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/)
I think department matters too where I live Paulding county cops are pretty cool but the dickheads in cobb and the GSP are pretty bad, my sister got a “running a stop sighn” ticked because she cut in front of a cop taking a right on red which is legal here by cobb county police
I had this same thing happen to me about 10 years ago. A neighbor called and complained about my 75 ford king cab being to loud. The officer threatened to arrest me and told me not to park in my space in front of my apartment again. I was upset at the time of the call (left fielder) and all but this officer saw a young woman getting upset over a poor helpless old man. This same old man came back 2 months later and shot my other neighbor and friend to death and himself.
Cop should have written him for littering. It is unbelievable that people find it acceptable to throw cigarette butts out of their cars.
Yes that’s obviously the issue here.. are you high? The frame of mind officers like that have are the reason nobody trusts or wants “help” from police. (He’s probably like that cuz the “civilian p.o.s. threw a butt) lol
Its cops like this that make ALL COPS look bad and its people like you that cops like that should go after see how you like it and maybe just maybe it will bother your conscious enough that the next time you comment on a story like this you wont make such a stupid one!!!
People often wounder WHY the public has problems with Law enforcement. This is a prime example. The officer was completely Un-Professional during the stop. ALL N.Y. (State, County, Local) have been fully informed as to the public’s RIGHT to record interactions with ANY civil servants. If you are in a public space ANYONE can record you (Audio and video) and Law enforcement especially know of the PUBLIC’S RIGHT to record Interaction with them. It is clear that the Officer has a personal grudge with this citizen. While we do not know of the previous interactions between Officer Rosenblatt and Mr. Houghtaling the officers actions express a COMPLETE LACK of professionalism and the officer, it would appear, should find a more suitable line of work.
Shame on you Officer Rosenblatt, and shame on the local D.A. who worked in collusion with you on the summonses Mr. Houghtaling received later in the mail. The Officer should have issued you a ticket for Littering (yep!). He may have had the right to pull you over for the exhaust (not certain of the sound ordinances in that area) But it is more than clear that you sir (and after seeing this video I use the term VERY loosely) have neither the ability to control your self or the ability to be a good Law enforcer and I fear your lack of professionalism puts all of the public at risk!
Lets see more of this, lets all buy a Go pro and record EVERYTHING
That would be nice to see some justice on this subject
And that officer says that he’ll “find a way” to stop the person from recording him . Hountaling already exposed you, sir, and now here you are being exposed on AnonHQ for being unprofessional in a way that is unfair to the person you pulled over , even if you think you know the law better than the average citizen, Roseblatt, you do realize that you’re threats as much as anything you do could be recorded, right ? You almost assaulted the man just to record you for doing your job, why is my camera illegal and yours is not . Police officers are suppose to protect us, not be brutal to us. We, the people , pay taxes and payYOU to do your job, this is also the same message that I am bringing to corrupt cops everywhere, who think that they can get away with harming the people. I’m not threatening you, we’re informing you to at least know better than to treat us like animals . We are human beings, man . I think that it is about time that you realize that by now.
It is an odd thing that happens in the place where I live. When police commit such abuses, bad karma often occurs in their lives and due to seemingly “unfortunate circumstances & tragedy” they usually disappear. We must certainly be lucky where I live for such circumstances to arise coincidentally with such abuses. Perhaps such luck will visit your area if enough of you determine to invite it and make such karma your guest.
The kid who recorded this was in the wrong. He was trying to make the cop say something by arguing and acting like a smart ass toward the authority. This officer is a victim.
100% agree. Put yourself in the cop’s shoes. These officers’ day to day jobs is to strap on a gun and keep the public safe. Walking up to a car, not knowing who is behind the wheel, what they’re thinking, if they have a gun, etc., is a day to day reality check that I can’t imagine from my desk job. The police officer pulled the kid over for a legitimate infraction and if he had just rolled down his window and not been a smart ass and had a conversation with the cop, who knows, he might have let him off with a warning.
Yes, the cop got mouthy – if the kid wants to record, then let him record. No harm, no foul. At least you know he can’t pull a gun on you if you see his hands holding the phone. But this stupid trend of asking a cop “Am I being detained?” and being standoffish, while recording, to try and catch a temper flare is only going to lead to a bigger fight between police and civilians, and probably more accidental shootings. Let the police do their jobs and everyone can get home safe.
The kid deserves all those tickets. And to address his follow up statement – that aggressive response from the cop when he returned was way out of line (if it in fact really happened that way), BUT if you had just rolled down your window and talked to the cop like a human in the first place it would have been avoided all together. That kid should get off his high horse. I hope they have a sky high littering fine, too.
With all due respect – I understand that people with cameras are an annoyance to the police, and that the police officer has a tough job. I appreciate that there is someone who has promised to run toward the danger in our society. I understand that there are people who want to harm police officers. I’m sad about that.
OTOH – We have centuries of a few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch. Abuse after abuse by those who wear the badge means that it’s fair and reasonable to have an objective record of the event. It may (or may not) be this particular police officer’s fault, but there ARE bad officers who harm the public. Transparency is the only reasonable response.
When a citizen is respectful and cooperative (as this citizen was) it’s completely crazy of the officer to get angry and vindictive with multiple tickets. Sure, write him for the noise and littering violations, but relax. Don’t get upset, be thankful that the video will show you as the hardworking, respectful and upstanding police officer you are. Video of officer/citizen interaction exonerates the officers more than 90% of the time. http://www.officer.com/article/11302594/lets-have-a-look-at-the-footage
Why would you fear that? When a police officer has a negative reaction to videotaping, it should be a warning sign.
I hate Cops today… PIGS !!! Yea, that’s right.. Let’s see you come and get me losers?? Try it !!!
I say everyone should find out where these pigs live and pay them a little visit.