On 1-28-2016, Rick Gonzalez of Realjgonzo Media was out patrolling the Allentown area, as he does almost every day. Rick is a seasoned veteran of filming police and knows his rights well.
Upon passing the jail and police station (the same place), Rick caught the attention of a Pennsylvania State Police officer, who was leaving the jail. Its important to note that the state police do not patrol Allentown. They were most likely only there dropping off a prisoner. This did not stop "Officer Jumpy" from stopping next to Rick and asking him what he was doing. Rick chose to exercise his rights at this point and remained silent. The officer then pulled back in a position to watch Rick, while calling for backup. Rick was totally un-phased and beautifully kept his cool while filming the annoyed officer.
About five minutes passed before an Allentown officer arrived on scene and began to question Rick right away. Rick decided to engage the officers in conversation to gauge their reaction to recent events involving federal investigations against the city. He even dropped our group name and my name. We are well known and have been featured in the paper a number of times for holding local police accountable. The officer acted as if he never heard of us. Rick was not phased and quickly informed the officers he is live streaming on his phone.
After a few minutes of questioning, the officers realized they would get nothing from him and began to back off. That's when Rick skillfully flips the script on the officers, getting their identities and putting them on the defensive. The happiest surprise was when Rick recognized the name tag on one of the police officers.... Robert Busch. Busch was made infamous over the summer by a viral video showing him body slamming a 62 year old man for singing.
This man was the reason we started focusing on Allentown. It was the greatest moment in YouTube history when Rick says "That's no good man. How do you feel about that?" Busch's face showed pure shame for a brief moment, it was priceless. The other officers realized that they had just been caught in the very situation their superiors ordered them to avoid and moved quickly to disperse. Rick was still asking for ID though. The state trooper actually began to tell Rick how nice he has been to him, as if he was not the one that started the entire encounter.
In the end, they are all identified and accountability was had right out in the open for the world to see. Rick stood his ground, never identified himself, or even wavered in his confidence. He knew his rights and was ready to exercise them. The smartest thing Rick did though was to live stream video. Even though he was walking alone he had every friend on his network able to watch his back.
Way To Go Rick!!
Rick has put a lot of time into growing as an activist. Its important to know that Rick spoke with the officers here because he wanted to engage with them. He was totally in charge of the conversation the whole time. You do not have to say a word if you are in a similar situation. If you are not confident and knowledgeable of your rights, it's usually best to remain silent.
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