Was that 'nickel sack' or 'Nickelback,' boys? - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Was that 'nickel sack' or 'Nickelback,' boys?

Video taken in Coeur d'Alene goes viral

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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - One is a very small bag of marijuana. The other is a Canadian rock band.

The difference between "nickel sack" and "Nickelback" goes far beyond one letter, as an increasingly popular video shows.

Two unidentified young men were detained June 20 by Kootenai County sheriff's deputies who used aggressive language and behavior over a potential misunderstanding between the two words. One of the young men recorded the incident, which was uploaded to YouTube on June 21 and already has about 25,000 views.

The video begins with a male in the passenger seat of a vehicle, parked at Maverik gas station in Coeur d'Alene, preparing to hand over his identification to a deputy.

"Would you like me to call my boss? We just got off of work and came here," the man filming the exchange says.

"Is your boss the one you're buying weed for?" the deputy asks.

The male filming the exchange then tells a deputy, who is off camera, that he doesn't understand why they are "being harassed like this."

Responding to the question, a deputy tells the two men that when the passenger got out of the vehicle he heard him say, "Yeah, a nickel sack for sure."

"No - Nickelback," the filmer responds.

"That guy over there was blasting Nickelback," the passenger says.

"That's exactly what he said - 'that guy's blaring Nickelback,'" the filmer adds.

Discussion between the officers, who frequently use profanity, and the two suspects continues. At one point a deputy allegedly draws his weapon on the passenger.

"He's reaching back quickly and violently into the back of the car," the other deputy says while the passenger is being handcuffed. "It's a really bad idea to reach back."

After five minutes, the video ends.

No charges were filed against the two men, but the video has gained popularity because of The Free Thought Project, a blog that began with the intent of exposing government and corporate corruption.

"However, we quickly found ourselves in the midst of this localized fear and animosity between police and civilians," Matt Savoy, who works for the website, said in an email Tuesday to the Press.

Savoy added that the website is "flooded" with stories similar to the incident in Coeur d'Alene, so much so that they cannot cover most of them.

"The 'Nickelback' story was submitted to us via our Facebook page. It just epitomized the ridiculousness of what the war on drugs has become, so we ran with it," Savoy said. "If it wasn't true, it would be hilarious, but sadly these officers feel that their job is justified for harassing these guys because they heard Nickelback or nickel sack or whatever."

According to Lt. Stu Miller, it was a link to the story posted on the sheriff's office Facebook page that drew the department's attention to the incident.

"It's being internally investigated. It's a personnel issue," Miller told the Press on Tuesday. "We take this type of thing very seriously and we tell our people all the time to do their job as though someone is always watching, and they are always watching."

Since the incident is being treated as a personnel issue, Miller said he could not release the names of the officers involved or any other details of the investigation. However, he did say that both officers are still on duty.

"The video is only a portion of the incident," Miller said. "Obviously our deputies are human - they're not infallible. But I've got to make sure the deputies are treated fairly in this as well."

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  • indio007 posted at 11:27 am on Thu, Jun 26, 2014.

    indio007 Posts: 1

    The problem is paranoid style training and departmental financial incentives. Combine that with a larger police force gets more psychologically unfit outliers and you have to current mess.

    It is an epidemic. www.policemisconduct.net

    Police departments are hiring criminals.

  • BrekkeLynn posted at 1:06 pm on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    BrekkeLynn Posts: 1

    I'm a 50+ widow who raised a son on my own in Rathdrum. I've known the boys in this video for years. They spent time at our house, as they are friends of my son. I consider these and other young men as "my kids."On Monday, June 23rd, I called the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department regarding this incident. I wanted to ask, as a parent, how can I teach "my kids" respect for law enforcement when "my kids" are treated like this? Sgt Smart returned my call. He said he had seen the video, and that his deputies followed proper police proceedures. He sounded to me that he just didn't get why this was a problem. Again, I will ask of all, why are these kids supposed to respect law enforcement when law enforcement shows no respect for our young people? Sgt Smart needs to have an attitude check, too.

  • 986crazy posted at 8:58 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    986crazy Posts: 434

    Law Enforcement, like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. i.e. You pay like they're cowboys and that's what you get.

