. This is a misdemeanor and can elevate our contacts.

              We will likely see a regrowth of the audits of police once the pandemic slows. Right now, I don’t think the views and the attention are where the auditors want them.

              Keep it up!

              Sergeant Brett

          • mrspru on September 21, 2020 at 2:19 am

            I agree. For me personally, seeing the auditors exercise their rights and how angry and violent some police officers get is frightening. Everything from having a gun drawn on them for a traffic stop to being tazed for asking why they’re being ordered out of their vehicle. They DO work for us and many seem to have forgotten that. I truly believe that violent people are actually drawn into the profession because they can abuse people without consequences. There are good cops out there but I think they are disappearing. Auditing, recording, and filing law suits sre the only means the public has to bring this problem to light.

        • Lola R on December 21, 2020 at 5:22 pm

          So here’s the deal. I was dating a police officer. He use to beat me all the time and threaten to kill me if I left him. You wanna go ahead and take a wild guess at what happened when I called the police? I got a bunch of fake charges put on me and had my child taken away from me. Wanna guess on if my trial was fair or not? If you guessed NO..well then you are correct. You guys are 100% above the law, and a large amount of you abuse your authority. The sickest thing about it is people blindly trust you guys, and take your word for everything even if you don’t have proof. It is so rare for you guys to be held accountable for anything. I got my son back and I actually don’t talk negatively about the police to him. But everytime he so much sees a tv show with a police officer in it. He cries. I can’t blame him though. I am now afraid of all of you too. This code of silence and lying for the blue line needs to stop. That is the only way that all of us ppl who don’t trust you guys will start to. We aren’t like this because we are a bunch of raging criminals who are mad we were caught. We are like this because we either have been or know somebody who has been victimized by the police.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:42 pm

        Its’ refreshing to read comments that agree with my thinking. If only the rest of the people who want to give up their rights would get it. I think I may be a little sociopathic because i enjoy berating snowflakes and copsuckers to the point of complete happiness. Maybe my mission in life is to get one idiot to wake up and quit being blind to it all. I would feel my purpose in life was fulfilled and I could go on to the things that really matter in life.

        • Julia H. on September 17, 2020 at 6:11 pm

          Dear John — I have read most of your replies and comments within this thread (which was difficult considering your grammar and punctuation are abysmal), and although you may like to say you are “sociopathic” because it makes you sound interesting and maybe even a little “dangerous”, I regret to inform you that no, you’re just an ordinary, run of the mill jacka**.
          Julia H.

      • John L. on December 9, 2019 at 11:22 am

        Since when are the people filming officers and cursing like high school brats the good guys. I only wish those that were filming would own up to their past misdeeds that has them hating. I am not a police officer and I hate when officers don’t uphold their own policy but as a good citizen in my community I certainly will not condone a bunch of idiots with cameras trying to get officers and people in general upset and bait them. We have laws for a reason to keep the weak minded from reaching beyond the mmmmm what the community considers normal and legal. We have to keep people in check this is not the Wild West and almost everyone on youtube talking crap is someone that is unable to control their emotions and has problems with policing and government in general. Trying to be a badass on camera on YouTube proves nothing what’s hard is to be a human being and give back to the community, when is the last time these auditors did that? They think they are helping out the community but it’s far from the truth these people were hurt by law enforcement in the past whether it be their own fault or by a rogue officer by either way it is just retaliation nothing more. If they were really out to help they would get with the neighborhood and the police departments and start open dialogues showing how these officers are not doing their job correctly and which ones are then having them fix the problem. Being honest I actually dislike the the auditors as much as the bad cops. If your filming be respectful all that cursing and tough guy talk makes they look scared and small and without the camera I doubt they would be saying much of anything. We as the public deserve to be treated as human beings and we need to treat others as we would like to be treated.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on December 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm

          Well said John. That is something I have been trying to make a focus of our education. We understand the auditor who is doing absolutely nothing but filming and then being detained. This is no good. But when the auditor provokes citizens with foul language and vulgarity, then turns it to the police when they are called to a righteous “disturbing the peace” call, we have problems. The credibility of the First Amendment Auditor movement is at risk here with more and more people taking to the camera hoping for a negative experience. Despite many law enforcement agencies responding much better, we are getting more and more negative auditors. I hope the movement cleans itself up.

          Thank you!

        • loren on September 12, 2020 at 7:05 am

          John i think youre a cop trying to be deceptive. And youre not being a good citizen. You apparently dont agree with the first amend, or any other part of the constitution that goes against youre thinking. The camera didnt make these terrorist cops look bad,THEY MADE THEMSELVES look bad. How can you discount these videos of cops acting like everything but professional. (communist thugs) and these videos are the tip of the iceburg. Not everyone had the opportunity to record there interaction with with these roque cops and post it on line. The auditors are doing a public service and should be paid tax payer dollars for the education of public servants, And that would be cheaper than hundreds of millions of dollars paid out in lawsuits. They are pissing their training money away and not getting trained. And the only people who care about terrorist cops are the people they are terrorizing and the auditors. The problem of today is the cops have terrorized and murdered so many people they threaten our democracy. John, please dont discount why the cities are burning. If some cops got the treatment they deserved..They would be dead. Ive heard they are over 900,000 law enforcement officers in the US. And 1% was thought to be rogue, thats an army of 9,000. Can you imagine what 9.000 terrorists on our streets could do? Consider 11 terrorists brought us to our knees. Im asking for your help in getting these terrorist off the street, before YOU cross paths with one of these terrorist, and your family is burying you. Or worse yet…. we loose our democracy over this.

        • ALECIA Butler on March 17, 2021 at 5:49 pm

          I have recently seen some of the videos of these people and they are harassing more people than the police. They bother people in public buildings who are waiting for service and making scenes. They do not appear to be heroes of law, but more like people who are mentally ill. I agree with your post.

          • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on March 18, 2021 at 10:48 am

            Thank you for the input. Yes I have seen a rash of these audits now becoming hostile toward the public in order to draw a police response. The frustration comes when the police can’t do much to change the actions because of the Constitutionally protected actions of the auditors. Luckily, with the awareness of the police and training making their responses better, the popularity of these audits has gone down.

      • Vernon Smithee on February 18, 2020 at 1:24 am

        Proper grammar and punctuation would be greatly appreciated.

      • David w millward on May 26, 2020 at 10:16 pm

        So are you telling me that when the Auditers go into a limited public forum for instance a post office without prior permission from the supervisor, that the instant they start filming my first amendment rights are forfeit and theirs take priority over mine, if i am conducting private business in limited public forum i have a right not to be filmed, and the post office has a right not to have the Auditers disrupt the flow of traffic by protesting.
        Public Forums are parks other designated outdoor spaces and spaces advertised inside public buildings for that purpose only, but revert back to limited public forums after that event finishes.

        • Adam Matthew Tirado on December 24, 2021 at 6:09 pm

          If you are in public space your right to not be filmed is gone…Learn the law!!!

      • Joe Smith on January 4, 2022 at 7:45 pm

        You have a very teenie tiny brain. Your life must be hard.

    • Amanda on April 25, 2019 at 9:17 am

      There are a lot of people who support thoos and ask where they can donate. Often times people encounter situations where their camera equipment is broken, it takes a lot of mileage on your vehicle and a lot of extra expense to this.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:44 pm

        Good for you! someone who can think for themselves and ask legitimate questions. We need more people like you with common sense around here.

    • will on April 28, 2019 at 11:52 pm

      most of the auditors I’ve seen travel to do the audits and spread awareness so they need donations someone whos being paid by donations that are voluntary not by taxes that are mandatory doesn’t make any sense

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:50 pm

        What you just wrote doesn’t make any sense.

      • James on December 15, 2019 at 3:04 am

        What about auditors who stand outside schools, religious institutions, etc. and point their cameras inside gates, windows, etc. so they film footage/people on public property? Isn’t that considered illegal and outside the scope of auditing? What do people do when the auditor doesn’t stop filming after they are told to stop and are invading privacy? How do people respond to the auditor when they insult the people they film? Or when they video & audio record people making phone calls? This activity seems well outside what’s legal for auditing. Why are auditors showing up to film outside religious institutions and schools where children are and security/fear is heightened because of recent terrorist and violent activity?

        • James on December 15, 2019 at 3:08 am

          Above comment should be modified – the question is when auditors film PRIVATE property without permission – even though they stand in a public street or easement with the camera, aren’t they breaking the law and how do you deal with that?

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on December 15, 2019 at 8:16 am

          That’s a good question and the reality of our laws is not always black and white. Anyone can film what they can see. On that note, if an area is to be private then the person expecting privacy needs to help their own case. Window blinds, curtains, or shutters help.

          Wait until the auditors take to drone footage. There is a huge gap in laws there in regards to public filming.

          • Rick on September 19, 2020 at 8:38 pm

            That that include filming with a powerful zoom lens. If they can only film what they can see then the high powered zoom lens should be illegal.

        • mrspru852 on September 21, 2020 at 2:30 am

          I agree that the officers often MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK BAD! They know they’re being filmed and break the law and violate citizens rights anyway. People in government from high ranking politicians all the way down to beat cops have forgotten that they work for us! The recent killings of citizens has brought the problem to the forefront but it’s nothing new. It’s simply escalated. I support good law enforcement officers who respect the public and follow the constitution. It’s just that they seem to be in the minority and their safety is being jeopardized by the bully cops stirring up hate for the profession.

    • will on April 28, 2019 at 11:53 pm

      ****auditing someone whos being paid by donations that are voluntary not by taxes that are mandatory doesn’t make any sense****

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Not sure what your beef with the auditors is, perhaps that they’re making money and you aren’t? why would anyone be concerned about what another private citizen does to make money? Ever heard of minding your own business? That’s my suggestion. You suggest someone should audit them. I agree. How about you get off your lazy ass, quit bitching about it and do something about it. Lastly, are you aware that these auditors are working independantly and aren’t required to give account to anyone? You seem to think they have to prove what they are doing is correct and I seem to think you need to put thou nose back in thous own business.

      • Tom Jones on February 10, 2020 at 4:57 pm

        Our youtube, We The People Tyrant Wars, deal with these tyrants. We report them every chance we get. Their actions needs to be documented. Each time they harass a person, we feel that a name should be associated with that harassment, so when they file a lawsuit the city can demonstrate a pattern of abuse.

        We also produce videos making them feel just as they try to make others feel, small. We call them out to the world.

        They do not like us and they try their best to stay out of our way, but if they are a Tyrant we feature them and expose them as tyrants.

        We The People Tyrant Wars will do what cops cannot do, expose them to the world.

        If they have a criminal record we review it to the world.

        Sergeant Ryan Brett and to the rest we go your back. Perhaps you have heard of us, if not, know we are watching. We have all their names and information, which we provide to any law enforcement they encounter to ensure it is recorded properly.

        There is no amount of money that equates a life and you still do it. Thank you for your service.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 10, 2020 at 5:26 pm

          That’s super cool. I think an opposing view showing some of the other truths of the audits is warranted. Given some of the auditors tactics and smear campaigns this is a good regulation. Thank you for also exercising your rights!

      • Good Citizen on January 16, 2021 at 9:05 am

        Minding your own business? You don’t even see the irony.

  2. Rory on March 30, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Respect people’s rights under the Constitution and you should not have to worry about any of this. I am a 63 year old black man. I just discovered all this stuff on the internet. I don’t have a criminal record. I have experienced most of what I’ve seen on these videos. It seems things have not changed very much. The lawyers have been telling us this stuff for years. I am going to be a bit more assertive about my rights from now on and I’m going to keep my camera handy. I just hope it’s not confused for a gun.

  3. Frank R on March 23, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    99.9% of 1st amendment audits begin when officers engage these people. Leave them alone and then there’s no problem. Point blank period.
    The constitution is in place for a reason.
    It seems like a lot of cops are pissed off because citizens are informed. The law is nowadays majority penal codes and is ever changing seemingly to customize and give cops the upper hand but the constitution trumps all and that is what makes this country worth residing in. Study the law and inform yourself so that cops are not allowed to infringe upon these protected freedoms.
    Respect is a two way street.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:49 pm

      You and i could be friends. I’m having a hard time today reading uneducated comments from snowflakes and copsuckers because they’re spitting out false information and flat out lies and an impressionable person may believe their nonsense. I tend to go for the underdog and in the big picture of things, we are all the underdog when it comes to our government. Why do people feel the need to support that which doesn’t have your best interests at heart? You can see my frustration. Anyhow, good to know i’m not the only one around with a brain.

      • John L on December 9, 2019 at 11:30 am

        Your snowflake and copsucker buzz words show just how small and uneducated you must be. Get off the buzzwords and write something more than a fifth grader would be proud of. Attacking people that have a difference of opinions with you show that you have a lot of growing up to do. I would bet your one of those so-called 1st amendment auditor journalist as they call themselves. Lol

  4. JR on February 5, 2019 at 4:20 am

    You said when filming for non-commercial purposes, but they post on YouTube where they can monetize their video to make money. Also, I see many videos where the purposefully create a disturbance, walk up to cops during stops and start distracting them which should be considered obstruction.

    I agree if they are quietly filming then no problem. Leave them alone, but many people are starting to do this for views and money not activism. Those people should be arrested hen they commit an infraction. To true activists know their right and only seek to expose cops abusing their authority. A lot of these video are starting to show youtube wannabe’s start trouble for no reason.

    • Johnmac1256 on February 6, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Why the do the filming is immaterial … and those government officials that react badly only embarrasses themselves and open their organizations up to public ridicule. The job of a government official is NOT to assess the LEGAL reason for them to engage in the activity … if they are standing in a public place and not PHYSICALLY infringing on the rights of others it is a legal activity.

      As an officer, if your skin is so thin that one of these folks walking into your area during a stop is going to provoke you to attempt to arrest them on whatever charge, get a thicker skin. Ask them POLITELY to move to a vantage point where they still can engage in the LEGALLY protected activity and cause the amount of distraction as a PROFESSIONAL you can accept for your DEMONSTRABLE safety. In most instances this is not much of a movement.

      What part of LEAVE THEM ALONE do people not understand? Curb your ego! OR do you want to attract the attention of MORE and provoke the questions from senior leadership when people viewing the videos in REAL TIME make those embarrassing calls to the Chief?

      • Wadi Garton on February 14, 2019 at 5:06 pm

        Sir, they are now targeting all public buildings including school admin buildings. I have encountered one of these so called “auditors” and he was intent on trying to get a rise out of someone. Calling people names, asking stupid questions, going in offices that are closed, and getting in people’s personal spaces. I believe if confronted with this kind of behavior, he would not respond quite as well as most do. These so called “auditors” need to get a real job and leave others alone. In light of the school shootings over the last several years, it would behoove them to watch how they act around school district buildings. I personally felt threatened by this person and the comments on their YouTube videos were very threatening and distressing. I also received a phone call from someone who watched the video who assaulted me verbally and threatened to come to our building and cause bodily harm. If this is the kind of foolishness they are out to cause, they should be ashamed of themselves. I would just like to do my job without being verbally abused and videoed against my will. They need to grow up and get over themselves.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 14, 2019 at 5:52 pm

          Yes you are right. There are some cases where auditors are crossing the line in ever attempts to see how far they can go. I totally support the auditors who work with education of law and the public in their mind. I have met a couple that worked very professionally and thusly, were able to clearly pass a positive message of Constitutional rights. On the other hand, those that are bringing a bad name are pushing relations and the purpose of education away from the purpose.

          Thank you!

          • Heather Bleu on December 6, 2019 at 5:00 am

            I hope you know that there are a great deal of us citizens that find this sort of behavior not only abusive but intolerable. Some do not apparently understand that without officers enforcing the laws that are implemented there would be complete chaos and society. Thank you for all you do and I wish you and yours nothing but the best.

        • Blanket on December 20, 2019 at 6:55 pm

          I am not an auditor, but have watched hundreds of audits. I’m not saying it’s never happened, but I have never seen an auditor get up close in someone’s personal space unless someone blocks their path. Never saw one call someone names unless they tried to stop them from doing something legal. They ask questions to see if the person they ask the question to will be polite or rude. If you got calls and youtube comments that were negative, maybe it’s because of your own bad behavior. Earlier today I went to The Fresno county public library facebook page and gave them a nice review, thanked them for honoring the bill of rights, and told others who saw what I wrote that the people who work there love freedom and liberty and that they are great people. Did anyone like your reaction enough to send you a compliment like that? If they were angry enough to call and threaten you, (I hope i’m wrong) I would guess that you or a co-worker were the first to start making threats. It’s a two way street. You reap what you sow. (usually)

      • Russell on February 17, 2019 at 10:43 am

        I wanted to respond to wadi garton here and their concern about what people film. One activist was told by his children that the bus driver was not driving safe. So he went to the school bus yard and asked to see their safety check sheets under florida sunshine law and was unlawfully denied. He stuck around for some time longer and caught the same said bus driver backing into a parked car and driving away. No note, no documentation just an illegal hit and run. When the auditor reported this the school system trespassed him and local law enforcement began to target him.

