A Tracy, California man says his rights were violated after he got into a confrontation with police officers while recording a SWAT team training exercise.
Troy Stevenson says he was on his way home near the intersection of Byron Road and S. Lammers Road when he saw the exercise and pulled over to take a look.
Stevenson, using his cellphone, began recording.
Police say officers became concerned when Stevenson peered into the windows of a van that was part of the SWAT action. The recording shows officers approaching Stevenson and saying, “It says police training. We’re asking who you are and what you’re doing here.”
Stevenson tells the officers he is just recording video. The officers ask to see his driver’s license. Stevenson refuses, saying he didn’t commit a crime. That’s when the situation begins to escalate.
Stevenson maintains he didn’t realize he was interfering with SWAT activity because the van was unmarked, and across the street from most of the action.
“They had some signs up saying, “Training in progress,” but they didn’t say stay out,” Stevenson said. “I was interested and started filming.”
In the short video, officers ask Stevenson for his ID, pat him down despite his refusal to consent, and temporarily confiscate his wallet and pocket knife before releasing him.
Stevenson claims the officers violated his first amendment rights.
Tracy Police Chief Gary Hampton says an administrative review of the incident has been launched.
Watch the raw footage: