Woman arrested for filming police

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by c6h6o3, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I wish this had happened at my house. What a great lawsuit. Her attorney should be able to rip these guys apart in court.
     
  2. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    F*in' asshole. A camera is not a weapon. Police have a dangerous job, dealing constantly with people who could harm them. This jerk must be a hell of a wimp to be frightened of a woman in her front yard with a camera. "I do not feel safe". Sheesh. They could say that about anyone observing their actions at any time. How convenient.
    Interesting he came onto her property to arrest her. That was after saying "Not on the sidewalk", which is of course a public space. The only thing she cannot do is interfere with police carrying out their duties. Recording from private property an incident in the street could hardly be called interference.

    The whole "I don't feel safe" thing is an obvious abuse of discretion.

    He has no Constitutional right to feel safe. When he's patrolling in a bad part of town can he order everyone off the street who makes him feel unsafe? What an ass.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  3. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Lawsuits are very stressful and very expensive - not really like they appear on TV. Not much fun at all.

    Ian
     
  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I'm sorry police officer you don't feel safe. You and your two colleague are well armed with deadly weapons, and I am armed with a video recorder.

    Filming from a sidewalk, which is public property, is not illegal. Filming from your front yard is not illegal.

    Standing up for the Constitution when confronted with inane police orders, though grounds for arrest, is priceless.
     
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The lawyer would likely take the case on contingency, so no money up front from the victim. Stressful, yes. But so is getting arrested the way she did. I hope she gets a big-ass settlement and the chickenshit cop gets an education.
     
  6. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    at one point in the video, the police mentioned her saying something before she started recorded. It might be possible she threatened them in someway. If she did, then I wouldnt be so quick to say she's right. If she didnt do anything to threaten them before she turned the camera on, I hope those f*****s are dealt with as harshly as legally possible
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    The thing is, when things like this happen, the police are never punished. That's why they continue to get away with it. Whenever a police officer violates someone's rights or injures them, he just melts back into the wall of blue, and the worst that usually happens, if they do something really bad like kill an innocent person, is that they resign, otherwise they just get a short vacation or a stern talking-to. Suing the police department is faint satisfaction as it only soaks the taxpayers, so we pay doubly. Until individual officers are held accountable, this will continue to happen and/or get worse.
     
  8. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Judging by her reaction at the end of the film, she does not have the personal constitution for litigation. Getting arrested is stressful for a little while, getting into litigation is often stressful for years. Wishing for the opportunity to litigate against heavy-handed police is like wishing to get into a street fight to teach thugs a lesson. Makes a great spectacle for the peanut gallery, but often ends badly for the civic rights champion (even if they win).

    Ian
     
  9. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I'll bet we haven't heard the last of it.
     
  10. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    Believe me, I bristle about cops overstepping their bounds - but she didn't do herself any favors in the way she attemped civil disobedience. She is pretty close and a complete unknown to them - a cop is always going to take the most cautious path with regards to his safety (and I think they should on that point.) She should have been minimally compliant, backed up a bit and then continued or turned on her porch lights. I am very curious to know what was said before she turned on the camera, as well.

    I don't think the officer was impolite to her and actually quite calm, giving her a couple opportunities to do something different and she chose not to. I find it amusing that at the end she is all up in arms that they are arresting her. I applaud her efforts, but if you are going to go head to head with the cops at least understand and be prepared for the results - geeze.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Free speech is also a right. If she expressed hostility in some way he had a chance to say something at the time. He first said to them "You guys need somethin?", saying nothing about hostility or anti-police comments, then later said he didn't feel safe and said they had said something anti-police, etc. If he had ordered them to stand further away, that would have been one thing, but he ordered them into the house, repeatedly.

    The woman was not standing in darkness, evidenced by the spotlight pointed at them. It makes me wonder how long a cop like that could make it in a large city, where arrests are made in conditions of poor lighting, surrounded by large numbers of people, often without a chance to establish a cordon.

    Police have a right to establish a reasonable space in which to work. The key word is "reasonable". Ordering people into their house, declaring he felt unsafe, while standing in the middle of the street is unreasonable.
     
  12. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    I agree. What the police did was wrong. I'm not arguing that


    Having the police (vaguely) question her about what she said before she turned the camera on concerns me, not much but just a little. she might have knew the guy they had in custody at the beginning of the video and was threatening them. I'm also a little concerned about why she felt like she needed to go all the way to the edge of her yard to record the police arresting a man. she should be free to do what she wants on her own yard as long as she's not interfering with what the police are doing (if they're legally arresting a man) or interfering with the rights of others; I'm all for that. But why did she think "They're arresting someone. I need to get as close as I can and record it"? That seems a little suspicios to me. and did she have the camera on a tripod? The camera stays in one spot while she's being led to the police car.... Seems suspicious to me

    Now that I've typed that, I want to say she had the right to do that in her own yard as long as she wasnt threatening the police, the man they had, or anyone else. the police should have left her alone (I think it would have been fine if they asked what she was doing and then ignored her after she said she was just recording and nothing more). Just her feeling like she needed to be as close to the action as possible with a camera and the police questioning her about something she said before pressing Record seems a little suspicious to me. I hope this works out in her favor...
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I think I would represent myself for this one. I wouldn't want someone else to have all the fun!


