Posts Tagged 'New Haven'

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

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

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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