“Petty Tyrant” : This American Life

In Schenectady, New York, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he’s in charge of the maintenance department. That’s when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.

Ten years after his arrest, Steve Raucci broke his silence and gave an interview to Paul Nelson at the Times Union in Albany.

What is a “Petty Tyrant?”, by Carlos Castaneda

A petty tyrant is a tormentor. Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction.
~Carlos Castaneda – The Fire from Within~

“My benefactor used to say that a warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one.”
~Don Juan~

A petty tyrant is a person who causes distress by imposing his/her will on others using psychological pressure rather than physical force. The petty tyrant feels he may impose his will because he believes that he is a superior being and because he wants to operate from a position of authority.

Petty tyrants are the button-pushers, the individuals that have the ability to throw things off-balance for you if you let them. Many petty tyrants are unaware that they are the cause of so much frustration. They are effective teachers because they force the warrior to closely monitor their own reactions and habitual behaviors. The result is mindfulness and the ability to shift the assemblage point, even if ever so slightly, in order to loosen the fixation to the conditioned response that causes the reaction in the first place.

Castaneda believed that by looking at the petty tyrant through a different filter, a person could not only co-exist with a petty tyrant but also benefit from the relationship. This type of relationship would be most common in the workplace, school or other public forum when you have no choice but to be in close proximity to the petty tyrant. The challenge for the warrior is to try to consciously get along with this co-worker without being petty yourself. It’s a “rise above it” opportunity that could challenge one to the core.

Don Miguel Ruiz summarizes by saying “don’t take anything personally.” This is the biggest gift of the petty tyrant. To be able to recognize that even though you will be annoyed to no end by the petty tyrant one must not allow themselves to be energetically attached to the petty tyrant. They are ruthless and are often painfully consistent in throwing someone off of the center quickly and effectively. To fall prey to a petty tyrant means that you allow yourself to become agitated repeatedly by the same words, behaviors and attitudes over and over again.

The freedom arrives when the petty tyrant no longer affects you. You are in their presence and they are the same they have always been. Annoying to no end, distracting and even disruptive but they just don’t have the same affect on you anymore. You are no longer annoyed or imbalanced by them. You have accomplished the feat of shifting your assemblage point so that you no longer perceive annoyances in the same manner you did in the past and you have successfully severed the energetic stronghold that the petty tyrant had on your self-importance. In fact, you can’t even remember what it was that annoyed you so much in the first place.

This is the gift. The petty tyrant pushes and pushes and pushes until the very thing(s) that bothered you about them in the first place no longer do. Unwittingly, they set the stage for growth in areas you may not have even realized should be addressed. The petty tyrant can stop your world by activating a series of emotions and responses within you that you could not even imagine existed. They are, in their own right, a portal for deepening your quest for freedom.

Even the worst tyrants can bring delight, provided, of course, that one is a warrior. This may be incomprehensible to those who are in the middle of working with one of the nastiest petty tyrants. How can someone who causes so much emotional turmoil and revulsion possibly bring delight? The delight is found in the moment that the warrior rises above the tyranny and recognizes how utterly ridiculous the seriousness of the petty tyrant is! Petty tyrants are, for the most part, trying desperately to become stronger by stealing your personal power, to build up their own egos by belittling you and pushing you around. The moment you pull the carpet out from under them and stop energetically feeding them leaves them in such a state of confusion and no other choice but to go and find their next “victim”.

The petty tyrant teaches the warrior to develop a strategy utilizing the four attributes of warriorship:

  1. control,
  2. discipline,
  3. forbearance, and
  4. timing.

As a result the warrior deepens so much so into these four attributes that it may be a very long time until the next petty tyrant appears. And then, the ultimate pleasure arises when you become aware that you have become someone else’s petty tyrant. And the gift, in this case, may be pure awareness and detachment to the petty tyrant as the result of your fluidity and energetic efficiency.

Quotes from Carlos Castenada’s Book.

Nothing can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to stand the pressure of the unknowable.

The perfect ingredient for the making of a superb seer is a petty tyrant with unlimited prerogatives. Seers have to go to extremes to find a worthy one. Most of the time they have to be satisfied with very small fry. Then warriors develop a strategy using the four attributes of warriorship: control, discipline, forbearance, and timing.

He said that what the new seers had in mind was a deadly manoeuvre in which the petty tyrant is like a mountain peak and the attributes of warriorship are like climbers who meet at the summit.

Control and discipline refer to an inner state. A warrior is self-oriented, not in a selfish way but in the sense of a total examination of the self.

Forbearance and timing are not quite an inner state. They are in the domain of the man of knowledge.

The idea of using a petty tyrant is not only for perfecting the warrior’s spirit, but also for enjoyment and happiness. Even the worst tyrants can bring delight, provided, of course, that one is a warrior.

The mistake average men make in confronting petty tyrants is not to have a strategy to fall back on; the fatal flaw is that average men take themselves too seriously; their actions and feelings, as well as those of the petty tyrants, are all-important. Warriors, on the other hand, not only have a well-thought-out strategy, but are free from self-importance. What restrains their self-importance is that they have understood that reality is an interpretation we make.

Petty tyrants take themselves with deadly seriousness while warriors do not. What usually exhausts us is the wear and tear on our self-importance. Any man who has an iota of pride is ripped apart by being made to feel worthless.

To tune the spirit when someone is trampling on you is called control. Instead of feeling sorry for himself a warrior immediately goes to work mapping the petty tyrant’s strong points, his weaknesses, his quirks of behavior.

To gather all this information while they are beating you up is called discipline. A perfect petty tyrant has no redeeming feature.

Forbearance is to wait patiently–no rush, no anxiety–a simple, joyful holding back of what is due.

A warrior knows that he is waiting and what he is waiting for. Right there is the great joy of warriorship.

Timing is the quality that governs the release of all that is held back. Control, discipline, and forbearance are like a dam behind which everything is pooled. Timing is the gate in the dam.

Forbearance means holding back with the spirit something that the warrior knows is rightfully due. It doesn’t mean that a warrior goes around plotting to do anybody mischief, or planning to settle past scores. Forbearance is something independent. As long as the warrior has control, discipline, and timing, forbearance assures giving whatever is due to whoever deserves it.

To be defeated by a small-fry petty tyrant is not deadly, but devastating. Warriors who succumb to a small-fry petty tyrant are obliterated by their own sense of failure and unworthiness.

Anyone who joins the petty tyrant is defeated. To act in anger, without control and discipline, to have no forbearance, is to be defeated.

After warriors are defeated they either regroup themselves or they abandon the quest for knowledge and join the ranks of the petty tyrants for life.

Media questions first-amendment auditors


I think it’s fair to say that some of these folks are simply trying to evoke a response from the police in order to bait them into a confrontation (though I don’t think it’s accurate that they’re “known for getting into people’s faces”…the police are coming up to them, not the other way around). I also think it’s fair to say that officers sometimes embarrass themselves and their departments in the way that they respond. I guess my question would be…if someone is engaging in a legal activity, such as recording what they can see from a public sidewalk, why would you talk to them at all? Someone engaging in this kind of activity knows that what they’re doing is legal, and is well aware of their rights…the whole reason they’re doing it is to see if YOU’RE aware of their rights too. An officer most certainly can walk up to them and initiate a conversation, but if they’re rebuffed, and the person doesn’t want to talk to them, that should be the end of it. No pressing the issue, no demanding ID, no threat of arrest. The Commissioner that they talked to mentioned potential lawsuits, settlements, and getting officers fired. If any of those things happen, is that the auditor’s fault? No! I believe there is room for improvement on both sides of the equation. As a citizen, I should be mindful of the law, and respectful of those whose job it is to enforce it. Those whose job it is to enforce the law have a duty to uphold the public trust. Bothering people who aren’t breaking the law is not the way to do this. I’d even venture to say that once these auditors see that they’re not going to get a reaction from the police, they’ll go away. Until or unless that happens, officers will continue to become YouTube stars, and cities will continue to pay out large settlements.
The cops always initiate the contact. Just leave law abiding citizens alone. The video never points out that the cop had no right to touch a person, unless they are breaking the law.

All the cops have to do is obey the law. Same goes for civilians. If they did that there would be no problems.

The law enforcement community brought this on themselves. can you imagine how boring it would be to watch police officers behaving correctly ?
I find it amazing how these auditors are PROVING that cops are EXTREMELY IGNORANT to the law and what’s legal.
If they have done nothing unlawful, leave them be, don’t react and they will leave you alone. The police in these videos are often ignorant of the law or just belligerent.
‘How to handle 1st Amendment Auditors?’ There is nothing to ‘handle’, when someone isn’t breaking the law they don’t have to talk to police or identify, so run along and finish mopping the floor at the station cops. This is part of the problem, that police think they have to ‘find a way’ to control every single person they see.
When I first started watching these videos, I took issue with what the auditors were doing and then as I watched more and educated myself, I started to understand their motives. There are some auditors who take to the streets with a clear agenda and bias against the police and do everything they can to provoke them so I tend to not watch them but there are others who truly seem to be standing up for their rights and are more than happy to find officers that respect what they are doing as opposed to hoping to find bad officers. My favorite auditor is Amagansett Press, for example. It still baffles me that police academies aren’t teaching basic constitutional law and that departments aren’t educating their officers about basic first amendment rights. A guy with a camera on a public sidewalk isn’t a threat and since we don’t live in Russia, he isn’t required to produce “papers” because you demanded them.
Its through the first amendment auditors that i have come to realise the importance of the constitution and how it can work for the little guy. I don’t know why they’re being presented as aggressors, yet its usually those in authority that are the aggressors.
These auditors are protected everyone’s rights. You might not like them but that is what they are doing.
As time passes we don’t automatically get more and more rights. Out rights erode away. That’s why as a former law enforcement officer I support audits.
When you abuse and disrespect the citizens so long this is what you get and they’ll like how the tables turned a little bit. Now they have to be held accountable for their actions which could be recorded back in the days.
4:30 officer asks “If they’re truly the media, then aren’t they subject to the same rules as what apply to you?” This is the crux of why the mainstream media sides with the cops on this one. They don’t like “amateurs” stealing their viewers. They feeeeel that it’s an insult to THEIR profession. The “rules” that the officer is referring to are not laws. They are company policies. If the reporter doesn’t follow those rules, he will get fired, not arrested.


I love the way the news reporter says that the auditors are known for getting in people’s faces. She must not watch many videos does she not see how the people walk right up to their cameras and get into the auditor’s faces. I do agree that some auditors push some buttons on some people but that still doesn’t give people the right to violate their first amendment rights.The whole purpose of the Constitution is to protect our rights. How many news reporters push their camera and microphones right up into people’s faces to get their story. Double standard. Because they work for a major news outlet they think they are better than everyday normal citizens who go out and report what they see going on in America and reporting corruption that most news reporters don’t have the where for all to do on their own. They are paid by a news agency and are only allowed to report on what they feel is news worthy. They have no free will of their own. Unless it’s a live video all their work is edited so as not to compromise or offend whoever or whatever they are reporting on.
My question. Where’s the cops when a tv crew with cameras are at the same place the auditor was at? Why are “they” not concerned? Isn’t this suspicious activity (as they say)? Where’s the ID check? So this is the cops warning other cops to be on your best behavior when a camera is out? If cops have nothing to hide why attempt to make a CONSTITUTIONALLY protected act villainous?
The reporter is right in front of the military installation. Wonder if they called the cops on him?
The cops need to smarten up and be able to tell the difference between someone that is a real security risk and someone who is just doing an audit. As soon as they realize they’re dealing with one of these auditors they need to just say “thank you, carry-on citizen.”
Auditors like him have NOT broken the law in any way. When a cop violates the rights of auditors it is their own actions that has earned their firings and lawsuits. The under sherriff was the law breaker and the same law applies to him. Putting hands on someone without cause is Not legal. The badge doesnt earn them extra rights.

“get a settlement from the city and possibly get the officer terminated”.

A good auditor does not leave to provoke a reaction. The reaction is left entirely up to the officer.
This news report is a perfect example of how biased news is and how it does not report facts anymore, it reports feelings



It’s unfortunate that both the reporters and even the auditor himself misrepresented the entire auditing community. There are bad auditors that intentionally provoke and unnecessarily escalate encounters, but the overall goal is to never to do that–usually the police will do that themselves out of ignorance of the law.


This news agency should be ashamed of such a biased report. As a news agency, you would think they would be on the side of free speech and press 🤦🏼‍♂
I love how the news guy ends the video by getting a shot of himself standing in front of what appears to be a military installation. As if his 1st Amendment right to do so is somehow different than anyone else’s. The hypocrisy is staggering.
It’s funny how they left out that if the cops were just calm, professionals following the law, citizen’s rights, and proper police policy, NONE of this would even be an issue. Yep, they sure left that out of the story.
If the officers aren’t doing anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about.
When the government becomes transparent and cops stop abusing free citizens. We won’t need auditors, until then auditors keep up the good work.
I love how they make it seem like recording a video on a sidewalk is the scariest thing, while also recording a video on the sidewalk. Oh cause your camera is bigger? Or you have a news jacket on? How is that any different?
WXYZ should be embarrassed by this report.
“They tricked me into doing something wrong by checking if we were doing something wrong”
Why are these ‘trained professionals” so easily, and so often, provoked by ordinary citizens with a camera? Why do these ‘trained professionals’ so easily, and so often, ‘take the bait’ despite extensive training, re-training and cross training? Why are these ‘trained professionals’ either ignorant of, or purposely ignore, the very laws which they have sworn to protect? Why do these ‘trained professionals’ first escalate, and then retaliate, over such simple constitutionally protected activities?
love how they say “1st amendment rights” so sarcastically. I was on the side of thinking these guys were frauds at first. after watching a lot, i am so glad they are doing what they do. These “officials” are not the little victims they try to act like.
“It is all his first amendment right”, said with a nod and a wink. You can just see the disdain the reporter has for someone other than the “news” exercising their rights.
I love how the reporter feels as entitled and as above the law as government officials do. They think they are better than an on the street indie journalist running their own business and creating an audience.
“File a law suit. They’re gonna get a settlement from a city. They’re possibly going to get the officer terminated” So they’re holding people responsible for their illegal activities! Got it!
Law enforcement uses “bait tactics” all the time……but don’t like it when they think it’s being used on them. SMH
“Known for getting in people’s faces.” Not sure I’ve ever seen an auditor get in anyone’s face. I’ve seen people get in auditors’ faces.
When you’ve witnessed enough injustice perpetrated by the employees that are paid by your tax dollars, and when you see your tax dollars frivolously passed out, like candy, to those that have no accountability for their actions, then there should be no surprise when people start testing the system for its effectiveness. If the auditors are exposing flaws in the system, then pointing an accusatory finger at them is nothing more than an attempt to justify a broken system.
Love that they interviewed the sheriff that literally assaulted the auditor!! Did he go to jail? No…… trying to make auditors into Villians and literally only catch cops breaking the law!!
If the city is offering a settlement and the officer is losing his job then the cop was was violating rights and breaking laws. Without the auditors would continue with his crooked ways
Every single thing the police officers, the chief, and the anti Auditors say, is also true about themselves, and that’s why there’s auditors! When the cops investigate themselves, it doesn’t work out very well!
Some of these auditors may appear to be annoying, however they’re willing to reveal how many government agencies throughout this country that are not constitutionally compliant. Keep up the good work! We need more of them.
This reports bias is clearly a result of them being out done in holding authority accountable by amateurs.
The fact that they have to send a mass email out to government employees telling them to not violate but respect the rights of American citizens shows how messed up the justice system really is.
They are known for getting in people’s faces.” Actually, they are known for being confronted by other people.
Love it how the tele-prompter told the reporter to call the audits “verbal attacks” . I KNOW that wasn’t the verbiage she’d use. It was forced upon her.
Finally the cops are starting to think about what they are doing
4:30 Here’s the thing, they don’t come up and put their hands all over cops, they don’t walk up to cops trying to dominate every encounter. Some of them may, but the majority of them obviously don’t. And so what if they are trying to provoke these cops? if the cops can’t handle their temper around these guys, even when they know they are being filmed, how well do you think they handle that temper with people when their isn’t a camera around?!?! This video being shown with the cop being interviewed does NOT paint him in a good light and it’s a perfect example of why 1st amendment auditors are needed. Oh yeah, talking about the Freedom News Now guy when he said “they beat their wives” or whatever. He was trying to provoke an angry response, because cops are PAID to keep their cool when dealing with people like him. Who cares if they don’t actually beat their wives, I’m sure some of them don’t! Regardless, the police lie to the public all the time trying to provoke the response they want from us. The only difference is if they get the response they want, we end up in prison for a long time whether we’re guilty or not… But that’s ok I suppose.
Last cop went hands on as soon as he stepped out of the door. That cop is the reason why we need the auditors.
The irony of explaining how the auditor filmed that tank place out front, to only do it in the last segment of the video themselves but with a way bigger camera 😂

Officer John Smyly Throws a Temper Tantrum And Pretends He’s Scared To Excuse Pulling A Gun


John Smyly, a former Boulder Colorado Police officer detains a man, Zayde Atkinson with no RAS. When he refuses to ID the way the cop wants him to, John Smyly escalates the situation. He tries to make his victim sit like a dog, for no reason other than to assert dominance over him. When Zayde Atkinson refuses, Smyly threatens to tase him. When Zayde continues to refuse to be John Smyly’s b****, Smyly brandished a fire arm to try to further intimidate his victim into compliance. The man he tried to bully and intimidate, Zayde Atkinson, NEVER gave in. Smyly was allowed to resign, and is likely working for another department at this time. If you know what department Smyly is working it, please email that information to realjamesfreeman@gmail.com, so I can publicly publish that information, warning potential new victims.

ID Refusal by Boulder Colorado man, Zayde Atkinson results in threats and officer John Smyly brandishing a fire arm.



I remember this video when it first released these cops are just so utterly pathetic it’s disgusting and it really isn’t going to stop until we stand up and physically defend ourselves


Why was he allowed to resign? Should have been stripped of all official credentials. And then jailed for up to ten years.
I’ve seen this video maybe six times at this point since it was originally released and the more times I watch it the more absurd it becomes. This video is a perfect example where you could be minding your business not breaking any law and even going out of your way above and beyond to placate a psycho in a costume and still almost become a murder victim on the street by that psycho in a costume.
And they wonder why people hate the police.
There isn’t any manner you can perform any action in this country that LE can’t twist into something suspicious.
They keep asking him to “sit down” as in their eyes that’s him submitting to them and they win their sick mind games.
Even the cop apologists think the police are terrorists… They say, if you obey and submit then you will prevent the violence that is otherwise guaranteed.
>> Rapist mentality. See what you made me do?
When a cop knows he is being unlawful but continues the lie anyway
This cop Escalated that whole situation!
What is most scary is that, to become a judge takes between 8/10 years training, it takes between 6/8 years to become a lawyer. But it only takes around 6 months to become a LEO’s. This in itself is just crazy, how can a LEO’s understand law & enforce such law with minimum training is beggars belief. It’s like getting children being in charge to educate adults in how to be an adult. It’s a system that is programed to fail. Crazy world hey.
What is most scary is that, to become a judge takes between 8/10 years training, it takes between 6/8 years to become a lawyer. But it only takes around 6 months to become a LEO’s. This in itself is just crazy, how can a LEO’s understand law & enforce such law with minimum training is beggars belief. It’s like getting children being in charge to educate adults in how to be an adult. It’s a system that is programed to fail. Crazy world hey.
They should be handing out deadly buckets and ‘garbage picker-uppers’ to officers.
“Sorry, you cleaning up trash at is suspicious behavior. We need to treat you like a threat now” – Police 2022
Even “if” he was trespassing on private property he was picking up trash on private property… Um that’s a good thing right?!
I didn’t realize that he gave him an ID with his name….he still escalated this situation?!
What people don’t understand that these type of interactions happen more often then people think. James keep up your good work and fight for liberty and justice and to keep cops in check. 🇺🇸
Wow the Ego just doesn’t stop with this cop. I’m proud of how this man handled the unwelcome invasion of government on HIS property. 👍🏼
“All you have to do is comply”. Sounds familiar “……once compliance becomes part of the culture” – Boston Mayor Michelle Wu
Oldie but a goodie, Almost certainly got picked up by another department
That got my blood boiling. Hats off to this guy for refusing to sit like an obedient dog!
This guy was awesome the way he stood up for his rights. Imagine how many people get violated by police because they don’t know their rights or are just afraid. Always film police!!
And a half dozen cops with itchy-fingers surround him waiting for an excuse to gun him down, and frightening what law enforcement has evolved to and they wonder why targets are on their backs now.
Tasers are a training tool, much like the collar on your puppy… it speaks a universal language of, “do what I say, or you’re gonna get zapped again until you learn”,…. Understandably there are instances when it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary for such activities. “Get on the ground because I said so”, probably isn’t one of those,……

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I was just gonna say the same thing! The bootlickers that “just comply” and don’t know there rights are the reason we are in the situation we are now.
And just think, this is just “1” instance of this kind of abuse brought to light. Gotta wonder how many events like this end very differently because somebody refuses to comply with an “unlawful” order by a uniformed bully with a badge. This event should have been career ending for psycho shoat!
It’s called harassing people just because he wants to prove the point he’s wrong
Cops remind me of terrible poker players. They bet too big, too early with an extraordinarily weak hand and get pot committed to where they must go all in in with no chance of winning. It’s also hilarious at 18:25 how the cop sneaks up on the bucket and the grabber like it’s actually a dangerous item
“We see you out here picking up trash and that’s clearly a sign of a hardened criminal.”
I can’t remember how many times I’ve watched this… but each and every time I’m left with a definite fact: This college student is a Psychology Major!!! It’s confirmed each and every time he asks the officer, “and how do you feel about that?”
There’s a far more dangerous cop running around Colorado. His name is Chris Dickey and he’s cost taxpayers over $1,000,000 in lawsuits (He and his partner murdered a suicidal veteran having a PTSD episode, he and his partner severely beat a motorist who had a diabetic episode and crashed, he deployed a taser on a protester on public property who didn’t ID) and I believe he’s a deputy in Grand County.
100% ego!!! The fact that he can’t let it go even when told to by his supervisor means he WILL KILL SOMEONE one-day. Count on it.
They know he’s no threat but they are obsessed with getting him to sit down as they see that as him submitting.
I’ve seem this video so many times, I can literally say every word they say in unison. Thing is , even after all those views, all those channels, I STILL find it one of the most telling videos on there right now. It shows broken police policies and behaviors. How they can turn anything Into a weapon, a crime, constitutional violation, and the other cops question nothing. The fact ONLY one officer was fired is Insane. He was the sacrifice, but all the others went with it. If it wasn’t for the bodycam, witnesses, and cameras on the cops, that kid would have been beaten , razed, or even shot. Ridiculous, every one of them should be fired and charged.

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I’ve already watched this video and a few other similar ones, so I think it’s advisable for people to carry the documentation of their properties or lease contracts under their arm or they risk being arrested for trespassing in their own home. How can there be a trespassing crime without the owner requesting it??????????????????
Notice that as soon as the other cops arrive the trash grabber changes from “weapon” to “object”, he knew he was being an absurd liar.
Wow that crazy story he tells his manager is insane. Guy it’s all on camera.
There was absolutely no reason for this cop to even speak to this guy.
Notice how he described the grabbed as “sort of a blunt object”. That’s the games these thugs play.
According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Smyly was hired in January on a two-year term position as a civilian training and development coordinator in the sheriff’s computer support unit. As of 9 22 20 Boulder Daily Camera
These trash grabbers are so common officer tyrant knows exactly what he’s holding.
COP= Control Obsessed Psycho
Pro active policing …? What interaction about this footage was positive? ~ I wonder if this cop still to this day thinks what he did was lawful and if he has any regrets?
my favorite part is the jump in logic that not only someone must be trespassing if he thinks they are, but that a trespasser showed up to pick up trash illegally.
Accusation before investigation! Guilty before proven innocent! How much training is needed to understand the mistakes in these two statements?
“He was sitting around, milling about with a metal thing and banging it on another thing near a no trespassing sign” ..”your partner just confirmed he lives here”.. ” I dont know who he is”. The copsplaining is insane here. “We cant even talk unless you are in the sitting position i commanded you to take, even though this entire encounter is unlawful from the start and I already had confirmation of the info I obtained on unlawful premises”. Further sad was the citizen telling this victim to chill out.
The cop could have easily went inside and investigated but it’s easier for them to intimidate someone into a confession. It’s to expensive for most people to afford a lawyer so they plea or confess. The plea or confession also prevents civil action, thus reinforcing the officers actions.
Hey isn’t it cute how the state will show up on your property and Surround you and point their guns at you while claiming you are a threat but if you do it to them while being armed only with your first amendment they claim it’s insurgence or disturbing the peace
This is an insane abuse of power. This cop has probably always “felt threatened” in his life. Should have never been a cop.
“This officer was ready to kill me sir” a powerful statement indubitably. 👏
That police officer should not have been allowed to resign, he should have been fired and charged for his crimes, but the thin blue line protected him.
James don’t forget it’s the “day and age we live in” that’s the cousin to the”you got id”. That shit is highly addictive, hopefully in the future it’ll wipes out every pig and piglet suffering from this addiction.
Love this man’s courage to stand up for his rights, every cop on this call should be fired for not insisting that this pig stop this completely illegal detainment also he lied about what he observed right from the get go
I’ve seen this one before. This guy was great. He had the guts to back down eight cops with their guns drawn. It’s so important to let cops know their power is limited. They aren’t kings who can do what ever they please.
I’ve seen this before and it’s infuriating. This is called, “being within sight of a cop while black“. This cop should do jail time. I counted six cops there surrounding this lawful citizen and not one had the decency to tell that POS ENOUGH. They are all sick and when you are in contact with one, no matter what the situation, your life is in danger. Only dangerous, sick people seek the job of a cop. I won’t change my mind about how unstable cops are until they LEAVE people who are not breaking the law alone. I think I’ll be waiting a long time.
I remember watching this video when it first came out. Watching it again pissed me off just as much. Who is this cop who thinks he can go around asking Americans if they belong on any property when there was no 911 call. He’s totally on an ego trip. Guy with a stick was never close enough to him to be justified in shooting him. Idiot
I love how the young man vehemently stood up for himself. I hope these officers hear his voice on repeat every time they fuck up. “How do feel? How do feel now? How do feel about that?”
i love how he just twisted a lil bit of the details to his encounter with him… was so butt hurt he couldn’t get his DOB and make him sit on the ground like a dog
Why tf would their cameras ever have a mute button? Or right , the game is rigged
In defense of an officer please refer to these Redcoats as Redcoats or other demeaning terms of authoritarian revenue collectors!
I wonder how a cop would feel if the person he was confronting gave a call and people start emerging from all round, surround the cop? It is downright creepy how they do this. What is worse is that no-one questions or clarifies the call out.
I’ve seen this ….. blatent harassment …. ego driven , the nerve to call the garbage tool a weapon !!! …..
“He had a metal object stabbing, I didn’t know if he was damaging something. ….then I noticed it is used to pick up trash ….then he picked up the metal object again “ His lies are SO EASILY detectable! 😣😣😣
As much as I appreciate the time and effort and activism…I really can’t watch to many more of these vids without pulling my hair out . Needs to be something done about it other then just an awareness . Before certain entities start getting splattered .
That young man is a REAL American, standing up for his rights!!
I remember seeing this the day it was originally uploaded.. Boulder and Denver cops still haven’t changed. Shit is sad.
I love when a cop says “subject is failing to comply “it almost like cops think citizens are slaves to them..!!!
My favorite line is when the victim says that the cop had his gun out and the cop says “it wasn’t even pointed at you” as if that makes it all OK
Qualified IMPUNITY on display!
* According to a news article* “Smyly resigned prior to the conclusion of the disciplinary process, but police indicated the process would have likely resulted in suspension or termination. As part of a settlement with the city, Smyly remained under city employment until February as he exhausted accrued holiday, sick and administrative leave. According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Smyly was hired in January on a two-year term position as a civilian training and development coordinator in the sheriff’s computer support unit.” Be careful that he is not hired again with the police dept. when this 2 year temp job is finished.

