Police Arrest Woman For Filming Them, Take Phone Out Of Her Bra, Claim That It Must Be Kept As 'Evidence'

from the that-won't-go-over-well dept

In the comments to our story last week about false arrests for filming police, someone pointed to yet another such story of a woman who was arrested for filming the police. Even worst, the police confiscated her phone -- which she had shoved into her bra -- and then have refused to return it, claiming that it's now "evidence" of a crime.

If there's any "good" news in this story, it's that the police chief immediately ordered an investigation into the officer who did this, and noted that it's legal to film police. Still, the details of what happened seem pretty crazy. As reported by the New Haven Independent (linked above):
“Stop filming right now!” Rubino ordered her.

“No this is my civil right,” she recalled saying. Gondola said she’s “always on all these news sites” reading about recent cases in which cops got in trouble for snatching cameras from citizens.

“Well, I have to right to review it,” Rubino allegedly told her.

Gondola claimed she remained “very quiet and calm” and “pressed play” to show him the video. “But I didn’t let him touch my phone.”

Rubino’s response, according to Gondola: “It’s evidence of a crime. You need to give it to me right now.”

Her response to his response: “I’m not giving you the phone.”

His next response: “If you don’t give me the phone, you’re getting arrested.”

So Gondola slipped the phone into her bra. Rubino “twisted my hand hard behind me and put the cuffs on me. Really tight. My wrists are black and blue,” she said.

Rubino next ordered a female officer to pat her down and commanded, “I want that phone out of her bra.” The woman removed the phone. Rubino “put it in his pocket,” Gondola said.
The article, written a few days later, notes that later on she demanded the phone back, and was once again told that it was "evidence" and that the only way she can get her phone back is to wait until she goes to court, and asks the judge to return the phone. At the very least, it sounds like she will be without her phone for well over a week. In these days, when phones are pretty central to a lot of people's lives, that can be a pretty big hardship... all for doing something perfectly legal: filming the police on duty.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:32am

    Is it possible that she not only filmed police, but also filmed the crime as it occurred?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      That's exactly what I was thinking... the phone probably IS evidence. However...

      "'Stop filming right now!' Rubino ordered her."

      That kind of indicates that he was more interested in not being filmed than in any evidence the phone might provide.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        No, he may also have been concerned that the evidence could be destroyed or harmed - limited memory and all.

        He may have had no interest in being filmed, but I think there is just a little more to this story than anyone is letting on.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          pixelpusher220 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It is evidence of a crime. That he ordered her to stop filming. THAT is the crime here.

          And taking the phone, presumably without a charger, also means said 'evidence' may be erased when the phone loses it's charge. Not likely, but do we know it's stored on flash memory or just in the running memory of the phone?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Umm, what? Clearly you aint' a techie, as everything on modern phones is stored in memory that is not lost during power off situations, unless you leave the power off for a VERY, VERY long time (like years).

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Berenerd (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Also most phones now adays wont store it in the phone but in a memory card where it can be there until the card gets destroyed or it gets erased, but even after being erased it can possibly be saved. Solid state drives FTW

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Glaze (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                see this is when a remote kill switch is nice. You text your phone and wipe your sim/memory/and all data right off it restoring it to factory default. if there was a crime in the video other than the one the cop committed he'd be screwed no evidence whatsoever on the phone...

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  G Thompson (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 9:26pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And then the phone gets sent to people like myself (Digital Forensics) who recover that evidence (if it was there) and not only do the prosecution then have evidence of the crime but also have evidence of wilful(?) destruction of evidence.

                  The prosecution get a double win all over what was in fact a wrongful seizure UNLESS there was exigent reason to obtain the phone because destruction was imminent or reasonably expected by owner.

                  If no exigent reason the LEO has to get a warrant.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            harbingerofdoom (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            uh... hate to inform you of this but the cops saying "STOP THAT!!" in and of itself does not illegal make it when you refuse to stop actions that are held to be legal to begin with.
            Constitutional rights violations are not, nor should they ever be, held to be valid simply because its a law enforcement officer that did it.


            also, learn2phn

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Re-read what you are replying to. He said the cop telling her to stop filming was the crime not her disobeying or what she was doing that he told her to stop doing.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          MrWilson, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "a sergeant who allegedly had a woman arrested and a cell phone camera snatched from her bra after she recorded him beating a handcuffed suspect."

          "The allegations against Sgt. Chris Rubino came from two women who observed a tussle between cops and an unruly man"

          Coupled with the "Stop filming right now" command, it seems like the crime the Sgt. wanted the evidence of was possibly his own.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          dwg (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Stop filming" makes you think that he was concerned the evidence might be destroyed or harmed? Don't you think that "be careful and make sure you get all of this" would have made his point a little better, in that case?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          art guerrilla (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          at the authoritarian AC:
          yeah! that's the ticket!
          he was just -um- like *totally* concerned for her safety in case she had incriminating stuff on the phone, and an entitled donut eater wanted to abuse their position of authority and bully her into giving it up, yeah, that's it, he was just trying to ensure the evidence wasn't, like, um, you know, accidently lost in the evidence room, um, you know, or sumpin' like that...
          *snicker*
          try getting up off your knees supplicating to your masters, Citizen...
          WE'RE the bosses, not THEM; something BOTH of us have forgotten...
          art guerrilla
          aka ann archy
          eof

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Killer_Tofu (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Thank you for using AC Trope #4: There must be more to this story

          5$ have been deposited into your account.

          Sincerely,
          TAM-Masters

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re:

        "Stop hitting yourself, why are you hitting yourself, hitting yourself is resisting arrest, why are you hitting yourself."

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        LDoBe (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually the phone is not evidence. The data on the phone is evidence.
        The phone is not evidence in the same way that a witness is not evidence. The witness' testimony is evidence, but witnesses aren't locked up and held in isolation that often. Why should a phone be? An eye-witness is a source that can't be trusted at best, and totally deluded or completely manufactured at worst (see Crashing memories and reality monitoring: Distinguishing between perceptions, imaginations
        and 'false memories.'
        PDF Warning).

        Data on the other hand is the exact same for everyone involved, no matter how it's interpreted later, as long as it's unmodified and a chain of custody is kept.

        It makes 100% sense to get a copy of the phone's data and leave the original device with the witness, it makes no sense to deprive a witness of their property just to hold onto the data in the device when it's so easily decoupled from the recorder that created the original manifestation of the data.

        Unless, of course, you want to peruse data that is irrelevant and unrelated to the originally recorded crime in order to charge/inconvenience/badger/incarcerate the owner, so you can make them seem like an unreliable and incredible witness to the crimes the officer committed him/herself.....Which would be obstruction of justice and an ad hominem attack in any case.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "It makes 100% sense to get a copy of the phone's data and leave the original device with the witness, it makes no sense to deprive a witness of their property just to hold onto the data in the device when it's so easily decoupled from the recorder that created the original manifestation of the data."

          yes, and you expect the police patrol officer to be able to do that instantly, without error, while entirely respecting the chain of evidence?

          What planet are you from?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Torg (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Do you have a YouTube account? Great. Upload that video now. Yes, while I'm watching."

            That would take, like, five minutes. There would be no error, and the chain of evidence would be respected. It most certainly would not take until the trial starts.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This is exactly what I expect, because the situations where bystanders film public interactions, especially ones involving police officers' performance in the field, are increasingly common, and the trend is going in reverse. So I expect police to be trained to know:

            (a) their performance can, is, and will continue to be filmed whether they like it or not; and
            (b) how to handle these situations professionally and with deference to US citizens' civil rights.

            I HOPE an officer knows that ignoring (a) & (b) can result in him looking like a thuggish, incompetent asshole in a very public forum.

            Quite the idealistic pipe dream, I know.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            dwg (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 11:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm from the planet where cops have a device that can pull all data from a smartphone simply by plugging that device into the phone and pressing a button. You're from the same planet, because that device exists and the cops have them.

            http://www.geek.com/articles/news/michigan-police-can-scan-all-of-your-phones-data-in-less- than-2-minutes-20110421/

            Good enough for you? Seem like a better solution than reaching into a woman's bra for her phone while her hands are cuffed behind her?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        hunkE, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Re:

        The PHONE is not evidence, the VIDEO is. It can be emailed, uploaded, etc. etc. Remember this!!! There's NO REASON for the PHONE to be confiscated.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      VMax, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      I'm pretty sure that gathering evidence is not "give it to me right now." and "If you don’t give me the phone, you’re getting arrested.". Shouldn't a warrant be involved?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      If it is evidence of a crime being committed, then the officer should have subpoenaed the phone or a copy of the recording rather than arrest her and take it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chosen Reject (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

        Re: Re:

        So if she shows up in court and her phone no longer has the video she's taken, will this cop be charged with destruction of evidence both for his case as well as for hers? That's two counts of destruction of evidence isn't it?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Vincent Clement (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      Then get a warrant.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      meddle (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      IF she filmed the crime, as a witness she would be required to provide a copy of the video to the police. Not the device that took the video. The police don't want to be filmed, but they know it is legal. Therefore they are going to harass people so much that people won't do it any more, because it is so much trouble.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      The officer said: "Stop filming right now!"

      That tells me he was not concerned about collecting evidence of a crime.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      That One Guy (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      I'm sorry, but if she was in fact filming a crime as it happened, why would he want her to stop?

      Actual, recorded evidence of a crime would be a slam dunk for any resulting court case, so if that was the case you'd think that at most, he'd ask for a copy after.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

      Re:

      The phone is not evidence, the data is evidence, which can easily be transferred from one device to another almost instantaneously. Another turd doing his job.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      TB, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      Exactly, you hear these claims a lot and a lot of times you only hear what happened at that moment from the "victim's" side. You don't ever hear what was happening with the cops at all which makes things that much worse. A lot of times people will have other's film their crimes especially if it's for gang initiation so they have proof. They also do it in order to have a "wall of fame" if you will. People don't understand everything and always side against the cops. If the cops were in the wrong then so be it, they will be caught, but people need to stop going after them WAITING for them to screw up.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

        Re: Re:

        "but people need to stop going after them WAITING for them to screw up."

        People should go after cops 'waiting' for them to 'screw up'. If cops screw up that's their own faults and any cop that confiscates evidence potentially against them should automatically be assumed guilty.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    And they wonder why people don't like the police.. Go figure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Richard Ahlquist, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Good reason for something like dropbox

    This is a good reason to have a dropbox account and have the app installed on your smart phone. It can be set to automatically upload your video and photos to your DropBox account. That way if your phone is stolen by a LEO you still have the video.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

      Re: Good reason for something like dropbox

      This is a good reason to have a dropbox account and have the app installed on your smart phone. It can be set to automatically upload your video and photos to your DropBox account. That way if your phone is stolen by a LEO you still have the video.

      As much as some people hate Google+, it sure does an awesome job of uploading pictures and video to your account automatically without your consent (yes, there is a checkbox you can click to turn off this behavior.) I leave it on, because I am always losing the data on my phone (wipe and upgrade CM7,) so I don't have to worry about it. Of course, I am sure like Megaupload, Google+ will probably be on the list of sites the AC trolls want shut down, and they may have the support of the crooked cops once they discover this feature, so I probably will have to back them up to facebook and twitter too.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:45am

        Re: Re: Good reason for something like dropbox

        Are you using CM7 nightlies? If so, you don't have to wipe everything on your phone to upgrade. Simply wipe the dalvik cache then install the ROM and it'll do an in place update on the current nightly. That's what I've been doing lately with the CM9 nightlies.

        But, however, regarding the Google+ ability to upload stuff (as well as Google Drive), I fear you may be right. We all know Google is an evil piracy genius. I have a ton of legitimate stuff stored on my Google Drive. Documents, pictures, ROMs, etc. Nothing illegal. But I could if I wanted to. And I could easily share it with anyone thanks to the "Share" feature. And we all know that any place where someone may potentially store a copyrighted work is very much a piracy haven and to hell with all the legitimate use. (A problem I feel regarding Megaupload, due to all the ROMs and apps lost over at the XDA forums that were hosted there.) Luckily I make multiple backups on my local hard drive, external hard drive, various usb drives, as well as other cloud services and cyberlockers (like Dropbox).

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          ltlw0lf (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Good reason for something like dropbox

          Are you using CM7 nightlies? If so, you don't have to wipe everything on your phone to upgrade. Simply wipe the dalvik cache then install the ROM and it'll do an in place update on the current nightly.

          Yes, though I am still quite a way behind current. I'll have to try this out. Been listening to the developers tell me I should wipe everything so often, but really it is just an excuse for me to blow everything away and start over. I'm at CM9 for my Nook, and want to take the leap on the phone...just haven't gotten around to it yet.

          e all know Google is an evil piracy genius. I have a ton of legitimate stuff stored on my Google Drive. Documents, pictures, ROMs, etc. Nothing illegal.

          Me as well. All sorts of crap, including stuff for various MMORPGs I play, including a bunch of noob-training stuff for a particular game of the internet spaceship variety (pew pew.) I learned what sharepoint should be like playing with Google Docs this way. If Google ever gets raided like MegaUpload, I will be in real trouble (even though everything is backed up,) just because that is such a damn easy way to get stuff shared with the people I need to share it with (all legal to distribute since it came from my own sweat and I've released as public domain.) All I have to do is post the tiny url or goog.le link and everyone on the team has access.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Barb, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

      Re: Good reason for something like dropbox

      How do u get a dropbox acct? Can u use it on a smartphone?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    LCPD, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    so this must be where the cops from liberty city go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    They could be in trouble on this one.

    Police Arrest Woman For Filming Them, Take Phone Out Of Her Bra, Claim That It Must Be Kept As 'Evidence'

    Keeping a woman's bra as evidence certainly seems to be stretching the bounds of credibility.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    That's definitely assault and possibly sexual assault. She should try to press charges and definitely pursue a civil case

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      Rubino next ordered a female officer to pat her down ...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh so I guess lesbian rape is just a fantasy and anyway if it really happened the victim would enjoy it, right?

        You make me sick.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        That One Guy (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm going to have to agree with the ACs here, gender makes no difference for something like that. Whether it was a male or female cop she still had someone reaching into her bra to get the camera, which is very much unacceptable.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

        Re: Re:

        The cop prolly thought the woman is ugly as hell and decided a female officer should do the dirty work so he doesn't have to. Otherwise he would be groping a hottie in no time, prolly rape her too.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    What are the police going to do when Googles AR glasses are cheap enough for the masses to buy and fall in love with?

    Are they going to go around demanding peoples glasses because they might be recording everything the person is looking at?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    As has been discussed before filming policemen is legal. Don't know if this policeman will get in trouble but he should.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Looking at the pic from the article there had to be some crime committed just for making the other officer dig around in that slag's bra...

    gotta be like a bathroom door handle down in there...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    rubberpants, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    "You're under arrest."
    "What for?"
    "For asking why I'm arresting you."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    William Bonner, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Windows Phones will automatically upload to Skydrive

    I just wish that the uploaded photos were full resolution. Will iPhones automatically upload to iCloud?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      AndyD273 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Windows Phones will automatically upload to Skydrive

      Currently, only photos...
      Video is probably to large for iCloud to handle at this point...
      Some day probably.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    A future TSA agent in the making.

    Once they get fired from their job, you'll see them perform the same action at the local airport.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    if i was her, i would be very concerned at what the police, maybe this 1 particular officer in particular, was doing with the phone, eg, checking any and all other content on it, making a backup of her contacts etc. the really worrying thing is though, if he wasn't doing something he probably shouldn't, he wouldn't have anything to hide or get so upset about, would he?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      LDoBe (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      The "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" argument is a straw-man, and the weakest argument I've ever seen in favor of destroying privacy.

      On the other hand, the argument that goes "I hired you to do a job, and you've haven't been doing it, so now I will monitor your performance" argument is much stronger, since it's enforced by a social contract with the whole country.

      While I support private sector unions, which help to guarantee that the workers have their concerns addressed and their rights upheld, the unofficial "Blue Wall of Silence" is incredibly disturbing since EVERYONE pays to have police officers, and everyone is affected by what they do, in addition to the police being granted the use of high levels of violence and control of individuals by the state.

      If we can't monitor the police and keep indisputable evidence, then the citizenry can't defend itself from despotic officers and policies.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    CruiserPOP66, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Involuntary participation in the justice system

    The police officer identified there was proof that he needed. If she had been more on the ball, she could have offered a copy be emailed to the police officer, or allow the officer to make a copy.

    When she refused to hand the phone over, she became guilty of obstruction.

    People need to stop thinking that all cops are bad. They have a job to do , and if you want to get involved, then do so... just don't complain when your involvement gets you in a situation you'd rather not be in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      VMax, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      Still not the legal way to collect evidence.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      I think you are reading more in to what is printed here.

      Lets all face it and admit it, the police in this great nation are obviously that to ask forgiveness is far better than to ask permission. i.e. I firmly believe that given all of the press this type of incident has received in just the last year demonstrates that the police chain of command is silently encouraging this behavior.

      So while an officer may get reprimanded after fact, this type of illegal behavior by police officers, nation wide, continues and will be so for the foreseeable future.

      Having a phone that uploads your pictures and videos, if you wish to engage in this type of risky behavior, is the only legal recourse that will allow you to retain your video. Otherwise, it's a safe bet it is already erased.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        New Mexico Mark, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

        Re: Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

        "Otherwise, it's a safe bet it is already erased."

        Depending on the judge, "accidental" erasure of data or destruction of the phone could make for an interesting hearing.

        "Yes, your honor, this officer forcibly took my phone and falsely arrested me based on the pretext that the video on the phone was evidence and that he could therefore confiscate it on his own authority."

        "Now, besides wrongfully depriving me of both property and liberty, he testifies that the "evidence" was "accidentally" erased. I'm confident that if the phone had remained in my possession that the video would be in existence today. It is my belief that destruction of that video was the intent all along and that it was for the purpose of covering up his own misconduct."

        "May I respectfully request you take this officer at his word when he claims the video was evidence. Are there any penalties for the willful destruction of evidence and possible misconduct by law enforcement officers? By penalties, I mean something more serious than paid vacation time."

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          LDoBe (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

          And the F**king judge replies:

          Officers are sworn to hold themselves at a higher level of conduct. What evidence besides your testimony is there that the officer would have deleted this evidence on purpose?

          The problem here is proving what is an accident and what is not while the only evidence is "my word against yours"

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            That One Guy (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

            Still waiting for the 'sad but true' button for stuff like this...

            When it comes down to a cop's word, vs. a citizen's word, with no 'inconvenient' evidence to cloud the issue... take a wild guess which a judge will be more likely to believe

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Chargone (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

              whoever's contributing the most to his post judicial employment plan, i suspect.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Lord Binky, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      Not all cops are bad, but the cops that do illegal stuff overwhelmingly fall into that category.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      Yeah, at some point you've got to have some calm, non-violent fun w/these d-bags. I personally like to bluff them into paranoia:

      Office: You! In the Vader costume! Stop filming with your phone right now!"

      Me: It's not a Vader costume.

      O: What?

      Me: It's not a Vader costume. Haven't you seen Space Balls?

      O: Sir, are you not aware that part of police training is the stripping of all sense of humor?

      Me: Ah, sorry Officer.

      O: Anyway, stop filming me with your phone!

      Me: Sure, no problem. *puts phone in pocket*

      O: Now give me the damn phone! It's evidence!

      Me: Hmm, well, you can take it from me if you want. But how condident are you that you can find ALL the cameras?

      O: Wh...what do you mean?

      Me: Officer, I don't leave the house without having at least 33 different covert cameras on me, placed in various and often lewd places, some of them on, some of them off, some of them are just decoys. So, you can either take a deep breath and let me keep my phone video of you smacking around yet another terrifying brown-skinned fella, or we can play what will likely amount to at least 3 hours worth of hug and tickle while you try to figure out which crevace the next phone is in. How do you want to do this?

      O: .......have a good day, Vader.

      Me: It's NOT A VADER COSTUME, DAMN IT!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      DCX2, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      When she refused to hand the phone over, she became guilty of obstruction.

      Using this logic, when the officer told her to "Stop filming right now!" he was also obstructing justice.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Torg (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      If that had been the cop's intent, he could've asked for a copy to be sent to him on his own, without prompting. Also, telling her to stop filming doesn't fit very nicely into that chain of events.

      I don't think all cops are bad. One of my best friends is a cop. However, this one seems to pretty clearly be in the wrong.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      JMT (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      "The police officer identified there was proof that he needed. If she had been more on the ball, she could have offered a copy be emailed to the police officer, or allow the officer to make a copy."

      Surely you just had a massive brain fart, and meant to say "If the police officer had been more on the ball, he could have asked politely for a copy to be emailed to him, or asked politely to make a copy."

      "People need to stop thinking that all cops are bad."

      Cops need to stop doing things that make people think all cops are bad. They could start by not defending or protecting other officers that do these things.

      "They have a job to do..."

      Lamest excuse ever. Their job requires them to follow the law, and society holds them to a higher standard of following laws than non-police. Respect is earned slowly by good actions, but lost rapidly by bad ones.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      "When she refused to hand the phone over, she became guilty of obstruction."

      [citation needed]

      The law does not require her to hand over her phone without a prior subpoena.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      "When she refused to hand the phone over, she became guilty of obstruction."

      The cops are likely the ones trying to obstruct justice. For instance

      "In one case then-Assistant Chief ordered a citizen arrested and his videos erased; Limon released a separate internal affairs report Thursday concluding the Melendez violated department rules."

      http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/citizen_video_policy_unveiled /

      I suppose it's not obstruction when a cop does it to conceal his misbehavior.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      They have a job to do , and if you want to get involved, then do so... just don't complain when your involvement gets you in a situation you'd rather not be in.

      Yeah, if you want to try to do something about police violating civil rights, don't complain if the police violate your civil rights. Makes perfect sense.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Speaker, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:51pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      Cops are bad if they break a law and corrupt, people have the right to capture the scene if something is really odd, yes i rather not be in the situation either too.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Speaker, Aug 23rd, 2012 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Involuntary participation in the justice system

      Cops are bad if they break a law and corrupt, people have the right to capture the scene if something is really odd, yes i rather not be in the situation either too.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Eponymous Coward (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Watching the Watchmen

    Gondola is on record in the article stating that this cop was roughing up a suspect who was already in hand and ankle cuffs, so I think it's pretty damned obvious why he wanted the camera. Somebody got his badge-muscles on, then realized that he wasn't in a "my word against his" scenario.

    Also, there's this gem in the article:

    "Police Union President Arpad Tolnay Monday defended Rubino in the Temple Plaza camera incident."

    Gosh, a union wonk defending someone who was overreaching? Never would have expected that.

    The chief of police in this town sounds like a good apple, though, he's taken these cases to the mat already with his officers, causing the resignation of one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Colorful Colorado (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Man... Madonna just can't catch a break!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Fascism in USA is being/will be accepted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Evidence

    That's the drawback to filming cops. If you end up capturing evidence of a criminal act, your phone *can* be legally seized as evidence.

    Most famous case was Abraham Zapruder, whose film of the Kennedy assassination was seized and it was 20 years before he got it back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Torg (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:15pm

      Re: Evidence

      Nowadays it's pretty damn easy to get someone's recording of an event without taking any part of the mechanism they used to record it. It is literally as easy as putting a video on YouTube. Confiscation of a digital camera is therefore never a reasonable way to collect evidence, especially when that camera is part of something as important to a person's daily life as a phone.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      hfbs (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

      Re: Evidence

      "whose film of the Kennedy assassination was seized"

      Film, not camera. As in, it's what the camera recorded, i.e. the data, that's seized, not the phone.

      CCTV cameras aren't seized by the cops if they observe a crime.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        btr1701 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

        Re: Re: Evidence

        > Film, not camera. As in, it's what the camera recorded, i.e. the
        > data, that's seized, not the phone.

