Consider contacting your local newspapers and let them know whats going on...
Don't let it go by without telling everyone you can about it. Otherwise, it will keep happening.
Before you do this, and I suggest you do if this persists, you need to find out what the ordinance is that you were called on. Go to Town Hall and have them cite the ordinance for you, and get a copy. I suspect it has something to do with the beaches closing at a certain hour. Cops are people, and the majority of them are just trying to do their jobs and enforce the law. But in situations like this, there are some grey areas, and if it's not a commonly enforced ordinance, the cops might be unfamiliar with the limits of the law and you personal freedoms. In fact, those cops might not even be local... lots of towns hire cops from other towns part time during the summer, further adding to the confusion.
But if you were right and they were wrong, keep a copy of that ordinance in your car, and if stopped again, do not challenge the cop, but simply say that, "it was explained to me by the Court Clerk (or whoever... it helps to have a name) that it's within my right to surf here at this time," and "I looked into it because I wanted to be sure I wasn't breaking the law... that's the last thing I want to do." Sometimes an approach like that can go a long way.
News reporters have certain freedoms we don't have, and that includes access to police records and "the books" in any town they cover. As a former newspaper reporter and editor, I know that the cops and the press have to maintain a relationship, and they can get a lot further than you can, if it comes to that. A little digging on their part can be pretty effective in clearing up the issue.
The worse case scenario for this incident is loosing a surf break without further explanation. LB Crew has the right idea, need the ordinance code and most importantly don't allow this incident to domino as a catalyst to apply mis-interpretation of local code to other favorite spots. Also not in best interest to challenge the local Police as whoever decides to further resolve this incident could gather support from additional allies.
If managed professionally as a public relations matter for local Police/Town Gov't the Surf Community could come out of this a big winner.
Here it comes. The nazi's have been unleashed! a group of about 10 of us got kicked out of the water last night. We were surfing a small PUBLIC break that sits next to a private beach club. Someone called the police (Adolf Hitler would be proud of them) and our sesh was ended. Now that the local rich people control beach access, oops, I mean the local towns the cops are starting to come out. There was no discussing this with the officers either. Both of the responding 5-0's were very nasty and unhappy, and threatened us with fines. I work with a few police officers and they have all told me that when you come across a cop like this do not even try to argue, you'll end up in cuffs for disorderly conduct with little chance of getting out of it.
So ARM YOURSELVES! With video cameras! Why, because a short video of an out of line police officer is worth a billion words! And they hate it and videos kick but in court. I wish I had a GoPro camera on me last night I'd have some good "Bad cop no donut" video.
Oh, this group of surfers, age range between 28 and 55, just everyday people trying to relax and enjoy some small summer surf, many of them grew up surfing this break and now it may be lost because the as "Well to do towns" as the news reports it, think they are better than us.I have some news for you Mr. Richy Rich, I served four years in the military to protect MY freedom to surf, and the freedom this country gives you and I WILL NOT go down with out a fight, and I will NEVER SURRENDER, unlike you I have a spine, unlike you I am a human being.
If you were breaking a law then the cops were doing their job by enforcing it. If you are confident you were not breaking any laws then stand your ground and deal with it in court if is comes to that.
We were not breaking an laws. People have been surfing this break for 40+ years. I have no idea of the specifics of why the police ended up there. My suspicions are that this has to do with the bill that Gov. Christie just signed giving the towns control over access to the beach/water. I'm almost certain this is the issue. Think about. Wealthy people make big campaign contributions, government officials need those contributions to advertise to get elected, wealthy people want to feel big and powerful and say "this is my beach" ha ha ha!, the wealthy people tell the government officials "keep these people off of my beach or you get no money from me", so the weak and pathetic government officials say o.k., the officials are pissed because they're realizing they're puppets on strings and **** rolls down hill, so by the time it gets to the police (OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS) it's out of control and the **** hits the fan and fly's all over the beach. If someone can work hard and honest and earn allot of money that's fine. Just don't think you can **** on everyone else. Because in reality when the things get bad in the world it's the hammer swinging people that pull it all back together! There are people who are far more familiar with this issue than I that are taking aggressive action to help correct this issue. I'm going to do what I can to keep involved and keep you informed. Maybe we need to have a critical mass paddle to show force. They certainly cannot arrest several hundred of us at once! It's been done with bicycles and skateboards why not surfboards!
Stay Thirsty My Friends, We Will Win!!!!!!!!
You did the right thing// Never argue with a Cop// they do so many good things, its a shame this type of thing happens. Matt is right- Call your Congressman immediately- I would also call the Police Dept & ask for an explanation. Historically, Surfers get a bad rap. I grew up in the 70's on Cocoa Beach- Redneck Cops & Longhairs were a bad mix. Not so true today for most of us- We pay taxes, own homes, serve in the military, etc.
You deserve an explanation & asking for one is OK- Good Luck.