VALLEJO (CBS 5) — The Vallejo Police Department is under scrutiny after a man was handcuffed and cited for recording four people being arrested near his home.

Last Saturday, Lonnel Duchine said he was working on a car with a friend. He opened his garage door to find police arresting three young men and a young woman accused of a sandwich store robbery. From his garage, he then recorded video of the arrests with his cell phone.

While Duchine was recording, Officer Scott Yates approached and asked for his cell phone, saying it was evidence. After Duchine refused, he was handcuffed and issued a ticket for obstructing justice. Video of the incident was then posted on YouTube.

But police may be backing down. Duchine said he was recently contacted by Internal Affairs, asking that he may be interviewed for their investigation.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (39)
  1. Victor says:

    Guess that means that I got to avoid recording videos of police arrests from now on

  2. JC says:

    Regarding your story on the person arrested for recording the police….

    Police restrict not only citizens, but news crews…..

    more links at bottom….

    Lot of info here, read all the way through.

    I live in Benicia, (right next to Vallejo) and the situation in Vallejo is not an isolated incident.
    This is a typical situation throughout the US.
    However, in other states, the people (doing the recording) are being prosecuted for violating “WIRETAPPING” laws?!
    The problem is simply, that police officers have grown accustom to writing outstanding police reports.
    The person that is accused of the crime, is shown the report – and told that there is far too much evidence against him/her to go to trial — – and a deal is made.

    But the police reports lack one simple thing – – THE TRUTH.

    And they are only able to get away with their less than honest proceedures, is because there is NEVER any evidence that would support “the truth”.

    Because police officers ENSURE that all of their actions are NOT recorded.

    Typically they state that the recording “is evidence” as in your story. But when the device is returned to the owner, it lacks the recording. And is not returned until AFTER the trial is completed, so that no additional evidence can be introduced.

    Look at the BART shooting. The BART Police instantly attempted to confiscate any and all recordings- andf probably would have succedded, if the train did not pull away- with all of the recordings that WERE NOT successfully confiscated .

    And it does not matter WHO is doing the recording. NEWS reporters are becoming increasingly subject to their illegal actions. (See links at end)

    The only time that it is legal to arrest a person for recording, is if they are INTERFEREING with the police action in progress.
    BUT, police officers are also telling people to turn the cameras off- and when they state that they will not – they are being arrested for “NOT COMPLYING WITH A LAWFUL ORDER”. An order that is not lawful in the first place.

    Here are a few more links that you might find REAL interesting….


    I’m sure I could come up with a couple pages of links, but you get the point.

    Police officers are public servants.
    Once our citizens feel that its safe to record police officers in public places, they will be forced to once again “SERVE AND PROTECT”.
    Until then, they will maintain their “TO HARASS AND INTIMIDATE” methods that are currently in use.

  3. TV says:

    What? Obstruction of Justice? The police are now the judge too? What evident? They SHOULD be expecting a law suit.

  4. policestate says:

    bad judgement from a police officer is not a surprise by what the minimum criteria are for police departments to hire recruits

    1. jon says:

      What are u saying, a high school diploma or G.E.D. isn’t going to weed out all the dumbazzes, power-trippers, and a-holes?? Say it ain’t so!!

  5. DMM says:

    I had the same incident happened when i took a video of fireman paramedics helping out a man who was passed out on the sidewalk by my house, one of the fireman came to my house to tell me it was against the law to video record them while helping out the man.
    I refused and did not tell him that my new camera had not recorded anything, he the fireman went to the fireman chief with them and told him not to do it.

    1. Chet says:

      This is probably to protect the patient’s right to privacy while he is treated for a medical problem. I know I wouldn’t want nosy busybody filming me if I was to have a medical emergency. I am unsure of how the expectation of privacy applies to someone on a sidewalk, but there are laws that protect a patient and his right to privacy.

      1. Garry Seman says:

        If it happens on a public street there is no expectation of privacy, this applies to any one on the street be they cops, paramedics, victims, patients, or any body else

    2. chris says:

      You did not have the same incident happen. What you did IS against the law as videotaping the treatment of an individual by a medical professional IS a violation of privacy and against the law. Think next to before you spout off about your rights.

      1. RebootSF says:

        I’d like you to quote the chapter and verse of the law that forbids this, otherwise you’re just another person spreading FUD because there is no expectation of privacy when one is in the commons.

      2. for chris says:

        @ chris – talk about spouting off ! “violation of privacy” ? eh? Not on a public sidewalk. “against the law”? which law?

      3. lonestar says:

        Chris, You are uninformed and what you’re saying is completely inaccurate. There are NO federal or CA state laws that protect people from being recorded in public places – no expectation of privacy at all. Therefore, one is Constitutionally entitled the right to videotape and record whatever they wish. The moment a patient is removed from a sidewalk into an Ambulance is the moment they enter private property and patient’s rights kick in.

        I encourage you to get familiar with the local, state, and federal laws on the matter. I also suggest you read the U.S. Constitution again to familiarize yourself with your Constitutional rights. I also suggest that you not keep leaving comments if they’re uninformed and inaccurate, as it does nothing but confuse and anger people, and also makes you look stupid.

  6. tom says:

    In most New England States an IQ above 120 prevents you from becoming a member of the police force. Look it up. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the states.

    1. JHM says:

      I know about the Supreme Court case but don’t remember the details. Do you have a citation?

  7. ITOLDYOUSO says:

    This is the quality of cops you get when cities slash their pay and benefits. Expect more of this.

    1. Carl Lawler says:

      You must be a cop! I bet you are ok with me paying for your benifits and retirement, and I probally make less money than you. I also can’t retire at 55 and don’t get 13 hollidays a year.

  8. JaneQPublic says:

    I sincerely hope the VICTIM arrested by these Gestapo-like cops heads immediately to the offices of an experienced attorney and the ACLU. The man was on his own property, apparently, which means the cops were trespassing. The arresting cop was clearly committing an ABUSE of ATHORITY. He had to be a total moron the think the video was ‘evidence’ – evidence of WHAT?! I see a FALSE ARREST CASE in this one. And can the gonzo cop. Looks like a Nazi-wannabe in my OPINION. (1st amendment)

  9. JaneQPublic says:

    Darn typos – That was supposed to read “ABUSE of AUTHORITY” and “…to think the video was evidence.”

  10. Jaime says:

    The case of police brutality does not happen on law abiding citizens. If you were a police officer and the wrong doer resisted arrest , what will you do?
    Will you just give up, let the wrong doer go and evade justice?

  11. Gene says:

    Jaime, I don’t know what world you live in; I’m certain it isn’t on Earth.

  12. good guy says:

    typical pigs, the vallejo pigs are just like the san francisco pigs. I hope the cell phone videographer sues vallejo and their pig department.

  13. Peter Marks says:

    We do need to take into account the Police Department and other departments in Vallejo have had to take pay cuts because the City ran out of money and all services were cut to the minium. The police officer made a mistake in judgment by telling Lonnel Duchine to give him the cell phone and telling him it was evidence, then arresting and handcuffing him when he refused to give him the cell phone. Lonnel Duchine wss standing within his own property when he recorded the video and by doing so he has the right of any citizen to stand within his own property and take videos of anything he wants. Lonnel Duchine was not involved with the four suspects who were being arrested and made no approach to interfere with the arresting officer as he was making the arrest. He posed no threat to the officer and the only comment he made to the officer when the officer told him to give him the phone as it was evidence was when he refused to do so and said the word “NO”. By Lonnel Duchine saying the word “NO” is the same as saying the words “I will give you the phone if you show me a warrant to enter myproperty and arrest me and to confiscate my personal property, being my cell phone, and only then will I give you my cell phone and allow myself to be handcuffed and arrested.” This is a clear case of over aggressiveness on the part of the police officer and false arrest. The best thing is for the police officer to apologise to Mr. Duchine and offer to take him and his significant other out to dinner and mend the any animosity either men may have of each other. This was a mistake and it was unfortunate it happened and forgiveness is the best way to move forward for both men and for the City of Vallejo Police Department. Remember, the police are you neighbors and they are doing the best they can to protect the citizens of the City of Vallejo. It is my hope someone from the City of Vallejo Police Department read what I have written and mend the fence, and do it now, before the NAACP and the ACLU get involved. This is something both sides can agree on, so DO IT.

    1. hmmmm says:

      Peter, pay cuts does not mean they changed their POST (training) nor did they change their requirements to be an elegible police recruit. Thats just an excuse.

      1. scott says:

        How is it that the street sweepers in Vallejo gets to keep his job when all the cops and firefighters are losing theirs? How is it Vallejo can build a new parking garaage at the ferry terminal but have no money to pay the cops and firefighters? How is it that Vallejo can hire a tree trimming company to trim the city trees but we cant pay the police or firefighters?… Just sayin!

  14. Brian says:

    Police violate are civil rights daily without any recourse. If your lucky enough to afford a private attourny who will actually work on your case unlike public defenders you will get off on your charge. But only after you spent thousands of dollars and when proven not guilty the cop will just walk away with a smirk and absoluty nothing is done about his actions. It happen to me.

  15. livinfordee says:

    pigs think they can do whatever they want. And, they’re used to getting away with it in shady places like Valleyjo where people don’t know their rights and cower in fear of authority.

  16. BOB says:


  17. jw says:

    And these testosterone jacked up nazi troops wonder why the public doesn’t like them or trust them.
    This speaks volumes.

  18. steve says:

    It is not against the law to video the public news does it? It is not a crime unless you are recording say your neighbors or private property..This cop is in the wrong and i think they will find he is wrong…

  19. matt says:

    my best guess is the cops have a history with the filmer. there is no way some cop is going to randomly walk up to a stranger citizen on his property and be like “give me the phone,no? you under arrest”, unless that cop is an absolute psycho. the filmer’s “makin sure they dont shoot nobody” comment enhances my suspiscion. and he was real quick to hand the phone to his buddy as if this has happened before.

  20. JaneQPublic says:

    @ Matt: ‘ there is no way some cop is going to randomly walk up to a stranger citizen on his property and be like “give me the phone,no? you under arrest”

    You are either very young or VERY naive…..I have had a cop tell me to move along, implying I would be arrested if I did not, simply because I was watching – from a safe distance – as the cop and his buddy harassed a guy on the street.

    Cops ARE paid by us – the public – and they mecessarily do much of their job IN PUBLIC. Apparently they prefer to stifle ANY witnessing of what they really do (harass people, bust in doors, manufacture ‘evidence’, etc, etc. – not to mention sometimes murdering citizens in cold blood). Anyone who thinks this does NOT happen should read some history – particularly that of Gestapo in Nazi Germany even before World War II.

    Don’t think ‘it can’t happen here – in America’. It can, it does, and it is becoming MUCH MORE WIDESPREAD. Learm your Civil Rights people -and assert them – or you soon won’t have any.

  21. EN says:

    Once again here we have the police abusing their power. He wasn’t interfering with the arrests of the suspects. He was on his property. If anything the police were tresspassing on his property.

  22. Thebes says:

    Can’t have a Police State without omnipotent police.

    You do want a Police State, don’t you? You’re paying for it!

  23. UncleJohn says:

    There is _nothing_ that a police officer should be doing that should be hidden or obscured. I say automatic suspension without pay for attempting to prevent citizens from recording police doing their jobs.

    1. Richard Head says:

      Unfortunatly, whenever a Police Officer is “punished” for violating someones rights, etc…. The punishment is usually WITH pay.

      So, everytime they they do something wrong – the WIN a FREE VACATION!!!

      Yeah, that’ll teach em!

      Oh, unless the police officer is found to be commiting perjury, while testifying. Or similar.

      Then it’s just …… OH WELL,

      When if it was a citizen to have been found, doing the same – JAIL TIME!!

  24. bullsballs says:

    power hungry pigs that refuse to follow the law.
    a cop can lie and entrap you, but if YOU lie, you are arrested and prosecuted.
    when the law is violated by the law enforcers, there is NO LAW…
    aim for the head, double tap, cardio…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE