Video sent to our inbox on Tuesday shows police officers in Indiana detaining an entire bar and forcing all of its patrons to submit their identification in order to conduct background checks on them.
The video, recorded at an Indiana bar called Local Option and posted to by Manna Carter, has since been deleted from her Facebook page.
Footage of the incident, posted this weekend, Michigan City police officers corralling everyone inside the bar at 1:30 a.m. in the morning, detaining them and forcing everyone to hand over their identification, which were ran through a police database checking for previous crimes of the bar’s patrons.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Carter narrates as she records the scene.
“My father who has owned this bar, who has bartended for decades says he has no idea.”
Carter, whose father owns the bar, questions if officers have probable cause to be detaining everyone inside in the first place.
“Clearing out the bar at 1:30 in the morning to check everyone’s IDs — without probable cause. That’s what I want to know. That’s my question. What is your probable cause for clearing out my father’s establishment at 1:30 in the morning.”
The officers never accuse anyone specifically of any crime and nobody was arrested.
“To shut down an entire bar, though?” Carter says.
“I’ve never seen this in my entire life. I feel like a fucking criminal and I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Eventually, the officers claim they are part of excise enforcement for the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.
But Indiana has its own department called the Indiana State Excise Police, but the officers in the bar are wearing Michigan City police uniforms.
They claim they are just working with excise.
“There’s no reason we should be subjected to this,” Carter says in protest before the officer informs her her license is suspended.
“Yes, my license is suspended,” she tells him.
“I knew that. Thanks — protect and serve.”
Carter’s posted to Facebook describing why she deleted the video, which can be seen above.
Many people have said it’s no big deal, Excise checks IDs all the time. Allow me to be perfectly clear in saying THAT IS NOT AT ALL WHAT HAPPENED HERE. Read that again if you’re one of those in the back. Excise can do their thing. Check the licenses. Check the liquor. Check IDs for age and validity. Please, do your job. Bring the police with you if you feel so inclined. However, there is absolutely no need for 11 cops inside the bar. Or an entire block’s worth of cruisers outside containing *surprise* still more cops. And, now pay close attention here guys, IT IS NEVER OKAY TO LINE UP EVERYONE IN THE ESTABLISHMENT AND DEMAND IDENTIFICATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF WARRANT CHECKING. Period.
Here is where I would insert the 4th Amendment, but I’m certain I would lose quite a few of you and I know you all have Google. Search it, learn it, and then learn the rest of them. For your own good. This raid, or sweep, or whatever other name you want to assign it entirely violated that right for everyone there. Along those same lines, Indiana law states that an officer must have probable cause to demand identification. Probable. Cause. Not suspicion of a crime. Not what these cops had, which was a whole lot of nothing whatsoever. Probable cause. Yeah, I could have refused to provide my ID. I honestly wish I would have. I would have been absolutely within my rights to do so.
Read her entire comment here.