Police Incident at Downtown Library

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Police Incident at Downtown Library
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Screenshot of johnny five-o video / YouTube

Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

[Monday] afternoon at approximately 2:15 P.M., the Santa Barbara Police Department received a call from Santa Barbara Central Library staff requesting assistance with a male subject allegedly violating the Library’s rules of conduct.

At approximately 2:55 P.M., two Santa Barbara Police Officers responded to the site and contacted the subject who videoed parts of his interaction with the officers. The subject was arrested for trespassing and resisting or delaying an officer, both misdemeanors. After being medically cleared, the subject was transferred to the Santa Barbara County Jail.

The subject’s video was being live-streamed to social media and received an abundance of interest from social media followers. We ask members of the public who have any information regarding this incident to contact the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit at 805-897-2398.

The Santa Barbara Department is committed to continued openness and transparency with the public they serve.


Update by edhat staff

A man who refers to himself online as "Johnny Five O" was arrested on Monday afternoon for refusing to leave the Santa Barbara Public Library.

According to the Santa Barbara Police Department, staff of the library contacted the department for a man who was videotaping in their library violating their rules of conduct and refused to leave. Johnny Five O admits he had been videotaping for more than an hour before police arrived, as stated in his video.

The Santa Barbara City Library rules of conduct state "recording, photographing, or filming persons in the library without prior consent from the Library Director or designee and from the person(s) being recorded, photographed, or filmed" will result in the offender being asked to leave the premises immediately. It goes on to state that those who fail to comply may be forcibly removed resulting in a citation or arrest.

The video was being live-streamed on social media causing an influx of views and comments from people throughout the U.S. with some prompting calls to the library and police department. It currently has over 36,000 views.

Several online blogs and social media campaigns advocate for "First Amendment audits" in public places, specifically targeting public libraries. The individuals claim they have a right to film in any space accessible to the public, arguing that they’re entitled to do so as taxpayers and citizen journalists. 

"Based on their output, their goal is to create videos of their encounters with police, security officers, and public officials that document a claimed violation of the camera person’s First Amendment rights. The video is then posted to YouTube or other social media, and used as evidence for a legal claim against the targeted agency or its officers and officials," wrote Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

According to the law, there is a difference between a traditional public forum and facilities opened to the public for a specific use, like a library or courthouse. Libraries are considered limited public forums, in accordance with the First Amendment, where the government agency administering the space is only obligated to allow those First Amendment activities that are consistent with the nature of the forum, according to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. 

The full video is found below:

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CloudsInSky Feb 06, 2020 09:34 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

On my way into the library on Monday afternoon, I walked past a group of polite policemen/ women,surrounding this same man who was lying face down on the ground. It appeared that he was refusing to stand up. No one was even touching him. Looking at this man’s YouTube videos, you can see him taunting government workers in several states to create dramas for his YouTube channel. I feel compassion for anyone that has to deal with him.

a-1582419479 Feb 05, 2020 08:55 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

First Amendment guaranteed free speech is always regulated by time, place and manner. Content of speech can not be inhibited under the US Constitution, but where, when and how that free speech takes place is always subject to limits. All rights have duties and all duties have rights. This self-promotional scofflaw must have missed this part of his "free speech" self- education.

Rinconer Feb 05, 2020 08:43 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Have seen Officer Ortega lie & refuse to honor her oath twice towards me. She has the bedside manner of a sniper. I immediately went to the police station on Figueroa, and explained what happened, her commanding Officer asked who did this, I said “Ortega”, he shook his head and apologized profusely. She wrote me a parking ticket while I was sitting in the car because my bumper was one inch in the red, and she refused to let me move my car one inch forward. Her behavior is almost always below minimum level for a police officer. There are good Cops in S. B., but she is a bad one, that S.B. Police Commanders know about, but are unwilling or unable to do the right thing. Santa Barbara deserves better!

a-1582419479 Feb 06, 2020 04:29 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Stop parking in the red zone, even "just a teeeenie bit"....otherwise you get the ticket from nasty horrible police officers just doing what they were hired by us (and you) to do. It's like complaining about being over the booze limit by hust a little bit, or stealing "only" a pack of gum...where dies it stop?

