Galveston County accepted an offer Tuesday to pay $10,000 to settle a claim made by a self-described civil rights activist who accused a sheriff’s office employee of helping wrongfully searching his car.

In November, police arrested Phillip Turner, of Austin, outside the Galveston Police Department headquarters, 601 54th St. Turner was at the police station conducting what he called a “First Amendment audit,” a test of local police officers’ knowledge of laws regarding the right to film law enforcement.

Contact reporter Chacour Koop at 409-683-5241 or

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(6) comments

Don Ciaccio

To think any deputy would conduct a warrantless search of a suspects vehicle is mind boggling. A rookie on the job 10 minutes knows better. Wow!

Carlos Ponce

PINAC is to Videography as
Westboro Baptist Church is to Christianity

Emile Pope

Laws were broken. The appropriate action was taken. End of story...

Carlos Ponce

Phillip Turner is paranoid. In his YouTube video of the incident, the says the officers are "burglarizing " and at the end he writes the officers COULD HAVE PLANTED evidence in his car. Did they? NO. Nothing was taken nor planted. All they did was enter the car and turn off devices so his car battery would not run down.
Unfortunate that settlement was the cheaper route for the county.

Kelly Surber

Oh yes, I'm sure that these officers were just being nice not wanting his car batteries dead.

Carlos Ponce

That's all they did.[beam]
I personally would have brought a trained police dog to see if there were any explosives in this nut job's car. We don't want that kind of BOOM in Galveston. but that's me.[beam]

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