        Their are many reasons to film many places and it is not limited to law enforcement. If an individual wants to film himself paying his taxes or buying a fishing licences they have every right to do so. If it is in public their is no expectation of privacy , i mean how do you think poparatizi make a living? They take photos of celebrities in public. However 1st amendment auditors are not looking for fame or fortune or arrest . 1st amendment auditors are just examining our system and double checking to make sure our rights are upheld. Sometimes however, its not even activists or auditors doing the filming sometimes its just an average joe filming something he believes is worth filming.

        My own mother likes to take pictures of fire trucks when she sees them and sends them to her daughter , my sister, because she is a fire fighter. My own mother has been harrassed by police over this and told to delete her stuff unlawfully.

        It is what it is and it is why we do what we do. We do not want our parents or children to suffer injustice or worse for the non-crime of taking pictures or film in public

      • Donna Phillips on March 1, 2019 at 1:42 am

        We have an auditor in our county who is gong to the health department, the wic office, child support, the visitation center of the county jail, and the citizens who are there with legitimate purpose are the one’s who are being caught in the crossfire, and they are not happy to have their hipaa rights and other right to confidentiality violated. This man provokes the public in the hope of a police call out. He is inciting violence and creates a public disturbance.
        Now he’s going to art festivals, county fairs etc and tries to engage vendors and antagonizes the public.
        Our Sheriff has been instructed to act as you prescribe leaving people to feel vulnerable, shaken and angry. And they know law enforcement won’t back them.
        This man is escalating, and I believe something bad will eventually happen.
        Policing a community also includes officers of the law educating as well.
        Freedom of speech is not absolute

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on March 1, 2019 at 2:02 am

          That’s terrible and unfortunate. I predicted the move from law enforcement to more public domains. The public doesn’t have to honor constitutional rights but their calls to the police have to go answered. The issue is the police finding the balance of rights protections for everyone. The auditor and the public. There are laws in place like harassment and disturbing the peace which can result in private persons arrests if applicable. Hopefully your local police study up and work to sharpen their service to you in these circumstances. We do have a training conference in California in June this year where we will cover First Amendment audits. Thanks for the post!

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 4:53 pm

        You are what we like to call “snowflakes”. It sums up who you are and what you’re all about. You are “copsucker”, someone who follows blindly the biggest criminal gang ever. MS-13 ain’t got nothing on these punks in blue. As far as auditors starting shit? You claim to have seen “one” auditor who instiggated things and got everyone all riled up. You need to watch more videos. You will soon realize that the public are generally without exception the ones who come up to the auditors and start trouble. And it’s always the same old question: “Can I help you?” Really?

        • Jim Hicks on October 22, 2019 at 4:22 am

          John, I used to think like you. However, there hasn’t been one first amendment auditor video I’ve seen where they weren’t disrespectful and just simply pushing people’s buttons. It’s no wonder they get a rise out of that 1 out of 100 officer who is having a bad day. Cops aren’t thugs, they’re people. If you treat them with respect, it’s amazing how much you’ll get back. Try that.

    • Drew on February 25, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      WRONG, they do NOT monetize on their videos. Its prohibited.

      • Beth on April 20, 2019 at 4:44 am

        Then why do they need gofundme accounts. I know they claim it’s for legal funds but exactly how many lawsuits have they filed. Perhaps they should be audited. If they are requesting funds for a specific purpose shouldn’t they have to prove that’s what they are doing with it.

      • Madeline Radwan on March 2, 2021 at 12:49 pm

        They have to get money somewhere for all the trips they make. YouTube supports them with the money they receive from advertisements. How naive are you? When someone asks them “Can I help you” most of the time their response is “I don’t answer questions” but they expect everybody else to answer their questions. They do not do this for the love of the constitution but for money that they do not report to the government.

    • David Rangel on February 26, 2019 at 9:23 am

      This is true. They create problems and they don’t let who ever is walking up to them talk. I think it’s stupid how you hear them say,,,,you work for me. Your a servant. These idiots behind the cameras wouldn’t act like that when a public worker is off duty. They would be too afraid to talk crap. Some of these idiots need to be taught a serious lesson.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm

        This is often true. I think that a true signal of maturity in policing is when we (police) approach a situation where we only rely on “weak” suspicious behavior and the person challenges us lawfully (silent treatment, rude behavior, walking away) that we should balance the need to investigate the situation with the need to uphold the Constitutional rights of the subject involved. It is hard with the “contempt of cop” phenomena, which I have experienced personally. This is why training and talking about this stuff is important and I do thank the auditors for bringing this to the table for us to grow upon.

      • Josh on April 25, 2019 at 6:03 am

        Most cops would not act as tough as they do without the badge and gun they hide behind. If the average citizen walked up aggressively and yelled at me while I was taking pictures they would get punched in the mouth. If we approached these officers in the same way they do the auditors we might get shot. The officers, however, use their badge and gun as a reason to escalate a non-violent situation. Take these items away and they would not be so inclined to escalate the situation.

      • Rick Parker on April 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm

        Then David Rangel,
        You sound like you are a good candidate. The next time you see anyone with a camera in public, by all means, help yourself, beat the sh!t out of them!
        That’ll teach’em.

        I agree with you that some auditors cross the line, but my few years of watching hundreds of these audits, I have come to the conclusion that they are doing more good than harm, especially when they expose the power trip cops that are out there and there are many.
        Do you feel that the public should take the same approach to the errant cops and “they should be taught a serious lesson.”?
        I don’t. I do not feel that anyone will win when it comes to violence.
        I will also point out that a majority of the bad auditors seem to have their faculties in order when treated with respect during contact with law enforcement.
        It goes both ways.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:59 pm

        Well, why don’t you get off your computer and do something about it David Rangel? Cause you’re all talk and no action. You’re just like the rest of your idiotic community of copsuckers. Always whining about something, never quite understood the concept of “none of your business” but still gotta put your two cents in. I’m calling you out dude. Teach them auditors a serious lesson boy or shut up about it and mind your own damn business.

    • Jamie on March 15, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      I think they are a group of people who live off the money of suing agencies and people and putting it on you tube. They do not respect anybody’s privacy but their own. They are in my opinion worse than the people they film If they believed they were in the right they wouldn’t be afraid to give there names and show id. If they would respect a person privacy and obey the laws they probably would have better luck. They treat the law as they are dogs when they say derogatory things about them. I am sure there are privacy laws out there that say since they make film for profit they should have respect the privacy of a person if they ask not to be film.

      • Rick Parker on April 28, 2019 at 1:47 pm

        I personally have not witnessed a “good or bad” auditor that has publicly filmed and posted people in the public when asked, with respect, not to have their information published.
        On the other hand, the ID’ing thing is part of the audit. The police in a majority of the states are not in their legal right to ask for ID if “No” crime has been committed. It is however a right of the “people” to ask, what authority a person has, to ask for “their” ID when approached in public.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on April 29, 2019 at 4:38 am

          Yes we can ask for ID and usually do. I personally don’t have an opinion on that one either way. If someone wants to be called good citizen, that’s ok. Not all police questioning rises to trying to arrest someone. I have seen many officers in videos just trying to be cordial by asking a name.

          Of course, the other side (I need some ID!) is wrong.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm

        I’m shocked each and every day when I involve myself in the conversations that pertain to us all, whether it’s on FB, or other social media, I have a voice too and the reason I’m shocked is because people like you who try to sound intelligent but clearly lack education on the topic they are discussing. Example, in your twisted logic the auditors should just bend over and give them their ID’s and names no questions asked. Do you see how dumb you sound or do I need to spell it out for you? Here, I’ll help you. In the United States of America the police do not have the right to identify law abiding citizens. Sit and think about that for a bit, really think about what that means. If you’ve got a half a brain you might conclude auditors aren’t breaking the law and then you might connect the dots and realize that the two go hand in hand. ie, right to be free from government intrusion in our lives. I know this response is probably way above your comprehension level but I’ve got faith that even a dog can be trained to sit so maybe there’s still hope for you.

      • Russ on May 17, 2019 at 11:22 pm

        The reason why they do not want to tell their name or provide an ID is very simple: legally they are not required. They have this right under 1st Amendment. They have a right to be obnoxious, disrespectful, just like have a right to be racist, flath earth believers etc. I am NOT saying a decent human being should be any of those but the Constitution does allow. In some places, Russia for example, a person insulting or criticizing the police can be jailed for “violating honor and dignity of the state official” but do you want to live under such a regime?

    • Jill Haddock on April 2, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      You say they are not a danger, most are odd balls, they video tape government buildings and law enforcement infrastructure from a distance. They are being watched by many who could include those that mean harm. This insanity must be handled. The US gives us many freedoms and rights, they are abusers and may bring harm to officers, employees, and or infrastructure by being idiots, not too much to have them prove who and what their purpose is.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:06 pm

        You’re an idiot. I’m not even going to waste my time explaining why. it’s self evident.

  5. Jay on January 23, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    “But terrorists, they scout locations and police stations are a target.” I agree. They certainly do.
    I just really dislike it when all those terrorists do terror upon our police stations… Really?

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on January 23, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      Yeah I haven’t seen this as a trend here in America yet. Hopefully it isn’t and until then, we cannot live like it is a constant threat like it is in other countries.

      • John S on February 14, 2019 at 1:46 pm

        I have read months of comments here, and find quite a bit of this disturbing. First, police are allowed to demand a persons I.D. even when someone has no legal obligation to comply. If a regular citizen where to demand someone’s I.D. while their hand rested on their open carry firearm, they would quickly end up in jail. This is called coercion. This is just one example of police routinely being allowed to and getting away with trampling on peoples rights. It also sets the officers themselves up for failure when someone who knows their rights pushes back. It breaks the pattern of compliance they are use to. Many view any non-compliance to be an act of aggression. How many times have officers gone on private property without a warrant (which can be necessary, no argument here), but refuse to leave when the property owner demands it and there is no obvious illegal activity going on?

        Second, Terry v. Ohio is not relevant in the vast majority of these audits. Any officer who tries to use that case to justify poor behavior is going to still find themselves in a world of hurt. The open carry audits are the only place where this could apply. In every one of those audits I’ve seen, the auditor allowed the officers to check their weapons and pat them down, but did not give I.D.

        Third, people have left comments here that they or their families are in law enforcement and have seen good and bad officers. My question to them would be, what are you personally doing about officers you think are “bad” or do not have temperaments conducive to being in law enforcement? Should they get more training before being allowed on the street and interacting with the public? Are they getting it? Does you department have a way for you or others to report concerns without fear of retaliation? Why are these officers being allowed to interact with the public while carrying a gun?

        A lot of people just don’t trust law enforcement, and with good reason. The police just don’t police themselves and news article after news article has show us this. I can also say from personal experience, I don’t trust them either. I played of the police softball team ( city, sheriffs deputies, state) when I was a senior in high school. I personally witnessed them smoking pot, driving drunk, and racing their cruisers on public roads. The two (the LT. and 1 state trooper) who did not participate in that behavior turned a blind eye by leaving when the pot was being smoked. This is why I went into the military instead of law enforcement.

        Another time I was pulled over for a D.U.I. The officer had an absolute fit when I refused the breathalyzer after his field sobriety test, which is my right. He handcuffed me, placed me in his cruiser, and tried to arrest my wife (the passenger). She had left to walk across the field to go home while he gave me his test. He didn’t find her in the car or along the road. My blood test came back negative. The ONLY reason he pulled me over was it was 2:00 A.M., which is why I didn’t trust his honesty or his breathalyzer. He had no LEGAL reason to pull me over. If I had a camera in the car to act as my witness, I would have sued. (Yes my wife was drunk, which is why I was driving and hadn’t been drinking).

        I 100% think these audits are a positive thing. I think people with go pros and cameras running while driving is a good thing. I think people stopping to film arrests or other interactions of police with citizens is a good thing. It protects EVERYONE involved. Law enforcement has brought this scrutiny upon themselves. I think most law enforcements oath say something about impartially and according to the law. Not being a law enforcement officer I may be wrong. Maybe there is a stipulation of “except in the case of other law enforcement officers”.

      • Bad Drivers Caught On DashCam on February 15, 2019 at 1:37 am

        You think 100% these audits are a good thing? Much of the time they are. But there are clearly auditors who cross boundaries, don’t know the law and purposefully antagonize people to create an issue that didn’t exist before they showed up. I see this time and time again in these Youtube videos. There are good auditors and there are bad auditors. Please don’t be disingenuous. If you have any common sense, you’d know there are bad apples in every bunch. Let’s not lie and say these audits are 100% a good thing considering the bad auditors. 70% a good thing? More likely.

      • Donna Phillips on March 1, 2019 at 1:41 am

        We have an auditor in our county who is gong to the health department, the wic office, child support, the visitation center of the county jail, and the citizens who are there with legitimate purpose are the one’s who are being caught in the crossfire, and they are not happy to have their hipaa rights and other right to confidentiality violated. This man provokes the public in the hope of a police call out. He is inciting violence and creates a public disturbance.
        Now he’s going to art festivals, county fairs etc and tries to engage vendors and antagonizes the public.
        Our Sheriff has been instructed to act as you prescribe leaving people to feel vulnerable, shaken and angry. And they know law enforcement won’t back them.
        This man is escalating, and I believe something bad will eventually happen.
        Policing a community also includes officers of the law educating as well.
        Freedom of speech is not absolute

    • Matthew Mendonsa on March 14, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      Please explain why any terrorist would stand out in the open , clearly visible in order to covertly scout any location when all he really has to do for ten times the access is stay at home on the computer and study the location from Google Earth ? Google even has a street view from every 30 feet or so. So why expose themselves to the public and the police.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on March 14, 2019 at 12:29 pm

        Exactly!! You nailed it and there is the common issue. We Police fall back on possible terrorist activity but come on. It’s been scouted covertly not overtly. Thank you.

  6. T. Randerson on January 16, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    So what about audits that are at a Juvenile Hall? I’ve seen some online of Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey and they never turn out well. It seems like, since it is a juvenile facility, the law would be on the side of the police and not on those filming. I know LA County requires a film permit, but does that include for these “audits”? Plus one of the streets has a sign that says “No Public Parking” and the parking structures also say that or “Superior Court Parking Only.” They’re just trying to be difficult. If someone were to try filming me while I’m on county property, I’d be upset because I just don’t want to be filmed.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on January 17, 2019 at 1:34 am

      You bring up a very valid point but it still falls generally under the pubic access and right to film for non commercial purposes. I expect to see many more conflicts between members of the public who don’t recognize any Amendments when it comes to someone filming them. Imagine you following someone around a park with your cell phone filming them. Totally legal under most circumstances but totally annoying and highly likely to elicit a fight. Keep an eye on the video threads for that type of stuff.

      • Paul Martin on September 9, 2019 at 5:38 am

        I would like to go nack to non-commercial filming versus the auditors.

        With rare exception, the 1st Amendment Auditors and Copwatchers (amongst themselves there is a difference) hold the status as Youtube Partners and earn money from ads placed beginning and throughput their videos. The term they use is called ‘montetized’

        Many earn thousands of dollars a month just from Youtube, and then there a the gofundme and paypal accounts for viewer donations. One guy in La Puente even sells t-shirts and hats. Socialblade estimates the auditor you are personally familiar with earns in excess of $100K from YouTube alone annually.

        It’s safe to say they are involved in commercial filming (for profit) and it’s clear to see that they engage in behavior that spikes the drama.

        Most local jurisdictions require permits to film when it is for commercial profit-making purposes. Shouldn’t police cite violators that are making a nuisance of themselves?

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 9, 2019 at 12:15 pm

          If the law backs it yes. Here in California we have really weak laws on trespassing and disturbing the peace. The amount of disturbing or trespassing has to be so significant that it would shock the conscience of the courts. I have yet to see that happen in this state where drugs are legalized (or almost fully) and plastic straws are outlawed.

