Posts Tagged 'Police'

Arrested for Photographing LAPD

On June 2, 2013, while standing on a public sidewalk and approximately 90 ft. away, Shawn Nee was arrested for photographing officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.  The officers claimed he interfered with their police investigation.  Shawn was transported to the Hollywood police station, handcuffed to a bench, and escorted into an interrogation room where he was questioned by a detective.  The arrest lasted approximately  1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Shawn was eventually released without charge.

Protest in Anaheim

discarted

On July 21, Manuel Diaz, 25, was shot and killed by members of the Anaheim Police Department despite being unarmed.  The following night Joel Matthew Acevedo, 21, and a suspected gang member was shot to death by anti-gang officers after he allegedly fired upon them.  The deaths marked the fifth and sixth officer-involved shootings of this year, leading to peaceful and violent protests that have stretched out over two weeks. Both deaths are being investigated by the Orange County district attorney’s office and  the U.S. attorney’s office.  The FBI has also agreed to looked into the shootings to determine whether or not, if any civil rights violations occurred. The following images were captured on July 29.

Continue reading ‘Protest in Anaheim’

It’s the little things in your life that truly don’t matter

David Elop

It’s shocking to think that it takes a professional sports team to lose, in the grand scheme of things, a truly non-significant event (seriously, on a world scale of importance who actually knows or cares the Boston Bruins won the NHL championship?) to riot in the streets.  And this is coming from someone who grew up in Boston and lived there for more than two decades.

But no one seems to care when an Arizona police officer executes a man in his own home, and the cop’s own partner turns on him.  Frank Rodriguez was killed by Officer Richard Chrisman in October 2010 and nobody outside of Arizona’s Maricopa County seems to know about it. For instance, I just learned about Rodriguez’s death this week.  We should’ve all known about this last year, and you would think that a police officer being charged with second-degree murder would be national-headline news.  However, it’s not.  And you would think that people would riot in the streets over something like this, but they don’t.

The likelihood of you being killed by a police officer in the United States is far greater than you ever having a shot at losing the NHL championship.

Military Police Demand Camera

Despite this nice military policeman stationed outside Fort Leavenworth being all for First Amendment rights, his job apparently includes asking to see the photos protestors have taken of the post’s gates.

On the other hand, this video also shows that if you don’t kowtow to an officer’s unlawful demands and stand up for your rights some of them (like this officer) will back down because they most likely know what they’re saying to you is baseless nonsense.

Having a bunch of other people with cameras around you documenting the encounter also helps, so I wonder what the outcome would’ve been if the photographer was alone.

My guess is we would’ve seen a blog post describing how military personnel unlawfully arrested another person because they were practicing their First Amendment rights.

Push Comes to Shove for Arizona Police

This week at a contentious school board meeting in Tucson, KOLD News 13 photographer Edgar Ybarra was shoved by Tucson Police officers and barred from covering the event.  Police defended their actions and said he was in the way; Police Chief Roberto Villasenor told KOLD he “was standing right in the pathway” and refused to leave. Ybarra said he was just trying to cover the story. The video shows what seems to be unnecessary aggression against Ybarra. 

As the Tucson Weekly reports:

KOLD cameraman and filmmaker Edgar Ybarra, who was following police and Castillo with his camera, was roughly pushed by the police and forced out of the building along with Baldenegro, Garcia, Rodriguez and several other activists. (It’s important to note that Ybarra tried to get the police to let him back in so he could continue to work, while his reporter co-worker waited for him in the lobby. They refused to let him back in, although they did let another cameraman in to continue working.)

Maybe shoving is something taught in police school in Arizona? It seems so by the looks of this video, where a 15-year-old girl is slammed to the ground by Phoenix Police Officer Patrick Larrison. (Go to about 1:56 if you want to see something truly alarming.) Amazingly, the police department wasn’t aware of the incident until a staffer saw the video on YouTube and alerted the higher-ups. There is now a criminal and internal investigation underway in that case.

Source: KOLD and Tuscson Citizen

Man Arrested For Filming Police – From His Garage

Abuse of power at its most worrisome:

The trouble started when Lonnel Duchine saw police detaining a group of juveniles at gunpoint. Having his camera-equipped phone on him, Duchine started to film the events as they unfolded. However, once they knew they were on camera, backup officers not directly taking part in the investigation approached Duchine, demanding that he hand over the phone as evidence. When he refused, Duchine was cuffed and informed that he was being charged with interfering with police business.

