Image: The Free Thought Project Video (YouTube)

Police officers are well aware of the tremendous power and authority they wield, yet historically they’ve abused it at the cost of black lives. Time after time, instance after instance, we’ve borne witness to innocent black men who are harassed, demeaned or slaughtered simply for existing, while those who have sworn to protect them go unpunished.

In the latest example of this endless cycle, the Free Thought Project reports that Wave Rydaz Entertainment CEO Dizzy Dez was harassed and handcuffed by police in Decatur, Ala., after being accused of holding someone at gunpoint. Slight problem: Dez had no gun; he had a camera—which he was predictably using to film. And if he did have a gun, why weren’t a horde of police officers dispatched to the scene?

Per Free Thought Project:

According to Dez, before the video starts, the officer approached Dez and his colleague, Sa’Von Hobbs, and demanded they put their hands in the air, which they did. The officer then handcuffed them both.

“I asked her. ‘was I being detained,’ she says, ‘no’ but proceeds to put me in handcuffs as I ask then why am I being cuffed,” Dez explained.

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Dez knew he did nothing wrong. So, hip to the bullshit the cops were about to pull, he refused to answer any questions and exercised his 5th Amendment right to do so. Which of course, infuriated the officer in question. Dez states that he was then illegally searched without his consent prior to the arrival of two other police officers. But aware that his rights were being violated, he asked for a supervisor.

That’s when shit starts to go left.

“Why do you need a supervisor?” one of the officers is heard asking.

“Because I was just unlawfully searched,” replies Dez.

“I know she is not supposed to go inside my pockets like that,” says Dez.

The officer responds by telling Dez “you don’t know about half the shit you’re talking about.”

“I know enough that I need your name and badge number,” Dez says, which appeared to be the last straw for the officer, who then turns around and walks up to Dez getting in his face, threatening him.

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It should be noted that during this entire exchange, Dez remains remarkably calm in the face of what could’ve ended up being a fatal encounter. He’s stern and composed while officers who’ve been trained to follow suit conduct themselves otherwise.

So as Dez calmly asserts his rights, one of the officers loses his shit because presumably he can’t fathom a black man holding a police officer accountable under these circumstances.

“I need your name,” Dez says again.

“Fuck you!” the officer says.

“What?” asks Dez.

“Fuck you is my name,” the officer says as he storms off and then drives away.

Thankfully, Dez and his colleague Sa’Von Hobbs were eventually uncuffed and released—because again, they did nothing wrong.

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“The other officer talked to me after they left as he felt the situation shouldn’t have escalated that far and stated that he didn’t know what his problem was,” Dez said.

He is currently seeking an attorney and plans to file a complaint in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. Additionally, he has some words of advice for other black and brown men who could potentially face a similar encounter.

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“I feel as if everyone should know their rights and shouldn’t be handled in that type of manner when presenting them,” he said. “Also you can’t control how an officer reacts so go with the flow but stand on your rights.”