In a police force of less than 20 officers, it’s probably not that difficult to be named Officer of the Month.
Take Golden Beach police officer Robert Ruggiero – who was recently named Officer of the Month in this tiny town on the northeast corner of Miami-Dade – a one-mile stretch of road on the county border notorious for its speed traps.
Ruggiero confronted a citizen the other day who was recording him during a traffic stop, so he informed the citizen that recording cops without their consent is a felony in Florida.
Ruggiero was so convinced of this myth that he even happily provided his name and badge number to the citizen, urging him to take that to his lawyer.
Turns out, the citizen is a Miami-based contributor to Cop Block and a regular Photography is Not a Crime reader. He knows exactly what his rights are.
And now he wants Ruggiero to learn as well.
To see the actual incident, start the video at the 2:15 mark where you’ll hear Ruggiero say the following:
“It’s a felony in the state of Florida to videotape an officer at a traffic stop,” he said.
“You see, the law says that we can videotape you, but you don’t have the right to videotape us without our consent or record us.”
The incident continues again at the 3:45 mark.
“If I ever run into you at a traffic stop, if I stop you, and you audio tape me or video tape me, and you don’t have my consent, I promise you, I will arrest you for a felony. And we’ll battle it out in court.”
I just might take Ruggiero up on his challenge because as long as he’s making promises, I can promise I will beat his ass in court if he arrests me for video recording him without his consent.
The video also shows Cop Block founder Adam “Ademo” Mueller, who lives in New Hampshire, calling the Golden Beach Police Department to interview Ruggiero about his knowledge of the law.
Ruggiero hems and haws and proves he is nothing but a city bumpkin.
It is not surprising he ended up on the Golden Beach police force, which is known for its corruption and ineptness.
Earlier this year, two other cops who had also won Officer of the Month honors were arrested on fraud charges as well as a third officer who probably wasn’t there long enough to win the honor.
The scandal resulted in the resignation of its police chief. The town hired a new chief late last month.
From Cop Block:
If you disagree with Officer #5032 (Robert R.) call him, 305.932.0756 or the chief – Rudy Herbello – 305.935.0940 (email@example.com)
Other Golden Beach contacts: