City Government

Boise Lady Copper Big Hit On You Tube

A female Boise PD sergeant is a big hit on YOU TUBE,
but the national and international publicity isn’t the type the city wants or needs.
Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 5.38.00 PM
In the approximately 15 minute clip the copper, identified as “Sergeant Lori Sperry,” walks right into the typical baiting by the video guy calling himself Gavin Seim. While conducting a traffic stop on another vehicle, she approaches the pedestrian/videographer in the Cabela’s parking lot asking, “Can I help?” He comes back with, “no, I am just observing.”

The confrontation–initiated by the copper–degenerates into commands to “take your hand out of your pocket,” a half hearted grab at his arm, and then she walks away. If she feared he might have had a weapon, she never conducted a pat down, ignored the driver she stopped, and never got the I.D. she demanded.

Even after walking away to the traffic stop when a back up arrived, she returned to have more contentious words (argue) with the video guy. Boise coppers are trained to allow citizens to take photos in public and are aware of the “video hit” folks. The incident doesn’t reach the level of “policy violation,” but it wasn’t a proud moment for Boise’s finest.

We welcome any factual discussions and would love to hear her audio belt recording of the incident. Suffice it to say no new friends were made.

The incident didn’t go unnoticed at the BPD command offices. Here is an official statement from Chief Mike Masterson:

“The Boise Police Department recognizes maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and integrity are essential to maintaining the public confidence necessary for public and officer safety.   As a Department, we take the behavior of our officers and how they treat the public very seriously. We are aware of the video taken of an officer during a traffic stop and are conducting an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident. “

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Frankenstein Government
    Oct 10, 2013, 6:21 pm

    I had the same kind of run in with a female ISP trooper once. She made a huge deal out of me parking near a road closure sign (in an actual parking spot no less) as they were closing the highway in a blizzard.

    She ordered me to leave. I refused.

    She threatened to take me to jail even. Unfortunately, I too was a cop and I knew the law pretty well. So I said, “go ahead.” Eventually she came to her senses before I could hit the false arrest jackpot.

  2. I’m not sure 6700 views is a big hit…

  3. Bubba Zinga
    Oct 10, 2013, 7:32 pm

    That guy is clearly trying to antagonize her. I think she should go to his job and video him while asking stupid questions.

  4. Can we expect Public Information Officer Hightower to comment on the legality of observing police activities from a private property? Apparently the officer, a Sargent, was concerned the something she was doing should not have been recorded.
    What would Rodney King say about Boise’s Finest after this video.

  5. Well, on a positive note, she did not electrocute his testicles with a taser!

  6. dazed and confused
    Oct 10, 2013, 9:50 pm

    No policy violation? So what is the “Policy”? Based on what the video shows, a police “sgt” looks to be making a traffic stop, observes a male filming the contact from about 50 yards. She waves him over to her car, he refuses and she approaches him insinuating that somehow he is hindering her ability to do her job? The sgt grabs his wrist, demands identification, and commands him to put his hands on his head to search for “weapons”. You’re right. There probably isn’t a policy violation only because there probably isn’t one written and nobody on this department can articulate it in a sensible fashion anyway. But it sure appears that the department has a sgt who has absolutely no idea how to deal with people, what a citizens constitutional rights are, or how to remain calm under “stress”. It also appears that she really has no idea what her end game is…arrest, detain walk away? If she really thought this guy had a “weapon” why did she approach the guy alone? It seems clear the “weapon” comment and the subsequent attempt to search him was questionable at best…………and then what does she do? After all this…….she walks away from it all. There is a problem in this department and it needs to be addressed by some type of outside investigative body. Hopefully she is not a n example of the leadership in this department.

  7. Hey Brad, first off its Sergeant, not Corporal Sargent, and secondly, ol Rodney has been dead a bit, so he won’t say much!Hey Shoogi, first off Officer #3 wasn’t there, and it wasn’t his testys, it was the other side.

  8. It is a interesting that we allow big brother to video us and our vehicles, monitor/record our correspondence and conversations yet their warrior bees of all levels seem to often get so paranoid when citizens turn the tables, even just a little bit.

    Brad, who in Idaho really gives a rodent’s rectum about what Rodney King says or thinks about anything?
    I suppose that at least by, as far as I know, staying there he can still be considered a “good” kali.

    EDITOR NOTE–Not much chance of Mr. King moving…ever. He died in June 2012.

  9. Neal Feldman
    Oct 11, 2013, 7:41 am

    This cop is nothing but a fascist jack-booted goose-stepping thug.

    Welcome to the Fascist Police States of Amerika.

    Look it up… we ARE currently a fascist police state:

    Notice anything familiar?

    Unless they suspect you of committing a crime
    “probable cause” or they are arresting you on some charge (that they are required to specify at the time) you do not have to do squat if you are on a public right of way and not presenting a safety issue (standing 60 feet away with a camera is not reasonably a safety threat).

    You do not need to provide any answers to their queries other than to assert clearly your fifth amendment and fourth amendment (and other) rights.

    You are not required by law to present ‘your papers/ID’.

    You ARE allowed, under u.s. supreme ruling, to video and audio record public employees out in public in doing of their jobs so long as you do not actually interfere with their doing their job. Her BS ‘safety threat’ nonsense was completely laughable.

    She just did not like being recorded. Tough. Get a different job, thug.

  10. Just watched the video. I’d say the lady needs to go back for more training.
    Maybe just fire her and not waste the money.

  11. Interested Citizen
    Oct 11, 2013, 8:15 am

    This is yet just another example of coppers and other “law enforcement professionals” demonstrating bullying, unprofessionalism, lack of ethics, and other reprehensible conduct.

    This extends into the prosecutors’ offices as well, where bullying and attempted prosecutorial coercion is commonplace, and is practiced by prosecutors against innocent defendants in desperate attempts to coerce plea bargaining.

    It is a sad commentary that the law enforcement and criminal injustice systems have fallen to this level.

  12. I should go to Mcdonalds and film Gavin flipping burgers all day. Bet he would enjoy that.

  13. dazed and confused
    Oct 11, 2013, 9:29 am

    Don’t forget the details. The fascist comments are interesting but the point has been missed: the sgt never confirmed EVER that the “suspect” did or did not have a weapon. The whole point of her actions at least according to her is that she was going to search him for weapons, that he must keep his hands out of his pockets, he’s making her “nervous” etc. But she never explained WHY she thought she was justified in searching for weapons. And SHE NEVER DETERMINED IF HE HAD ONE OR NOT BECAUSE SHE BACKED DOWN WHEN HE SAID NO AND SHE REALIZED HE KNEW SHE HAD NO REASON TO….and then of all things, not knowing, she allows him to walk up to her as she stands by the car. The issue of “policy violations” are meaningless. This was a bogus contact from start to finish. Everything that followed is questionable and potentially worth an investigation. If a police sgt has no idea how to deal with situations such as this, I can’t imagine what the rest of the department is being told to do. What is also still troubling is the fact that she went out of her way to engage this man, who obviously was not hindering her job performance in any way. She didn’t want to be filmed and made a fool out of herself trying to explain in a totally ineffective manner what she wanted done………stop filming. The weapons excuse was just that… an excuse. It will be interesting to determine if she is treated any differently from any other officers on this department due to her sgt status among other things.

  14. Not a chance anything will come of this. It is another example of the petunia principle (peter principle for males} promotions given for no reason other than longevity. Where else would you find a gold mine of suspicious characters carrying concealed and open carry weapons than in a Cabela parking lot. An incident gone awry I say

  15. Rodney King? The famous 20th-century Statesman/Philosopher?

    We already know what he would say: “Can’t we all just get along?”

    What would Rodney Dangerfield say?

    “No respect, I tell ya, no respect!”

    No respect! That’s the problem!

    “He insulted my town! He insulted my badge! He insulted my authority! And that’s nothin’ but plain and simple old-fashioned communism!”
    (Paraphrasing Sheriff Buford T. Justice)

    For the record, I’m sympathetic to Mr. Seim. There was no probable cause for him to be hassled… unless I woke up in Russia this morning. Lucky for him Sargent Sperry wasn’t out driving the new BPD Armored Assault Tank!

  16. Speaking to police beat downs in the USA in general… it has become:

    1) Us vs. Them:

    2) The rule is to serve and protect themselves first:

    These copper states-of-mind are because from time to time coppers ARE the target of an angry crazy person… these very rare events where they are targeted have resulted in a toxic mix of paranoid and power trip… making the copper an armed and dangerous person who feels perfectly righteous in justifiable homicide… even if the victim in harmless and within their rights.

    Had she shot him or tazed him or beat him as a result of this dangerous state-of-mind… other coppers would have put a huge effort into making it a justifiable battery upon the citizen.

    Not only are we not free citizens anymore, but those suppressing our freedom think they are doing the right thing in the moment… with the entire police industry supporting their state-of-mind at the time they oppress the very rights and concepts they claim to be serving and protecting.

    The cops should remember that the criminals who have very rarely but successfully ambushed them have never been the people calmly watching and recording a traffic stop…

    Coppers should also remember that their job, although somewhat dangerous at times, is not on most of the top ten most dangerous jobs lists.

    Also coppers should remember that the vast majority of the public in Boise will be on their team and will have their back if they would just show a little respect for what “to serve and protect” is suppose to stand for.

    I am thankful to have the police, but wish we could find a way to eliminate the “everyone is my enemy and I’m the most important person on this block” state-of-mind which has deeply infected the entire spectrum of American police industries.

    We also need to look very carefully at the incarceration industry. America has more people locked up for mostly minor stuff than any other country. Crime and punishment has become a national for profit industry which has intentionally been eroding our civil rights just like a mining industry erodes a hillside to get the gold.

  17. still dazed and confused
    Oct 11, 2013, 4:40 pm

    …..and how is it documented. “Saw a guy filming me, didn’t want him to continue, tried to search him and failed”. So where does this go now? I have read of officers in other departments being fired or “asked” to retire for inappropriate physical contact. Was this appropriate or inappropriate? I agree CHICAGO. Not a dam thing will be done to her……….one would almost get the impression she was not a street officer with any experience. Or is she one of the community oriented officers that seems to be the new trend in police work?

  18. According to the Boise Police Website Mission Statement :

    Accountability: Operate openly, maintaining public trust and confidence. Make decisions in the best interest of the community we serve. Be courageous, fair, and decisive.

  19. still..............
    Oct 11, 2013, 8:43 pm

    Watching this video over again I am absolutely amazed at this sgt’s conduct. There are so many issues that need to be addressed it is amazing. There have been many video’s of officer’s actions over the years but this actually makes me feel embarrassed for her obvious lack of skill. If this is considered acceptable at any level of performance by the BPD, this city is in trouble.

  20. In her defense, the officer did realize that she had “stepped in it” and ultimately bit her tongue and drove away with her tail between her legs. What would really be interesting to know is if she turned off her audio recorder device prior to confronting the guy the 2nd time, if she did, she should be fired! Having worked for a criminal defense attorney in the past, it’s amazing (read:Shady) how ioften the audio recorder myteriously malfuntioned when an officer is accused of some illegal behavior…just sayin’!

  21. Wow, Sorry, I never realized ol’ Rodney tipped over in 2012. Darn! Guess he qualifies as a good kali in two ways. . .
    Didn’t the babbling heads chant something a few years back about one of the LA coppers who beat ol’ Rod moving to Northern Idaho to retire? If so, the Rod Beater Fuzz has missed all of the three ways he could stay, or become, a good kali.


  23. Interested Citizen
    Oct 12, 2013, 6:41 am

    It all goes far deeper than this example, although it is an illustrative example.

    I can give you specific facts and details about numerous and repeated irregularities involving the Nampa PD, the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney, including the present and past chief Prosecuting Attorneys, Taylor and Bujak, irregularities involving Deputy Prosecutors Matthew Bever and David Christensen, bonded and bumbling by court officials in Canyon, repeated irregularities by Magistrate Judge Jerold Lee, and others.

    Yet, all of it was whitewashed and condoned.

    “Probable Cause” has become a sad joke. And yet, nothing is done.

  24. I think if this would have happened in a more private location where there would not have been several witnesses and additional camera angles… I think they would have nearly killed him like happens every day and night in the big nasty cities.

