Morro Bay police chief tussles with YouTuber

February 9, 2018

During a dispute on Tuesday between Morro Bay police and a YouTuber who films officers, Police Chief Greg Allen and another officer physically took the cameraman to the ground after he refused to provide identification, video shows. Footage of the incident, as well as follow-up videos involving verbal tussles between YouTubers and Morro Bay police, have received thousands of views this week. [Cal Coast Times]

YouTuber “Nasty Nathanial” alleges Allen and the other officer violently threw him to the ground. The cameraman was then handcuffed and placed in a police car for about an hour before being let go without any charges, he said.

“I was not just detained. I was physically assaulted by the chief of police, Gregory Allen. I was thrown to the ground and, yeah. I was in a lot of pain. They put me in a police car for an hour or more in handcuffs that were on very tight,” Nasty Nathanial said in YouTube video. “I’ve never had an incident quite as extreme as this where I was physically assaulted by anyone, let alone members of law enforcement.”

The Morro Bay Police Department has since released a statement saying the videographer was detained for the purpose of determining he was not a threat to police or the community and “to verify his actions were not terrorist-related.”

Nasty Nathanial is a self-described “First Amendment Auditor,” who in recent months, has filmed numerous police and government employees in Southern California and on the Central Coast.

According to Morro Bay police, at about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nasty Nathanial was recording video footage while standing at the entrance to the police department parking lot dressed in all black military-style clothing with tucked in military boots. At that point, Allen was entering the parking lot, and he stopped to ask Nasty Nathanial what he was doing. Nasty Nathanial said he was filming police vehicles entering and exiting the lot, according to the police department.

Allen then learned from other officers that, moments prior, Nasty Nathanial had been recording video in the police department lobby. Shortly later, Allen and the other officer approached Nasty Nathanial, who had move to outside the front entrance to the police station.

Video shows the other officer stating Nasty Nathanial had committed a misdemeanor and violated the penal code while filming inside the police lobby. Meanwhile, Allen said his main concern was that Nasty Nathanial had been filming the back of the police station and that created officer safety concerns. Allen also said that in a lot of towns people do not have the best intentions for officers.

After both officers demanded Nasty Nathanial’s identification and the videographer did not comply, Allen lunged toward the camera and Nasty Nathanial then went to the ground, video shows.

“Chief Allen had an immediate concern for the safety of police employees based on his personal knowledge of past attacks of police stations,” the police department said in its statement. “An investigation into his identity and actions revealed he posed no public safety threat, and he was a self-proclaimed photo journalist and “First Amendment Auditor.” He was then no longer detained. The entire incident during Chief Allen’s participation in the detention occurred over a 45-60-minute period.”

The following day, Nasty Nathanial was joined in Morro Bay by fellow YouTuber “johnny five o.” The two videographers filmed additional footage of the police department.

In a YouTube video of his own, johnny five o claimed that, while detaining Nasty Nathanial, Morro Bay police called the SLO County District Attorney’s Office, which instructed them to let the videographer go because no crime had occurred.

Another video shows johnny five o calling the police department and speaking with Allen. The police chief hangs up after johnny five o briefly questions him about the incident and refuses to provide any identification other than “good citizen.”

Johnny five o then called back and said to Allen, “Listen bitch, you work for me. You don’t need to know who I am.”

The YouTuber warned Allen and the police department that they would receive 1,000 calls in protest of the incident with Nasty Nathanial. At least one other YouTuber followed suit and called the police department.


The problem I have with these “Gotcha” videos is that they never show the whole thing, just the edits of them being in the right. Let’s see the whole thing, what caused the problem in the first place?


there ya go. its a 1st amendment audit nothing illegal was done

The Identarian

Mr. Nasty should move to Oakland. Morro Bay? Ha. A town of old geezers. Oakland is more suitable. Lots of drugged out old lefties, mad people of color and a general sense of mayhem. Move Mr. Nasty, you’re wasting money and people generally think your an ass.


would be no difference if he were in front of your house filming your daughters , would you call the PD ? , I would AFTER i beat him nasty needs some time in jail


Yes there is a significant different. Your house is private property, the police station is public property.


regardless both CAN happen legally. as long as you are on PUBLIC property doing so such as a sidewalk welcome to the constitution


Just like in San Luis Obispo, every day becomes more and more like Nazi Germany. These cops don’t even know the law. Bullies with Badges! Heil Hitler Chief!


