With that arrogant bravado only a cop can muster, Austin police officer Jamess Maufrais pointed two flashlights into the lenses of two cameras held by PINAC reporter Phillip Turner last November, bragging about how he was “not intimidated” by citizens with cameras, thumbing his nose at his own departmental policy that forbids officers from harassing citizens with cameras.
But now that he’s been slapped with a 20-day unpaid suspension for assaulting and bullying Turner on November 11, 2016, shoving and grabbing him as well as threatening him with unlawful arrest, he may have changed his tune.
After all, it was the evidence on the camera that led to his suspension last week.
If he was not intimidated, he should have at least been intelligent. But that’s too much to ask from police these days.
His fellow officer, Jesse Lane – who killed a man two months later while the incident was still under investigation by internal affairs – was slapped with a 10-day unpaid suspension for part in bullying and detaining Turner while shining a flashlight into his lenses for almost an hour that night.
All because Turner was attempting to video record another cop making a traffic stop in the parking lot of a bank – completely legal activity as we all know.
Even Austin police know this after years of arresting Peaceful Street members, implementing a policy in 2014 that made it clear police are not allowed to interfere with citizens who record them from in public as long as they are not physically interfering.
Turner was standing 30 feet from the traffic stop he was recording, not saying a word. He was not interfering, even though he was accused repeatedly by Maunfrais through the infuriating bullying session.
Austin police officer James Maufrais was suspended for 20 unpaid days for assaulting a PINAC reporter while blocking