Source: Examiner.com

New Haven Police: Go Ahead, Record Us

The New Haven Police Department is re-training its force in accordance with a new policy, General Order 311. That policy states that cops can no longer arrest citizens for recording them in public. The caveat is that recording is permitted as long as it doesn’t interfere with police activity or jeopardize anyone’s safety, and you might think that would be abused. But, the order addresses that issue:

“The video recording of police activity in and of itself does not constitute a crime, offense, or violation. If a person video recording police activity is arrested, the officer must articulate clearly the factual basis for any arrest in his or her case and arrest reports.”

And as Assistant Chief Tobin Hensgen, who lead a training session (see above video), said:

“If a citizen wants to exercise his First Amendment rights and photograph you while you’re in a squad car and uniform or on detail while you’re performing your duties, as long as they’re legal, you have no expectation of privacy.”

The policy was initiated by Police Chief Frank Limon after a rash of incidents over the past year involving citizens and recording, where police clearly abused their authority. The New Haven Independent was a champion of the cause, and this is an impressively swift reaction by the police if you want to look at it optimistically.

Or, as a commenter put it: “Breaking News Flash—Cops ordered to Not arrest someone who is NOT breaking the law.”

Source: New Haven Independent

What Happens to Disgraced Cops?

Last week, Seattle Weekly looked at what happens to cops who run afoul of the law in the wake of the case of Seattle police officer Ian Birk. Birk shot and killed a homeless Native American woodcarver in August, and though he resigned under great pressure, he faces no criminal charges.

In the article there is a brief mention of Albuquerque police officer Daniel Guzman, who attacked a local NBC news photographer in 2008 because he didn’t sufficiently respect his authority. As we posted, Guzman was spectacularly unhinged, and the police department said it would review the way its department handles the media as a result.

Well, ever wonder what happens to a loose cannon cop?

Not all the shamed officers wind up ulcer-ridden and jobless. Daniel Guzman, a former officer with the Albuquerque Police Department, lost his job after he attacked a television news photographer who pissed him off.

He ended up, however, getting a new job with the Bernalillo Police Department after they decided he “deserved a second chance.” [ED NOTE: The above link requires registration, but you can read the story here.]

You can read about other officers who abused their authority and ended up with good jobs and no worse for the wear. It reminds me of the Catholic Church’s response to bad priests: just reassign them to a new parish. And we all know how well that’s turned out.

Source: Seattle Weekly

IL Takes Several Steps Back, Won’t Protect Recording Police

People in Illinois are looking at fifteen years if they audio-record police activity. Or should I say “still looking”? Because the Illinois Eavesdropping Act makes recording someone in public without their consent a felony. Last year the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the law, but a few weeks ago Federal Judge Suzanne Conlon dismissed it, saying there is no First Amendment protections there.  

Although law-enforcement officials can legally record civilians in private or public, audio-recording a law-enforcement officer, state’s attorney, assistant state’s attorney, attorney general, assistant attorney general or judge in the performance of his or her duties is a Class 1 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

As Reason magazine’s Radley Balko writes, unfortunately, “the law is used almost exclusively against people who attempt to record on-duty police officers.”

While absurd, this makes some sort of sense because allowing citizens to record police activity would likely cause all kinds of grief for that very jackbooted state that is known to be very corrupt.

Source: New York Times

New Haven Asst. Police Chief Arrests Man for iPhone Video

A fish rots from the head down. Especially in the New Haven (CT) police department. That’s where Assistant Chief Ariel Melendez ordered the arrest of Luis Luna for filming an altercation with his iPhone one early morning in September. Luna, 26, says police took his iPhone, erased the video he took of officers breaking up a fight outside a bar, and then charged him with interfering with police. He spent the night in jail.

Assistant Chief Melendez noticed Luna and approached him “in a very intimidating manner,” Luna recalled. He asked what Luna was doing.

“I said, ‘Filming,’” Luna recalled. “He grabbed my phone and walked away.”

Melendez ordered officer Kristen Fitzgerald to arrest Luna for interfering.

“I just could not believe it,” Luna said.

Apparently this isn’t the first time police in New Haven have been caught harassing and even confiscating camera phones in the recent past. But still, Police Chief Frank Limon claims that he knows filming police is not illegal.

Assistant Chief Melendez didn’t get the memo though, despite 31 years on the force. He doesn’t mind using jackbooted tactics to enforce nonexistent laws. Know why? Because he knows he’ll get away with it.

Source: New Haven Independent



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