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‘Dismissed’: Cop threatening to detain TikToker gets shut down by colleague

'It's the totality of the circumstances.'


Kahron Spearman


Published Feb 9, 2021

A TikTok video shows a Merced County Sheriff’s Department officer giving a man a hard time before getting dismissed by his colleague.

The video was first uploaded to @tularecountycopwatch on TikTok, which is dedicated to posting videos of police officers and the sheriff’s office around Tulare County, California. The video was also posted to r/PublicFreakout on Reddit.

The 1-minute video shows a law enforcer from the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, who is not wearing a face mask and whose name tag says his last name is Valenzuela, insisting the man recording possibly committed a crime and faces detainment.

Valenzuela says the unseen man is risking detainment because of “the totality of the circumstances.”

The man is asking if he has committed a misdemeanor or felony. Valenzuela says it’s “not an arrest” and that they will “agree to disagree and if you wanna sue me, you can sue me.”

“I’m telling you it’s my authority to detain you, to at least get your identification,” he says.

The man summons another officer in an unmarked vehicle nearby, Officer Royel, by name. Royel, who’s wearing a neck gaiter, approaches Valenzuela and the man filming.

“Can you let Valenzuela know I have First and Fourth Amendment rights, and I’m not doing nothing wrong, and he cannot detain me?” asks the unseen videographer.

Royel indicates to Valenzuela to let it go. “OK,” Valenzuela says. “Have a good day.”

“Dismissed,” the man filming says. An edited clipped shows Valenzuela walking away in slow motion. On Reddit, commenters praised Royel for shutting down the situation.

“A rookie cop was trying to get away with detaining a non-violent civilian, to muscle a confession of guilt out of him, possibly flex his authority,” one user wrote.

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*First Published: Feb 9, 2021, 10:48 am CST