    • Stephen on January 24, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      The first amendment does give every citizen the right to photograph, video and voice record all public servants, in the course of their service or jobs. Public servants are the police, military, any federal, state, county, city, or town public employees. The supreme court ruled Public servants have no expectation of privacy. They also recently ruled Photographers need only stay ten feet away from the police, unless the police walk up to them. Then you can stand your ground.
      Another ruling is, it is illegal for the police to seize your camera, or mobile phone and search it, it is also illegal for the police to erase any video or photographs. The police need a warrant now.
      Anyone can video any public citizen, building, airport, corporations, utilities, libraries, in short anything they can see from a public road, sidewalk, public right of way, park, beach, plaza, or anywhere the public is allowed. Citizens also have no expectation of privacy out in public, the moment you step out of your home, you can be photographed and videoed. All state and city laws saying that the police cannot be videoed have been stuck down.
      Auditors are not supposed to voice record ordinary citizens, unless a citizen starts talking to an auditor, by doing so the citizen waves the right not to be voice recorded.
      There is another little known Supreme court decision, it is known as the Black Elk case. Any citizen has the right to use deadly force if they feel their life is in imminent danger. Even against the police. If the police try making a violent arrest or illegal arrest, you have the right to kill those police.
      All citizens also have the right to interfere in an illegal arrest or violent arrest to save a citizen.
      The lower courts have ignored this supreme court ruling, but if a citizen uses this ruling and kills a police officer; you need to find a real sharp lawyer to defend you.
      The law still stands, and you may have to take your case all the way back to the supreme court.
      Remember, you always have the right to remain silent, tell any law enforcement that and then keep you mouth shut, you do not have to answer any cop. This is not obstruction of justice; it is a constitutional right.
      The forth amendment says you do not have to show ID, unless you are arrested, with probable cause. You can challenge any probable cause in court.
      If you are in your yard and it is visible from a public street, road, sidewalk, or public right of way, you can be photographed or videoed. No one can come in to your yard of course, but you can be photographed and videoed. You cannot be audio taped, unless you start a conversation or start yelling at them.
      Right now in California the department of parks and recreation are illegally confronting auditors at state beaches and parks. These public servants are opening up the state and cities to a slew of lawsuits. There is much more, but you get the message by now.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on January 24, 2019 at 10:39 pm

        Interesting points and I agree with most except two. If you decide to remain 10 feet from police and they order you back (such as in an active scene) you should comply and move back. Officers do not need to articulate their reasons for you moving back, and if you fail to do so could get you legally arrested for interference (if such a case can be made by police). The fact that the officer has to move his attention from the original situation (car stop, call for service, whatever) warrants just that interference. Just be careful.

        On the point of using deadly force to stop police from “violently” arresting you. This is in some states for sure, and it is not very good advice. Obviously if, and when you go to use your force, you are now a deadly threat to the police and you will be equally handled. The best and time honored advice is cooperate and listen to the orders, even if you deem them unlawful. Let the court decide. You wont win the case out on the sidewalk.

      • Stephen on January 25, 2019 at 12:26 am

        You may be astounded at the number of cops and military who are auditors. My son is an auditor, but not a cop. I go with him at times and have met many auditors. The majority are cops and ex military and two former FBI. These guys and gals have what it takes to stand up against the bad cops, and unfortunately there are a lot of bad ones. Yes they make money doing so, only because we have a heck of a lot of voyeurism on the net. Face it, almost all of us like to watch and comment.
        Some of these auditors are making millions a year from lawsuits and in donations. One FBI guy started part time, once he passed the 100,000 view mark, he went full time, quitting the FBI. He is now one of the highest earners. As are many of the cops and older military dudes.
        Its the lawsuits where the really big bucks are being made. As long as there are stupid government employees, stupid cops, stupid military police and stupid security guards, there are thousands of lawsuits pending and in the making.
        When we find descent cops and others above, we thank them for being professional and move on. If someone is confrontational, we come back over and over until they get the message, or file a lawsuit. Sometimes we ask other auditors, to join us at difficult audits, we’ve had ten or more at some audits. Defense contractors prisons and oil facilities are prime violators of citizens rights. Next are the military, and most city, county and state public employees. Although the federal agencies violate their own directives also.

      • Stephen on January 25, 2019 at 12:39 am

        On black Elk, using deadly force. You did not read my article correctly. This is a supreme court decision, which applies to all states, not some states. I am aware that some states passed their own laws enhancing Black Elk. Only because the lower courts have been ignoring the supreme courts law. Some cops misuse the ten foot rule, and try to back people up forty to fifty feet. Again this is a federal court derision. And many auditors are refusing to back up more than that. Sure the cops might arrest some, but most of them are free with charges dropped the same or next day.

      • Jim on February 4, 2019 at 9:43 pm

        Stephen you were doing okay until you stated that it would be all right to kill a police officer trying to make a violent or illegal arrest.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 4, 2019 at 9:58 pm

          Yeah that was my point exactly. It will be a no win situation.

      • Bad Drivers Caught On DashCam on February 15, 2019 at 1:46 am

        The First Amendment does NOT give you permission to record audio of public servants in the course of their duty if the conversation is deemed to be confidential or there’s an expectation that nobody else is listening, such as during a traffic stop. Some states such as Illinois and California, have what’s called an eavesdropping law that prohibits surreptitious audio recordings even in public spaces, and are all-party consent states. Look it up. Reputable legal websites provide these facts, such as the Shouse Law legal firm. The visual aspect of video recording is different and is protected under the First Amendment in public spaces. But audio recording is much more restrictive.

      • Paul Martin on March 10, 2019 at 9:33 am

        You better check your sources again. You do not have the right to kill an officer if you think or he or she is, in fact, making an illegal arrest.

        Your ten foot rule is based on myth. An officer can ask you to move back as far as necessary to conduct his or her investigation safely and without interference.

        There is a guy near me on youtube calling himself West Coast Digital that visits public places and crime scenes with a friend or two with the sole purpose of having deputies called in so they can disrespect, taunt, and call them every slur in the book for their sicko fans.

        The deputies always show restraint, and I am eagerly awaiting the day that the handcuffs go on for obstruction.

      • Paul Martin on September 9, 2019 at 5:43 am

        There is no such thing as a 10-foot rule established by the Supreme Court that auditors claim.

        The Glix case was not about distance but rather the right to film police.

        The fact that he was ten feet away is not relevant because the case was not about obstruction.

        Do you think you are going to get within 10 feet of a cop during a shoot out? No.

        The auditing community is full of bad legal advice. They only get away with it because the pop into a local city one day, nobody knows who they are, and they are never standing around long enough to allow the police to consult the City Attorney.

    • R. Garr on February 15, 2019 at 12:05 am

      You do not have an expectation of privacy while in public. The fact that you do not want to be filmed is immaterial. Remember that you are being filmed every minute you are in public, whether it is by cameras on light poles or cameras in both public and private buildings. It is best not to get upset by a camera, the alternative is to lock yourself in your house and never come out.

      • Paul Martin on September 9, 2019 at 5:46 am

        One big but here, and it’s important.

        If you are monetized, ie: making money from YouTube through ad revenue, you do not have the right to use someone’s likeness without their permission for profit.

        If you watch carefully when challenged the auditor’s either dodge the question, refuse to answer, or just outright lie. You will never ever hear them admit they earn ad dollars.

        They are scum.

      • Madeline Radwan on March 2, 2021 at 12:57 pm

        Yes we are always being filmed. The difference is the security films do not get posted on Facebook or any other social media. Nor are they sold for money.

    • S. Landess on March 25, 2019 at 8:56 am

      on January 16, 2019 at 9:07 pm, T. Randerson wrote:

      “If someone were to try filming me while I’m on county property, I’d be upset because I just don’t want to be filmed…”

      What is it about public property that you do not understand? County property is PUBLIC property.
      If you don’t want to be filmed, stay at home in your cocoon!

    • Beth on April 20, 2019 at 6:30 am

      I had questioned these auditors about video recording juveniles at a detention facility. Their response was the juveniles rights were taken away because they were in there. That’s not totally true some of the juveniles in there are awaiting trial and have not been adjudicated guilty therefore their rights are intact. To videotape them without the consent of their parents or legal guardian is in fact a violation of their rights.

      • HuckFinnMedia on April 27, 2019 at 5:09 pm

        False, the fact that they are under 18 has no bearing on the right to film them if they are in public. It is not a violation of their rights as no such right to not be video recorded in public exists. And there is no need to have parents or guardians permission. This is part of the problem is people just make up things in their head and automatically believes it to be true.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      If someone were trying to film you while you’re on county property you’d be upset? Are you really that stupid or do you want me to point the obvious out to you and your thousands of readers…? Ok…here goes. You dumbass are being filmed surreptitiously each and every day you step out of your house. you’re aware of it, but you’re too brainwashed to connect the dots and do anything about it. stay asleep. i don’t care. just know that i hate living on the same planet as you.

  7. Russ on January 14, 2019 at 3:49 am

    You have emphasized the need for training. Do you think if first amendment auditors in addition to posting their videos online start pursuing very aggressive civil rights lawsuits and courts start handing out settlements it could lead to the police force providing more training to avoid being sued? Also, from your experience, how hard is it to win such claims against the police?

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on January 14, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you for the good question Russ. Yes I think that if police and cities started being sued for all violations of this type, then they would allocate more time and money toward training personnel to respond to all First Amendment audits as well as other lesser understood (by law enforcement) contacts. This can be seen in the old way policing occurred (us vs. them mentality) and today’s more community based police programs. Not everyone is doing it correctly or well but it arose from need.

      This is why at CALRO we are providing this training hoping more agencies come out and brush up on these types of contacts.

      It generally isn’t hard to win a settlement from these lawsuits since many agencies and cities prefer to settle instead of wasting time and energy in a matter that they would likely lose.

      Thanks for the question!


      • Paul Martin on March 10, 2019 at 9:40 am

        I think a jury would have to consider the video evidence of intent on the part of the auditors before rendering a verdict.

        Something tells me that this is why attorneys are not taking on the cases of those ‘name and badge number’,’you are dismissed’ idiots. It is hard imagining a jury rewarding these vile intentional acts.

    • Jim on February 4, 2019 at 9:51 pm

      These so called activist have done plenty of research on identification laws, trespass laws, and the first, fourth and fifth amendments. They can regurgitate most of it verbatim when confronted. They will challenge you. Just remember, it took income tax evasion to incarcerate Al Capone. With the money these “Auditors” are making, my guess is they are not paying taxes. It is going to take a Federal Task Force to bring them down.

      • Ben Dover on February 5, 2019 at 10:16 pm

        What makes you think that by standing up for Constitutional rights by “auditing ” officials who are often caught violating the Constitution makes them Tax evaders? You, Jim , are hopefully not a COP as you lack basic logic and understanding of what they are doing and standing for…Every American has constitutional rights. Do you thin Capone was fighting to keep power in check by educating departments on the LAW? You are quick to judge and there are many dead citizens that were killed soon after their rights were violated.

      • Amy on February 12, 2019 at 7:29 pm

        Why do you want to “bring down” citizens who are behaving lawfully and within the bounds of their constitutional rights? Because they’re annoying? Last time I checked that wasn’t illegal.

        And just FYI, Google/YouTube does issue 1099 forms, as required, for earnings over $600.00.

      • Morgan Pypher on February 14, 2019 at 10:57 pm

        So you want to take down people who are educated, aware, community conscious, and opportunistic? Based on a guess?
        Hmm…what’s next? Guess we take down people who wear glasses, have dark hair/skin, perhaps we should imprison any one who would attempt to wake their neighbours to the blatant corruption that runs rampant throughout all societies. western, Asian Latin, Arab, African too.
        Any particular punishment in mind for those who do not wish to submit to arbitrary application of statutes, regulations, codes, by-laws.
        Nothing worse than a peaceful individual wanting to be treated peacefully.
        Pol Pot much?

        • Paul Martin on September 9, 2019 at 5:56 am

          They are not educated. They always can be seen quoting false law. One sure sign they are full of it is when they start talking over another person non-stop.

          A majority have criminal histories, and most of those are felony convictions from assault, theft, robbery and child molestation or sex offenses.

          They are not looking for political corruption when they march through City Hall. They are looking for drama to push up views and the all important ad revenue. Don’t kid yourself if you think they are defending our rights. They are doing a #2 on our rights in order to profit.

          • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 9, 2019 at 12:13 pm

            You are correct in many situations. A lot of them have bad info and work from that angle. The problems amplify when the police also work on bad info and we have two uneducated people yelling at each other. That’s why CALRO likes to train the police to set the bar a bit higher than assumptions.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:08 pm

        Stay in your own lane Jim. Mind your own f’n business. nothing to see here, move along.

        • Paul martin on September 9, 2019 at 5:59 am

          Auditors should do the same and mind their own business too.

          It is my business when they are intentionally wasting police resources with their antics they know will draw the police.

          It’s also my business when they mistreat the police and workers at City Hall too.

          Let me guess? Your response will be the pat response, ‘go kick rocks bootlicker’. Idiot.

  8. william rich on January 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    The PA phenomenon has morphed into a sophisticated core movement with considerable lawyer participation. A primary objective is to educate both police and public that taping police is legal and necessary as evidenced by numerous recordings of police mistakes and overt misconduct. Recording police has become a high adventure activity with a strong social justification. Play it save and stay out of trouble.

  9. Tim on December 21, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    The thing about these audits that I wonder about is what is right (subjective) and what is legal (far less subjective), for the auditor and the police officer.

    For instance, if in a state (I’m in WI) where the law says you do not have to provide ID unless the officer has a belief that you have or are about to commit a crime, then is that officer legally able to ask for an ID if he doesn’t? I think (but really want your opinion) that the law allows the officer to ask (I’m assuming for sake of this discussion that the department’s policy also allows this). I suppose they could even try to demand.

    Now, the public may think that’s not right to do or it’s silly or it’s stupid but I don’t think it’s illegal.

    Where it crosses the line is what the officer does next, if anything.

    If the individual refuses to provide ID and if the officer walks away and says, “you’re right, you don’t have to provide ID”, then great.

    If the officer threatens the individual or goes even further and handcuffs them then they’ve crossed the line. Basically, asking is ok, taking action because an ID isn’t given is not.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on December 21, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Good point. Where officers get in trouble is the arresting for failing to ID when not justified or required by law. All officers can ask. Most usually will do just this. They can even demand legally, as long as that is where it ends. It’s a state by state basis and they vary in requirements. Thanks for the post!

      • Paul Martin on September 9, 2019 at 6:05 am

        Sgt. Brett,

        I draw the line at asking. I do not think a cop should ever place his or herself in a position of making a demand that you can’t back up because of the way it makes the police look if they will not back it up with action. The public especially auditors must understand that there are consequences if they disobey a lawful directive and not being consistent send the wrong message.

        It’s kind of like telling a whining child in public that you will take the child home and not the park if they don’t knock it of. Say it enough times and the child does not respect your authority.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 9, 2019 at 12:11 pm

          True! We can ask anytime, or anything. The circumstances around the “asking”, meaning the reason for our contact, really dictates the amount of cooperation an auditor needs to show. A legal “detention” has a bit more weight then a consensual encounter. In an “arrest” situation, the arrested MUST ID – in California.

    • U.N. Soldier on February 23, 2019 at 1:32 am

      This is only disputed by cops and public employees who crave power, and the ability to have life and death power over people. It is also a know fact that cops will not be hired if they are too smart… Combine that with the psychopathic pych evals (my girlfriend did the evals and said every single cop tested out as a psychopath) and carrying a gun and you have a recipe for death and assault against ordinary citizens. Watch an old time B/W western and tell me if those people would have stood by while cops like today raped and murdered them? When ever I go to USA it is like an insane Disneyland. The disconnect from the public and how little actual freedom they have left is astounding! And the collaborators who work for their own destruction is nauseating. The one Srgt Bett on here is mildy coherent and I understand why. If he stood up to the corruption that surrounds him, do you really think this human being, this cop, would be allowed to be a cop enforcer for 20 years!!! ? Of course not. The last cop that came out to testify was murdered by fellow cops. These auditors are exercising, and when you don’t exercise you get out of shape. Well USA you are sorely out of shape. Try this in some of the country’s I work in and the auditors would never be heard from again. So support these auditors, they are pushing back the inevitable…which is tyranny is coming to your country. Never give up. Remember Siberaian gulags, Aushwitz, Pol Pot, Mao. Huindreds of millions killed by their own people! America, America how I love thee, where will the world go when you fall…

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 26, 2019 at 2:09 pm

        You make some strong points. I agree that the United States does allow individual freedoms to surpass and often squash others freedoms, which can be very bad. However, I don’t see that hiring intelligent police officers (which is becoming more common these days) is a bad thing. Many agencies will hire only officers with college degrees, which places them on tougher grounds to hire and keep officers. These officers are brighter, better thinkers, and are capable of the training we (and the auditors) are asking of them. Police officers are being asked more now than ever to think on their feet, adjust their job descriptions from call to call, balance mental illness responses, and handle homeless problems amplified by a lacking justice system when it comes to quality of life issues. It is a lot and the police of 20 years ago would find this downright difficult.

        I certainly hope my open views and direction to reduce negative conflict with the public we serve wouldn’t make me a mark by my fellow officers. If this occurs, then so be it and we have a SERIOUS problem. I have been actually in the streets working for 22 years, in an enforcement capability. I even spent some time in a couple of gang units, which were directly related to high crime enforcement. I avoided trouble with an open mind and, the view, that the people I serve (law abiding and not) are my “bosses” and I tried to respect the rights of everyone involved.

