Confrontation: D. Warmus is Awaiting Sentencing for Jan. 6 Riot:
‘First Amendment auditor’ films Wyoming County sheriff’s encounter; money made by internet ‘hit’ numbers
The Daily News, Batavia NY
A self-described journalist and “First Amendment auditor” filmed an encounter with the Wyoming County sheriff’s office in Warsaw on Friday.
Daniel Warmus, who operates his own YouTube channel, filmed an interaction with deputies and Sheriff Gregory Rudolph. It took place inside the county Government Center and Sheriff’s Office lobby.
In the video, deputies ask Warmus for his identification and he refuses, saying his Constitutional rights are being violated. That leads to an interaction in which he berates Rudolph and the sheriff’s personnel involved.
The video was posted to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page by supporters of Warmus. The Facebook page then received multiple hostile and abusive comments from people across the United States.
Warmus was not charged in the encounter. He has made other “audit” videos in the past, including Batavia City Hall, and the Attica and Medina police departments.
Warmus, 37, of Alden, Erie County, is nonetheless in unrelated legal trouble.
He accepted a plea deal in May in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot in Washington D.C. He admitted entering the building and remaining inside without permission.
He also bragged about smoking marijuana while inside the Capitol, according to initial media reports. He faces up to six months in prison, five years of probation and a fine of up to $5,000.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 12.
So-called “First Amendment auditors” aren’t widely known locally but have proven divisive.
Individuals film at police stations and other public locations, which on its own is not a crime. But the auditors, as they call themselves, are often confrontational, goading police and public officials to react improperly.
Such negative interactions can boost their internet hits, online profile and the resulting income generated.
Some auditors have also filed lawsuits against police agencies and municipalities if they’re detained or their equipment is confiscated.