Navy Vet Found Guilty of Criminal Charges for Recording Cops; Cops Very Happy About That

Posted on January 28, 2012


About a year after being arrested by Tampa police officers for recording them with his cell phone, former Navy veteran Jeff Patch was found guilty of obstructing an officer and putting an officers’ safety at risk by videotaping a police investigation, according to a Tampa judge.

The ruling, which Patch’s lawyer says his client will appeal, was praised on, a news blog for cops, on which commenters ridiculed Patch. “YouTube Hippie, maybe he’ll violate again and end up in prison where he can record his own forcible sodomy,” said one comment.

According to news reports, Patch recorded the police officers during an investigation of a fight outside a nightclub. The officers at first claimed he was too close and told Patch to step back. He did – about 15 feet – but was arrested because he speaking too loudly and inhibiting the officers’ ability to speak with a victim, according to Tampa police spokesperson Andrea Davis.

“It was not what he was doing, but rather it was that he was continually talking and making them unable to hear the victim,” Davis said shortly after Patch’s arrest last year, according to News 10.

However, during the trial, Tampa Police Officer Clinton Harris said under oath that Patch was physical proximity was a “distraction.”

“I asked the defendant to step back and move away from me due to his proximity being a distraction and being a officer safety issue,” Harris said, according to My Fox Tampa Bay.

Although Patch’s video shows he backed up when told and Officer Harris’ testimony contradicts that of his own department’s spokesperson, Judge Eric Myers sided with the cops’ version of events. Well, one of them anyways – the one about being too close and impeding an investigation of a fight by being too close.

Commenters on, who mostly claim to be cops, absolutely loved the ruling.

Gotprozach said people should “respect” and “fear” police officers:

“Don’t stick your nose in others’ business. I’m glad to see some “I’m only filming this to protect everyone” idiot finally get dobbed for his self righteous sense of entitlement. I get so tired of these tree huggers acting like the Police are the bad guys. It’s even more feather legged, but I know of a woman who tried this crap here in TX and got arrested for filming Officers when they were in their cars with the MDCs on. They got smart and charged her with dissemenating TLETS info since the officers had confidential info on the screen and she posted it on the web. I’m sure her intent was just to be an idiot like this guy adn didn’t know what was on the MDC, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat. That’s the problem with our society. People should trust us, but there is no sense of respect for the authority have or the fear that should be in the back of their minds of stepping over the thin blue line.”

Patch said that is simply not true and that he was arrested simply because the cops did not like being recorded. Nevertheless, the six-year Navy vet considered it not only his right, but his duty to hold cops accountable for their actions.

“I spent part of my life protecting the values of this country and then when I come home I have to protect myself,” he said after his arrest last year.

The article left out the fact that Patch is a Navy veteran, but one commenter mocked Patch for believing he knew his rights.

“Another self rightous idiot that thinks he knew his rights,” said blueline329. “Thank you for using common sense judge…..We need more like you”

Posted in: Crime, Florida