        And once the video has been forensically removed from a phone in accordance with chain of custody and the rules of evidence promulgated by federal and state courts, then the owner is entitled to have his/her device returned.

        > CCTV cameras aren't seized by the cops if they observe a crime.

        CCTV cameras don't come with passwords, encryption, and/or software designed to alter/delete evidence. Nor is the evidence stored within the camera itself.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        btr1701 (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

        Re: Re: Evidence

        > Film, not camera.

        Oh, and both Zapruder's camera *and* film were seized at the scene of Kennedy's assassination. A seizure Zapruder challenged and which was upheld by the Supreme Court.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Ima Grammar Nazi

    "Even worst, the police confiscated her phone..."

    Umm... Shouldn't that be: "Even worse"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Yyum Hai, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Perfect example

    ... of the government movement, how easy they get scared and how their power growth into insanity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    scichotic (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Interesting bit in the New Haven Indie article...

    "The question of whether cameras can be seized on the grounds of containing evidence has arisen in previous discussions of the order and of incidents in other cities. ...snip...

    Gondola said Rubino made that argument to her.

    Her response?

    “This is not the guy committing the crime,” she said. “This is the police doing the crime.”"

    So she says right there that the video was of the police committing the crime -- evidently the previously mentioned roughhousing of a fully shackled offender. We've even got a nice pic of Rubino in that article with his foot on the perp's head to lend a little credibility to the accounts of the two women. Or, is stepping on the head of a subdued perp normal?

    Looks pretty bad for the cop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    D, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 7:46pm

    Uhhhh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    vilain (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 8:08pm

    growth industry for litegators

    Once the internet uploading phone app appears, which would stream directly to the cloud, confiscating the phone will be the least of the police's problems. A court order to take down the video (as "evidence") would soon follow.

    What I think is needed here is skilled observers. This would make a great 1st year associate's job. Go around filming police, staying out of their way, getting arrested, phone impounded, 'resisting arrest' and 'inciting' while being arrested to compound the arresting officer's offenses, and ultimately fighting the entire thing in court, filing damages against the city, police chief, and officers involved. Cities would settle. Marginal cops would be off the streets guarding the malls of America, and these law firms would make a ton of money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Richard, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:39pm

    Recording police vs seizure of phones/cameras as evidence

    The Pixiq site had an article about whether police have the right to confiscate cameras. Among the two attorneys who contributed, Marc Randazza said that police might be able to subpoena a copy of a video recording but that confiscating a camera on the spot would not be justified. Bert Krages II said that a camera generally cannot be seized by police without a court order unless the camera has been used in the commission of a crime (i.e. counterfeiting.) At the same time, Randazza said that it may not be easy to disregard an officer who unlawfully demands to seize a camera and that "No camera is worth losing your life over." (In a case such as the 2009 Oakland BART shooting, where a person has been seriously hurt or killed at the hands of a police officer, this may be particularly important.) Even so, calling up an attorney on the spot might be useful. An issue that the Pixiq article may not have anticipated is if a video recording includes evidence of a crime that can possibly be seized by police (i.e. for the purpose of preservation.) The comments for the article talk about this issue, although not all of the claims have sources and it may not be easy reading.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has given advice about using cell phones at protests. Among other things there is the recommendation to use an alternate "throwaway" phone if there is a high chance of arrest and/or the phone being seized. In addition, it is claimed that police can seize a phone (or presumably a camera) that they believe to hold evidence of a crime. On the issue of recording police activity, the Flex Your Rights site has a guide about avoiding trouble when recording police. Among other things, it is recommended that videographers try to avoid sharing video footage with police in a manner that ties the video to them. The guide does not mention the situation of being ordered to hand over a camera, but it does touch upon such situations as a videographer being told that recording is unlawful or being ordered to stop recording.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:59am

    Film police and film often! It is your RIGHT!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Just another stupid human, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    All the BULLSHIT

    Then we all die anyway.. What BULLSHIT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    SIlverBlade, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Lets see..

    1) Violation of rights
    2) False arrest
    3) Illegal way retrieve evidence.

    Yep, I smell a lawsuit. Minimum 10 million.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This