This hero has a style that is a bit more aggressive than some of the other heroes who do the same type of audits. At first glance you may think he is rude, obnoxious and a bit out of control, but for this hero it is all measured and part of what he does and it is simply covering every aspect of his rights as he explains below.
As this series continues one thing we have noticed is there is a definite sense these heroes are gaining momentum. The police they audit are changing for the positive and the auditors are a valuable asset to society as they teach by demonstration. There are fewer and fewer violations of rights in and around where they operate and some are even becoming a bit of a celebrity locally, but that is simply the public recognizing a hero. Jack Miller AKA TXSHEEPDOG does both first and second amendment audits, and second amendment audits are a bit more risky when you are around a bad cop who is a bit trigger happy.
CTD: What was your motivation to start into this constitutional activism?
TSD: In 2016, through social media, I began to notice, more and more, people being abused by police officers. Having been employed in the law enforcement community for many years, I was able to see things the average person without law enforcement experience could see. The trend was extremely disturbing. Someone needed to step up and do something. I decided to do so.
CTD: What is your personal background meaning where have you worked and so on?
TSD: I worked in the law enforcement community, in Texas, for 13 years from 1993 to 2006.
CTD: How old are you and what part of the country are you from?
TSD: I am from San Antonio, Texas and I am 43 years old.
CTD: Looking at you as a person, can you please talk some about your lifestyle, hobbies and other things you like to do in your leisure time.
TSD: I am married. I have 2 kids who are in their mid-20’s. I am just an average guy.
CTD: How do friends and family feel about this activism you are doing?
TSD: Concerned for my safety. Curious and supportive.
CTD: In your own words, what is an audit?
TSD: Police officers take an oath to uphold certain thing like laws, civil rights, etc. An audit is an on the spot review as to whether or not an official or agency is actually doing what they have sworn to do.
CTD: What is your ultimate goal by doing audits?
TSD: To catch people who are not upholding their sworn oaths. To catch those People who feel it is ok to trample on another person’s civil rights, provide consequences for doing so and change them through exposure or whatever other legal means possible.
CTD: When watching your videos, you seem to have a style that runs very close to the edge of right & wrong, how would you best describe your approach/style when out doing an audit, and is it a deliberate show or just part of who you are?
TSD: I engage in every single right I have to allow officers the best opportunity to show their true colors. Whether they do the right thing or wrong thing is entirely up to them.
CTD: What is a silent audit?
TSD: In the United States, you are never required to talk to the police. IF you are being suspected of violating a law then you must give identifying information but are still not required to speak otherwise. A silent audit is simply exercising your right not to speak AT ALL.
CTD: What is the primary emotion controlling your behavior during an audit when the police are actively abusing you?
TSD: I become acutely aware that there is a job at hand to begin engaging in legal behavior, exercising other rights and giving the violating officers “enough rope to hang themselves”, figuratively speaking.
CTD: When you are filming a police stop and the police attempt to push you back far enough that the audio is essentially neutralized and the police take up positions to block your view as well, what is going through your mind?
TSD: RED FLAGS that I am in the presence of a tyrant officer.
CTD: In nearly every audit by everyone who does audits, the police are responding to suspicious behavior either called in or observed. When you look at the Government’s program ‘See something Say something’ that is clearly geared for implying domestic terrorism, how do you respond to this as that is often how police respond to auditors wanting to verify they are not terrorists?
TSD: It is not a message to officers to do anything. “See something/say something” is just that. It is a message to citizens to say something. Officers get information as to what to do from the law. The law is very clear in Texas. Simply feeling that someone is or looks suspicious is not justification to COMPEL someone to do anything (stop, come here, sit down, put out the cigarette, and give ID). They can ask but not compel. The suspicion must be accompanied by reasonable suspicion that a particular crime had been committed.
CTD: How do you feel about using drones to record the police and how do they respond to an eye in the sky?
TSD: I feel any means to record police is OK as long as it is legal.
CTD: As many people see you as heroes by teaching by example and showing how people have rights, how does the word hero strike you?
TSD: I just do what I do and am able to sleep at night knowing I have made a difference. A hero is the officer who makes the right choices when being audited, upholds their oath and goes on to risk their own lives everyday ensuring safety and liberty for complete strangers and is willing to lay his/her life on the line for us without question.
CTD: How often does Joe Public come up to you during a first amendment audit and is curious about what you are doing and their response once you bring them up to speed?
TSD: It varies but mostly people a very supportive once they have learned about what the purpose is.
CTD: In many cases Joe Public comes up to you telling you that you can’t record despite it being perfectly legal and allowed in the First amendment. What/where do you expect the source of their misinformation is coming from and do you see it as deliberate erosion of constitutional rights by the people that taught them?
TSD: I do not believe it is anything deliberate for the most part. This stuff is not “taught in school” so I am not surprised people do not know about reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place when it comes to these situations.
CTD: You do second amendment audits being open carry of firearms, how does that differ from first amendment audits?
TSD: 1st amendment deals with free speech, 2nd amendment deals with open carry. Often they go hand in hand when doing and audit.
CTD: Do you find the police more aggressive with second amendment audits?
TSD: When engaging in legal behavior that is unpopular or that people do not like, I do not receive any aggression from GOOD officers. The aggression comes from the bad ones and it does not matter what I am doing….if they do not like it….here comes the aggression.
CTD: Sometimes during second amendment audits police approach you asking what is going on, and other times they do a tactical approach with guns drawn. Why do you think there is such a big difference in police response?
TSD: Police responses to situations are always tactical. There is just different levels according to the information they receive. They have to preserve their own safety as well as the public’s safety. Therefore, I never question the type of response of police when looking into something. They should always ask questions. However, I do expect them to follow the law when doing so. That means to not detain or “stop pointing guns, remove handcuffs, and let people go” once they have determined they are not breaking a law. Sadly, at times, this is not the case during 2nd amendment audits.