I hate to say this, but I have to somewhat agree with sweethome. Slo County does indeed have a slight 1980s East-German-style stink of oppression to it, with the possible exception of Los Osos.. These little towns on the Central Coast have a law for everything, and everything has a law…complete over-regulation.

I moved here three years ago and I was immediately shocked at how oppressive and anti-gay this place is, even though everyone here thinks they are enlightened and tolerant; they are not. If you are gay or non-white or non-Christian or poor I’d take a long, deep look at SLO County before moving here. I get the feeling that they just don’t want “our types” here.

Plus, when you factor in the wildfires, earthquakes, multi-year drought (yes, it’s back,) hypocrisy, oppression, racism, homophobia, etc., you suddenly realize that the Central Coast of California is not a what it pretends to be; they just have excellent marketing and lap dog local news who never challenge power. The inappropriately militarized police unlawfully discriminate, the city officials discriminate, many of the citizens of SLO County discriminate, and they all do it based on race and sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Morro Bay is one of the scariest pockets of Creepy Hillbilly I’ve encountered since I left the Deep South. As a matter of fact, Morro Bay has a very rural-Arkansas feel to it…gross!

I know that the citizens of Morro Bay and SLO County don’t want to hear it, but everyone needs to be made aware that we have a problem. The problem was not the auditor himself, but the RESPONSE to the auditor. Yes, auditors are annoying, but you do NOT handle the situation the way these bumbling keystone cops handled it. Instead of using violence, the chief should have been smarter and started a charm offensive with Nasty Nathaniel, denying him what he wants most of all: a violent conflict on camera. Invite him inside the precinct building, show him around, give him your best face, let him know about all the good things that Morro Bay has to offer visitors, and protect the tourism industry of Morro Bay! The police chief foolishly played right into this man’s hands and gave him EXACTLY what he wanted, in a spectacular fashion. Nasty Nathaniel outsmarted them all.

We pay good taxpayer money for police services, and we’re absolutely not getting our money’s worth! Unprofessional, bullying, petulant, violating a citizen’s rights out of immature anger, letting a Youtuber outsmart you…this police chief and his deputy buddy need to GO! We don’t live in the 1950s anymore, but apparently the Chief never got the memo.

One description that I saw made me laugh, due to its accuracy in describing Morro Bay:

“Mayberry on Crack”

Come on guys, we here on the Central Coast need to address this or we all come out of it looking like monsters. Aren’t we better than this?!?

I urge you all to go to Youtube and see the videos for yourself, including the videos showing the citizens of Morro Bay harassing and threatening the auditors and running them out of town.

Such an embarrassment…


If he sues and loses he and his attorney should have to pay all court costs plus the overtime all LEOs have to spend in court.


Why, we don’t make Sheriff Parkinson pay the 5 Million dollars he and his department cost us taxpayers. So when we start making those in the public sector pay the money they cost us when they get caught doing something they shouldn’t on the job, and maybe fire one or two then maybe we can start your idea but until then, No.


allan is no longer employed there

also the LEO broke the constiotution and the state laws by illegally detaining someone without probable cause and assaulting an unarmed civilian


Like the local fish wrap would do Chief Allen deserves a bouquet. Finally a real police officer as a chief who stands up for his men and department. Like I have posted earlier regarding this he was concerned about the safety of his employee’s and took the appropriate action when a person who was dressed in military garb was uncooperative. Like I mentioned before you can’t be too careful anymore. I think that any of us who own homes or businesses and had someone like this lurking around their property doing this that they would immediately call 911 and want the polce to investigate and if nothing else to identify the guy and determine his intentions. Good job chief I’m glad you acted like a policeman and not a politician.


“You can’t be too careful anymore” is a meaningless statement that disregards the actual statistics on both violent crime and crimes against public safety officers. This is not about people’s private property like homes and businesses, but rather filming on PUBLIC property. He did not act like a policeman, in fact he did the completely opposite that you are commending him for and acted like a politician, basing his decision NOT on the actual statistics nor actual law, but based on perception and gut feeling.

Niles Q

Why are you defending these people?

They were filming in a public place? OK, did they get a film permit from City Hall before they came to town and started filming what is essentially a commercial video?

Do they get releases signed by the people they film before publishing their videos? Do they pay their unwitting subjects (SAG wages $1,500 a day)?

Why do they make disparaging remarks about the people they video, as they did when they were in the Post Office the next day harassing the clerks and the people inside just doing their business with the post office?

