Posts Tagged 'Connecticut'

Accident/Crime Scene Photographer Found Guilty

 Brian Blackden is the enthusiastic Concord, NH, freelance photographer who works crime and accident scenes often wearing protective safety gear. We posted on him before, when in November he was arrested for an incident that took place in August, and last week he was found guilty of impersonating an emergency worker. 

As The Concord Monitor reports:

Concord District Court Judge Gerard Boyle handed down his verdict at theof Blackden’s trial yesterday afternoon, also finding the photographer guilty of displaying red emergency lights without authorization on the ambulance he brought to the Interstate 93 crash scene Aug. 25. He fined Blackden $1,000 for each of the two crimes and ordered him to pay a $240 penalty assessment but didn’t sentence him to jail time.

Blackden’s attorney, Penny Dean, said he will appeal the impersonating emergency personnel conviction to the Merrimack County Superior Court. Blackden is also suing the state police for allegedly violating his First Amendment rights by seizing his camera at the accident scene.

In related accident-and-crime-scene news, reports that the Connecticut State Senate passed a law that would make it illegal for police officers, paramedics and other first responders to photograph victims at crime and accident scenes and then distribute those photos to others. The bill was in response to a New London police officer who took photos of the victim of a fatal heroin overdose in 2009 and shared them. The bill only applies to photos taken outside the first responder’s job description.

Student Arrested For Recording Cops

The video taken by Hartford appears to show that the officers only arrested the original student because Hartford began filming. One officer, who began dancing when the camera was turned on, looked into the camera and said, “Watch this.” He then asked the student who they were questioning whether he was with Hartford. When the student replied yes, the officer turned to another officer and said, “Cuff him up.”

Article from The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Thou Shalt Not Lie: Police Arrest Priest, Falsify Report

In a case much larger than photographer’s rights, possibly involving police harassment and racial profiling, a Connecticut police force’s alleged racist agenda surfaces with the arrest of a priest who tried to videotape an incident at a Latino market. While it’s a classic cop vs. perp scenario, one thing is clear – the officer’s report doesn’t match the videotape.   

Father James Manship went to the  Ecuadorean-run My Country Store in February to document the ongoing harassment of immigrants in the New Haven area. The police were there to confiscate the collection of license plates the owner had on his wall, but it was Father Manship who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with police.

In the police report he filed – which only surfaced two weeks later – Officer David Cari of the East Haven Police Department claims he didn’t know what the priest had in his hands, calling it an “unknown shiny silver object.” He says he felt unsafe. “Not knowing if Manship was holding a camera or a possible weapon,” he writes, he asked the priest to reveal what he was holding and he wouldn’t. 

However, in the footage that Father Manship shot, Officer Cari clearly sees the camera and says, “Sir, what are you doing? Is there a reason that you have a camera on me?” To which Manship responds, “I’m taking a video of what’s going on here.” (Cari was probably counting on the footage never seeing the light of day and his abuse of power would go unnoticed – as so many likely do.) You can read the whole fictionalization –  I mean,  report here.

So who are we to believe? Father Manship, a Catholic priest who has devoted his life to helping his immigrant parishioners, or another entitled cop who was finally caught because of his own recklessness?

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “the videotape doesn’t lie.”

Article via the New Haven Independent

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