CTD: What is your personal view on gun control laws?
TSD: The more people legally carrying guns and properly trained to do so, the more difficult it would be for a criminal to conduct a mass shooting and extremely dangerous for a criminal to commit gun violence. “it’s easy to shoot people…..a lot harder if those people are shooting back”.
CTD: In many of your videos you appear abusive to the police by swearing at them and giving them the finger (flipping them off). In the eyes of Joe Public, that tends to blur the right from wrong line, and particularly so in people who tend to refrain from such gestures and prefer the high road. How would you address the concerns they may have about that behavior?
TSD: My goal is clear when doing these audit….to find the bad apples. The bad apples hide among the good ones. The only way to get them out of hiding is to engage in behavior, such as this, that I know they will not like. Unfortunately sometimes the good ones have to endure this but they will be ok. It is not intended as disrespect. It is an extension of the test. It also serves as education for the public and police. People can exercise a right to express dissent without interference, as long as it is legal. Police MUST allow a person to exercise that right even if the behavior is disliked or offensive. While free speech is not a free for all, the courts have ruled on what is protected and what is not (fighting words). The simple fact that you are offended by my speech or gesture does not make it illegal.
CTD: It is obvious from your audits you encounter corruption, what level do you feel that corruption is coming from meaning officers on the street or higher ranks?
TSD: It varies from being a systemic problem to being an individual problem.
CTD: Using percentages, how many cops are good cops, how many cops just need more training, and how many are bad cops?
TSD: I believe 9 out of 10 cops are good. All need more training as “we never stop learning”.
CTD: In some cases bad cops will say on camera ‘I don’t care about your rights’ as they are busy violating your rights. What do you have to say to them as they are wading through that waist deep pile of manure?
TSD: *&%!$ %$#**&!!! **&!!@#$$ ^!!%$#@$ !!%%&*#, GOOD LUCK.
CTD: Is there an audit that stands out in your mind that you want to talk about?
CTD: Do police act differently when they suddenly realize you are doing a live stream?
TSD: I have found that good ones could care less and bad ones could care less. They both continue to do what they do regardless.
CTD: Do police post comments on your YouTube clips and if so what do they say?
TSD: Police remain anonymous. So I cannot say for sure but I am sure they do. Some good, some bad I suspect.
CTD: In a slightly off topic question, Both Walmart and Amazon.com started carrying ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts and other such things. The Fraternal Order of Police approached both merchants and asked them to discontinue carrying that merchandise. Needless to say that behavior raised the eyebrows of Joe Public as the police were obviously looking to address the effect of bad and aggressive police behavior and not the cause. Does this suggest to you that there is a deep rooted police mentality that suggest the low road is the way to go when nobody is looking, or do you have some other opinion?
TSD: Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I do not know enough on the BLM movement to comment on whether a person’s or organizations view of the movement is justified or not.
CTD: Looking at the bad cops only, how many are deliberately abusive and seem to be seeking some personal satisfaction that has nothing to do with their job?
TSD: ALL! How else can you explain the officer standing next to you, having gone to the same class in the academy as you, doing the right thing and you are doing the wrong thing?
CTD: Is there a particular audit that stands out in your mind?
CTD: Do you post all your audits or are you selective?
TSD: I post the ones exposing the bad apples because that is my mission. I focus my energy on that.
CTD: When you do government records requests, there does not seem to be a uniform set of procedures and thus not a uniform set of responses or behaviors. Can you elaborate about your negative experiences and if you feel it was lack of training or understanding of the law, or just bad cops trying to cover their tracks?
TSD: So far, from my experience, it is a corrupt system. Records that shine a bad light on a department are fought tooth and nail to be kept secret while positive records are virtually dropped in your lap.
CTD: Knowing that you have filed complaints in the past, can you please talk about the outcomes and elaborate on the topic a bit.
TSD: Another mostly corrupt system in place. Even complaints with supporting video evidence of a particular violation are unfounded.
CTD: Moving past interaction with the local police and into Federal Government (FBI, Homeland Security, Federal Sheriffs & Marshals) can you tell me if their behavior is different and if so in what way?
TSD: There is no difference. It’s all about the bad apple.
CTD: It is clear by video history on YouTube you auditors are having a very positive impact in and around where you do your audits. In earlier videos being 2015 and early 2016 the police are much more aggressive and more frequently violated rights. However if you were to do audits in some area in Texas or any state for that matter that has never had an audit, what would you expect to find in police behavior?
TSD: I expect to find the same thing no matter where I go.
CTD: Do you expect that at some point in the future what you auditors are doing will reach critical mass simply by exposure forcing all agencies of law enforcement to toe the line even if they never had an audit?
TSD: There will always be bad apples but I believe we will make a significant difference.
CTD: Can you please talk about some of the most rewarding things that have happened as a direct result of your audits.
TSD: Seeing an officer on the street, later, doing the right thing. Having obviously changed his/her way of dealing with the public.
CTD: Knowing full well both good and bad police will eventually get around to reading this interview, taking a moment outside of your normal in the field forum what would you say to them?
TSD: I do not believe “a jacket and tie” represents my constituents. I would like to preserve my particular look and demeanor for now. However, as far as something to say to them?………Ill cross that bridge when I get there………in person.
Your answers clearly have shown what it is like out in the field. Certainly it is much easier to sit home and relax after a hard day. But what you do helps to insure that you have that R&R option without bad cops coming to feed on you. The word hero does apply to you, but as with every hero you feel it does not apply. So in no small way can Americans express enough thanks for your efforts and sacrifices.