        It is comments out of fear and conspiracy that drive the notion that police are trying to militarize this country and control the public. I am trying to focus on the people I influence, my agency. If I can change the minds of other, younger officers and better their outlook on relations with the community, then I have succeeded. I try to think bigger picture.

  10. Juxone on December 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Another view?
    Just a casual observation from your opening commentary: “A review of many of the posted audit videos shows us, extremely well trained and professional law enforcement officers acting what I can only describe as “childish” when confronted with an audit and a camera. From us blocking their view, following them, challenging them for ID, or even worse, pulling out our own cell phone and taking pictures and video of them. What is the point? ”

    A couple of comments, if I may. The description of “extremely well trained and professional law enforcement officers” while well intended, is in direct conflict with being a “well trained professional officer” since such a person would not react in the manner you have accurately described. Those are the acts of the untrained. Beyond the narrative of the rights asserted by such “auditors”, the problem may well lay in the truth of the fact Officer soon lose awareness they are public officials but are limited in their authority. They tend to forget the notion that people do have a right to go peacefully go about their daily lives- even if that routine means photographing their action or the actions of other public officers. Tell an Officer “NO” and watch the chest “puff out”. All too often rather than acknowledged, professionally, the transgression and thus build good-will they will become retaliatory, undermining the very trust given. Some will act in an officious or even near criminal manner of such nature they would arrest someone for the same behaviors. This is the very essence of the published videos.

    I have worked as a law enforcement professional, at the City, State, and Federal level, for more than 30 plus in my experience, I have NEVER seen ONLY good police. I have investigated a number of police incidents and even charged officers for exceeding their authority. Police work for the well-trained officer is not exceedingly difficult, but it can be demanding. It is not for the weak of heart or mind, and it definitely is not for the slow-witted. The work is often dangerous but it need not be made more so by alienating the public just because “we think we know the code” when in reality they do not. Every Officer should know, verbatim, the code or statue regarding when and how you can ask for identification” and the limits of their explicit and as well as implicit authority in doing so. And every officer should stay abreast, generally, of case law regarding it as well as and search and seizure. Ask yourself “If a citizen treated me as I treated him/her would I be OK with it? If you cannot answer that questions with a “yes” then the toll is too great, it is time hang up the badge and gun.

    Officer safety is critical but it is also a “horse being ridden to the ground”, and unless LE gets a handle on this the courts, as the “pendulum” swings back, will and the penalties are likely to become severe individually.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on December 4, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      I cannot make any argument to your post. I state from my personal experience. I have worked with and for my share of brick heads who didn’t have the intelligence to know when to slow things down or process situations other than to arrest when it fits. Personally, and with my department, I observe a lot of skilled decision making and compassion. There are good and bad in every group, like auditors and police. Good and bad ones all over. You can see this spectrum on YouTube in some of the interactions. I cannot help but watch some of these auditors act very professional and kind. If I had the chance, I would love to take them on a ride a long for a proper first hand view of the difficult situations American law enforcement must deal with. It’s not a one key kind of lock if you know what I am saying.

      Sergeant Brett

    • Patrick on December 11, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      I see it like this, I worked in a warehouse with million dollar aviation parts and cameras recorded me, Leo’s work with public and are meant to keep peace and are in the public and can be recorded. I was in the US military and cameras recorded me yet I didn’t get mad or arrest, beat or shoot anyone . Leo’s should not worry of a camera if they are following their oath to the public. Politicians, corporations etc are not the public.

    • Rain Bojangles on January 7, 2019 at 11:02 pm

      Some of the cops who have behaved like jackboots in auditing videos have decades, sometimes a lifetime on the force. They are butthurt because they have to change the way they conduct “business”, and they deeply resent it. If they are still improperly trained at the end of their careers, then it would stand to reason that MOST of them are impropely trained, especially when they encounter people who actually know the law, and the officers themselves often don’t.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on January 7, 2019 at 11:33 pm

        You are correct. It comes from a lack of knowledge and or a misunderstanding of laws. This is not acceptable for us to be so misguided. That is one of the reasons we have taken education of law enforcement officers and made it a priority for CALRO.

      • Stephen on January 24, 2019 at 11:23 pm

        I agree with you. Half my family are in law enforcement and most were military. Training is the key and being able to change with the current state of affairs All the cops in my family take college courses every year. As new tactics and procedures come in to use by most departments. Still i hear them talk about the bozo’s and nuts in their respective departments. And the new ex military coming in without adequate training. Many have real problems, they are used to pushing people around, killing, and generally did not follow military procedures. These people need training, mental health screening, and should take classes in constitutional rights. Maybe anger management.
        I know it is real hard and impossible for some, to readjust to civilian life. You come from a battlefield, where torture and killing are common everyday occurrences. You did not have to follow any laws in most cases. Then you are jerked out of these circumstances, put on a jet and taken home, all in less than a day.
        Then you might go through a day or so of de-briefing, and you are expected to function as before the war experience, in civilian life. This is a cause of many military suicides. Many of my high school buddies who survived Vietnam, committed suicide for this reason. Sometimes months later, some years later.
        War veterans need more time to adjust, more therapy, more retraining.

  11. Robert Hager on November 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    It looks every time that COPS at the states are Very Uneducated.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      been speaking english long ? i kind of see the direction you’re going but without clarification we’re all wondering the same thing? WTH?

  12. Timothy Lewis on November 17, 2018 at 7:45 am

    “The hopes of the auditor is to have a poor contact with the officer”. Wow! You could not be more wrong. That’s like saying the hopes of an officer is to shoot a member of the public during a routine traffic stop.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on November 17, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      Ok I see what you’re hitting upon. The entire paragraph tells the whole story. Auditors, in general (I’ll have to be more careful not to use definite wording) are hoping to have a poor contact with law enforcement, federal employees, school officials, etc with the intent of changing behavior. This occurs when a poor contact goes viral or into civil courts. If you read the opening paragraph that is what is conveyed, perhaps in not clear enough wording. We are here to provide training and clarification to law enforcement regarding these issues to actually assist auditos in their mission of education though action.

    • MrGoodDeeds3 on December 31, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Agreed, I have watched literally all of the audits on YouTube. I have only come across 1 whose name escapes me at this moment, but he was clueless about the laws and being very disrespectful and I was appalled at the language he was using. Well I did what I could do by giving him some references to some very good auditors and related my dislike for his style of auditing. Back to the subject, you can definitely hear how upset when the auditors have a good “run-in” vs a bad run-in with the people they come across. I have learned a lot watching these auditors ( not that I will be taking up the camera) enough that I can see the police tactics and manipulations, and how to properly protect myself from the possible rogue cop. I firmly believe the underlying truth these auditors are trying to expose… that our rights are slowing being taken away, that terrorist have done a good job of terrorizing mainly the law enforcement community and the media and now the citizens are literally/economically paying the price. Thanks for the voice. Shout out to some of my favorite auditors: NewNowHouston, HighCommunityDesert, NastyNathaniel, JamesFreeman.

      • Rain Bojangles on January 7, 2019 at 11:15 pm

        The “good ol’ boy” network of systemic corruption and abuse protected by the thin blue line is crashing thanks to the courageous and dedicated sacrifices made by the auditors you mention and the new ones on the horizon. The average person who will receive more respect from the police in the future as a result of the exhausting work of these pioneering First Amendment auditors may never even know who they are. These guys are modern-day urban heroes.

    • Rain Bojangles on January 7, 2019 at 11:08 pm

      Most, I think. Undoubtedly a few auditors are just looking for a big payday, just like a few cops are taking bribes. As with the reasons people become police, the motivation of auditors is just as varied. Most, I think, want justice, and if they have to pay their expenses and fines, bail, etc with money from lawsuits, so be it.

  13. Lance on November 7, 2018 at 7:08 am

    I have watched well over 750 1st Amendment audits, In order of race and gender of police, fbi agents, etc, here is what I have tallied. This is in proportion to the number of black and white cops in the videos. The 1st to violate auditors rights are black males, then white and black women, then white men & women with a stripe or 2, then older white men. AND nearly all the time, younger cops stand by and can do nothing as they don’t have the rank. When an auditor asks why he’s not intervening, their answer is always “its not my stop.”

    I would say 1 out of 20 audits is a good encounter. That could be because some good ones don’t make the post.

    Over the last year, police are becoming better, but I still see sergeants, lieutenants and captions making themselves look really stupid while their ‘backups’ are watching. Great training for the officers. They are getting in the auditor’s personal space, asking stupid questions repeatedly and filming them back. AND the best one is to try and follow us back to our vehicle. We are well aware why, and quite frankly, I enjoy the cat and mouse game.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on November 7, 2018 at 7:22 am

      Very cool and insightful breakdown. I’ve never looked at it that way but you’re right. It’s a cat and mouse game that we as law enforcement have to be better at knowing the rules. I appreciate the post!


      • SC NEWS UPSTATE on November 13, 2018 at 2:53 am

        SGT. This article is bogus. I am an activist and supporter. The way we are treated by law enforcement is despicable. This is not a cat and mouse game. This is a serious activity that we all pursue and cherish. We are charged with bogus crimes, cuffed, tazed and slammed to the ground for exercising our 1st Amendment RIGHT. For example, Leon Valley and Chicago Police Dept. are one of the worst areas. If you think that shinning a spot light in the face of someone is being a good police officer then you need to be stripped of your badge and terminated. You are not trained in the 1st amendment and use your personal feelings to make arrests that are clearly unlawful. If you want to be better than learn how to deal with public photography. Also in one instance an activist was detained on suspicion of espionage, while on public property video recording a bldg. Another is, a question was asked to an officer, and his response was suspicion is a misdemeanor. in general, law enforcement needs to wake up and enforce THE LAW, and not your own personal views. We do not bait, but simply show how we are treated by police and government employees.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on November 13, 2018 at 4:09 am

          I don’t know if you are saying that my discussion is bogus, but I completely agree with what you said in your article. Some of the discussion in this thread is all over the place however with law-enforcement must get better at dealing with First Amendment audit. That’s the point of our organization is to provide the training and understanding for better relations with everybody. I hope you didn’t take any of that out of context.

        • Paul Martin on September 9, 2019 at 6:14 am

          SC News Upstate,

          I think the ‘cat and mouse game’ was a reference to the police trying to see where the auditors parked their cars after they were done filming and nothing more,

      • Steve -- on November 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

        I’ve run across these videos looking for answers to corruption within our Government. Since I was 12 police would pick on me. As far as I could tell it was based on my looks. Popular consensus among police was that I was a bad seed, yet I go out of my way to make sure I obey the law, and am always cooperative, and respectful. I pride myself on being a good man!! I live in a small rich town (previously a Sundown town, though signs weren’t removed until the late 70’s), as a guy with long hair, usually wearing a T-shirt and Jeans I would stick out like a sore thumb. I have been arrested so many times I gave up counting. I was kicked, tossed around, cuffed, fingerprinted, and locked up in a holding cell for hours on end. I’ve even sustained permanent injury’s from an officer stomping on my neck, yet I’ve never resisted. All this for what? Looking like a dangerous individual walking down the street? I never committed any crimes that I am aware of. Hell, I’m probably the only one in this state that obeys the traffic laws! I was always let go and most of the time, my fingerprints and mugshots returned to me. I have no criminal record to this day. Well, to be fair I was convicted of a crime that was erased from my record, even though I didn’t actually do it. I was basically railroaded. It was either plead guilty or go to jail. Upon trying to file a complaint once, I was told by police they would make my life miserable as well as my family. I lived under constant threat!! I really hate to associate any police with terrorism, but I felt terror!! I mean I was afraid to even leave my house! Watching these videos, I’ve learned that it’s lawful to film interactions with the police. Since I’ve been filming every interaction, the dynamic has changed completely. No doubt, they hate it, but my rights are no longer violated. I’m being treated fairly. Occasionally an officer will say “I know what your trying to do”, which makes me feel horrible. I wish they would understand. I actually feel safe now!! I get that having a camera in someones face is obnoxious and even feels threatening to some, but it actually does help to protect our rights against the few in power that actually seem to wish us harm. I just wish more people would be able to understand this. I realize this has been a little off subject, but I believe it helps show some of the importance in regards to filming government officials. Thank you so very much for sharing this Sergeant Ryan Brett!!

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on November 14, 2018 at 8:12 pm

          Wow sorry to hear that your interaction with police hasn’t been always professional. Even I was struck once by a baton for merely riding my skateboard down the sidewalk when I was 15! That one moment in my life changed my view on police authority and force. Now ironically as a police officer I use my history to guide my interactions. Over 22 years on the street and I can count the times I’ve used force to gain compliance on two hands. Yes less than 10 times and, with that said, none of which were ever my baton.

          Thanks for the post!


      • Patrick O on December 1, 2018 at 4:17 am

        1st Amendment audits and recording police are to see if a US Law Enforcement officer respects the constitution. Some auditors who provoke are often dismissed by fellow auditors and in the same regard LE who provokes or mistreat citizens and or violates citizens rights will be exposed. What you Leo’s fail to mention is polite and courteous officers are often given good coverage.

      • Joseph Davis on February 20, 2019 at 8:35 pm

        Sgt. Ryan Brett, this is not a threat at all.
        This is just my views on whats happening with 1st amendment audits…
        It is the beggining of guerrilla warfare in America. This isn’t a threat. Totally 100% just my oppinion of what we are seeing.

        Step:1 demonize the enemy with massive propaganda. Polarize the people to hate the oppressors expose them plain as day.
        Step:2 expose their identities so anyone in the world knows who they are what theres names are and they’re description. Anyone of these cops on video could be looked up by ISIS, SOVEREIGN CITIZENS, MILITIAS, GANGS, PSYCHOS etc. Anyone can find their addresses using property tax records.
        3.) I think now that theres an online database of the key infrastructures of america and government staff there will be attacks all over in the coming years. Then the government will respond by punishing innocent americans as they do with gun laws which will make even more people feel violated by the government.
        I was punched in the face by a cop and charged with assault. The police recorded my calls to my lawyer and after 2 yrs in prison i proved it and was released and sued them.
        Then another time i was violated was by Oakland county court in Michigan the state had my son because his mothers drug use. I was clean went to get my kid. They charged me with being an unfit parent because i got drug felonies…. Felon in possession of a child basically. Anyways i tape recorded my own lawyer did everything they asked and they would not give me my child so i told my lawyer I’ve bern tape recording all of you this entire year…. Give me my son monday or else its gonna get ugly.
        They gave me custody of Gavin Hutchinson. Case dismissed. I go get his birth certificate his names BABY BOY HUTCHINSON. They allowed a stranger to name my kid. Put the fake name on my court papers and gave me custody of a child with a false identity. Thats why they maliciously prosecuted me because they couldnt hide they broke the law it was a conspiracy to violate my rights under color of law.
        My father served in the military for 20 yrs. And is a prison gaurd in Washington state. Total upstanding citizen. Well I-1639 Passed in Washington and the sherriff said he wasn’t gonna enforce the gun control bill cause its unconstitutional. Then a week later he says he is gonna enforce it even though he objects to it.
        I 1639 is a gun control bill that says every gun that can hold a detachable magazine over 10 rounds must be registered and private sales background checked. Me and my family feel that the US is 1 step away from trying confiscation and we all feel betrayed by our government because slaves don’t own weapons free people do.
        Its shit like that that’s turning people against police because all cops say the same thing we dont make the laws we just enforce them… The Nazis said the same thing.
        What we need is cops to stand up for us and tell the powers to be where to stick it. We the people would have your backs if you expose these traitors and make waves we wouldnt be trying to start shit.
        Thats just my views on what these 1st Amendment audits are over. People feeling violated and retaliation against the group.
        I personally believe 1st amendment audits are good because it creates transparency, and fear in the government. When the government fears the people there is liberty… When the people fear the government theres tyranny.
        My father told me to effectively govern a people you must win their hearts and minds…. If you govern out with fear the people will turn on you.
        Ive been violated and 1st amendment audits are my way of getting revenge non violently I’ll be honest I’m a cop hater and for good reason. I been violated. My freedom lost money lost. Child with a false identity in custody for a year when i didnt do anything wrong.
        Im telling everyone of my friends to do the Audits with me and telling them we’re PATRIOTs fighting the TRAITERS. Thats about how it feels. The government has turned crime into business for profit its bullshit. Im teaching people to tape record their own attorneys to prove inneffective assistance of counsel. Doesnt matter how good the evidence is if you can prove your lawyers a piece of shit engaging in collusion with the prosecutor. Once more and more people start recording cops,lawyers and judges we will see a trend of DEPOLICING in America and more freedom or else i think we are headed for war.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 20, 2019 at 11:58 pm

          Those are some solid feelings backed by personal experience. I also feel that the audits are a valuable tool that, when used properly, can shape the encounters between police and public in more ways than audits. I know personally that officers are viewing their actions in a more humanistic way now than ever before (not all officers though). Our whole purpose of being in CALRO and providing training is to help the police guide and train their officers from the ways of the old days and view policing with the public, not against them.

