Port Police Sell Out to Department of Defense — Jail and Prosecute Innocent Drone Flier

Tom Zebra was arrested and had his drone seized for flying it in the air for about 30 seconds. No signs were posted anywhere saying that drones were prohibited. The port police used a 30 year old law and applied it to drones and prosecuted. Although Los Angeles Municipal code says the offense is an infraction and $250 fine, the Sgt on scene CHOSE to arrest Tom Zebra for a misdemeanor. Tom Zebra served 5 days in jail and had a $30,000 bail for something that is supposed to be less than a traffic ticket.
When I went back to the scene a few months later there were signs posted. When I went to talk to the Port Police they STILL didn’t know the law and told me to speak with the city attorney.

The Law is So Simple and Clear That Cops Dont Know It – Need Opinion frm City Attorney

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Author: phillyfinest369

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29 thoughts on “Port Police Sell Out to Department of Defense — Jail and Prosecute Innocent Drone Flier

  1. Tom Zebra was arrested and had his drone seized for flying it in the air for about 30 seconds. No signs were posted anywhere saying that drones were prohibited. The port police used a 30 year old law and applied it to drones and prosecuted. Although Los Angeles Municipal code says the offense is an infraction and $250 fine, the Sgt on scene CHOSE to arrest Tom Zebra for a misdemeanor. Tom Zebra served 5 days in jail and had a $30,000 bail for something that is supposed to be less than a traffic ticket.
    When I went back to the scene a few months later there were signs posted. When I went to talk to the Port Police they STILL didn't know the law and told me to speak with the city attorney.

  2. I'm a private pilot. The airspace above the USS Iowa is NOT in Torrance airports' airspace. Matter-a-fact looking at the Terminal Area Chart the airspace immediately above the ship is class G (uncontrolled) airspace.

  3. U people should get with the program… be a good boy and just walk with ur head down like a man that's defeated beaten and rolled over to the police state… U know u can't do anything without braking a law… Welcome to the "LAND OF THE FREE HOME OF THE BRAVE" lmao haha what a joke

  4. The question of who controls the sky and the limits on that authority are in flux at the present time. The law is developing. Law Enforcement knows there are statutes, codes and regulations out there, but they have no idea what are the limitations in their application. From my experience the cop on the street will rely on what they have heard from other cops on how a law should be enforced and that is usually some extreme interpretation. As an example, VC 23111 was enacted to stop people from throwing lit cigarettes or other smoking devices out of the window to prevent forest fires and prevent littering. Some cops will use that law to cite people for flicking their ashes. That is just wrong. To get to my point, the Sargent referring you to the city attorney was appropriate because he and the rest of the department don't know what the law is and it was used in Daniel's case as a way to harass him.
    With regards to the confiscation issue, once the case is over, the property should be released. I would suggest a proposed Order be brought court on the day of the trial or any court hearing where the case is over and request the Judge to sign at that time. Indicate you are not in a hurry and will wait until it is convienient for the Judge. Do not leave until it is signed.
    Finally, I never got a response as to your affiliation with the Big Orange group.

  5. So I went back and looked up the laws. I was wrong on the flight part but that could be the case I might have been looking at the wrong ordinance or miss remembered something. According to ordinance LAMC 63.44 B 8, it states "No person shall land, release, take off or fly any balloon, except children, toy balloons not inflated with any flammable material, helicopter, parakite, hang glider, aircraft or powered models thereof, except in areas specifically set aside therefor." Now the problem with this ordinance is it is direct jurisdiction violation of what the FAA/NTSB has the complete authority to regulate given to them by congress during the early 19th century. So while Tom Zebra is in violation of the ordinance as it stands for flight the ordinance is in conflict with federal regulation. This is something I covered when I was battling the City of Anchorage over a proposed drone ordinance earlier this year and cover in this video at this time stamp, https://youtu.be/gY47yiOwsrY?t=32s.

    Now if I remember correctly Tom Zebra did land in the parks and harbor parking lot and possibly taken off from the parking lot which does place him in violation of the take of and landing portion which is something the city can regulate and would be the thing to nail him on but… If what Onus states is true that the ordinance can't be enforced if there is no signs present stating that and this should easily get the case thrown out on a technicality.

    I've also gone through and check the airspace for that location and it is unrestricted airspace according to the FAA charts but there is a Class D controlled airspace very close to where that flight toke place making a very tricky not to run afoul with the FAA if you don't know where those boundaries are at. We are talking about a matter of a 100 feet closeness to that boundary.

    Lastly, the ordinance for the filming is only about the distribution of videos and photos, not the actual act. "3. Vending Prohibited. Except as otherwise allowed by law, no Person shall engage in Vending in any public Park except as specifically allowed below:"…"(b) A Person can Vend the following items, which have been created, written or composed by the Vendor: books, audio, video or other recordings of their Performances, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures or any other item that is inherently communicative and is of nominal value or utility apart from its communication_" I am pretty sure this doesn't restrict any personal filming at that location.

  6. There are codes that "counter-dick" codes 😀 theses piggies have up there butts =•D we will never win, sure we can point out how retarded and how stupid they look but they are going to do what ever they want !

  7. So the Port Police have created a no fly zone? Funny, even the FAA does not have the authority to create laws but the Port Police do? Also, that cop at the station, at the end of the conversation, said that drones need to be registered, however: "The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that
    the Federal Aviation Administration did not have the authority to
    regulate so-called "model aircraft" (https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/05/court-ruling-would-nullify-us-requirement-that-hobbyists-register-drones/). They gave the FAA 7 days to comply or appeal, of course we pretty much know what they'll do. They want that $5.00 from all the hobbyist in America. People using their drones for commercial use fit in a different category and are required to have a permit and I think that's where Tom fits in. The reason I say that is because he uses it for his videos and he makes money from YouTube from those videos which would therefore deem it commercial use. From what I understand, however, that's not what they arrested him for and that wouldn't be an arrestable offense anyways.

  8. The Sgt in this video said "the majority of the time the law will be enforced".  However, the port police only enforced the law on two people in one weekend.  For year people flew drones and other model aircraft there and the police said it was okay.

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