PSPD Responds to First Amendment Activist Encounter - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

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PSPD Responds to First Amendment Activist Encounter

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Palm Springs, CA -

On Saturday night, the Palm Springs Police Department responded to a controversy brewing on social media. 

An unnamed first amendment cameraman, who claimed to be producing a news story, was approached by a Palm Springs Police Department officer, in which he was asked for his ID and to stop filming. Upon denying the officer his ID, the officer attempted to detain the cameraman, and this is where the controversy began.

"The Palm Springs Police Department prides itself on professionalism and like any organization is not void of mistakes," said Sgt. William Hutchinson in a video posted on the department's Facebook page. The video in response to what is called a 'first amendment audit.'  "An individual proclaiming to be a first amendment activist visits government facilities and police departments for the purpose of testing the response of officers," explained Hutchinson.

Posting video recordings of these encounters is a growing trend on Youtube: hundreds of these videos amassing thousands of views. Some videos depict tensions flaring with officers, while others show pleasant encounters. 

Sgt. Hutchinson goes on to say, "Chief Reyes wants our community to know that he examines all incidents in great detail to determine appropriate outcomes in moving forward or correcting any identifiable mistakes," said Hutchinson.

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