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You very accurately indicated the Crucible method of policing… They make the citizen try to prove their innocence
All channels of this type constantly say, “cops dont know the law,” and things like that…. This is not true, cops do know at least the basics. Some just choose to constantly do the wrong thing because they have no consequences.
I remember this video. The ego on Smyly was out of control. Zane should have made Smyly hand him his bucket and trash picker upper. The fact that Smyly wouldn’t give the ID back after his supervisor told him to was insane. The fact this egomaniac is in another department and still terrorizing other citizens is scary. Agree 100% cops should not be allowed to mute thier BWC for a certain time before, during an interaction, and a certain point of time after. I can’t remember for sure but I think Zane (the guy harassed by Smyly) did sue. Would be nice if Smyly had to apologize and pay some sort of damage out of his own pocket. This whole interaction was disturbing.
I remember this video a long time ago,with over 1 million views…This officer is upset because Mr Atkinson refused to listen to unlawful order
The victim had 2 weapons, common sense and a brain. Both lethal to today’s cops.
When dirty cops are not held accountable. We The people will hold them accountable. One way or another
The danger in calling backup for a noncompliant man with a weapon… If he did get hurt or killed as a consequence he’d make excuses and blame the victim
Imagine telling a dude that is cleaning dirt in front of a building that he is trespassing. Like, do people just go to other peoples property and clean their trash??
I never understood why this officer harasses this citizen… we also know had the guy given his name, the officer would have wanted to “pat him down”. What’s worse is once they knew he lived there they should have left right then and there.
Apart from the fact that he has no legal obligation to identify, having his name in a database is not a good idea. If he is stopped in the future and his name ran, he will come under greater scrutiny having been checked for a “crime” previously. This can, at the least cost him his time or give them time to find a crime.
When I see someone picking up trash at daytime, with earphones on, I immediately think “This guy’s looking to rob the place for sure”.
If this is how this thug acts at work just imagine if he has a spouse, kids, or a pet and what they might go through.
This is the 3rd or 4th time ive seen this video. Thankfully the citizen wasn’t hurt. It shows so many aspects of poor policing. No crime was reported. No crime committed. Muting of bodycam. Escalation by police officer. Its really quite sad.
How can any of the other deputies be taken seriously after this? I would look at them and laugh.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the young man switched his major so he could become a civil rights attorney.
If I were a cop, which will never happen, and I were one of the policemen that later showed up, I would’ve had the courage to speak up and say, “This is stupid let’s leave this guy alone”, but none of them have the backbone to do so.
You should have demanded he surrender his certification as part of the settlement, I guarantee he is still doing this kind of behavior and has already corrupted another department!
18:26 Officer Sneaky creeping up on the bucket and claw like it was a Western Brown snake and he was fixin’ to wrangle it. Instead he committed a fourth amendment violation by seizing the man’s property.
20:43 If you haven’t figured it out yet Smyly, you have shown that you are a) incompetent, and b) not at all capable of figuring this situation out, and never will.
23:19 No, Smyly, you did not “contact him”. There was no touching between you and the man whom you trespassed upon.
The officer initial officer tells the sergeant I recognize it’s a device to pick up trash but then a sentence later he says picks up the object because the officer realized he f*** up when he said the guy had a weapon. He just admitted to the sergeant that prior to him making the call for back up he knew that it was a device to pick up trash. No wonder the guy got fired
Anyone want to know what a police state looks like? Watch this video again… This confrontation was a “near death” experience.
This video is still really frustrating to watch. “I didn’t even point my gun at you sir!” The fuck? Let’s see your reaction when someone brandishes a hand gun!
This cop thinks he’s the hero we deserve and without his intervention the city would crumble. James Madison audits just posted a video with officer Velez. Velez has the same hero complex and it’s just a matter of time before he pulls some crazy shit like smyly
The officer says he has a gun in his hand because you’re not listening, I didn’t know guns were hearing devices.
THE COP HAD NO BUSINESS ASKING HIM ANYTHING. He gave him the apartment. Number already a long time ago.
No this officer didn’t get the privilege of going to a new department, BLM made great changes to policing in America with those billions of dollars they raised. For example, BLM changed who and how settlements we’re paid, who and how cops are investigated, cops that violate rights lose their pension. There’s a whole slew of things BLM changed with all that money and destruction.
Anybody ever see how flimsy those grabber things are?
If he quit which he did it allows him to still be rehired by another agency or the next city over
If he quit which he did it allows him to still be rehired by another agency or the next city over

Pueblo, CO PD – Illegal Detainment for Photography – Settlement Reached – Documents in Description

Here is the body cam video from my illegal detainment in Pueblo, CO along with the settlement reached.


Settlement – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByFa…

Policy Redline – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByFa…

Check – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CaDr…


Original Body Cam Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ0wY…

My Body Cam Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgFC0…

My Livestream – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_2ZM…



This is how ALL other audit videos should look like. The video, the complaint & the outcome of the incident. Great work. 👍
Well done sir! A very thorough job. I may have missed it, but was any disciplinary action taken? My biggest disappointment with disciplinary action, in the rare event that any takes place, is that it focusses solely on the bad cop – it never includes the other cops stood around who, by training, should recognise that the cop is wrong & step in. To me, they are equally guilty by being complicit in his actions. Indeed, if it were the other way round, any of your attending colleagues would no doubt be arrested for conspiracy. Perhaps a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but it really boils my piss.

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That supervisor was an outstanding Leo. Rare in this age.
This is how Auditors should act, at no time did he purposely antagonize the Police Officers and he complied with their orders (he did everything right) – The Auditor has my respect in this instance. I applaud the Supervisor for recognizing the law and respecting the Auditor’s rights, acting like a gentlemen the whole time.
The sad part is the taxpayers pay for their mistakes.
“We didn’t do anything wrong…..here’s your 41 Grand.”
this should be a training video for every PD and law enforcement in this country! when will they learn?

