In a cell phone recording by John Houghtaling, New York state trooper—identified as Officer Rosenblatt—threatens to find a way for the DA’s office to arrest Houghtaling if he didn’t stop recording.
As Officer Rosenblatt approaches, Houghtaling asks, “How’s it going?”
Officer Rosenblatt responds, “Put the phone down.”
“Put the phone down… why?” asks Houghtaling.
“Because I said so.”
“Am I not allowed to record, Officer?”
Officer Rosenblatt does not directly respond, but rather blocks the view of the camera with his hand, and begins to order Houghtaling to open his window. Houghtaling assures the officer he can hear him just fine as the officer continues to insist he roll his window down. When Houghtaling asks for his badge number, Rosenblatt refuses to respond.
Finally, Houghtaling asks, “Am I being detained?”
Officer Rosenblatt replies, “I’m stopping you for a traffic violation, open your window and give me your license and registration.”
Houghtaling responds accordingly, and immediately begins to retrieve the requested paperwork.
As Houghtaling gets into his glove-box, Officer Rosenblatt asks, “Are you the same one who thought it was a good idea to come in my station and videotape us for some reason?”
“Am I legally obligated to answer that question?” Houghtaling asks.
Officer Rosenblatt merely stares at him for a few seconds before saying, “How about if I see you post this on Youtube, I’ll find a way for the DA’s office to arrest you.”
The conversation carries on much the same way throughout the rest of the video, with officer Rosenblatt becoming increasingly hot-headed. The video eventually ends when the trooper says he’ll be “back with him in a minute”.
In a recent update on the story, John Houghtaling states:
“Hello, everyone. My name is John Houghtaling, obviously the person in the video. I want to thank everyone who has commented and shared this story. Here is what happened after he came back to the car: Trooper Rosenblatt approached my vehicle as I still had my phone in my hand. When I went to hit the record button, he used his hand/fingers to reach in my car and knock my phone down. I was terrified that this man was going to take me out of the car and assault me. After he knocked my phone out of my hand, he dropped a muffler ticket into my car and left the scene. Three days later I received three more tickets in the mail. One for using my phone while driving, one for littering (which I agree was wrong), and one for having an air freshener on my mirror.”
Although it is clear that this officer is harassing Houghtaling by sending him addition petty infraction tickets, the key point of this article is the fact that Officer Rosenblatt threatened to “find a way” to have Houghtaling arrested. Unfortunately, this is an all too common practice now.
John Houghtaling’s story brings to mind another case from 2007 where a man secretly recorded an officer threatening to manufacture numerous charges against him for “getting smart” when the man asked what he did wrong. The officer, Sgt. James Kuehnlein of the St. George police in Missouri, was filmed making the threats by the victim’s dash cam.
According to recent reports, there has been mounting evidence against several precincts—not just in the United States, but around the world—for tampering with and planting evidence, as well as falsifying reports in an effort to deflect blame for their crimes against society. In the United States, tensions have been on a steady rise for the last few years, and it has sadly become commonplace to hear reports of gross police misconduct, including outright murder.
In a recent case, a former judge in Murray County Georgia was arrested and released this past May to await trial for having drugs planted on a woman who spurned his advances. He faces up to 20 years if convicted for the crime. The two former sheriff officers who aided the judge by “following orders” were sentenced to two years.
In another case, two deputies in Los Angeles are on trial for cutting the power in a South L.A. medical dispensary, and then planting several guns in the shop. A tape was produced showing a completely different story than what the officers reported.
The fact is, one can literally sit at their computer for hours reading over all the cases of police misconduct, violence, and general outrageous behavior. And what is known publicly barely scratches the surface. These officials are far more familiar with the law than the average citizen, and they know how to cover their tracks. Some officials have gone on record stating that many police will carry drugs with them, or “throw-away” weapons in case they are needed to make the officer’s crimes look justified.
There are many good police out there, all of which have families and are facing the same struggles as the rest of us. However, these officers are afraid to step forward and tell the truth due to the repercussions they will face from other law enforcement agents, as well as taking the risk of losing their jobs and standing in the community. As a result, this “Us against Them” frame-of-mind is allowed to flourish amongst police officers, and in the end, everyone loses.
There are numerous reasons for the escalated problems between police and citizens. It is said that programs such as the failed “War on Drugs” are responsible for turning many good cops bad, and it all comes down to quotas. Making quotas has become a huge incentive for police officers, and if they can’t find criminals to fill their quota, they’ll make a criminal, even if it means planting the drugs on a suspect themselves.
Boggioni, Tom. Raw Story. Dec 26, 2014. (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/12/ny-state-trooper-threatens-driver-recording-stop-ill-find-a-way-for-the-das-office-to-arrest-you/)
Chris. The Free Thought Project. Dec 26, 2014. (http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-threatens-charges-man-posts-video-youtube-man-posts-video-youtube/)
Miller, Carlos. PINAC. Dec 25, 2014. (http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/12/new-york-state-cop-threatens-man-arrested-recording-traffic-stop/)
Nowlin, Mai. Liberty Voice. Oct 11, 2014. (http://guardianlv.com/2014/10/police-accused-of-planting-evidence-and-falsifying-reports/)