ZeroHawk Feb 05, 2020 10:01 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Rinconer, i've dealt with her as well. She gets people in my nieghborhood at Bath and Cota that run the stop signs. I've also talked to her at Solstice and Fiesta. She's a tough one for sure, but she does have a nice side....ive got her to smile and laugh twice...stunning but it can happen. i know and grew up with several of our PD officers and right now, we have a lot of VERY good police on the force. Unlike prior decades...

sblocalboyz Feb 05, 2020 07:33 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Officer ortega is a known corrupt lying police officer. This women pulled me over 12 years ago and completely lied about me running a red light. The only thing I did was take a very wide turn in my large truck. She is a liar and should not be a police officer.

a-1582419479 Feb 05, 2020 01:47 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

You know what? Many years ago I was ticketed for running a red light. The officer lied so much in court it was obvious he had no clue as to what the truth of the matter was to begin with. I hadn't run a red, I made the yellow light with time to spare. When he pulled me over, I was extremely cooperative with him. In court the officer lied and said I ran a red light------- turning left AFTER coming to a full stop. He went so far as to say he was sitting in traffic RIGHT NEXT TO ME when I made this illegal turn (Uh . . . okay.) This illegal left turn was a major impossibilty, as the oncoming traffic (a VERY busy intersection) would have gone haywire if I'd tried to turn left while my light was red and theirs was green. I fought the ticket and even went so far as to go to the police station and uncover the fact (later that day) that the officer did have a ride-along as I had stated in my court case. Of course he had a ride-along, but lied about that, too. Plus the officer never remembered seeing my 110-lb huge fluffburger of a dog in my car (what?) The judge decided against me. I did have the satisfaction of asking the officer (as he preceded me out of the court room and down the hall) how he felt about lying as he did. You should have seen how red the back of his neck turned. Upshot is: if the officer lies, then your goose is cooked. C'est la vie. And thanks for letting me tell my story. Not all officers lie, but when they do they sure can tell some whoppers.

Jay805 Feb 04, 2020 11:39 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Hmm...I am not a student of the law. Sadly, I only know the "essence" of the Bill of Rights. I feel extremely unqualified to comment. However, this is the internet. Regardless of our 1st Amendment right, I think that this kind of activity demonstrated by this man is childish. The sovereign citizen as I see it, is someone who has or who thinks that they have a firm and complete understanding of city, county, state, and federal laws. Additionally, those people, from what I have seen, tend to be narcissistic and self-righteous trouble makers. It seems that those who actively call out a rule, the law, or a condition are making a mountain out of a molehill. Pertaining to this situation only and with limited the limited context provided, it seems to me that things could have been handled differently by all parties involved. The police could have been much more aggressive and confrontational. Likewise, they could have also been less physical when they were in contact with the man. The man who was filming could have exercised his 1st Amendment right, which he did, and he could have also looked to see if filming was permitted on the premises. It can also be said that the man could have been more cooperative with the police when they showed up on scene. I feel like one should be respectful to themselves, their surroundings, and to other people. Who knows how this would have turned out if the man responded in a respectful manner. One can argue both ends of this. However, personally, I am annoyed by situations like this, I think we need to accurately educate ourselves, exercise our rights in a respectful manner, and to know that by simply addressing someone as "sir" does not mean that they are being respectful. Rant over.

Jay805 Feb 05, 2020 12:37 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

@A-1580933764 Thank you for the advice. I couldn't agree more. To hopefully clarify, my use of not being a "student of the law" was my way of saying that I am not an "expert of the law." I understand our basic rights. Admittedly, I am only familiar with a portion of laws and regulations set in place to protect, regulate, and sadly, in some (to many) ways to harm us. (p.s I appreciate the laugh I got from "...silliness of Johnny-wannabe-hero...."thanks!)

a-1582419479 Feb 05, 2020 10:53 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Some laws/rules must be questioned: Pro-slavery, anti-abortion and do on. But this silliness of Johnny -wannabe- hero is only his cry for attention, nothing more.

a-1582419479 Feb 05, 2020 10:13 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Jay, what would it take to make you a better "student of the law"? Easier than you might think. A good start is the Readers Digest classic "You and the Law." Everyone living in this unique country should have a copy close at hand. We all have a duty to know the law; as well as protect our basic rights the law grants.

Ahchooo Feb 04, 2020 03:58 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

What a jerk the “videographer” is. Thank you, police officers, for removing this peace disturber from the library.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 02:47 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

When I told my life partner about this "incident," he commented, "The Public Library? I saw a guy washing his feet in the toilet there the other day. Question is: which was cleaner-----his feet or the toilet?"

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 02:45 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

I wanted to see all of his cameras videos showing him getting stun gunned. Obey or they will handle it their way. Guilty! next case please.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 10:21 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Hahaha. That was one of my first thoughts, after I watched this ridiculousness on video: Too bad they didn't taser the guy. Mustn't use the 'F' word with police, unless you want to experience the reaction you deserve. (Johnny 5-0. Like he's some Jack Lord good guy or some such. Tuh.)

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 01:30 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

The police seemed to escalate a fairly minor trespass to a violent encounter very quickly. Notice the man was never told he was under arrest - just tackled. This person had multiple cameras so it wouldn't surprise me if charges are dropped. I don't think everything was done by the book here.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 02:15 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

I noticed that the policeman put his hands on the subject at the beginning of the encounter. There were no lawful orders given as far as I could tell while the man was leaving the building. The officer tackled the subject and then told him he was under arrest. I don't see an opportunity where he could comply.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 01:21 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

My concern is this drama queen railing against dogs being in a the library. Betcha 20 to nothing the dogs are better groomed and a whole lot cleaner than the “unsheltered” hanging out in the library. Poor Public Library staff having to deal daily with bedraggled vagrants and now this Johnny Zero pos.

