A TikToker’s viral video captures the moment a police officer detained him for playing Arabic music while riding his bike through a neighborhood.
TikToker @israeliberry documented his detainment in a trio of videos that he uploaded on Tuesday. They have collectively earned over a million views and migrated to Reddit’s r/PublicFreakout page.
The first and most popular video—captioned “this is what playing Arabic music gets you”—begins with a police officer asking @israeliberry, “Where are you going?” When he explains that he’s “just driving around,” the cop questions him more aggressively.
“Why are all the neighbors flagging me down saying they see you riding up and down the street all the time?” the officer asks. “Where do you live?”
When the TikToker says he lives in Fresno, California, roughly 10 minutes from his current location in Easton, the cop tells him to get off his bike and set his phone down.
“Any weapons or anything on you?” the cop asks at the start of the second video. “Get off your phone. Don’t make me tell you again.”
The cop makes @israeliberry turn around and put his hands on his head. He then explains that he’s stopped him because “you’re riding your bike on the wrong side of the road, playing loud music. Those are all violations of the California Vehicle Code.”
@israeliberry can be heard grunting lightly as he complies with the cop’s orders to sit on the ground and cross his ankles. In the comment section, @israeliberry said, “He put the cuffs on so tight I still have cuts on my wrist from them.”
In the third video, the cop tells @israeliberry to hand over his phone. “What am I being arrested for?” @israeliberry asks.
“You’re not being arrested,” the officer says. “You’re being detained right now on a vehicle stop. Give me your phone.”
“My phone? For what?” @israeliberry asks.
“Because I told you to,” the officer says. “I don’t know if you understand how this works, but you can go to jail and do all that, or you can hand me your phone.”
When @israeliberry asks if he can call his attorney, the cop replies, “Nope. You can’t call anybody. It’s now a safety issue. Give me your phone.”
“I don’t think so,” @israeliberry tells him.
“OK, then we’re gonna have a problem. Get up,” the cop says. The video ends with the camera shuffling as @israeliberry apparently gets off the ground.
In the comments of the third video, @israeliberry gave more context behind the incident.
“I was riding my bike on the road out where they have crop [fields] and he followed me for like 1/2 a mile and a few turns,” he wrote. “It was like an old western movie when I [passed] by the huge houses, everyone opening a door/window bc I was playing [Palestinian pop singer Mohammed Assaf’s] ‘Dammi Falastini.’”
Multiple viewers pointed out that the officer potentially violated @israeliberry’s Miranda rights by denying his request to call his attorney, and they urged him to report the cop to the American Civil Liberties Union. (Police must read the Miranda warning when a suspect is in custody.) Many also argued that the officer only wanted his phone to destroy the evidence of him acting out of line.
“Today’s crime: existing in a way someone else didn’t like,” one viewer commented.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @israeliberry.
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