          Thank you for the comment and I hope that your audits are productive and educational.


      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:24 pm

        I’ve heard it said that auditing the government is a lot like playing chess. Only the government likes to pretend their playing checkers.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on April 30, 2019 at 7:36 pm

          I like that. I find it embarrassing that we (law enforcement) aren’t schooled in the laws until faced with an auditor who has done their homework. It’s not ideal but it’s working.

    • Damon on December 6, 2018 at 3:07 am

      Lance you are dead right. What the officer should do is leave them alone unless they are obstructing. I rarely see a Caucasian women sitting on a curb unless she is a prostitute.

  14. Paul H on October 31, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I love your response to this, it is as it should be. I went and watched your video interaction with Philip, and he seemed moved by it. If all of you responded the same way, there would be none of these videos or need for them.
    One that I’m curious if you have seen, though, is the one he did at the San Bernardino probation offices. It got super ugly and there’s an ongoing lawsuit after the fact in which he’s seeking over a million dollars. I’ve been following the weekly court notes to the case (whatever you’d call them, I’m not an attorney) as it progresses towards jury trial, and it looks like it’ll finally be getting underway in November. The probation officer that detained and injured him is actually counter suing him, which is very sad as this officer was completely out of line and brought this all on himself, and is embarrassing himself further by doing so. I find it odd that there haven’t been any mass audits posted there after the fact, though. I wonder why that is. I’m curious if the response would be very different this time. I think it probably would, as this one went pretty bad with a lot of views, and they are looking at a substantial payout over it.
    Anyway, kudos to you for approaching this the right way, the professional way, and not letting a few of these negative naysayers change your methods.
    Here’s a link to the one I’m talking about:

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on October 31, 2018 at 8:56 am

      Well thank you Paul. I treated Phillip the way I treat everyone I meet in the field. Especially when there is no crime and nothing suspicious going on. I will have to watch the probation video. I haven’t seen it yet but if there were injuries at all it’s a shame. None of the contacts with any auditor or group should ever end up like that. Hopefully we can continue to train and prepare local law enforcement to handle these situations.

      Take care!

  15. Jeffrey Campbell on October 29, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Journalism has been around since the publishing of the first newspaper, in Rome, around 59 BC. That was nearly 2100 years ago. And the general public has been taking photographs ever since Kodak made the first consumer camera available in 1888. So, it’s safe to say, that photographs and journalism have been anchored together for 128 years. Let’s think about that for a moment. Our society has not had a problem with photojournalism for well over 100 years, but all of a sudden – out of the blue – photographers (like it or not they are photojournalists) exercising their First Amendment rights in public, figuratively speaking, are now deemed “Code Red” alerts.

    – “What are you doing? You can’t take pictures of that post office!”
    – “I don’t consent to you taking my picture in public!”
    – “You need permission to photograph my license plate!!”
    … and my personal favorite:
    – “Well, in this day and age, with everything going on in the world, we don’t allow photos to be taken in our public-accessed facility.”

    Let’s look at that last statement more thoroughly. What was it like before “…this day and age?”

    Since the invention of the camera in 1888, the following events were all covered by journalists – yes, you guessed it – with cameras!

    1890: Wounded Knee Massacre, South Dakota – 178 fatalities.
    1906: San Francisco earthquake – 3000 fatalities.
    1919: Florida Keys earthquake – 745 fatalities.
    1941: Attack on Pearl Harbor – 2467 fatalities.
    1978: Jonestown mass murder/suicide – 909 fatalities.
    1988: Lockerbie, Scotland, Pan-Am Flight 103 – 270 fatalities

    Facts do not care about your feelings, folks. And your paranoia does not trump constitutionally-protected rights to take pictures in public. If you really feel the Supreme Court would rule in favor of protecting our First Amendment, as opposed to abolishing it, as a means of eating away at your civil liberties, then perhaps you might consider choosing another of the 194 countries in the world to reside. Oh, wait, — freedom of expression laws in Canada are not absolute. What would our world be like without pictures, anyways?

    It’s just a camera.

    • Chris on December 21, 2018 at 5:15 am

      People can take pictures in public and it becomes illegal when a person is photographed where privacy is expected. So do employee’s reporting to a secure base that require security clearances have a right to their privacy in their car or should they be video taped and have their license tags strewn all over the internet ? Military bases are protected and still photographs are NOT video recordings… I cant wait for the first class action law suit….

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on December 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm

        Where I work (California) there is no law covering public spaces and expectations of privacy. These audits are occurring in public places and there is generally no expectation of privacy. If a police station or military base completely expects privacy then they need to post clear signs and make access to public impossible. This can be as much as putting up security screens over fencing or brick walls, and closing lobbies and other areas where privacy is a concern.

        The same is for a residence. Obviously we cannot have people walking into your home with a live streaming camera. There are laws for that. But nothing says a camera operator cannot sit on the sidewalk in front of your house with a camera and film your exterior and windows. Sucks but that’s the reality of it all.

  16. Dick Deming on October 24, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Most officers definitely need more training to deal with these first amendment auditors. Having said that, I also feel that the auditors who go out of their way to be confrontational and rude are diminishing the effect they could have. Why has no addressed the amount of money earned by these auditors? They aren’t flying around the country on their own dime. Let’s hear a discussion on the true motivation.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on October 24, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Good insight! Any auditors or independents have any comments on the last?

      • Dustin S on November 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm

        Unless they are making money illegally, then it is none of our business how they make their money. Many set up donation pages like video game streamers( Yes, auditors should remain calm in order to avoid a disorderly conduct arrest, but they still have the right to be a jerk if they want. With the trend of court decisions that is expanding police power, it is amazing that police can still mess up the incredibly low bar of reasonable articulable suspicion:
        Castle Rock v. Gonzales
        Warren v. DC
        Atwater v. Lago Vista
        Fernandez v. California
        Utah v. Strieff
        City of Los Angeles v. Contreras
        Salazar-Limon v. City of Houston

    • Troy Davidson on December 8, 2018 at 12:07 am

      I have yet to meet a wealthy auditor. Ever. Some of us in this foul money-worshipping country still do things because it’s the right thing to do. If you can’t understand that then stay out of the way.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Yes Dick Deming, let’s start a discussion on true motivation. Let’s start with you Dick. What is your motivation for wanting to know how much these auditors make? You do realize it is none of your business, correct? So why would you feel compelled to ask such a silly question? I may sound like a dick (no pun intended) but you sound like a busy body wandering into places you don’t belong. You’re not the only one Dick. There are others out there just like yourself who don’t comprehend what it means to mind ones own business. And that’s great that you guys can get together at JO sessions and talk about the things you agree on .
      But when you come out here into society and try and stir up shit for the sake of not knowing any better I have to take responsibility and call you out on it. Hopefully I’ve gotten through to you and others like you. Regardless, I will continue to point out the nonsense that I read on a daily basis.

  17. David on October 16, 2018 at 7:48 am

    I love the Audits and definitely think extensive training is needed. I have noticed in the Audits all the stupid officers never invoke Terry v Ohio. Supreme Court gives officers the right to do a safety search. This can help deesculte if conducted properly. I guess if you don’t know the basic laws of the land……

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on October 16, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Thanks for the feedback! I am not sure that the officers who fail to quote the Terry decision are “stupid” but possibly more forgetful. It is quite easy to become overwhelmed when confronted with case laws and other angles that auditors bring. These officers need refresher training and a little confidence to make a detention when warranted. Thanks again!

  18. Frank F. on October 12, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Like it or not it certainly has increased awareness of rights that the citizen has. Both the public and Government officials. Yes, there are many cops that know full well but choose to intimidate and bully citizens into not standing up for their rights. However, I do believe there are many officers who truly believed they were in the right and were completely unaware that just because something came out of their mouth it wasn’t automatically a lawful order.
    The national security issue brought up I always thought was such a joke. There is nothing I can film from a sidewalk that can’t be viewed from a foreign country via a laptop and Google Maps.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on October 16, 2018 at 8:31 am

      You are totally correct! I argue that if a police agency or federal building has such sensitive areas then they need to protect them with security screening or other means. I would love to see police agencies drop the veil of secrecy and separation which we currently carry, often times out of past practice but not need. I know my current agency is trying to be more transparent in our workings. This fosters a sense of trust within the community as we aren’t as secretive and intimidating. I know these opinions aren’t shared with all police, and are only mine and my agencies. As I preach, we need to bring some change to our profession and work with the community, not against.

  19. nettie marie ferreyra on October 6, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Sergeant Ryan, you said the goal is to “have poor contact with the police”. You are wrong! Their goal is to expose the truth of power abuse from law enforcement by threat of violence and arrest. For exercising ones rights? From what I see, if a person flexes their rights, the officer will be motivate them, and only then, to try to find a way to strip that person of their rights. If people give up their rights the officers will get used to that, which they already are in my opinion, and that is exactly why in every single video, the issue becomes an officer’s hurt ego, not a crime! One bad apple is not correct. Why is there so many videos then?

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on October 6, 2018 at 4:38 am

      Maybe I miss spoke. Some of the auditors seek poor contact and yes, it’s easy to come across. I have seen very professional auditors and very poor ones who bring a bad light to the practice. Just as good officers handle audits that never make YouTube, there are many that fail and become overnight stars.
      My purpose and the purpose of CALRO is to provide training encouraging the focus on individual rights and cooperative work with the community. This in opposition to the us versus them mentality.
      Thanks for the insight!

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:44 pm

        I understood what you meant. I think you’ve been very professional and openminded and I’ll continue to come back and read comments and make comments. It’s nice to hear a LEO admit when things aren’t right and need changed. You are smart enough to see those things and point them out in a very respectable fashion. I definately don’t support the blue line thugs but I support you Sergeant Brett.

    • Trey Evitt on October 12, 2018 at 12:33 am

      No. It’s attention-seeking behavior thinly veiled by a false pretext of “holding public officials accountable”. You DO want negative contact. You want to bait them into violating the law and you do it by being great big disruptive pains in the ass.

      • Lee F on October 17, 2018 at 5:56 pm

        Trey Evitt, If officers have been properly trained, they will not “take the bait”. If auditors are breaking the law, arrest them.
        But first, know why you are arresting them; know the law that you believe they have broken and know why it is a requirement that they be arrested.

        In the same circumstances, would you arrest your mother, sister, brother?

        Your cousin moved to another state. When you were young you treated each other like brothers instead of cousins.
        Would you arrest him for the same “free speech”?

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:48 pm

        I love it when people bait the police. where were you when the police baited us? (and still do). what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. I’m sure there’s a gazillion other cliques getting to the same point. How’s it feel now motherfucker? I see it on the daily with these auditor videos. My favorite parts are the walk of shame and the underhanded comments belittling these tyrants. Call it what you want, get as butt hurt as you want, but if I were you I’d get used to it. Cause they’re not going away.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on April 30, 2019 at 7:34 pm

          Yeah I agree a bit. Police and public officials are supposed to be cool
          under fire. Ive never been baited to the point of actually caring, and people have tried. I’ve spent many of my years working gangs. They do know how to antagonize. I always deal with those scenarios with the thought that everything I do and say (and body language) is going to be reviewed by the Chief. Keeps me modest.

    • Morgan on October 22, 2018 at 12:59 am

      You do know harassment is against the law? Doxing other citizens even in public place like a Police Station, Court House, VA etc, and inside Federal Buildings or attempting to identify Officers from their private vehicles is also a crime, the solution is simple just set up stickers with no cameras allowed beyond security checkpoints or any lobby or reception area where the public conducts business a No cameras on the reception or clerks windows as well offers employees a degree of public safety to which they have a right too under work health and safety. . . From what I’ve seen and read of the DHS “Memo” that option is totally within your scope and jurisdiction of doing so. Let them wander around the outside of the building if they step beyond the boundaries of NO CAMERAS ALLOWED then arrest them. Most buildings have No smoking and No Firearms . This is just another form of anti-government domestic terrorism, most of these guys claim sovereign citizenship and as they have no actual business with agency involved they are therefore also trespassing.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on October 22, 2018 at 1:31 am

        Thank you for the post Morgan. Just curious, what law is it to film public or police in their private vehicles? We don’t have any such laws in California. You can film anyone anhywhere you can legally be. I like to try and focus on the reality of “who cares” if they film you. If they want my license plate, I’ll take it off and give it to them.

        California however has banned plastic straws. There’s food for thought.



      • Stephen Lakios on January 24, 2019 at 10:37 pm

        The Department of homeland security was sued by the ACLU, in 2009-2010. In the settlement the DHS has acknowledged that citizens can photograph or video any federal facility, from a public street, sidewalk, right of way, park, plaza or in any lobby or hallway open to the public.
        You can find this 2010 ruling on the net. It is legal to photograph or video any federal building, federal park or beach, airport, military reservation, base or depot. unless a national emergency is declared.
        You are not correct. The military are public servants, and subject to all the laws like everyone else.
        Their has been a problem with the military police exceeding their authority. The military police have no authority beyond their post, unless they are called by the local police to assist with unruly military personnel.
        The military police authority, ends at their post gates and fence. They have been illegally coming off base to harass auditors and other civilians. In a time of war they could be shot for abandoning their posts. Lately many military police have faced severe penalties for this practice.
        I’m ex military, US Army.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on January 24, 2019 at 10:42 pm

          I agree with you Stephen. I don’t think that the police, federal employees, or military should fear the lens of a camera. With all the technology these days, there are much easier and less conspicuous ways to gather intelligence. We need to focus on the main goal of our job, which is public safety.

      • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:52 pm

        When you say “no cameras” I have to assume that you mean no cameras for anyone, including the government. I would support your argument 100% if that’s what you meant but somehow i get the feeling that you could give a shit less about the government filming you and only in how to silence those abiding by the law. Am I wrong?

  20. victor solano on September 15, 2018 at 5:17 am

    You really are one of the few good cops, while i understand the frustration auditors represent they are necessary checks and balances to see who really hold our most cherished freedoms aren’t being violated, i feel any person would be scared if there were no check on those we give power too, like the old saying goes WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?

  21. Joe on September 11, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    You are absolutely wrong. We live in post 9/11 and video tapping government facility such police stations, prison, military installation is prohibited without prior authorization. Police should arrest them and not follow your advice and just ignore them. Yes terrorist could be doing surveillance on this building in the open by trying to blend in to our society. Police should not be ignorant of that and they should arrest this people, confiscate their equipment and delete any video and/or photos that been taken by this individuals.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      I see your point but the reality is that police cannot arrest for a non criminal issue. Video and photo taking won’t lead to terror. They can use Google maps to see street views of everything anyway. I don’t know of any time a terrorist blatantly took pictures and video of a potential target and then welcomed police contact. They prefer to use live scouts and likely have women and kids walk into police stations and document security and other information.
      My auditors reading this are certainly salivating. We are trying to get away from this post modern era way of hyper vigilance and authoritarian thinking.

      Thanks for the comment though!

      • victor solano on September 15, 2018 at 5:17 am

        You really are one of the few good cops, while i understand the frustration auditors represent they are necessary checks and balances to see who really hold our most cherished freedoms aren’t being violated, i feel any person would be scared if there were no check on those we give power too, like the old saying goes WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 23, 2018 at 4:28 pm

          Valid point. Who watches the watchmen? I think the public are a good measure of monitoring their police. Although we aren’t a true customer service system (who is really pleased to get arrested or cited?) we are liable to serve and be judged on that service. As a good supervisor, I am also accountable to monitor the actions of my guys and gals on the street. I hold them accountable and expect them to provide the service they themselves would like to get.
          Thanks for the post!

      • Sean M Martin on September 20, 2018 at 11:10 pm

        Hey Sergeant, I have been critical of you in a few posts and I apologize for being overly harsh. You are engaging with the public in a very professional and constructive manner while providing a platform for all citizens to voice their views. If you ever find yourself in the Sacramento area, look me up, I would like to buy you lunch. God Bless you Brett. WWG1WGA!

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 20, 2018 at 11:26 pm

          No worries at all. I appreciate any and all comments, even and especially negative because they point out things I or we (law enforcement) can improve on. We certainly don’t do everything perfect. I’m hoping to bring some humanistic approaches to police work. Thanks again!

    • John Q on September 12, 2018 at 5:05 am

      The law is the law! Vote different politicians or complain to your congress representative about it. It was under the Obama administration that this law was passed!!!!

      • Bob on September 13, 2018 at 12:31 am

        Which law is that? State or Federal or Municipal?

