Palm Springs police are addressing a video posted to Youtube this weekend, officials said.
In the video, an unidentified man visits the Palm Springs Police Department and claims to be doing a First Amendment audit to determine if officers are respecting his First Amendment rights.
When approached by an officer, the man claims he is “doing a news story on what public officials do on public time.”
The conversation between the officer and the man turns confrontational after the officer asks for ID.
In the video, the officer cites that the man is being detained for trespassing. The man tells the officer that he is illegally being detained while being on a “public area.” Another officer and eventually a sergeant arrived at the scene and interaction continues for around 30-minutes.
The YouTube page describes the organization as the following: “News Now California Is a independent news journal covering 1st Amendment rights in California and the United States. Your eyes cannot trespassed.”
Here is what Palm Springs Police Public Information Sgt. William Hutchinson said about the incident:
“During this incident, a person claiming to be a First Amendment activist, who visits government facilities and police departments for the purpose of testing the response by officers, was contacted by officers. There’s an exchange of conversation between the officer and individual, and this interaction is the point of concern for those who have responded to or commented on this video,” he said.
Hutchinson said, “The Palm Springs Police Department prides itself on professionalism and like any organization is not void of mistakes. Chief Bryan Reyes and his staff are aware of the contents in the video and a full review of the incident is underway.”
Hutchinson also said that if it is determined the incident was not handled appropriately by officers, the department will correct the mistakes accordingly.
“Right now behind the scenes the chief has ordered an investigation into this. With that, we’ll look at the totality of this entire event,” Hutchinson said to KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News.
We reached out to the YouTube user that posted the video but have not heard back from him. However, in the video he promises to return to check up on the training of officers.