A 16-year-old girl called the police on her father after he took her phone away, Ohio officials have confirmed.
Bodycam footage shows the incident playing out, as police arrive at the family home after receiving a 911 call from a minor, who’s not been named to protect her identity.
You can watch the officers react to the call-out below:
Ohio authorities have since confirmed to local news station WKYC the father, Anthony Robertson, had confiscated his daughter’s smartphone as punishment for having it password protected.
Now, some of you might argue having your phone password protected is a pretty street smart move for the teen.
It’s actually the advice given by many phone providers to protect your bank details, personal emails, and photographs from would-be thieves.
But, the dad seemingly didn’t like the idea of his daughter having this level of privacy under his roof, and took the phone off her. Subsequently, Robertson’s daughter called the police on her own dad, which seems like a bit of reach.
She told dispatchers:
My father took my property, which is an $800 phone that doesn’t belong to him. He didn’t buy it.
Bodycam footage shows the moment officers responded to the 911 call made by the distressed teen.
When the cops arrived, the daughter and father were both sitting outside the house on the steps, at which point the teen can be heard saying she wanted her phone back.
The teen, who claims she lives with her grandmother, but occasionally stays at her father’s home, said:
It’s my property and I don’t live here.
The officers were quick to side with the father in the dispute – and warned the teen she shouldn’t be calling 911 in a non-emergency situation.
One of the officers responds:
But guess what? Everything that you own belongs to your mother and your father. Having a phone is not a right.
Robertson, who later told WKYC he was shocked to see police cars show up on his doorstep, kept his cool and explained to the officers:
I took her phone because she’s a juvenile, and I don’t want her to have it. I can’t inspect it, because the phone is locked, so I took it away.
The officers determined it was merely a parental disciplinary issue – albeit one which sparked debate over the property rights of children and teens living with caregivers – and sided with Robertson.
Lt James Wilson of the South Euclid Police Department defended his officers taking the time out to attend the to the call, and said officers recognised the situation as a teaching opportunity.
He told WKYC:
Certainly, if we were busy, it would be pushed to the back burner, but we still have an obligation to respond.
Our department would not pursue this type of ‘theft’. You’d be hard pressed to find a court in this country who would take the case.
Good for them for helping the teen get a better grasp of the law, and taking the time to help settle a dispute.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.