This man has GUTS! Watch how brave Californian man monitors cops with his own surveillance drone.

drone 1

UPDATE: The man who filmed the video is Tom Zebra. You can find his facebook page here. The video was originally uploaded by Onus News Service.

CALIFORNIA — It began when officers told the man that he was not allowed to be filming their activity with his cell phone.

They commanded him to walk away and to not view what was happening behind a white wall that separated them.

The man can be heard asking in the video, “What are they doing back there?”

He grew suspicious of why cops did not want him to see what they were up to.

Given that they are public servants and they live off of the money that hardworking Americans make to support them, cops should expect to have their every action monitored and scrutinized publicly.

Just one instance of pretending to be a “tough guy” and assaulting a citizen could make a cop famous online and cost him his job and reputation. Most cops are aware of this, given that everybody nowadays can begin filming them instantly with a cell phone.

But these cops still acted alarmed when they saw a man filming them.

Rather than obeying the officers’ commands to walk away like a domesticated cow, this brave man took out his own surveillance drone and launched it into the night sky.

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He flew his drone directly above the police activity — right over their heads.

He was able to get clear footage of the cops performing a “checkpoint.” It turns out they were pulling drivers over by force and demanding their paperwork.


The officers can be seen in the video nervously looking up into the sky, shining their flashlights at the drone and not knowing what to expect.

This man’s bravery is sure to lead to more citizens equipping themselves with drones so they can remotely view whatever cops are doing in their communities.

One idea is to have three people at a time filming cops: one person is up close filming with a cell phone, the second is in a hidden location filming how cops react to the first person filming, and a third person is in an even more remote position with a drone monitoring the entire situation from the air.

RELATED: Raw Footage Released: Cops Arrest 90-yr-old Man for Feeding Homeless Americans

The advantage to this is that it allows the footage to survive before the cops can tamper with it, as cops have often confiscated phones to delete the footage of their abuse.


You can find a wide selection of drones to use for personal projects, including the high-end DJI Phantom which comes with an HD video camera; or if you’re looking for something more affordable, there’s the Axis Gyro for just $60.

The video was originally uploaded to the Facebook page Hack Read and can be viewed below.

Watch the video below:

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About author

Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3693 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • ben dover

    Tom Zebra you rock brother

    • Madapvfreak Commodoresfalcons


  • CCIFan

    Someone get a whole bunch of drones to Ferguson when it flares up again.

  • Michael Flowers

    Cops have shotguns. Turn the drone lights off. Also outfit the drone with a laser pointer, to return the light when they shine it.

    • physics2010

      Ah, no let’s not shine laser pointers at cops, or turn off the nav/collision lights.

      • Uncle Arty

        So just let them shoot it down. Need I remind you they are cops they are never accountable for what they do, they shoot at your drone and kill someone 3/4 mile away guess who gets charged with murder?

        • physics2010

          Might as well mount a gun on there and return fire while you’re racking up the felonies.

          • Ryan James Fitzpatrick

            indeed, we need less cops, good thinking!

        • Knowledge

          The drone ? Poor little drone … 🙁

    • Bobbie Jo Justice

      outfit the drone with a gun

    • Willy Nilly

      Unmanned Aircraft Systems Major here. The lights are so the operator can see it, as the law states the aircraft cannot move out of the operator’s line of sight. It looks like a quadcopter setup with a HD camera payload and a decent gimbal. It being dark, there’s obvious reasons why someone wouldn’t want to loose track of a $1200 – $2000 piece of equipment.

      • Willy Nilly

        lose*…. Damn auto correct….

        • CLO

          wear a Oculus rift and use a small 3d camera that sends a signal back to the operator

    • Grey Hammond

      You cannot shoot down a drone. It is the same as fire a gun at a single passenger plane.

  • Neil Carpenter

    We’re watching you pigs.

  • f.x.koch is his website….. brother, if you can spare a dime, this is an excellent place to do so.. Tom Zebra on YouTube

  • Madapvfreak Commodoresfalcons

    love this dude……AWESOME

  • Buck Kracker

    I like the idea, but, did you really have to assault our ear drums with that ‘music’?

  • no wonder the cops don’t want to be filmed

  • Cdb Spender

    Rats and cockroaches dont like the light.

  • Elhuero

    That’s Tom Mother Fuckin’ Zebra.

  • Woodstuck

    Drones are great for filming cops and protecting yourself at the same time – I hope to see a lot more of this – Great work!

  • Woodstuck

    Unconstitutional checkpoints too. Can we set up a checkpoint and harass every cop on the street? Two sets of rules only gets YOU in to trouble. If you followed the same laws we do, then there would be much less of a problem…

  • Hawk Bailey

    For anyone who may take pics or video of officers in the performance of their public duties should print the following Legal ruling and present it too any officer who objects to you filming/taking pics of them in the performance of their public duties thus putting them on notice that they are breaking the law….
    United States Circuit Court of Appeals
    Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011)
    the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that held that a private citizen has the right to record video and audio of public officials in a public place, and that the arrest of the citizen for a wiretapping violation violated the citizen’s First and Fourth Amendment rights.
    The above case held “this First Amendment right to publicly record the activities of police officers on public business is established.”

    • AttilatheBlond

      Seems our rights stop at the point any cop yells to drop a weapon, whether we have one or not, or to ‘stop resisting arrest’ whether we have been arrested or not.

  • Tamara Mcfarland


  • Scott McCarrick

    not a chance. i will not register my drones or my weapons. i also will not ask for permission to do either.

  • Grey Hammond

    The Gyro posted is between 100 and 139, not sixty.. prices may have changed since original post.

  • jeanne1968

    So, what exactly did he see the Cops doing wrong!? They were conducting a DUI checkpoint…