Is it OK for them to zoom in on license plates and read them aloud, inciting their minions to possibly do harm to these folks, while broadcasting it all live on YouTube?

Is it OK to have their minions make racist remarks about Chief Allen in a running commentary of insults also posted on YouTube for all the world to see?

Or for them to tie up 9-1-1 the next day or to tie up the phones at City Hall and the Visitor’s Center with insulting and threatening crank phone calls?

This guy was acting suspiciously when the Chief first saw him in the alleyway behind the department and had been acting suspiciously prior to that.

Any reasonable person who sees some oddly dressed stranger videoing their house would call police to have the person checked out. Hell, the police ask people to do this — “If you see something, say something.”

Let me clue you in on something, when a policeman asks you for ID the conveersation is over. You’re need to produce it now and if you don’t that’s obstruction of an officer in the performance of his or her duties and yes, it is a crime.

It is not protected speech to conceal your identity from police officers who are investigating suspicious activity. People get arrested for obstructing like this all the time.

And going around hassling others, pushing buttons until they lash out is not journalism, it’s provocation.

Don’t people have a right to be left the hell alone and not have their images or their car license plates broadcast all over the world, and to be cut down with racist remarks by fringe types commenting online?

Don’t you have a right to not be included in a video some jackass is filming? Especially when you don’t know what that video will be used for?

This is one more example of the sickness that the Internet has wrought onto our society.



You stated so many things that are absolutely false that I don’t even know where to begin. But let’s start with this: facts and details matter, and what bothers me most is the confidence with which you assert incorrect information.

The guy considers himself an investigative journalist and while the quality of his journalism is certainly debatable, there is no permit required to film public officials on public property in the performance of their duties, whether it be for journalism, commercial use, or anything else. So this also negates your suggestion that he needs a release or that he should pay them SAG wages.

Next, they make disparaging remarks about the people they video partially because they’re assholes. I am not disputing that. But it is irrelevant.

“Let me clue you in on something…” It is NOT in fact obstruction of an officer to not produce your I.D. You are required to provide your real name, and that is all, end of story, go look up the law.

“Going around hassling others, pushing buttons until they lash out is not journalism, it’s provocation.” OK we can go either way on this. You can accept it as journalism, or I can accept it as provocation. But in the latter case, you’ve basically just zero’d in on the exact same justification given by people who feel harassed by police daily for resisting or otherwise getting violent by police. their “buttons pushed until they lash out.”

And your final questions are just basically you reiterating that you don’t understand the difference between some average joe being filmed in their private life and a public employee being filmed while engaged in their public employment on public property.


us constition, the supreme court disagrees with you mr nasty could have sued and easily won.

famous case that proves morro bay was massively in the wrong


XD allan is no longer employed there and for good reason. the law is above the officers not below


I’m getting tired of self-entitled whack jobs wasting people’s time. They should find a job; hahahaha. Their job is to be a whack job.


the officers? they have a job waste tax dollars just to assault ppl with cameras not breaking any laws


This guy Nate is a moron…simple as that… just do what the officer says, he’s doing his job. No sympathy or reflection from me, this spoiled child wants to get attention, play the victim and pretend he lives in a oppressive police state.


read up and know your rights.

more rights you give away the less you have. nazy germany should never rise again especially in the states. you are disgraceful

George Bailey

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am very disappointed in the behavior of Morro Bay Police Chief Greg Allen.

I appears in the video that Police Chief Allen was confused and did not understand the very penal code he is supposed to be enforcing, and I have to wonder about his competency and ability to lead the Morro Bay Police Department. Although the alleged perp, Nasty Nathanial, may have been acting strangely, to throw him to the ground and then detain him for an hour before releasing him uncharged makes no sense, and most likely exposes the taxpayers in Morro Bay to lawsuits and costly settlements, and Chief Alen should have known better than to let his underlings get him caught up in this baloney.

I encourage all citizens to watch the attached video and judge for themselves, but, in my opinion, this is a classic case of government overreach, and I believe Mr. Nasty is owed an apology.

Just saying,

George Bailey


Finally someone with some sense. You’re right that Nasty Nathaniel is quite the pest. Nonetheless it is entirely unprofessional to fall into his trap when in fact he had not broken the law and the idea that there is, in general, an increased threat to police is not at all based on factual reality.


I couldn’t agree more, George.