    • Jackie Baron on September 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      Joe, I can state emphatically that YOU are wrong. It is NOT a criminal offence to record anything from a public space. The Department of Hoemland Security even declassified a 2010 memo and sent it to law enforcement agencies NATIONWIDE stating that recording of ANY government building from a public space was perfectly legal. So you cannot arrest someone doing something lawful. Your own imagination and paranoia doesn’t override someone’s Constitutional Rights. And as for all this 9/11 nonsense…..when are you going to get a grip and stop seeing terrorists and bogeymen and enemies lurking at every turn? There is NOTHING to fear so stop letting your wild imagination fabricate absurd situations for you. What if a woman parked her butt on a stool in south Manhattan and put up an easel and canvas and started painting the Statue of Liberty. Would you in your infinitely childish paranoia go over and start hassling her and interrogating her because your mind has lost it’s grip on reality and has entered into some terror filled cloud-cuckoo land? She is after all making a picture of a public landmark.

      • tom on October 8, 2018 at 10:22 pm

        The dhs memo is for fps officers only. NOT regular law enforcement.People make this mistake often.

      • Morgan on October 22, 2018 at 1:29 am

        It’s not a constitutional right at all, the constitution does not uphold or allows you any right to harass, intimidate or interfere with public servants in the course of the duties. Public servants are also citizens and are entitled with to same protection under the law. BTW they also pay taxes so in effect they are paying their own wages and the upkeep of the buildings they work from, if you wish to pull that old chestnut out of the fire as well. 1a only means you can’t be arrested for the photography You CAN BE arrested for the INTENT BEHIND the photography which is attempted and/or , intentional harassment, intimidation or interference, illegally attempting to identify private citizens without their consent, (doxing), that includes photography of Officers and staff and vehicles. None of these idiots are actual NEWS services so they have no right to actually be inside the building according to the DHS memo. A go-pro, Iphone and a YouTube channel does make you media or news. You can however photograph the OUTSIDE of the building, and that’s all you are entitled to do as a civilian.

    • Sean Martin on September 20, 2018 at 10:55 pm

      Joe, your way of thinking puts another win in the terrorists score card; do some research and tell me how many terrorists were seen taking photos outside of their targets before hitting it…I found ZERO. One of our founding father said something like this, “if you trade your liberty for security you disserve neither,” how true that is. Stand up for you rights or loose them, God Bless you Joe. Where We Go 1 We Go All!


      • tom on October 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm

        Terrorists don’t need to go into the public to gather information. All they have to do is watch these so called audit videos. You people do all the work for them.

      • Morgan on October 22, 2018 at 1:47 am

        Then you didn’t do your homework very well, 1st World Trade Centre Bombing , Oklahoma City, most terrorists do a reconnaissance which includes taking pictures. Think of it this way, all those guys who are doing this so called audits are actually doing the real terrorists jobs for them by putting the interior of the buildings, who is in them where they are situated within the building etc etc out htere.
        This is America as if there isn’t enough wackos out there without aiding and abetting more.
        I suggest you spend more time learning facts and actually reading , than dealing in conspiracy theories and Q misinformation campaigns.

    • Tim Trahan on September 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      No, Joe. You are absolutely wrong. 9/11 did not cause The Constitution to be cast away. You can check out Google Maps and find the exact same thing these people are photographing.

    • Stephen on January 25, 2019 at 12:59 am

      You are wrong, look up the Department of Homeland Security, website. Because i am a part time auditor, i carry the DHS 2010 decision paperwork with me at all times. 9/11 has nothing to do with it. These are constitutional rights.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 6:59 pm

      Hello and welcome to the discourse. it’s obvious you’re new around here so I’ll be gentle as i point out the flaws in your thinking. There is a thing called the first amendment. Without giving you the answer, I’d like to know what that means to you? So, 9/11 happened and there’s new laws to limit our freedom, is that what you’re saying? Let me point you back to the 1st amendment. So in your own words, citizens should be considered suspicious and about to commit a crime because that’s what terrorists do….and they should be arrested and their camera equipment confiscated? Yeah, no I don’t think so. This is america dumbass. Not nazi germany. how about you can throw your rights away but I’ll keep mine and see who’s standing in the end.

  22. D. Myers on September 9, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Police cannot police themselves. Audits will lead to citizen oversight bodies. Check and balance.

    Next problem to confront/audit is our court system. Just as police have gone unchecked so has the entire system of justice.
    Cameras and access to footage of one’s own trial should be a right. As the cop-watchers finish their duties they must move their focus on the courts.
    Bad judges, bad prosecutors, virtually absent public defenders are next.
    If you watched police audit videos and it shocked you, just wait until you see the mess in our courts.
    The majority of courtroom cases are open to the public. You cannot trespass what my eyes have seen. Cameras in all courtrooms and access to the footage (as already provided for by law) is our right as well.
    In Texas, a 30 minute trial transcript will run you $2000. You are not allowed a copy of the video whatsoever. You are absolutely not allowed any type of recording in court under any circumstances. You will be charged with contempt and jailed if caught. Why?
    Do our judges have something to hide?

    The videos taken by these brave courtroom auditors are beginning to raise in number.
    Judges are fairing almost worse than the police.
    Unchecked power must be put in check. Period.


    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      Interesting. I hadn’t thought about the future of auditing . there is something shady going on when they won’t allow you to film a court proceeding. and every courtroom and judge throughout the US has the same rule: no cameras. I could get behind this idea of yours. let’s put ’em in check together.

  23. Zed on September 7, 2018 at 5:12 am

    “The hopes of the auditors are to have a poor contact with law enforcement, resulting in a violation of their 4th Amendment rights and or a bad arrest.”

    I think that is part of the problem. What you are doing is establishing an “us” vs. “them” mentality, using inflammatory generalizations. For instance, it is not “the hopes of auditors” to have a confrontation with police. It is the hope of “good” auditors to have NO confrontations with police, thus demonstrating that authorities support and protect constitutional rights–not violate them. Think one second about the apposite.

    Furthermore, there should never be any confrontation with authorities when a constitutional right is being exercised. What the auditors hope to do is make public a very real precedence and willingness by law enforcement to infringe upon and take away constitutional rights, and as they have shown, there are far too many of those examples. The precedence to violate constitutional rights by authorities is an extremely serious threat to the freedoms of the American Republic because our Republic is founded on those very rights. The Constitution of the United States should NEVER be taken flippantly by civilians nor authorities.

    I would hope law enforcement can get over the “us vs. them” mentality at some point. The American public are not “perps.” They are human beings — just like police officers.

  24. Duane on August 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Just some random comments.
    I have had interactions with police all over the US, primarily in the southeast. These are not on a professional bases, but notification to the various departments that we would be, or potentially setting off alarms,and have generally been with officers onsite.
    The rather appalling thing which over the past 10 years which seems to be becoming more prevalent is the number of officers which are retiring early due to how they perceive the new officers entering law enforcement. Basically as powermad, egotistical people who seek out law enforcement careers as a way to have authority over others.
    While I’m the first to take what they say with a grain (or more) of salt since all us old-timers know everything (including people) was/were better back in the day, the percentage that express this is increasing.
    The various “audit”, traffic stop, amendment videos definitely show a rather appalling number of officers who feel empowered that even on camera are willing to state something along the lines of “I don’t care what the law says I’m a cop and you have to do as I say”. Yes I’m aware that the more sensational videos are posted but the old saying about one bad apple applies to overall perceptions also.
    What doesn’t help is that 5 or 6 or more officers stand by silently and allow it to proceed.
    I lived several years in Germany and the cops there have authority that would make the most power mad sociopath wet his or her pants. When’s the last time you have seen a regular patrol call here in the states with an antitank Rocket in the trunk? Why it doesn’t get out of hand is that they also enforce the law on fellow officers.
    Please note that I’ve generalized and know that I have… Stats apply to populations not individuals.
    In closing, I appreciate what you, and other officers do. The old question of who watches the watchers has an answer, it is the watchers and takes place within the organization. It sounds as if that you are aware of this.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 3, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Wow powerful stuff and thank you for contributing. I have seen this also and it frustrates me when one bad apple is allowed to run among the rest of the officers. We spend way to much time fixing reputations of the amazing police officers of this nation based on the actions of a few. What it appears to be formed in is ignorance. Ignorance of the law and of the rights afforded to us all. We must change with the times and adapt for flexible policing of neighborhoods. This means departments need to educate their officers to interact with, not on, the population. Thanks for the post!
      Sgt. Brett

      • Victor A. on October 19, 2018 at 9:47 am

        Sgt. Brett, Sir if I may make a suggestion in your quest for better PR with the public you serve. It has long bothered me that the term “Enforcement” became attached to “Officer”. It denotes what an officer’s true intent should be which is keeping the peace, not enforcing anything. If anything it just lends more to the us V them image I see you want to break away from, and I applaud you and wish you godspeed to that end. I remember a time when the police were referred to as “Peace Officers” and I for one think in conjunction with this peaceful intent mindset would go a long way in bringing about the change that I see you effecting. With any luck perhaps you will be modeled as a template, and or the barometer set to industry standard I certainly wish for you all the success in your attempt to create something that everyone constituant in the land could come to appreciate.

  25. Michael on August 22, 2018 at 3:53 am

    I would like to thank Sgt. Brett for his positive encounter with auditor Phillip. Your attitude and knowledge of what he does and why he does it speaks volumes about what you do and why you do it. You are an absolutele professional in your field and I would be honored to live in your city and know I was being protected by a man of your stature. I thoroughly commend you and wish there were a hundred officers like you in my city. You bring pride to your field and a refreshing light to an otherwise bleak view in law enforcement professionals.

    I have watched my share of audit videos and plan on performing a few in my area. I hope that my local police will shine bright and I can feel secure in my liberties knowing that men like you dedicate your lives to secure our freedom. Thank you and continue the good fight, Sgt. Brett.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on August 22, 2018 at 4:28 am

      Well thank you very much Michael. I appreciate the compliment and that is how I conduct myself as much as possible when I’m at work. And Mike’s Pearians I have found that have police we can get a lot further with kindness and we can with cruelty. Good luck with your audit at your local police departments. Please comment back and let us know how it goes or perhaps put it up on YouTube. I hope they can act professionally. Take care.

  26. Paul on August 13, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    What is it with all the police desecrating the US flag recently. Paragraph 1 of he US flag code prohibits changing the color of the US flag and displaying it. It is desecration. Only traitors do that with Old Glory.

    I doubt you will post this question

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on August 13, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      Doubt all you like. I approve every comment except those who name individuals. I get your point about the flag color changing being a US Code. If you must single out police use of the blue line, that lets consider fire using a red line, US Military using subdued green and black flags, and even breast cancer awareness using pink line or pink and black flags. I don’t see it as disrespect at all but as a unification of American efforts to support issues or situations in our history. We have to be a little more open to things, which is why the First amendment audits are so intriguing. Change minds and you can change a nation.

      • glen on November 16, 2018 at 3:30 am

        None of those other groups have power over citizens. With the police, it feels like the thin blue line is a line drawn in the sand. It is the pinnacle of us v them.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on November 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

          I can see that. I hope that in my few remaining years in law enforcement that I am able to reduce the feelings of separation between police and public. One way this is actively occurring is police body camera use and full transparency during incidents with the public.

  27. Scott A. Fitzpatrick on August 13, 2018 at 3:24 am

    I’m of two minds when it comes to these 1st Amendment “audits”. For example, doing this type of thing in front of the main gate of military installation is just antagonistic and is YouTube grandstanding at its worst. As far as civilian law enforcement is concerned, in most instances police officers are doing the best job they can to enforce the law. Some officers are “caught” failing simply because they lack the basic training in what the 1st Amendment describes and how to properly react to these unfortunate confrontations. I’m disgusted by the majority of these so-called “auditors” acting on my behalf as an American citizen, and they’re taking an unfair advantage of our already tense civil discourse. Sadly, I think that this is just the beginning, and the militarization of the police has been an unfortunate outcome of the complete lack of respect being shown by our fellow citizens of the military, police and national symbols ( flag, anthem, etc…)

    • Roger York on September 16, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      Scott, you really think the militarization of the police is a “result” of disrespect? I disagree. I think it’s an encroaching power grab by the goverrnment in which we steadily lose civil rights. The audits are in direct “response” to this encroachment. There are bad auditors but if they are not violating law, leave them alone.

  28. Mike on August 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Many of you ask “What is the purpose of such audits?” Often the purpose is to spark just what’s taking place on this blog – discussion. They are used to educate, inform, and from what I see here, raise public awareness of just how far we’ve strayed from understanding and exercising our Constitutional rights as citizens. You people need to calm down. Just a few short years ago, none of you would have cared at all that someone was taking your picture or taking a video. Three things have happened of the past few decades in this country: 1 – You’ve all become like scared rabbits because those who seek control have programmed you that way. 2: Technology has progressed to the point that now everyone has a video camera. 3: Almost none of you were educated by your school system to understand our rights and responsibilities as United States citizens. These three facts have led to the skittish, scared, and embarrassingly uninformed folks who now fear a lens pointed in their direction. It’s a sad fact that even our law enforcement officers have fallen victim to the video scare, even though they have no problem carrying a video camera themselves and filming anyone and anything they encounter – and you have nothing to say about it. Why, because it’s their right, just as it’s you’re right to film. Remember – when in a public place, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. You are in public. If you want privacy, go somewhere where you can get it. When you’re in public, you have no right to privacy – it’s just that simple. Stop running scared, and be a proud American. Fearful, timid, and ignorant is no way to go through life.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on August 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      Great point Mike! That is exactly part of the focus on training that we at CALRO provide. There is really nothing to be afraid of when someone is overtly filming them or a building. The expectation of privacy is so low anymore (especially in public) that I would be surprised if we aren’t always on film somehow. As a sworn police officer and member of “government” I calmly understand that I am filmed during my working hours, and probably (most likely) on my days off. Doesn’t bother me one bit!
      Stay safe!

  29. Randy Chica on July 29, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    What is so frustrating for so many of us is the double standard that exists. Let me explain. All citizens everywhere are supposed to know and follow all of the laws all of the time. That old saying, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” applies to all of American society. Except in ONE PROFESSION: Law Enforcement. The Supreme Court in Heien v. North Carolina decided that the police don’t need to know the laws that they enforce. How absolutely crazy is that? It is like something from the pages of Kafka or 1984. The court’s decision effectively said that “Ignorance of the law is no excuse…Unless you are a cop. Then it is a great excuse!” What we see, over and over again in auditor’s videos is not merely ignorance of the First Amendment…which is bad…but also ignorance of laws having to do with every day policing, like, demanding ID. Texas Penal Code 38.02 is one example. It states that a person only has to give ID if they have been lawfully arrested. Yet, over and over, we see police either lying or not knowing this very basic, very important law. If they are lying…well, that is OK…the court has said they can lie. If they are ignorant of the law…I guess that is OK too. At least according to the supreme court. (No capitalization is intentional.)

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 30, 2018 at 12:21 am

      You bring up some good points and that values system where law enforcement doesn’t need to know all the laws is largely due to poor training and standards. Most police officers encountering photographers and auditors are struggling with the definition of “reasonable suspicion” which is the general standard when we can contact and detain. I appreciate your post!


    • Mike in Utah on December 26, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      The US Supreme Court in Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969), affirmed the legality of deceptive interrogation tactics. police can lie to investigate. The inference from that is the police lie every time they open their mouth. Hence, “any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect (or everyone else for that matter) in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police.” Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49 (1949). At least the courts take a dim view of police attempting to coerce people out of exercising their rights.

  30. Michael on July 27, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Is this the only reason an individual would perform an audit?
    “The entire focus of these audits is to judge the proper (or often improper) response of law enforcement to the presence of a cameraman.”
    I’ve seen some of these audit videos recently and it seems like there is no real purpose other than stirring the pot so to speak. I’m not sure if there is an actual legitimate reason to film a federal building or its employees.
    Would anyone actually care how a post office is conducting business, or is this more about exercising rights just to do so?

    • Gee on August 4, 2018 at 10:44 pm

      People think they have entitlements over other people, it makes for a good political narrative, and fear you are losing entitlements you don’t even have drives people to the polls. My dad gets told the USPS is socialism by his fake news, and he is angry about it, thankfully he is too old to misbehave like this.

  31. James Hensley on July 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I understand your thoughts on the auditors that look to just antagonize police and record them getting upset. I however, am more of an Accountability Activist. If the officer or public official / servant is polite, I show how professional that person is. Reference my Palm Springs PD Audit. The Sgt was very professional. But if the person is unprofessional or rude because of a camera in public, education and training are much needed. So I’m just filming to ensure people who serve the community are educated and trained up on free press in public, or filming in public for any reason. If not, I educate them. I have been thru 2 Police Academies, so I have the education to share. Plus, I continue to read up on current laws. Badically, if you act professional, you pass. If you act unprofessional, you need redirection. Thank you.