    It’s time to cut the budgets, take away all the toys, and cut back to only six bullets… and then those six bullets are carried by only one in five coppers. Yep, a bunch of cops would quit… and we could then hire people with better situational judgement based on respect for the core principles of out amazing country.

  25. Interested Citizen
    Oct 12, 2013, 10:51 am

    The miscreants at all levels of “law enforcement” must be held accountable.

    The constitutional principle and concept of “probable cause” has been trashed in Canyon County. Criminal violations of these constitutional rights cannot go unpunished. If these violations are ignored, why should law abiding citizens have any faith in the system, and trust officials in law enforcement, the criminal justice system, or the judiciary?

    Most of these spineless and reprehensible miscreants are intent on feathering their nests and protecting their and their cronies’ flabby behinds.

    EDITOR NOTE–This comment was edited to remove name calling and information not related to the incident at hand.

  26. I think she just got pissed because you always look fatter on video.

  27. As long as the guy was simply recording the stop by the cop I don’t know what the big deal was to the cop. They have video cameras in their patrol cars so what’s the big deal with another view of the stop?

    I call this another lady cop trying to pull a Bully-Boy routine with a citizen who would not be bullied. There is a thing I call “Command Presence” this cop did not have. I tend to think a 6’2″, 200 Lb. male may have had a different end result it is harder to be less than cooperative with someone like this. Officer Sperry was more like a fly at a picnic.

    EDITOR NOTE–No cameras in BPD cars. Only audio recording on the belt.

  28. Interested Citizen
    Oct 14, 2013, 11:46 am

    One problem is that the 6’2″ male is at least 275 lbs.

    The lady cop does not look exactly petite, either.

    But, on a more serious note, should this conduct by public servants be tolerated? After all, taxpayers and citizens are the bosses, not the coppers. The tail is wagging the dog.

    Further, the issue of inane ticket writing by coppers to save their jobs and flabby behinds must be meaningfully addressed.

    In Canyon County, prosecution charge numbers shot up by 36 percent in just one year, from 2009 to 2010!! That is, the number of defendants charged with crimes increased enormously in only one year!! In short, prosecutors and cops are propping up their flimsy finances and budgets with criminal charges!!

    Is this justice??

  29. general blaskowitz
    Oct 15, 2013, 9:39 am

    An official complaint was filed by this individual according to the Statesman. It is going to be absolutely fascinating to watch this unfold. There are MANY interested individuals tracking this to see if the same standards of behavior are applied to this sgt as are applied to others. This is one that can’t be “disappeared” no matter how much effort is made…………and I suspect it will be “made”.

  30. Gene Fadness
    Oct 15, 2013, 12:41 pm

    I tried to watch most of this video. What a waste of time. This guy needs to get a life. Yes, the officer overreacted. She did back off once I think she realized she was overreacting to the attention seeker who needed good footage for his YouTube video. I appreciate our police officers and all first responders who put their lives on the line for us every day. Cliche, but true.

  31. Does anyone think that the PD… any PD can be reigned in? Cops every where are as out of control as those in congress. Cops in general and this one in particular needs some training on what they can and cannot do. Demanding ID… what a joke, cops need to be taught that they really are NOT in charge… of anything…
    Yes Gene it is a waste of time… it is too bad we cannot attract intelligent level headed individuals into these positions. It is sad that most of LE do not have the ability to act professionally with the citizens they serve.

  32. New to Boise
    Oct 15, 2013, 2:22 pm

    Seriously? I know cops aren’t popular around here, but this woman was just trying to do her job – the “film-maker” was obviously filming the scene to antagonize her. Isn’t it reasonable for her to not want someone directly behind her while she’s making the traffic stop? She didn’t tell him to leave or to stop filming, only to pull over to a place where she could keep an eye on him.

    With people like Neal Feldman around who truely blow things out of porportion, the number of guns around, and the ever-increasing amount of violence against police officers, can you really blame her for not wanting this guy at her 6:00?

    Without a doubt, there are instances of police abuse in this city, but this just doesn’t seem like one of them.