  • will-- posted at 8:35 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    will-- Posts: 1213

    "The Free Thought Project, a blog that began with the intent of exposing government and corporate corruption."

    Look no further than the present administration in Washington DC, enough there to keep the blog busy for years.

  • DCIDAHO posted at 8:25 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    DCIDAHO Posts: 2981

    That's very disturbing. You can bet we haven't heard the last of this one.

  • Joe D posted at 7:37 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Joe D Posts: 3372

    My comment has to do with why not's statement, Screen Name. But yeah, I think that the deputies went overboard by thinking they heard someone say something and then hassling them. Can you say Gestapo?

  • Keven Johnson posted at 7:09 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1490

    Yes, we are actually. This is but one small ridiculous example of it.

  • Screen Name posted at 7:04 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Screen Name Posts: 972

    What does your comment have to do with the behavior of the deputies?

  • Sheeken Hunter posted at 7:04 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Sheeken Hunter Posts: 183

    The police have adopted the attitude of it is "us" against "them". Serve and Protect...??? Police today have no idea what that means. It has become Draw (and if someone so much as looks cross eyed--Shoot). The only persons surprised by this incident are those who have not had the misfortune of coming in contact with the police. This is just one example of how teenagers and 20 ish young adults in the area are treated by police on a daily basis.

  • lapua208 posted at 7:02 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    lapua208 Posts: 238

    Let me first say that I come from a LEO and Military family. Secondly, let me say..... that most LEO's are pretty decent people. That said, I heard many stories sitting around the dinner table about LEO's that were out of control, mean spirited or just outright dangerous. Truly the only thing "new" is the technology everywhere to catch bad behavior. Gone are the days of "rousting punks" for laughs later..... at face value this should be a career ending event for these officers and the boys should litigate because their rights were violated.

  • Joe D posted at 6:55 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Joe D Posts: 3372

    Quote why not

    "What a bunch of CR_P! Are we living in a police state now?"

    That's funny coming from a liberal like you. What did you expect? Y'all love the thought police, might want to stop pushing your kind of touchy feel y, socialist, possessive garbage while you can, before we do end up in a police state. And don't forget to push for more gun control and special laws every chance you get.

  • Molon Labe posted at 6:53 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Molon Labe Posts: 281

    "These idiot kids cant learn to keep their mouths shut"....Since when is exercising your first amendment rights grounds to have your fourth amendment rights violated?

  • Phillip posted at 6:39 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Phillip Posts: 35

    No wonder trust in law enforcement is erroding

  • Molon Labe posted at 6:30 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Molon Labe Posts: 281

    I watched this video when the free thought project posted it to their page Sunday morning and have been "helping" this spread on social media since.
    First; I think that Stu Miller's refusal to release these "officers" (not what I would call them) names is BS. I will be releasing their names right here as soon as I learn them. If I had violated the law and someones constitutional rights in addition to threatening them with a weapon, I am certain that the Sheriff's office wouldn't have any problem releasing my name.
    Second, If these "officers" are not terminated from their duties promptly I will do everything possible to remind the public of such when Wolfinger is up for reelection.
    You will notice in the beginning of the video the officer commenting about how much cash this young man had on him and accusing him of having it for the purpose of purchasing drugs. Clearly there was already an illegal search of his person to determine that before the video even started.
    Aside from tbe fact that even if he had said "nickel sack" (whatever that is ?), since when is talking about drugs illegal? Free speech is NOT probable cause for detainment and search.
    Regardless of how anyone watching this may feel about the search and detainment, how would you feel if you were being cussed at like this? If you had a loaded gun pointed at your head and the officer said "put your f@@king hands on the dash" ?
    I hope that sheriff Wolfinger chooses to do the right thing and not let these two officers tarnish the reputation of the local law enforcement that are protecting and serving the public.

  • denofrage posted at 6:23 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    denofrage Posts: 155

    There isn't an excuse for the deputy swearing at the kids. They do need to keep thier tempers in check. Always. But these idiot kids can't learn to keep thier mouths shut. I would like to see what happened in the minutes before the video. I bet there is more to this story.

  • Screen Name posted at 5:51 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Screen Name Posts: 972


  • Why Not posted at 5:12 am on Wed, Jun 25, 2014.

    Why Not Posts: 5326

    What a bunch of CR_P! Are we living in a police state now?

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