    Steve.
     
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  15. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    I am all for people being able to photograph and record what they want, on public property, and your own yard.

    However, it seems some people are just doing this to piss off cops, especially when the first thing you say is "its my right to do this." Notice how the cop didn't say to stop recording or turn the camera off. He said back up and watch from your house. I am not sure about the "i don't feel safe," part, but she could have backed up some and would have been fine.

    Plus what is the point of filming a traffic stop like that one? Clearly it is not important and filming in not needed. Cops are arrogant, so when a power loving cop like that one says something and you don't do that, then he might take you to jail. I don't think that is right but that's what can happen.

    People need to realize that that thing we call the bill of rights, does not mean the same thing as when we made it up. It has been twisted out of its original meaning, by new laws, people in power etc. I think of rights as privileges, because sometimes rights can be taken away. Rights are not rights if someone can take them away.

    Andrew
     
  16. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Andrew, some rights are unalienable. They cannot be disposed of or taken away by whim or by law. An aggressor, whether acting under color of authority or not, can prevent you from exercising your right by force, but that doesn't somehow turn your right into a privilege.

    There may be some people who film cops to piss them off, but I doubt that is a common motive. Most people who film cops making an arrest do so in order to provide an independent documentary of the events. If the police are doing nothing wrong, this cannot hurt them. Too often though, video footage by observers starkly contradicts police statements and reports. This is why people film cops doing their job.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2011
  17. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    One time I got arrest for being ugly in public!:laugh:

    Jeff
     
  18. Dshambli

    Dshambli Member

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    There's a cop here in Orlando who's gaining a reputation for arresting photographers (including one from a big news station). I know a guy arrested by him for filming. Supposedly, the guy was filming him macing someone while they were in handcuffs. The officer came up to him and asked him to stop filming or leave or something, when the guy refused to, the cop claims the guy pushed him. So he was arrested for battery on an officer, resisting without violence, and interfering with an investigation or something. So in court, the officer's side should be verified by the video right? Because the guy filming is what started the confrontation in the first place. Oh, well, about that--the camera was "never secured as evidence" and is lost. Not to mention the officer's entire story changed when it was found a street camera caught the whole thing and was subpoenaed.
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Where I disagree with you is the idea that he gave her a couple opportunities to do something else. The "something else" was to comply with his order to go in the house, which he should not have issued. I can well understand why she was upset at being arrested-he violated her rights. I would have been.

    Doing what he did politely or calmly only makes it somewhat better than if he had been impolite and angry.
     
  20. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Only Once ?

    Ron
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  21. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    It seemed to me - and its just me - that if her mission was to record the cops for the sake of documenting them, a little flexibility to let the officer think he was getting what he wanted would have been in order. Maybe not all the way in the house but half way there - that type of thing. Combating empowered arrogance takes a bit of finesse.

    I def don't think the officer was in the right, and I'm not proposing to blame the victim, but as most things, I would be curious to hear another version of the story from another angle. These things are rarely as they appear.
     
  22. andys93integra

    andys93integra Member

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    Really? Rights most certainly can be taken away. Google Japanese Americans in 1942, you may recall around 110,000 Japanese of which 2/3 were American citizens, were taken in to internment camps, just because they were of Japanese descent. Just when they needed their right the most the government took them away.

    What about the Smoking ban that is in place in New York and other places around the country? Banning smoking in a outside public place? I thought public meant public, and you had a right to do anything in a public place. Not anymore.

    What about the the 2nd amendment, right to arms, even though they can control and ban guns. Also what about gay marriage, don't you think gays should have the same rights? Yet they do not. I think people should have a "right" to marry whom ever they want, but apparently the government does not see it that way.

    Here is another, in Indiana the supreme court decided that it would be a crime to resist an unlawful entry of a police officer into your home. Police don't need a reason or warrant to enter. As i recall, the 4th amendment states that the people have a right against unreasonable search and seizures, they either need a reason or warrant. Now the Indiana Supreme Court overruled that? How could they just overrule a right that is in the Bill of Rights? Hmm, there goes more "rights" right out the window.

    Andrew
     
  23. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    I thought I heard the woman say, right at the beginning of the video when the officer asked something like "you guys need something?", that she replied that the person being searched was "Gary, a friend of mine, and I'm just recording what you're doing".
    If that's so, then the statement that the officer didn't feel safe is a bit of a red herring. He knew exactly what was going on and he didn't like the idea of his actions being recorded.
    One might assume at the beginning of the video that the officer was just doing his job and the woman was being a bit provocative. By the end of the video I was left with the feeling that the woman was taking the video precisely because the police in her area have a history of abuse of process and misuse of power, and she wanted evidence of this. She sure got it!
     
  24. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Well I was bragging!:laugh:

    Jeff
     
  25. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I do agree with everything you say here.
     
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    When I was born the midwife slapped me in the mouth :laugh: