Winston-Salem, NC — Rick Goins was simply conducting a test of his First Amendment rights. He was standing on a public sidewalk and recording public officials. This is completely legal in the state of North Carolina.
However, the constitutionality and legality of Goins’ actions were of no concern to Lt. R.B. Rose of the Winston-Salem Police Department. Rose was determined to assert his authority and intimidate a completely innocent man, all because Goins was exercising his first amendment rights.
The unprofessional tactics by Lt. Rose go far beyond simple intimidation. Rose attempted to insult this man’s children, and former wife. He attacked the man’s character and implied that he films police because he “wants to be a cop, to get women.” The unprofessionalism is rife throughout the video below and will likely have you seeing red by the end of it.
When Goins refuses to be bullied is when Rose resorts to tactics straight out of George Orwell’s 1984.
In 1984, the Thought Police were created to arrest members of society who could potentially challenge authority and status quo, even only by thought. They existed to control the speech and actions of individuals, as well as their thoughts.
During Rose’s personal assault on Goins, he begins threatening to kidnap him and have him hospitalized for his free speech, actions and thought crimes. Rose then gets in his cruiser to contact the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to find something negative in Goins past.
Goins, however, was squeaky clean. Rose quickly finds out that Goins is a veteran of the USMC, who received an honorable discharge. But this doesn’t stop Rose, he continues for several minutes, insulting and personally attacking Goins and his family as he frantically searches for anything to nab him on.
Eventually, after scrounging for something to use to kidnap or arrest Goins on, the officers give up; but not before threatening him again.
“We’ll be in touch with you,” says Rose as to imply that his retaliation for this man asserting his first amendment rights is still impending.
The most egregious thing he said came when he threatened to have the man involuntarily committed to a mental hospital… all just for recording the police: which is entirely within his rights to do.
“Maybe we need to get him transported. Committed,” Rose said to another officer on the scene.
He turned back to Goins then and said, “you may be a danger to yourself, Mr. Goins.”
He added “I got the car coming… you can go voluntarily or we’ll go to the magistrate’s office and explain to them that you’ve been caught twice within the past two weeks videotaping police operations, gas pumps, which would be considered a threat.”