Pinole police release video response to encounter with YouTuber

Pinole police release video response to encounter with YouTuber
Still image from Pinole Police Department video.

Pinole police have released a video providing their side of the story in an Oct. 30 encounter with a YouTuber in a city parking lot.

The incident involves the YouTube channel Bay Area Transparency, in which its creator films the reactions of law enforcement officers to his filming at their headquarters. Last week, the channel posted one such video from Richmond police headquarters.

Some of the videos, which the creator calls “audits” on law enforcement agencies’ adherence to his constitutional rights, have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on the social media platform.

In a video posted Nov. 3, Bay Area Transparency accused Pinole police of failing an “audit” during an encounter in which he was temporarily handcuffed. He claims in the video he went to Pinole’s city center and purposely made himself appear homeless in order to see how he would be treated by neighbors and the police.

Pinole police said they responded to the City of Pinole Old Town Parking Lot near St. Joseph Elementary after a citizen called to report that a man was acting suspiciously and possibly tampering with old police cars parked in the lot. In his video, the YouTuber states he knew a person would call police on him when he was seated on the curb between two parked police cars. The YouTuber was uncooperative with officers, who at one point handcuffed him and then released him during the encounter, which appears to have lasted about 20 minutes.

The YouTuber’s Nov. 4 video had amassed over 214,000 views as of Thursday.

In response, the Pinole Police Department released its own video aiming to explain the reasons for their actions during the encounter, along with a related statement from Pinole police Chief Neil Gang.

For purpose of comparison, what follows first is the Nov. 4 video by Bay Area Transparency, followed by the Dec. 3 video by the Pinole Police Department.