SantaBarbaraObserver Feb 04, 2020 12:27 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

This guy is a moron. Got what he deserved. Hopefully, he'll take this as an opportunity to buffer his arrogance and ignorance with a little legal education via some very hefty lawyer fees...

SantaBarbaraObserver Feb 05, 2020 08:34 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Dont disagree Bird but this thread is about an uneducated jerk being a first class jerk. I think he got what he deserved and lost.

Bird Feb 05, 2020 06:25 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

And, unfortunately, sadly, this is what our city “library” has become: they removed most of the books and chose to have mobile small bookcases with a lot of open space and chairs and tables. It's a gathering space for people, not for people who like to read, not for books. (They have used the same open space model at the new Eastside renovation.) And this sort of behavior, complete with a cop at the main entrance is the result. We can thank the chief “librarian” and, ultimately, the city council for this. Not the cops who were only doing their duty. Not even the offender who saw that this is no longer a library but a public space. The city is going to have to justify why cams can't be used there while, for instance, they can be used at city hall? ...Ifyou want to go to a library, you know, the friendly place with books and other reading materials, try the Goleta Library; or the SBCC Luria Library. If you want open space and all that are attracted to it, the SB Library is the place to be.

d8vanilla Feb 04, 2020 11:41 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Police should always be wearing their body-cams. It protects them against horrible idiots, that are trying to start something. So, it was a good thing that the idiot, that purposely got himself arrested, had a camera and was filming ....

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 01:30 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Bet it's less of a "budget thing" and more of a "can't get sued for something there isn't video proof of"

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 01:08 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Typical of the SBPD. Maybe they can get Sheriff Brown to donate some of his millions he gets from the public for his helicopters, & other "needed" extras to buy all officers body cams. Unreal!

GeneralTree Feb 04, 2020 12:10 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Santa Barbara does not require body cams nor provide them - Even though a grand jury recommended this several years ago.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 11:30 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

It's a First Amendment audit. Filming in a public area is a constitutionally protected activity - however this guy may not have anticipated the rules of conduct for the building. I imagine this video will go viral on his facebook and youtube pages - and will result in a lawsuit of some sort. Sometimes these first amendment audits do show police engaged in bad behavior or illegal detentions - in this case he seems inexperienced at conducting a first amendment audit and made the mistake of challenging the rules of the interior of the building.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 01:59 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Being a total idiot is legal. The officer jumped the shark when he put his hands on this person at the beginning of the encounter. There may be a few other things the officer ultimately gets reprimanded for. The photographer wasn't told he was under arrest until the officer tackled him. The escalation to violence on behalf of the police was fast. There are several other recordings from the photographers body cameras and from his female companion that haven't been released yet.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 10:58 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Did you watch to the end of the video? It's totally branded. This was a publicity stunt! The perpetrator is on social media with the handle Johnny Five Oh, and his brand is Cameras Everywhere: Constitutional Compliance Auditor, Gadfly Ethnographer. People, do not get in an uproar over this. The guy totally intended to provoke to get himself some attention.

Minibeast Feb 04, 2020 01:05 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

ZEROHAWK. Which touts your ignorance of how police response time works in these parts. The SBPD station being nearby does not equate with quick response time ——— unless the situation warrants rapid response.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 12:20 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

The PD has a priority system so they can respond to life threatening calls first. A trespasser is a lower priority call so they would respond after the high priority calls are handled.

ZeroHawk Feb 04, 2020 11:36 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

@916 TOTALLY correct. i've seen many of his videos and he just instigates things. my comment was about the PD being a block away but taking 40 mins to get there.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 10:50 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Watching this video is very disturbing. It's clear this guy intended to provoke the cops. He starts off by saying I've been here filming for an hour, and the police are finally here. He's argumentative when they arrive. He's also from LA. Why is here here in SB filming without a permit? Clearly not a serious fillm-maker. And the audio is posted on the Johnny Five Oh channel? I smell deliberate cop-baiting for eyeballs here. I wish he hadn't picked SB for this stunt. Not cool at all.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 11:18 PM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

know that going to his youtube channel is exactly what he wants, he gets ad revenue from making viral videos and then his simple minded followers flood the comment sections of facebook, SBCC youtube video of officer Keld and anyplace else they can find with awful and violent comments. Don't feed the troll.

a-1582419479 Feb 04, 2020 10:36 AM
Police Incident at Downtown Library

Also, this guy seems to get a kick out of this. Looking at his youtube page he's completely instigating situations for clicks. It looks like he threw himself on the ground for dramatics. He's not even from here. Glad the guy was arrested.

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