  32. E David worden on July 10, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    I am one of the leading 1st Amendment Auditors in the community. That said,I m saddened by some of what I see going on in audits (primarily out of California bunch) these days. Unfortunately,some auditors thrive off conflict and go out of their way to create it. I don’t video citizens (unless they come up and question me or bother me) as that’s not what I m after. My audits revolve around public officials-who must respect our rights but often don’t. I ve been Arrested (13 times in last two years) for a variety of Contempt of Cop charges-and have had them all dismissed mainly due to my BodyCam footage. These abuses of power are what drive us to these audits. It’s time Police realize the days of them controlling the narrative and doing as they please are gone. Corruption and abuse must be exposed and dealt with. If LE would do it-I d be doing sailing videos.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 11, 2018 at 1:35 am

      Thanks for the input. I appreciate what the auditors are doing for our communities mostly. Yes there are those that purposely antagonize looking for a civil lawsuit. Either way, the audits sharpen our ability to reason and take conflict as law enforcement professionals. Those who fail audits should seek training.

    • Scott M. on July 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      David, I am a law enforcement attorney and trainer and have previously posted on this site. I am very familiar with you and your demeanor when conducting audits. I agree that it does stand in stark contrast to the provocative, nasty, rude, and “thrive off conflict” attitude you reference that is unfortunately being displayed by an increasing number of auditors elsewhere. Also it was your post last week that alerted me to the Leon Valley lawsuit being filed. Thank you. I immediately downloaded the federal court Complaint and used it yesterday as a “teachable moment” during a training class.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      Interesting. I hadn’t thought about the future of auditing . there is something shady going on when they won’t allow you to film a court proceeding. and every courtroom and judge throughout the US has the same rule: no cameras. I could get behind this idea of yours. let’s put ’em in check together.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on April 30, 2019 at 7:31 pm

        I suspect that the court room camera theory applies to some (not most) cases where proceedings are maintained in some confidentiality with the best intentions of the accused in mind. The whole fair trial process which is also a Constitutional right. A bit of crossing paths here!

  33. kris on July 10, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    hi.. two questions: can auditors not be cited for public harassment? and, is there any concern of officers being so educated about auditors that they drop their guard to the extent that a real threat could gain access and info in order to do harm?

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 11, 2018 at 1:39 am

      Yes, auditors can face arrest depending on severity of the harassment and applicable state and local laws. It would take a pretty serious harassment or threats to get arrested during an audit in California. I imagine it’s the same in other states.

      As far as officers dropping their guard I can only assume anything is possible. With proper training and a little bit of self control / humanity, officers should be able to judge an audit from a possible officer safety risk. With that, agencies are responsible for training their officers to know the difference between someone conducting a First Amendment audit or doing a scout for a terror attack. Thanks for tbe questions!

    • Sean Martin on July 12, 2018 at 4:51 am

      Cited for harassment by exercising their rights; that is the sort of logic that fuels these audits. As for your second question refer to my first answer……American citizens are electronically monitored from the second we walk out our front door until we return to the four walls of our homes; we are even surveilled in the privacy of our home to an extent. For some reason when we the people are on the other end of the camera our public servants don’t like it; WHY?

  34. James on July 7, 2018 at 2:59 am

    My question and comment centers around the private citizen doing business when these guys are around. It’s all fine you walk around and film, but I don’t need someone over my shoulder with a camera recording personal information and transactions, so there needs to be some level of respect from these guys to stay out of my personal space and leave me alone to do my private business even with a public official. A lot of these guys claim people are “snitches that need to be educated” all because we alerted an authority of something we thought was suspicious activity. I’ve had one of these guys recording me trying to pay a fee while I was using my debit card and he was trying to film me input my PIN. I told him to please back off so I can make my transaction and he got rude and told me to “f-ck off and I could leave and I can film anything in a public place” right in the middle of my transaction. It got annoying and finally I left.

    My question is, what are my rights to privacy even in a public place in regards to these guys being disrespectful and intrusive to my business?

    I’m all for first amendment rights but at least be respectful towards others and let them do their business transactions in peace.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 7, 2018 at 6:11 am

      Good point of view and good question. This is an area not yet litigated in courts, so it leaves law enforcement without serious teeth in enforcing generally annoying behavior with phones and cameras. I can only assume there will eventually be clarification under existing harassment or eavesdropping laws. Right now it’s not real clear and the auditors (not all of them) are exploiting this weakness in law.

      • Sean Martin on July 12, 2018 at 5:12 am

        SGT Brett, a free people must always hold our public servants accountable and demand transparency from our government; it is our duty. I am surprised that you being a police SGT would even suggest that auditors are filming people putting their ATM codes into machines like the last poster suggested? As for the courts litigating this stuff, take a look at Hale v. Henkel SCOUS 1906. This case has been referenced over 1600 times in federal court and no court has ever attempted to overturn it. We are slowly becoming a free country again so either honor your oath as I have or find another line of work. These auditors are exploiting weaknesses in public servants not in the law. Please re read the oath you took Sergeant Ryan Brett, the people are counting on you to do your job. WWG1WGA. God Bless

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 12, 2018 at 5:25 am

          I don’t believe I ever said I suspected anyone of intentionally filming anyone using an ATM. That was another’s comment with their experience. I support audits if it wasn’t evident. I have had personal experience with auditors in Southern California and haven’t had any issue since I work transparent. I train my guys to react according to their oath. Basically I have no problem being filmed or with the filming of anything.

    • John Sanuy on April 30, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      You’re obviously a snowflake. you think you’re so important that audtiors are going to have their cameras up your butt? man, get real. take your prozac. you are not that important i can assure you.

    • Wild Bill Hickok on May 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      Along the same line…what is even more concerning to me…is what the auditor ultimately DOES with his video…using his captured film worldwide (internet, social media, you tube, etc)..where it is then out of the auditors control…and subject to all types of use, editing, re use, harassment behaviors, mirroring, flooding with calls to the videotaped party and their family members, etc…the comments made on these viewings by viewers are threatening, abusive, and can be seen and felt as inciting or inviting others to participate.
      If I am in a courthouse filing a personal document, I expect some level of confidentiality to do so and do not expect to have a video of my likeness shared around the world without my consent. If I walk in and a citizen starts to videotape me, I should have the right to my privacy by requesting of that person to not video or photograph me and I feel I should be respected and my request complied with….I should not have to hear that my asking them to not do so….is a violation of their constitutional rights…….what about my rights? I don’t agree to having my likeness distributed worldwide.
      A courthouse is not a public forum for this kind of activity or protest, while being a public accessed building. Staff have rights as well…being continually called “public servants” …and being asked…on video…”tell me your name”….all while the auditor states “you work for me, I don’t have to tell you my name, you are just a public servant”. Auditors are seen saying…”your office policy is not law….”…hearing auditors say “I am an independent journalist ..I am the media, I don’t need permission to film any of you public servants”….
      When asked for credentials or ID that they are the media, they say they don’t have to provide that information. Then, you see by “media”, they mean social media and their personal you tube channel, once you find yourself being viewed by anyone who is looking there for their entertainment or any other purpose. When does “NO”. Mean NO to not having yourself being their video or photographed subject?
      To me, this is harassment and inciting others to also do this behavior. One auditor even has an anti harassment order against them and the auditor is ignoring it stating the order is unconstitutional!

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 7, 2019 at 8:47 am

        You bring up a very strong and valid argument. What about “your” rights also as an American citizen? I agree with you that privacy should be afforded and respected, just out of sheer humanity. What is not covered by the Constitution is the individual right to privacy. There are other laws that help protect the public (mostly from Government intrusion). Sadly, there is not much law enforcement can do in this grey area. The harassment laws and disturbing the peace laws are weak by nature, subjective, and full of defensible claims by the accused.
        I suspect in the future there will be a change in the way many systems address these privacy concerns. Already at my police department we have “interview rooms” which are in the lobby but are secured. Officers can take victims or anyone wishing to speak in private into these rooms and properly address their concerns.
        The lobbies and unsecured areas are not private. Agencies need to make changes to their practices in the future to ensure comfort of all.

  35. Frank on July 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I tried to leave a comment about some of the auditors being anarchists and antifa AND how some of the bad cops do require citizens watching them but I was labeled as spam Thanks for not allowing honest debate

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 2, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      Not sure how anything was marked as spam. I approved all comments. I welcome debate! I only disallow people when the mention specific names or the post has no value. You’re welcome to mention anything you’ve experienced.

  36. Michael C, Wa State. on June 30, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Sergeant Ryan,

    Are you aware of the current events in Leon Valley where the police have launched a retaliation campaign against a large number of self described auditors? Can you offer any thoughts on why the police there seem to be unable to see the big picture? There is no victory for the Leon Valley PD, no matter how many arrests and convictions they make against auditors the Leon Valley PD will always look like the bad guy. The only way for Leon Valley PD to come out ahead on this is to educate their officers, understand how to approach these auditors and let the auditors win.

    Too often the officers involved in these audits are immediately authoritarian and hostile, the auditors are almost always calculated and wait for the officer to escalate the situation before the auditor escalates. If these officers were better trained they would be able to recognize the situation for what it is within 60 seconds, thank the auditor for caring and then go about some other police business. The police look good AND the auditor doesn’t have a video, gets bored and leaves. Why can these police not “kill them with Kindness” so to speak?


    Michael C.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on June 30, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Great point Michael and one which I cannot understand. This is why I am passionate about our profession not “bowing” down to auditors as some may see but working with them to ensure the Constitution is upheld as we have sworn to do. Does anyone filming a lobby or gates or plates really REALLY constitute a safety issue? Ah no. We are stuck in a post terror driven state where everything is suspicious, even when proven not to be suspicious or illegal.

      As police professionals, we have to change from within and I propose that we use the audits as a springboard to learning to effectively communicate with the community, even if we have our suspicions on intent.

      Thanks for the post!


      • Sean Martin on July 12, 2018 at 5:32 am

        SGT. The post 9/11 state is a state of mind only. If peoples rights and liberties are diminished because of an act of terror then guess what, 12 radicals crippled the greatest country on earth. The TSA, the Patriot ACT, Police surveillance, and so on have done nothing but fuel terrorists ideologies and divide our country. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said; if you trade you liberties for security you deserve neither. I agree with that statement; a united free people are unstoppable. SGT. the next time you see an auditor go shake his hand and tell that you are proud to defend his God given rights. If you do this I guarantee you two things: 1. The auditor will post a great (positive) video about you and your department and 2. That auditor will thank you and walk away never to be seen again. WWG1WGA. God Bless.

    • Scott M. on June 30, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      Michael C, great observations. I am an attorney and law enforcement instructor who teaches a class for officers on the interplay between 4th Amendment (search and seizure) and 1st Amendment (free speech/freedom to film the police) interests. I see you’re from Washington State. In 2017 I was the featured speaker at WASPC’s (Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs) conference to teach this very class. I promise you, most police chiefs and sheriffs want their personnel to respect these auditors’ rights while at the same time protecting the public from criminal activity. Sometimes the behavior of individual auditors make that very difficult. But I agree with you that “kill them with kindness” is not a bad idea. In fact, I have taught that principle for the past two years–I actually use those exact words–and have heard class attendees share stories of where they adopted that approach and diffused an auditor’s attempted provocation.

      • Cindy Briggs on July 6, 2018 at 2:23 am

        I today, I was in the office, of the city of Exeter,(Tulare County) California.
        I was attempting to conduct PRIVATE business, buying Dial A Ride bus passes.
        When the guy entered, with a video camera and was video taping, I KNEW IMMEDIATELY IT WAS AN “AUDIT”!
        I told him, repeatedly, I did NOT want to be video taped.
        I asked him if he knew what what the SECOND AMENDMENT was. No, the moron didn’t. I told him, “THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS”. I thought everyone should exercise that right to shoot people like him! I told him to get a job!
        Now, he has that on video…
        Where he REALLY MESSED UP…
        He followed me outside, I told him to back off, he was invading my personal space. He KEPT FOLLOWING ME, SAYING I WAS GOING TO BE ON YOU TUBE.
        I kept moving down the block,waiting for Dial A Ride. He was STILL in pursuit of me!
        BIG MISTAKE! I am a 66 year old, single female. He has my name, and can find my name, with address, in county records! Who knows what might happen with these “crack pots”?
        I called P.D., we will see where this goes…
        California penal code,(section 646.9, willful stalking and harassment), does not allow First Amendment Rights, to allow “STALKING”.
        I accomplished two things.
        I effectively got him OUT of the City offices, so they didn’t have to deal with him.
        Then, by following me, a stalking/harassment charge. The moron “knew his rights”, but didn’t know mine!
        I am a former Peace Officer. Stupid little boy, picked the wrong “old lady” to mess with!
        I am sorry my shirt was covering my belt buckle. It says, “NOBODY EVER RAPED A .38”
        I am not a city employee, so I can bring charges and I did.
        It is called Activism.
        I hope you all get a laugh! I did what as Government employees, you can’t do.
        But I helped even the score just a little.

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 6, 2018 at 6:17 am

          Wow great story! I mentioned this awhile ago, about the auditors beginning to harass non law enforcement people. Any regular citizen doesn’t have to give a name or badge number and it can quickly escalate into a situation ending in arrest for a violation of one or many statutes. Way to know your rights also. Did you get the name of the auditor? I’d like to see the video. Stay safe and keep us informed on your incident.

      • Cindy Briggs on July 6, 2018 at 2:45 am

        PS. Watch for my close up, coming soon, on YouTube!
        Never trust a Sneaky Blonde!
        (Or now, a sneaky gray haired, old lady)
        Lots of kicks and giggles and H&D left, even terminally Ill.

  37. matt on June 13, 2018 at 4:34 am

    lol thats not what an audit is, even california police don’t even know what an audit is. LOL

  38. Craig BJJ on June 12, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I watched 1 audit and became addicted to seeing the truth of how the vast majority of these audits go. The reason I will watch and am considering doing my own audits – because I know the local PD in my area (business owner, corporate job as well, white, tall, good looking so its not about anything other than the Police have always viewed themselves our “betters”) will react RIDICULOUSLY in the face of a camera. And imagine how they act when they don’t think/aren’t being recorded. Where there is smoke there is fire.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on June 12, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      Good point. I have seen that as well and being a police sergeant I find it a little alarming that we can’t tone down the contact when we realize there isn’t really anything criminal going on. We’re getting better though. Soon the audits will find new life in public contacts and then there will be some serious conflict.

  39. Luna on June 9, 2018 at 2:06 am

    Unfortunately they are now moving to military bases and posting the comings and goings of military and government personnel as well as dependents. They may not be dangerous, but they are putting these video on YouTube where people who might mean harm can see them.

    • Louis G Hallacy on July 3, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      The eyes can’t trespass. If there are things that should not be seen then it is the responsibility of the Owner or Government to ensure security. Not the auditor. Americans citizens, government workers (i.e. Police, Post Office, etc.) and our infrastructure should not be afraid of cameras.

      we live in the 21st Century cameras will continue to get smaller. Get used to it.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 3, 2018 at 7:19 pm

        Very well put! I agree totally. I have seen enough police officers and supervisors flip out over the auditors taking pictures of licenses plates. Seriously? Who cares. Unless the person accessing the information has a DMV terminal or a friendly working on the inside, then it is no big deal. We need to advance and get over it. Every single thing we do and say is presumably video taped anyway. This applies to everyone in society so we better get comfortable appearing on YouTube.

  40. MyNameWhy AmIBeingDetained on June 2, 2018 at 3:00 am

    I first ran across first amendment audits on YouTube yesterday. I went on a binge and I have to say, if their intention was to make me lose faith in law enforcement, it worked. At first I just thought they were annoying jerks out to make a buck on YouTube, but then I saw guns drawn, people handcuffed, threatened, manhandled, arrested…all in the most tenuous (or sometimes outright nonsensical) of justifications. I realize they are looking for those responses, but they should not be finding them so readily.

    This article helped allay my concerns a good bit, though I must confess, not entirely. I personally know a lot of law enforcement officers, ubiquitously good people but many with a bit of a penchant for bravado. I can totally see them getting in trouble for something like this. I how that they see something like this article before they run across one of these guys.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on June 8, 2018 at 1:10 am

      Very good points! I also was a bit concerned at how my fellow officers responded to these audits, even being that many of the auditors are non-confrontational and just standing around. We have to use a little more judgement on our “reasonable suspicion” and the auditors are actually providing free training for us. I appreciate them for that and all the citizens for their honest expectations of their police. Thank you for the comment!

  41. Mark Abner on May 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    If the auditors put their self in a position to be questioned (which they are by design of the audit) then why do they get so defensive when they are actually questioned? I am sure if any “auditors” saw a person standing on the sidewalk in front of their home video taping their every move the auditor would approach them and ask what they are doing there and who the are,where do they live then next they would call the police to complain they are being stalked. If the police ask for your I.D. whats the big deal? Being friendly and forth coming will go along way. Total lack of respect for authority and a sense of entitlement is the problem with these auditors. Auditors should go about their day, be a productive citizen and leave the police to do their job.

    • Kyle on May 30, 2018 at 12:56 am

      When will people stop unfairly comparing apples to oranges? I’m neither an auditor (though I may at some point begin) nor an officer, but I see comments like this all the time. The auditors go where the officers or govt employees. work So why do you think someone should go to their homes? Why not their place of work? Or is it you assume most of these auditors have no job? That’s the problem with this world. Everyone goes around making assumptions.
      These auditors are not out there because it’s such great fun! I’m sure many of them who’ve experienced being thrown to the ground, cuffed and stuffed would love to explain how fun those encounters are! All for recording in public.
      The risks they take are for the benefit of all of society. They are trying to root out the bad apples found on many departments. That serves two purposes I can think of. 1) The bad officers on departments put the good officers in danger. If the public has a better perception of the officers they encounter they are less likely to be a problem or danger. The sooner these bad actors are found and dealt with the safer everyone’s lives will be. 2) It educates everyone! The officers learn to respect the public’s rights… and the people learn how to use those rights.
      This isn’t just about the 1st amendment. nooooo sir. They call it that because that’s where it starts. But the minute an officer ask for a person’s identification he’s attempting to violate a person’s 4th amendment right to privacy. Since we don’t live in Nazi Germany, the only time we have to produce papers (ID) is when? when there’s reasonable, articulable suspicion that a crime has been will be, or is being committed. The officer must be able to state such when asked. It has already been ruled in our supreme courts that photography is not a crime, nor is it supposed to be suspicious. If an officer decides to be influenced by the propaganda machine the trouble begins. We live in a time where everyone is being programed… If you see something say something. I’m already long winded, so I won’t go further into that thought.
      At that point the contact is no longer consensual and when the encounter becomes detention the person has the 5th amendment to safeguard his person.
      Maybe you don’t understand these times, and I believe you might need to wake up to the fact that is. More often than not an encounter with the police can and will escalate to the point they get their paws into your wallet.
      The big deal about giving your ID… In this day in age, when a cop generates a report with your info, you got no idea which database(s) it winds up in. Unfortunately when a person demands a public servant respect his rights, often that report will end up in a “fusion center’s” database, and next thing you know DHS has put your name on some watch list or restricted travel.
      I totally agree that one should be friendly and respectful with EVERYONE we encounter. I agree officer’s have a very difficult job. But I believe they do very little to improve that statistic. Training is key, and there’s a problem. Those in charge are more focused/interested on/in how much revenue they can generate off our backs. Many officers are poorly trained. They don’t know the laws, but they sure know the companies policies. Bet on that.
      To all the officers who may read this…. THANK YOU for your service, and PLEASE understand the time has come to stop being quiet while the bad apples ruin your profession. You are endangering yourselves and fellow officers, AND the people you are supposed to serve and protect. I don’t care how far up the chain this plague goes in your department, the people you serve will stick behind an honest professional officer when they see his fight is just.
      Mark, I’m a man, just like you. Remember respect is earned not given. It’s too bad many officers have forgotten that. It ain’t just them though, it runs among all human population. I don’t care who you are or what piece of tin you pin on your breast if you try to usurp my rights, you’ll know about it in no uncertain terms. And at that point, I may not be so respectful. Remember, our forefathers FOUGHT and many gave their lives. They were THAT important to them. The only one I answer to is God. As long as I’m not violating his laws, no one need question me. Same goes for the auditors. they are not violating any law they should be as Set Brett advised; left alone. When you leave them alone, their target gets a pass, and that is their goal. When government employees will respect everyone’s rights they won’t need to do these audits.

      • PoppaDeuce on May 31, 2018 at 6:56 am

        I dont really have that much of a problem with 1st amendment audits, i do however have a massive problem with 2nd amendment audits. If you and a group of friends are going to get together in fatigues and open carry ‘military style’ weapons down a suburban street or busy retail park, this is clearly very provocative and fear imposing behaviour. There is no circumstance in my mind, where you would need to do such a thing in your normal daily activities. In these cases, the gun carriers in my opinion, deserve to get the heavy handed treatment. They impose distress on citizens that can be quite disturbing and traumatic. Not only that but they are knowingly wasting police time. And for the record, i’m PRO GUN!

  42. Deepak Kamat on May 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    There is this tome in this article that makes me think you see First Amendment Audits as a fun-activity by these auditors, while I do not disagree that many of the auditors just do it for fun and the thrill, yet, many, majority of them do it to educate people, to help citizen understand and excercise their rights, to answer back to a law enforcement officer when they are asking them to do something that they aren’t required to, first amendment audits are not done for making headlines but mostly to educate people, to make them act less superior where there is no need of showing their jurisdiction,

    They make headlines because of people who act like they shouldn’t. And that’s for good, so they can respect people’s right later.

    While your article serves a good purpose for the workers who has to encounter these auditors it also has a tone that is trying to show these auditors as people whose work has no meaning for the public interest.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 22, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      I am sorry you misunderstood my purpose in my writing. I speak from the angle of a police supervisor, advising the officers who work for me (and police agencies). We can get caught in the mettle and argument about the purpose of the audits. I totally appreciate the auditors and what they do, and have spoken to them in positive light. I clearly see what and how their work adds to public interest, I just didn’t want to get into a lengthy conversation on that topic.
      To expose this, you can see now how many of the auditors have moved on from police agencies to all federal agencies, large business, and even some private industry. Everyone is affected.

      • Sean Martin on July 12, 2018 at 5:46 am

        SGT. When a public servant, police, or security observes an auditor they have three options, 1. ignore the auditors all together (they will quickly move on), 2. they can politely make contact and even bring them a bottle of water, then go back to work (again the auditor will move on in a hurry), or 3. they can get into a pissing contest with them and become a YouTube star. (more auditors will soon visit the location Guaranteed). WWG1WGA. God Bless

        • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on July 12, 2018 at 6:53 am

          I will! In fact, I have. Look up Corona Police First Amendment audit by High Desert Community Warch. The title is “Proof that Accountability helps”. My interaction wouldn’t change for any auditor. Have at it boys and girls!

    • Rick on May 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      The purpose of these self proclaimed auditors is for social media recognition and revenues and nothing more. If they had any intelligence, they would see that they are bastardizing the law. They have no reason to be there other than because they can and in hopes of getting a bad actor on video. That doesn’t bother me personally but what does bother me is them shooting video inside of public places, such as the post office, where every day citizens have to go to do business. At some point, these punks with cameras are going to cause some elderly person to have a stroke or heart attack because they don’t want to be photographed and then they will hopefully be charged with endangerment or worse.

      I’ve been a professional photographer for over 30 years and never felt a need to photograph people in public without their consent because I could. This is wrong and I hope it’s addressed soon. I shot real estate back in the early 2000’s in Miami Beach, Florida. Many times I was asked to photograph the community that included retail space and schools. The police would always show up at the schools and ask me to leave, which I did. It shouldn’t be any different now.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm

        You bring up many valid points as the scope of these audits have moved out of the sole focus on law enforcement, and have begun to target civilians and other work places. They are less likely to find any special consideration in this market as the general public doesn’t usually support the rights of individuals, as they also have rights. It will cause a lack of support if the actions of auditors keep being antagonistic with the public. Thanks for the comment!

      • jose m amengual on June 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm

        There is no expectancy of privacy when in public. You might not like it, but, it’s not illegal. If you don’t like this constitutional right, then start a petition to amend the first amendment.

      • Sean Martin on July 12, 2018 at 5:56 am

        Rick I think you are missing the point; these “punks” are exercising their rights which they have a right to do, like it or not. By the way, how many video cameras are watching you while your in a public building like a post office; 5 or 6? Why is 1 more camera such a big deal; is it because the government isn’t operating it but some “punk” is? This has already been addresses by the greatest document besides the bible that was ever written: the Constitution of the united States of America. We are a free society and we will get on each others nerves from time to time, deal with it and enjoy your freedoms. WWG1WGA. God Bless.

  43. Jon Stenberg on May 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Citizens should assume the best from all law enforcement and give them the benefit of doubt. It is a hard job, especially in inner cities. If one lets you down, it is on that officer, not the profession.

    Law enforcement should assume the best from all citizens and give them the benefit of doubt. Their welfare and benefit is the ONLY reason law enforcement exists in the first place.

    This is an excellent thread and good discussion. Thank you SGT Brett.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 22, 2018 at 10:25 pm

      Excellent point demonstrating a need for balance between police and the public we serve. With a little light shed on both sides, I bet we can meet somewhere in the middle and improve police / community relations. Thanks for the post!

  44. Carl Malone on April 22, 2018 at 12:22 am

    First Amendment audits are pure good entertainment, so many cops just instantly go insane and start acting like clowns or worse.

    Such good advice from the writer. If you ignore them they just leave and likely won’t ever visit your agency again. They are looking for idiots not professionals. Ignore and act professional and they will leave. Many auditors will actually give your agent good press if you follow the law.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 3, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you. Therein lies the focus of the training. We appreciate the audits as they have shown us some of the concerns already echoed by the community. These audits have provided us a springboard to train others to enhance the professionalism of our trade.

  45. Mike on April 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    In 22 years, you have only seen good cops?


    You have absolutely zero credibility.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 3, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      I applaud your narrow focus. Personally yes, I have seen and worked with only good police officers. This doesn’t count the media reports and third hand information I have received. Given the thousands of police officers working in the United States, I am sure there will be bad apples contributing to a bad image. Just as in any profession or trade. So attack my credibility but I am honest.

    • WhyMyName AmIBeingDetained on June 2, 2018 at 3:10 am

      I too am skeptical of that claim in the abstract, but don’t forget that if Sgt. Brett is a good person, bad cops would always present a good face to him. No doubt he’s met cops that broke the rules, but he gives them the same presumption of innocence absent evidence that I would demand of him as a citizen.

      So don’t be so harsh. All we know about him is that he wrote a good article with good advice, let’s support that.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on June 8, 2018 at 1:13 am

        Thank you for the feedback. Yes I am sure that I have been fooled by some “bad” officers in the past. In 22 years, most of the time has been in patrol and I have worked with many a great officer. I would easily say that the majority of police officers intend well, try their best, and go home to families just like everyone else. We have a hard job and with growing expectations of our profession (law enforcement, social justice, family therapy, third parent, morality police), it is no wonder some of the officers are troubled by something so basic as a camera and an audit. Our goal at CALRO is to make clear the limitations of police authority in the fields of the Constitution. Some laws are very clear, and some are very grey. Keep up the support!

  46. Thomas Kana on April 2, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Hey there. Funny thing – I stayed up way too late last night watching too many First Amendment audits….which led to videos of police being videotaped while (often mis)managing traffic stops, and other interactions with police because individuals were “looking suspicious,” “standing around,” etc. I live in North Dakota, a very police-friendly state. I generally support the police, but the limited interactions (<10) I have had with them have all been negative. I've not been beaten, yelled at, etc., but it seems like police are unable to 1. hold (or at least act like they hold) a positive view of their fellow citizens, 2. differentiate between a murderer and a speeder, 3. explain rationally why he/she is doing something, saying something, or behaving in a certain way, 4. understand that people (all people) make mistakes. So, I appreciate so much these videos (that you seem to disparage somewhat) as they help us all see that our rights can easily be trampled. I'll never conduct a First Amendment audit myself, but hopefully these sorts of videos can show both the proper behavior of police (and the human, personal side) that you advocate, and the completely embarrassing behavior so that those individuals can be terminated, sanctioned, etc.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 3, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Yes and I agree. There is an issue in general law enforcement with certain officers being unable to differentiate between a serious criminal and a traffic violator as you say. I believe this lies in the training and the focus of the law. Truth being said, any violation of ANY law or code can result in your detention, at the discretion of the officer. Remember that many officers behavior predicates on the behavior of the violator, but not always. We are trying to train proper responses and focus on community and Constitutional protections, while keeping officers safe and focused on public safety.

      • MyNameWhy AmIBeingDetained on June 2, 2018 at 3:17 am

        Sgt. Brett, let’s not forget that a large part of the problem also lies in legislation. So many things are illegal and people have no idea. That’s not the police’s fault, but they have to be the interface in the public interaction.

        That said, I think another problem is that police often get a jaded view of the public due to repeated negative experiences. Another very human reaction, but this is one that, unfortunately, it’s your job to deal with. The public cannot be expected to account for such things.

  47. Brandon on March 12, 2018 at 5:13 am

    I agree that many of these people do these things for attention, and views, and all that crap, but if anyone’s going to blame them, or hate them, then chances are you’re part of the problem. Constitutional laws are made void on a Dailey basis by police, court officials, and just about any government employee. Cops murder people all the time. And no, I’m not saying all cops are bad, but from my personal experience, most are. You work for privatized prisons, essentially. It stopped being about the people, and became about generating revenue. I’ve never filmed a cop before, but I’m going to start the next time I get stopped for walking down the street. Which has happened a lot.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on March 15, 2018 at 12:44 am

      Brandon, I am sorry to hear that most of your contacts with police have been bad. I have worked as a law enforcement professional for over 22 years and in my experience, I have only seen good police. I (and many of my peers) treat others as we would like to be treated. We do have a tremendously difficult job, which often takes a toll on us long after we hang up the badge and gun. One thing I wish to pass along to my peers (as I was shown) is that our job doesn’t have to be an “us versus them” show. We can work along with the public to accomplish our mission. I know that a vast majority of people support the police, and a lawful society. I am curious as to what part of the country (state?) you live in and experience poor contacts with law enforcement?

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on May 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      I encourage you to film the contact Brandon. Most of the officers in my area are already wearing cameras to also film encounters. This protects the public from unprofessional behavior and also protects the officer from false accusations. Personally, I have seen that when my camera is on and the person being encountered knows it, the contact goes way smoother than years before.

  48. Jack Dempsey on February 15, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Here’s a few suggestions:

    1) Remember that contrary to your own opinion, you aren’t gods with unlimited power;
    2) The First Amendment.

    Maybe if more of you did what was suggested, ignore them and they will leave, then we will see less and less of the “good cops acting bad” and more videos showing police actually honoring their oath (HAHAHAHAHA) and first amendment audits that earn passing scores.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on March 15, 2018 at 12:37 am

      That is one of the points of our training and a focus of what we’re doing. We would like to reach all officers and remind them of the sensitive nature of the First Amendment and to honor it. Understandably, many officers are also focused on supporting the rights of all other people, which sometimes are trampled on by another’s First Amendment right. Therein lies a sticky situation for everyone involved, especially the police who are supposed to remain neutral and non-judgmental.

  49. Mark S on February 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    The First Amendment auditors here in Arizona have gone one step further and now wait outside the gated areas filming undercover vehicles and patrol cars coming and going. They capture the license plates of all the cars that come and go. They have also been wandering the employee and visitor parking lots video taping all the license plates in the lots.

    This can bring danger to Law Enforcement Officers as those that could be watching these videos will have reference of what to look for if police are on an undercover operation.

    It could also bring danger to LEOs’ families.

    • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on February 5, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Wow that’s tough to hear. We see that the First Amendment audits are occurring more and more across the Country. This is largely in part due to online media sharing sites such as YouTube and Facebook. Many of the auditors are more in it for views than educating the law enforcement community. Protect your posted no trespassing spots, but remember that they can be anywhere the public can be and they can film what they can see. Consider privacy screening along fences and plants to deter access to off limits areas.

    • BigPoppaaz on August 26, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Are these actions, you mention, a misdeameanor or a felony? Your sense of “security” does not impede the 1st Amendment rights of Americans. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. What’s sad and DOES OCCUR are the violations of Anericans civil liberties, by authoratarian LEO’s who don’t know, like, or care about citizens rights. Within the “secure areas” of the tax payer funded department, implement the policy and procedures which make you feel secure, outside of that embrace the liberties afforded to us all.

      • mm Sergeant Ryan Brett on September 3, 2018 at 11:32 pm

        I like it! That’s about the perfect summarization of what I am trying to get out to everyone, and hope that, with training and education, my fellow officers can approach situations like audits with professionalism and confidence that not everyone is out to get us. I can only imagine how great it would be to work WITH my local auditors in sharing what it is like to be a police officer on the streets these days. Our job isn’t getting easier, but we must grow and change with the times. Thanks for the post!

        Sgt. Brett

  50. Lisa on October 10, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Being aware and armed with responses and a 6th sense on whether or not you are dealing with a dangerous individual is important for your field of work. Training is a great way to be armed with the tools and defenses you need to assess and handle all different types of people. Fear of being harmed or being portrayed unjustly is a concern, however when I watch an officer being filmed overreact, it’s hard not to wonder if there aren’t better ways for him/her to handle these kind of issues. It seems for CALRO, helping the deputy or officer win and have victory over the situation is the ultimate goal. The problem isn’t going away anytime soon and seems to only be growing.

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