  33. …and that’s the whole point. These clowns are a dime a dozen……most experienced, down to earth common sense cops know it….and they usually ignore them. The problem obviously is that this SGT not only essentially started this joke of a contact, she made it worse by constantly confronting him, engaging him in meaningless debate and then…..the real ISSUE…over stepped her authority and then didn’t have the common sense to stop when she obviously made a mistake. I am wondering what kind of skills it takes to completely turn your back on a car she stopped for some type of violation that was 30 feet or so away to confront some clown shooting phone video from 50 yards away. She is probably fortunate that someone in that car didn’t REALLY have something that could have hurt her.

    Translated: her priorities were completely out of whack…this has nothing to do with your attitude towards cops. This has EVERYTHING to do with a properly trained, professional who can control herself, think clearly on her feet and show respect and understanding for the law. SHE DIDN’t do any of those things and it needs to be addressed. The traffic stop was probably just for show anyway and totally meaningless…..but who knows who was in the car really.

  34. Interested Citizen
    Oct 15, 2013, 4:49 pm

    The coppers and prosecutors have, in too many instances, become sources of revenue for the municipalities, as well as the sources of the funds to pay their salaries and bennies. This does not endearing me to them, at all.

    And, when you add in the intolerable insolence and disrespect that many of them display, along with too much bungling and bumbling, no one should question the cynicism of many taxpayers and citizens towards them.

    I have heard of too many traffic tickets for innocuous speeding such as even one nog over, tickets for jaywalking, crosswalk stings, speedtraps, and so forth.

    And, have you ever heard of a citizen complaint ever resulting in much but whitewashing and being swept under the carpeting?

  35. I want to point out something that most people have missed. Gavin is a photographer, and not just a no-body with a phone. He started out on a 1 month photography trip.

    I follow him on social media, and like some of his work. That is why this story has caught my attention.

  36. a day of reckoning approaches......
    Oct 15, 2013, 6:38 pm

    It’s easy to pick on the occasional stray sheep as she did here…….it takes some real moxie to approach the
    wolves…….and with a purposeful, focused intent. I agree with the bumbling and bungling comment……..and that is a leadership issue as evidenced by this “leader”. I wonder if the officer that trained her is cringing right about now…………………

  37. Interested Citizen
    Oct 17, 2013, 7:14 am

    The coppers and prosecutors must refocus, and yes, it is a leadership issue!!

    Again, these guys cannot apprehend and effectively prosecute the real criminals. Hiring more bungling and bumbling coppers and prosecutors to bloat the payrolls of the municipalities exacerbated the problem and is no solution.

    Tormenting, bullying, coercing, and harrassing innocents is the end result of the bloated and flabby payrolls and flabby behinds!!!

  38. Folks
    I will be the first to as Dave says “bash” a cop but let’s all be reasonable. (I am admonishing myself more than anyone else) I do not think there is any way an intelligent argument can be made for LE not needing better supervision, not only in Boise but across the nation.

    I wonder if we are all not looking at this problem from the wrong view point. We are looking at this from a quality assurance instead of a quality control stand point. Quality assurance reacts after the fact and does nothing to avert paying someone who had a tazer placed near his nether regions. Quality control would ensure that the infamous “Officer 3” of the tazer incident had known that that type of behavior was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.

    To those who would say that an ombudsman is not needed I cannot agree if you say an ombudsman should not be needed I would whole heartedly agree. Paying for one or more individuals to provide additional oversight can be considered nothing but a waste of tax money especially when the individual/individuals in the office can only react to alleged bad actions by LE. Would the money already being spent to pay the salaries of trainers and supervisors be better spent if those trainers and supervisors actually did their jobs?

    I do not want this to sound like I am blaming this only on the beat cops, it is not all their fault. Individuals act in the way they are trained and unfortunately cops are trained that they are always the ultimate authority in every situation, which is untrue far too often. I guess the worst thing about the training is when an instance like Sgt Sperry’s you tube video happen the average cop is trained that those actions as illegal as they were are acceptable.

    To the trainers at POST I would say this, teach the rank and file the right way from the start and too the supervisors I would say hold your charges to a much higher standard than you presently are. As a tax payer I personally expect more for the nearly 100K that a supervisor makes than what I feel I am getting. If this is seen as bashing I am not sure it will ever be possible to voice an opinion or concern about LE that is not seen as such.

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