>> When it’s taken from their paychecks instead of the taxpayers

Beautifulllllll…..more valuable than the Cash is the POLICY CHANGE…..well done Bro….thanks for your Patriotic Service…im a new Sub.
Finally….someone who ignores the cop
I’d like to compliment the supervisor for knowing the law. Immediately he schooled the cop who arrested you. But he also handled it professionally. Another example that there are good and knowledgeable officers on out there. That makes me happy!
Congrats… it’s great to see that Leo’s are held accountable and that policies need to be changed. It would better great to take a few of these wins and present them to other city councils in that area or state to see if they can encourage a policy review for other depts and their training on how to handle public videography.
The fact the police all over the globe truly believe that the buildings for public interest, made with tax payer money, are privately owned by the government as if it’s a military installation is like believing in Santa Claus.
THIS is what we need to see more of! No violence, illegal detainment, and final settlement. Thankyou for sharing, especially policy changes. Knowledge is EVERYTHING!!!!
Congratulations on the settlement. This is Police 101. Reasonable Articulable Suspision. He didn’t have charge the first and still cuffed and detained you. They had this loss coming.
Great job Sir. I enjoy this type of video and information. You held your cool. I have seen quite a few videos that kind of disturb me, where the Auditor try’s to antagonize those who have stopped them. Congratulations on the video and you were settlement.
You more than deserve it this win. Good job to the supervisor for being so honest up front. He is the kind of officer we need. This money is a lesson to the town for the rest of us taxpayers rights also. Education. Thank you
It would have been nice if the police depts would do away with department POLICIES and follow constitutional law instead.
Was that dumb cop saying “and I’m fine with that” to the supervisor in reference to picture taking? if he’s fine with that, why did he get physical, then proceed to shackle the man? Did he realize he screwed up while talking to the superior and say that in an attempt to downplay what he did and seem less hostile? How is it possible for a cop to be unaware of so-called auditors?
My 2 cents: holding a camera, having an internet presence, or being an activist shouldn’t matter. Police must stop detaining citizens illegally during their fishing trips. I’m very happy this auditor has made a change but do we all have to live stream our daily activity to ensure police won’t violate our rights?
Supervisor recognized you, knew exactly what you were doing and what your YouTube handle was. It would have been nice if he’d shared his knowledge with the rest of his department before it cost the Pueblo taxpayers $41,000.00.
When you see videos of this type, you really begin to understand the long term damage the 911 hijackers have done.
The changes in the policy itself makes this a big win…good job my man!
I had seen the original video but not this followup – holy shit their policy before Red-Lines was completely a violation of rights – I feel bad for officers that had such poor guidance to follow.
Seizure policy is horrible, it has a carve out to allow police to seize recordings without a warrant, by stating that they must secure a warrant within 72 hours of the seizure which already happened WITHOUT a warrant.
Most of these videos I have seen, YOU (the First Amendment auditor) expect to be treated with the utmost respect but you treat the officers like dirt. This auditor, when approached in what I would consider to be a non-confrontational manner by the officer and greeted in a non-aggressive way, instead of answering a simple question which would probably have resulted in the officer talking to you for a brief period of time, you turned your back and began walking away. Your reaction was that of somebody who may have been committing a crime or considering committing a crime, which would understandably raise certain suspicions in the officers mind. A simple “I am taking some pictures” response may have been enough to send the officer on his way without further incident. In my opinion, YOU were the one who escalated the situation to what it became. Was handcuffing you wrong? It was an over reaction but I believe your being courteous may have gone a long way to preventing that.
It’s fair that they would reach a settlement, though – can’t detain someone when there’s been no report of a crime nor any reason to suspect one, and it’s pretty blatant that there hasn’t been. Cops can stop you for questioning but they can’t really detain you or stop you from leaving when there’s no lawful reason to do so.
Nice job. However, that would be considered and arrest under the law and court precedent. Not a simple detainment. People need to research this and understand it. Hope that helps.
It must be mentioned that when the senior officer arrived, and listened to the vacuous explanation given to him by the arresting officer, as to why an innocent citizen was In cuffs, he seemed well aware of the 1st amendment auditing community and there “strike force”, which makes me wonder why the hell he hadn’t taught the officers under his command to leave auditors alone. That shows that his leadership is poor, and that he underestimated the impact an auditor could have on his department, both financially and in terms of negative publicity, if they illegally detained citizens. The arresting officer, like the majority of cops in the US, had an IQ that would struggle to reach room temperature in a heatwave. He is the kind of cop who would be struck dumb if you asked him to name the top five authors of the books he’s read in recent years. Or if you asked him to name a county beginning with a U. He enforces his emotions and ego not the laws , which he forgot about half an hour after he graduated from the academy. The only way to officially win in the battle to return America to “ THE LAND OF THE FREE “ is to make law enforcement pay in hard cash and to force them to rewrite there policy out of shame. You achieved this and more, which is as rare as rocking horse shit. I congratulate you for all the people fighting to maintain there rights under the law and bill of rights. “ Make America free again”
I live in Pueblo and recently they have been using excessive force way beyond what it ever was
The supervisor knew who you were immediately. He is probably a long time subscriber. Makes you wonder how many cops around the country trying to do the right thing look for videos like this.
There is only one thing I would want to see added to the list of changes: Any officer who sees a fellow officer violating these rules MUST IMMEDIATELY release the subject, or face the same consequences (suspension up to termination) as the offending officer”. This will prevent instances such as 1:55 “Can you tell this officer to take his hands off me and to uncuff me?” “No, I don’t want to tell him anything”.
The $ is OK but the policy changes are as they should be. Congrats.
Good for you!!!! The monetary portion is just to hit the pockets a little so they don’t do it to someone else. what’s HuGE is the policy update. Must feel nice to have this completed
Making the constitution respected. Thank you sir
im working with Texas lawmakers to have all police officers have their own personal liability insurance policy
Wow.. that was a fast payout. I can’t say that I wouldn’t take the money.. but by u accepting the settlement, the party responsible faces NO legal consequences for their actions. You probably could have got charges pressed against him and filed a civil suit had u not settled. Either way, maybe this department learned a valued lesson. Nice work 👍

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Good follow through. The cops probably would have paid more for some consulting firm and studies to CONSIDER those changes had you not filed suit. Maybe you actually saved them money! 😇
“I got one in custody here”..what did he do? “Take a picture in public”…do these guys not understand how ridiculous this is? Beyond ridiculous..
The cuffing ociffer says “I’m fine with that” when the supervisor explained what was going on but yet apprehends and detains a man taking pictures from a public sidewalk and ignoring his unlawful commands. So he’s fine with nabbing a citizen and cuffing them for something he is “fine with” them doing. Any 8th grader can pass the test required for civil service, law enforcement and military employment. No useful intellectual skills required.
The funny part is that most of their ” new policy” is already covered under the 1st amendment. It was already legal to record from public places, so what makes anyone think this is going to change anything. They were violating the rights of people already, nothing will change with this piece of paper.
Perfect. I agree with the general purpose of police auditors, but I see too many being overly aggressive and rude just for the sake of a video. Very well done in this case.
This was pure ego. He didn’t like the fact that you ignored him so he put you in handcuffs, prioritizing his feelings over the law. These are the kind of cops that need to be weeded out. He unmasked himself as a tyrant when he told you that you weren’t in control Even though you hadn’t done anything to suggest you were or were about to commit a crime. How hard is it to learn the constitution And prioritize rights over personal feelings?

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I have said time and time again. And will say it till something is done about law enforcement today. In this day and age ( as the cops always say ) we no longer have police that protect and serve. We don’t even have law enforcement. What we have is ego tripping out of control bullies with guns and badges ,that use gestapo tactics on the public that pay them. The police are no longer professional officers. They are gang members out to get you . And they wonder why there is a disconnect with the police and the public.. Always record the police, you just may save a life.

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5:19 I love how Romero said he’s fine with what the auditor was doing. WTF?!!! Why cuff him then asshole? Is it because your authority got challenged and your feelings were hurt when he didn’t want to talk to you?
Why do police officers always react so aggressive when someone has a camera
If this comes from the insurance policy it may raise their premiums or they would just keep asking for more money or write more tickets. Another thing is if more people do this and take it to court the cops and judicial system would get bogged down so much they would ask for a raise or just stop harassing because it is not worth it. Good job filming keep them accountable.
I believe the $41,000 is paid by their insurance company, I would think that the insurance companies would take a closer look at why they pay out for false arrest so often, because they certainly do when someone gets a number of traffic tickets.
Although taxpayers pay these are still the most satisfying videos. Cops should have to pay at least a portion of all settlements even if its 5%.
i just wish the offending cop would pay a fraction of the settlement from his own pocket this would make all these cops think a little harder before putting their hands on people
What’s up with Colorado? this is the second time I have seen them payout $41,000 to an auditor who was illegally detained, why not all the other states, do they have outside insurance? if so how do we get all the other states to get insurance?
I bet they won’t make that mistake again. Blame the captain for that loss. He should of briefed his officers about 1st amendment auditors. The changes are exactly what these auditors are achieving and teaching us all the rights that we have as civilians when dealing with cops. Nice job.
Cops need to be put in their place big time. Some cops I know are ok. But a majority of them are not.
>> None are ok. So long as they stand there are watch it happen and do nothing to stop it, they are just as guilty.
The backup cop looks like he really doesn’t approve of his partner.
And there you have it , one of the reasons why taxpayers taxes are increased on a national basis or maybe I could be wrong.

>> Get the supreme court to repeal qualified immunity and the cops will be on the hook themselves

If that officer wasn’t wearing the body camera… IDK if the supervisor would’ve been so quick to let you go. Did no one else notice the supervisor look at the body camera (5:12)?
It sucks the supervisor knew who you were already, but it took a court settlement to change policy on how they address the public
The supervisor looked down to chick if the officer’s camera is on or not, then when he sow it on he decided to follow the rules
That’s stupid. The supervisor was very familiar with this first amendment audit movement and didn’t inform his officers about it.
Seems Colorado is among the easier states to get any settlement from wrongdoings by the police… Other states’ prosecutors would go bonkers and file any made up charges to get some kind of conviction. Oh,, plus shop for judges.
Most police officers are not educated enough to do there job properly. In this case I believe the city should pay for this mistake, not the officer. Money is the end all, so when you begin taking away $. The politicans start giving a damn. This means they will begin educating there officers and firing the officers who don’t give a damn. I really like this auditor, because he knows when to not talk.
Have you ever been to Pueblo? It is a run-down, dirty desert snakepit. So it is no surprise that the Pueblo cops use heavy-handed tactics.
So many will say you won a lot of money. So many have NO idea how much the attorney fees kept before you saw a single penny. They mostly believe that was all your to keep. But I am happy you stood up for your values and not for how little money you would POSSIBLY get. Stress eat up any money you made a long time back. So your fight was the real payment in my eyes.
Auditors are cancer, not experts on the law. They research specific laws and rehearse before they go out and bait police officers by doing something out of the ordinary and weird looking. If they’re lucky, they make a quick buck by doing it and potentially ruining someone’s career. It’s an officers job to know the law I agree, but they’re not lawyers. If something wrongful happens to you by a cop then take it to court, don’t bait a police officer it’s disgusting and pathetic. By the way, the money came from the tax payers, so drop the “we the people” act.
The officer with rank that didnt intervene should lose his rank
my rights have been violated for 30 year’s.. I’m going to start video recording every stop
If that supervisor knew the photographer was acting within his rights, why didn’t all the department know? Where was the training? Ignorant assholes is what they are. I hope this guy wins a huge lawsuit. [EDIT] I see that at the end they did win. Good for them! AND, there will be LESS of these kinds of stops in the future, which is a huge win.
In the Philippines, we don’t need SUPERVISOR to know what to do even our PO1 (POLICE OFFICER1) knows that he done nothing wrong. If Americans think that we have different law and policies, well guess what, we adopt from your own.
What irks me is how the ‘Corporal’ didnt know crap. Thats the scond cop that showed up and just assisted in the illegal detainment. In the Army, Corporal is one higher than a Private. I guess it holds true in the police dept.
Handcuffing someone is too nonchalant these days
Oh I remember this horse’s a$$.
Escalation, retaliation, lie, entrap, harass, cover up, plant evidence, murder, rape murder abuse and traffic children, blue wall of silence, extort, intimidate, violate, manipulate, fabricate, incarcerate. That’s how some police “protect and serve” in “this day and age”.
I don’t use attorney for this crap I represent myself and get all the Money
Very educational moment. I wonder if police would have meet a mute person. Because if I was mute the police would have a problem communicating. I wonder if this police officer meets a camera what he would do.
It was at 1:37 that Officer Romero knew he fucked up…btw this is the right way to respond ymto an illegal detainment don’t argue or get physical he can get you for disorderly conduct or assaulting a police officer
I get you have “rights”….but why????? Why are you taking pics – sole reason is to cause conflict /engage an officer so you can make some money?!? We live in a CRAZY, CRAZY world FULL of people who want to cause harm to others – who’s to say that you aren’t one of them?? I’m all about our rights as citizens – but what you were doing was just CREEPY AND SUSPICIOUS!!! Those PO’s could have been doing somethjng more meaningful that dealing with your skinny ass!! One of these days, you might need those officers – I hope they remember you and take their “sweet time” showing-up!!

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Have the cops heard of Google Earth?
Being arrested for what Google has already done.
Why are u messing with the Cops in pueblO? My advise is go home, legally enjoy the recreational weed you can buy. Enjoy the fact you can Smoke in your house and not worry about being arrested
You’ll sound smarter if you say detention not detainment.
>> Detention is locked up. Detainment is holding you for a so called investigation. 🇺🇸
He baited that cop. If he had ANY background on terrorism awareness then you wouldn’t do this shit. For all they knew you could of been planning a terrorist attack. Its pretty pathetic when you have ZERO knowledge on terrorist activities. Shame on that fool.
>> Thinking someone “might do something” doesnt give you the right to assault and kidnap them

Chevron “appointed” law firm can order opposition lawyer to get urine test at any time

Leader of Prestigious Yale Program Resigns, Citing Donor Pressure

The historian Beverly Gage, who has run the Grand Strategy course since 2017, says the university failed to stand up for academic freedom amid inappropriate efforts to influence the curriculum.

The Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy is one of Yale University’s most celebrated and prestigious programs. Over the course of a year, it allows a select group of about two dozen students to immerse themselves in classic texts of history and statecraft, while also rubbing shoulders with guest instructors drawn from the worlds of government, politics, military affairs and the media.

But now, a program created to train future leaders how to steer through the turbulent waters of history is facing a crisis of its own.

Beverly Gage, a historian of 20th-century politics who has led the program since 2017, has resigned, saying the university failed to stand up for academic freedom amid inappropriate efforts by its donors to influence its curriculum and faculty hiring.

The donors, both prominent and deep-pocketed, are Nicholas F. Brady, a former U.S. Treasury secretary under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and Charles B. Johnson, a mutual fund billionaire and leading Republican donor who in 2013 made a $250 million donation to Yale — the largest gift in its history.

Days after the 2020 presidential election, Professor Gage said, an opinion article in The New York Times by another instructor in the program calling Donald J. Trump a demagogue who threatened the Constitution prompted complaints from Mr. Brady.

Four months of wrangling over the program later, Professor Gage resigned after the university administration informed her that a new advisory board it was creating under previously ignored bylaws would be dominated by conservative figures of the donors’ choosing, including, against her strong objections, Henry A. Kissinger, the former secretary of state under President Richard M. Nixon.

Her resignation, which Yale has not yet made public, raises the question of where universities draw the line between honoring original agreements with donors and allowing them undue sway in academic affairs. It’s a question that can become turbocharged when colliding political visions, and the imperatives of fund-raising, are involved.

Since taking over the program, Professor Gage has expanded the syllabus to include grass-roots social movements, like the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and the civil rights movement in the United States. Until late last year, she said, she had received no criticism from the donors or the administration about the course’s direction.

In a statement, Yale’s president, Peter Salovey, offered praise for her teaching and scholarship. But the administration disputed her claims that Yale had given in to donor pressure.

Pericles Lewis, the university’s vice president for global strategy and vice provost for academic initiatives, said the university was simply adhering to its 2006 agreement with the donors, which Professor Gage had resisted.

“It wouldn’t have a controlling power,” he said of the board. “But I can understand why that would not be her cup of tea.”

What the administration sees as legitimate oversight, Professor Gage, who remains a tenured professor in the history department, sees as a sudden effort by the donors to establish “some form of surveillance and control” over the program.

“It’s very difficult to teach effectively or creatively in a situation where you are being second-guessed and undermined and not protected,” she said in an interview.

The Grand Strategy program was founded in 2000 by the Yale historians John Lewis Gaddis, a leading scholar of the Cold War, and Paul Kennedy, the author of “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers,” along with the diplomat Charles Hill, a former aide and adviser to George P. Shultz and Mr. Kissinger.

The idea was to teach leadership through an eclectic curriculum of classic texts, case-studies and crisis simulations, incorporating thinkers and topics from Thucydides, Sun Tzu, and Machiavelli to the Cold War.

The course “arose out of the desire to reaffirm the power of the big idea,” the journalist Molly Worthen wrote in “The Man on Whom Nothing Was Lost,” her 2005 biography of Mr. Hill. “It came from the professors’ alarm at the rise of the ‘wonk,’ the Clinton-era policy expert with no concept of broad context.”

The course quickly drew admirers (and imitators) well beyond Yale, along with plenty of suspicion on the predominantly liberal campus, where some saw it as a cultish bastion of retrograde “great man” history.

In 2006, it was formally endowed with a combined gift of $17.5 million from Mr. Johnson and Mr. Brady. In a 2013 article in The Yale Daily News, Professor Gaddis said Mr. Brady had given a single directive: “Teach common sense.”

“Grand Strategy” is a capacious but slippery concept, one that has generated continuing debates about its meaning. In his 2018 book “On Grand Strategy,” Professor Gaddis defined it as “the alignment of unlimited aspirations with necessarily limited capabilities.”

“Grand Strategy” is a capacious but notoriously slippery concept, one that has generated continuing debates about its meaning, and plenty of books.

In recent years, scholars have extended the concept to business, global public health, party politics and other areas.

Professor Gage, 49, has incorporated social movement strategy into the course. (In a recent essay, she described herself as someone who “was as likely to be a protester as a policymaker.”) She said she has sought to bring in a demographically, politically and intellectually diverse group of practitioners as teachers and guest speakers. Recent invitees have included the former defense secretary James N. Mattis; the conservative intellectual Yuval Levin; the civil rights lawyer Vanita Gupta, and the racial justice activist Heather McGhee.

Professor Kennedy said he supported the direction of the course under Professor Gage. “She is a very gifted leader and teacher,” he said.

Professor Gaddis echoed the sentiment, adding: “I don’t think the Yale administration has sufficiently insulated her. It is traditionally thought that the faculty determine the curriculum, and I think that’s how it should be.”

Professor Gage, who was recently nominated to the National Council on the Humanities, was renewed by Yale as program director in July 2020. (She is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and has written opinion pieces for The Times.) She described her previous relationship with the donors as supportive.

But she said the tone abruptly changed last November, a week after the presidential election, when Bryan Garsten, a Yale political scientist who teaches in the program, published an opinion article called “How to Protect America From the Next Donald Trump.”

The next day, Professor Gage received an email from Mr. Hill saying Mr. Brady had called “to grouse” about the article, “complaining that there was no grand strategy in it.” According to the email, which was viewed by The Times, Mr. Brady also said that “this is not what Charlie Johnson and I signed up for.” (Mr. Hill died last March, at 84.)

In a phone call with Professor Gage that day, Mr. Brady reiterated his view and began asking about the syllabus and practitioners. “It was strange, because none of that had changed much in the past three years,” she said.

Representatives for Mr. Brady, 91, and Mr. Johnson, 88, said they were unavailable for comment.

In another phone call, on Nov. 13, Professor Gage said, Mr. Brady lamented that the program isn’t “what it was.” When she pressed for specifics, he said she wasn’t teaching Grand Strategy “the way Henry Kissinger would.”

“I said, ‘That’s absolutely right. I am not teaching Grand Strategy the way Henry Kissinger would,’” she said.

Later that day, Mr. Brady sent her an excerpt from the 2006 donor agreement, outlining an outside five-member “board of visitors” that would advise on the appointments of the practitioners.

Professor Gage had never heard of this board, which had never been established. Dr. Lewis, the vice provost, told her he would look into it. Two weeks later, Dr. Lewis said he had confirmed details in the donor agreement, and Yale had a legal obligation to create the board.

Professor Gage wasn’t happy. But if it were created, she insisted to Dr. Lewis, it would need diversity across generational, ideological, methodological, racial and gender lines. And the donors could not be allowed to appoint its members.

Yale, she said, seemed to agree. What followed were nearly two months of back and forth, with Dr. Lewis sending along a string of suggestions — most of them Republicans or conservatives, Professor Gage said. She said she told him most would be fine, as long as the board had a diverse mix.

But in late February, things “started to head downhill.” she said. In a phone call, she said, Dr. Lewis told her that the donors were threatening to sue to reclaim the remaining Grand Strategy endowment. And it was suggested that Mr. Johnson’s $250 million donation might also be in doubt.

Dr. Lewis also said that Mr. Brady wanted a researcher whom he had previously commissioned to write a 2016 book about the program to observe class and report back.

On March 4, things came to a head. According to Professor Gage, Dr. Lewis told her that Mr. Johnson had what Dr. Lewis said was a mistaken impression that he could choose the board, and that he wanted to name Stephen J. Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush; Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey; and Mr. Kissinger.

Professor Gage told him the board lacked the necessary variety, and that she objected to Mr. Kissinger. “He represents the opposite of the generational shift I have been trying to make,” she said in the interview.

The next week, Professor Gage said, Dr. Lewis said Dr. Salovey was moving ahead with a board including those three men. And it would not include anyone with social-movement expertise, because the donors didn’t want that.

That evening, she spoke with Dr. Salovey, who asked her to see things “from the university’s perspective,” as she recalled it, describing it as a donor-management situation that would likely settle down.

She told him that unless Yale came out more strongly in favor of academic freedom and in support of the current program, she would resign. Several days later, she did so, effective in December.

Dr. Lewis called Professor Gage “an outstanding historian and a great teacher.” But in an interview with The Times, he pushed back on the notion that Yale had been swayed by donor pressure. Aside from a strong desire for Mr. Kissinger, he said, the donors did not pick any board members, beyond wanting an international relations focus (which he called “the original remit of the program”).

Dr. Lewis said the donors had not relayed any political concerns about the board or the program. “The way they expressed to me, it was more about wanting to be sure the goal of international engagement and so on was there, and that we had distinguished practitioners,” he said.

As for the suggestion that Mr. Brady’s researcher might attend class and report back, Dr. Lewis said the thought was that it might be time for “an update” to her book, which was published in 2016 — an idea, he said, that he ruled out.

Asked about Professor Gage’s claim that Dr. Salovey informed her that he intended to include three people on the board she has been told Mr. Johnson wanted, a spokeswoman for Yale declined to comment. “We’re not going to confirm this level of detail about private conversations,” she said.

Dr. Lewis said he did not recall if Mr. Johnson’s $250 million donation came up. Nor did he recall any threats of legal action, though there had been discussion whether the remaining funds could be put to other uses “if for some reason we felt Grand Strategy had reached the end of its time.”

Despite those conversations, Dr. Lewis said there were no plans to discontinue the program, which he called “one of the jewels in the crown of the Yale curriculum.”

Professor Gage said that at a time when many people are concerned about the lack of political diversity at elite campuses, it was ironic that the Grand Strategy program had come under fire.

“This program really tried to be something that lots of people say they want universities to be: a place of open engagement across ideological lines,” she said.