'We're not hiding anything': Camden County Sheriff’s Department official removed as video shows police interaction

Lake Sun Staff, USA TODAY NETWORK

A video posted to YouTube on Wednesday showing one man’s interaction with police has led to the removal of an official from the Camden County Sheriff’s Department.

The video, posted to a YouTube channel identified as "Lackluster Limited," has over 3,500 views as of early Thursday afternoon and shows a young man being arrested and detained at the Camden County Jail. 

The video begins on the westside of Lake of the Ozarks with an officer from the Sunrise Beach Police Department and the Laurie Police Department questioning the subject after finding him walking alongside the road. The Laurie Police Department and Camden County Sheriff’s Department provided the body cam footage and video recordings under a Missouri Sunshine Law request.

It begins with body cam footage, identified as coming from Officer Nick Shoemate of the Laurie Police Department. The interaction begins with officers questioning a man, identified as Mason, on the side of the road under suspicion of public intoxication and asking if the subject is intoxicated. When Mason responds with, "No," Shoemate states that Mason has, "the smell of odor on him and has committed a crime." 

A screenshot of a video from the Camden County Jail, posted to the "LackLuster" YouTube channel, shows a man identified as Mason being processed by a Camden County Sheriff's Department employee.

The Sunrise Beach Police Department made the actual stop but the officer apparently called Laurie Police Department for assistance. Sunrise Beach Police Department has not released video. Laurie Police Department did release the body cam footage from their officer. 

Shoemate then explains, "If we suspect a crime has been committed, or is being committed, we can lawfully identify you and he (unidentified fellow officer) believes there is a crime, so we can lawfully detain you. So, go ahead, officer, do what you need to do."

However, a later portion of the video shows the two officers discussing that they could not smell alcohol on Mason.

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What happened when the officer detained Mason

As the officer goes to detain Mason, who is asking what crime has been committed and asks for Shoemate's name and badge number, Shoemate tells him to not pull away from the arresting officer. Mason is seen telling the police officer that he has to identify himself, which Shoemate did not do until later in the video.

Shoemate's body cam footage then shows him pulling up to a woman near Woods in Sunrise Beach, who is later identified as Mason's girlfriend. He explains that an officer is going to come talk to her about disobeying a lawful order for not moving on. The woman states that she did while Shoemate tells her she disobeyed it a couple of times. The woman then explains she is Mason's girlfriend and, "just wanted to see what was going on." 

Shoemate then goes on to offer advice to the woman, and for Mason, stating that failure to identify themselves will result in making them get fingerprinted and that it will take three months to get the results back to find out who they are. Shoemate says, "I will make him sit there the whole entire three months... If it was me, your boyfriend would be sitting in jail 'til I get his fingerprints back in three months."

It should be noted that the information provided by the officer was incorrect. 

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Based on the video footage, the subject did not appear to resist arrest on the side of the road and was placed in the back of the police vehicle.

The accompanying officer, who said he tried to be nice to Mason, is then seen telling the girlfriend that Mason explained they have been fighting. The woman states she is currently pregnant and sometimes does not know how to talk or communicate well. She said that Mason got upset and left. When the accompanying officer asks why Mason is so upset, the woman says that he is not a fan of police and has had issues with them in the past. The video did not show where Mason’s girlfriend went, but she was not detained. 

'You would punch me in my face?' 'Absolutely, would you like me to do it?'

Mason is identified as a 20-year-old man in the video but no other identifiers were provided. At no time in the portion of the video did Mason provide his full name. 

The video obtained from the Camden County Sheriff’s Department of what transpired once Mason was brought in for processing is disturbing. The video shows the jail supervisor taunting the young man about his age, asking if he is 12, 13 …. . Mason questions what crime he committed. At no time does he appear to be aggressive or combative in the video. At one point, the supervisor said “he didn’t”. Mason did not exhibit any signs of being intoxicated. 

As the video progresses and Mason continues to question why he was arrested, the supervisor along with the Sunrise Beach officer witnessing the incident, threatens to punch Mason and put him in a chair. The supervisor warns Mason of the 15 video cameras with audio in the jail area, and when Mason asks, “You would punch me in my face?” the officer replies, “Absolutely, would you like me to do it?” and tells Mason he can do that.

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Mason later responds to questions with questions, causing the jail supervisor to raise his voice. The Sunrise Beach officer at one point says Mason was walking down the wrong side of the road and that he was detained him for his own safety. If he identifies himself, the officer says Mason will be free to go. 

Near the end of the video, Mason explains his refusal to identify himself. He explains that he went through a similar situation previously and that when he identified himself, he was placed in a jail cell for 23 hours.

Mason ended up spending about 90 minutes in a jail cell. His identification information is believed to have been take from his personal effects when he was ran though the system. 

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Laurie Police Chief: 'We are not hiding anything'

No one from the Sunrise Beach Police Department could be reached for comment.

Laurie Police Chief Mike Nienheis released the body cam footage from his department without hesitation, he said. The Laurie officer who responded to the call for assistance has been dealt with internally. 

“I had no problem releasing the video,” he said. “We are not hiding anything. My officer could have done things differently, but he didn’t do anything wrong. He was there for backup for Sunrise Beach. Information that he provided about the fingerprints was wrong and that has been discussed.”

The Laurie officer was not present at the jail. 

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Camden County Sheriff Tony Helms said he can’t address what happened prior to the subject being brought to the jail. The supervisor in the video is no longer employed by Camden County. Helms said he watched the jail video the day after the incident when it was brought to his attention by jail staff. 

“It was wrong,” he said. “I was furious. We strive so hard and all it takes is one person- one person not following policies and procedures, one person  threatening to do something like this to make all of us look bad. Just like any profession, there are good cops and there are bad cops. I can’t make any excuses for the type of behavior seen in the video. It was unacceptable and I apologize to the victim and to the people of Camden County.”