(NaturalNews) Another day, another saga about the growing police state in America. Apparently some North Carolina communities are cracking down on the consumption of iced tea in the parking lots of some businesses.
A YouTube video posted recently captured what appears to be an overzealous security guard who accused a 24-year-old man of consuming alcohol in the parking lot of a liquor store. The guard - or police officer, it was plain at first - eventually arrested the man, but "the kicker, of course, was that the 24-year-old was only drinking Arizona brand Half and Half Iced Tea," InfoWars.com reported. [See the video here: http://youtu.be/pbzUH90Sm0ECaution: Strong language]
A cop, or...?
The man drinking the tea - rapper Xstrav (Xstravagant), also known as Christopher Beatty, and a friend, Tony Brown, were waiting in the parking lot of the Cumberland County ABC Liquor Store in Fayetteville, when an alleged plainclothes officer walked up to them and asked what Beatty was drinking.
As might be expected Beatty - who is black - was taken aback by the man approaching him, who is white, and who was repeatedly asking him what he was drinking. Beatty held the can at arm's length as the other man made repeated attempts to get Beatty to turn the can over to him, all the while explaining that it was Arizona brand tea and reading from the can.
The plainclothes man eventually identified himself as "police," but only verbally at this point. When it became clear that Beatty was not going to hand over the can, the alleged officer told Beatty he was trespassing and asked him to leave the parking lot. Beatty responded he was in the parking lot because he wanted to make a future purchase from the liquor store.
The video clearly shows the supposed undercover officer did not immediately identify himself as a policeman before he began questioning Beatty, and only quickly flashes what may be a badge three seconds before he demands the man put his hands on the trunk of his own car.
No, it's not a joke
At that, the alleged officer, without reading Beatty his Miranda rights, began to handcuff him, though he never said what the charge was or why he was arresting Beatty. Meanwhile, another seemingly drunk man wanders into the video and says a few words to the camera - a violation of a well-known law against public intoxication.
According to a post from LatinRapper, initially YouTube and Reddit users thought the incident might have been staged, but a second YouTube upload appears to make it clear that the incident was indeed real [See it here: http://youtu.be/IXlnZbwfhXk].
A city police officer in a marked cruiser is videoed pulling up to the scene. An officer gets out of his vehicle and, as the man taking the video attempts to get his attention, helps the alleged officer pick the handcuffed Beatty off the parking lot and escort him to the back of his squad car.
A check of the North Carolina Court System showed that Beatty was booked into custody and charged with trespassing and resisting an officer InfoWars.com reported.
'No probable cause'
In a follow up report, the website said it had contacted the Fayetteville Police Department and was told the arresting man was affiliated with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety's Alcohol Law Enforcement Division.
Nevertheless, by all visible evidence it doesn't appear that the rapper should have been arrested in the first place.
"Hopefully, thanks to his friend filming the event, Beatty will have the evidence he needs to have his charges dismissed as the officer, if it turns out he actually is one, clearly had no initial probable cause to begin harassing him," said InfoWars.com.