DELRAY BEACH — A video with more than 120,000 views on Youtube shows an exchange between several Delray Beach officers and an unidentified man who earlier filmed police vehicles running a stop sign outside the department headquarters.
The officers told the man several times they took no issue with his right to film police vehicles, but were investigating a reported suspicious incident.
The 20-minute video was shot Nov. 30, but was posted two weeks ago.
The man’s dark pickup was parked in front of the police department, on Atlantic Avenue east of Interstate 95. He pointed a camera toward an exit at the west end of the lot and videoed several police cars rolling past a stop sign facing Southwest Fourth Avenue, a low traffic, two-way street that leads to Atlantic Avenue.
Delray Beach Police Chief Jeff Goldman has since asked his officers to come to a full stop at the sign, according to a statement from the department.
The man, who identifies himself in the video as the spouse of a three-year employee of the Delray Beach Police Department, sparked attention after an officer called in the incident as suspicious.
Soon after, two officers approached the pickup and asked the man why he was parked in the police lot, marked with signs that read “reserved for police business.”
The man said he was waiting to pick his wife up, then declined to fully roll down his window, identify himself to officers or share any further details.
“Think about all the stuff that’s going on in today’s society,” one uniformed officer told the man 13 minutes into the video.
The man repeatedly tells the officer that he thinks they’re only questioning him because he videoed officers running the stop sign.
Goldman released the following statement on Wednesday in response to the situation:
“I would expect any law enforcement officer responding to a call of a suspicious person to do as these officers did. On a daily basis nationwide, law enforcement officers interact with unknown individuals who have undisclosed intentions. These officers must do what they can to evaluate the situations and determine whether those individuals pose any threat to the public. In this case, they were successful, and the encounter ended without incident.”
An article that references the video was posted on Facebook’s Delray RAW, a closed group with more than 14,000 members who post and discuss community news. The post has gotten mixed reactions, with some condemning Delray Beach Police’s response and others chiding the man who made the video.
No police reports were filed in the incident, and the man’s name is not revealed throughout the video.