A video that went viral last week shows a group of boaters who claim they got out of trouble with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office by playing a game of rock, paper, scissors with a deputy.
The incident happened near Peanut Island and the boater involved, Adam Freedman, told NBC 6 on Thursday that the game saved his group from paying around $500 in fines.
“He was like ‘oh you don’t have that, you don’t have that.’ In the end, it was probably three tickets that added up to $500, maybe more,” Freedman said.
Freedman said he and his friends were on the boat when they were arrested by deputies on April 6. That’s when Freedman said one of the deputies made them an offer.
“He kinda looks at me and he’s just like ‘I’m going to do you a favor, if you beat me in a game of rock, paper, scissors, shoot, I’ll take the tickets away and let you go,'” he said. Freeman.
The cellphone video of the encounter was originally posted on TikTok with the caption “we got out of a crime with rock paper scissors”, and it quickly went viral.
“In terms of actual crime, no, there was no crime,” Freedman said. “I think that’s the only time the officer cut people off, and he had fun with us and you don’t see that every day.”
But some who watched the video, which has racked up more than 20 million views on TikTok, saw it another way.
At least one person who commented called the incident an example of “nice privilege”.
“It could have been because of the girls, I should ask him to comment on whatever was on his mind because I was amazed he even asked the question,” Freedman said.
Another reviewer wrote “results may vary depending on skin color”.
“I was surprised, my friends are all African American, there was one on the boat,” Freedman said. “I’ve never seen anything like this where a cop was nice to us and had fun with us, I hope he wasn’t fired for anything.”
NBC 6 has learned that the incident is the subject of an active and ongoing internal affairs investigation by the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed their Marine Unit deputies were on the water at the time, but would not comment on details from the video or the deputies, citing this ongoing investigation.