Miami Beach Police Tried To Destroy Video From Bystanders, Holding Them At Gunpoint

from the the-right-to-film-police dept

DannyB was the first of a few folks to send in the latest story of police massively (and dangerously) overreacting to people filming them in public. This case involves police in Miami Beach, who filmed a fatal shooting by the police. Apparently, the police didn't like such things being caught on camera and reacted about as poorly as you can imagine:
First, police pointed their guns at the man who shot the video, according to a Miami Herald interview with the videographer

Then they ordered the man and his girlfriend out the car and threw them down to the ground, yelling “you want to be fucking paparazzi?”

Then they snatched the cell phone from his hand and slammed it to the ground before stomping on it. Then they placed the smashed phone in the videographer's back pocket as he was laying down on the ground

And finally, they took him to a mobile command center where they snapped his photo and demanded the phone again, then took him to police headquarters where they conducted a recorded interview with him before releasing him.
Turns out the last laugh was on the police. The guy whose phone it was had removed the SD card from the phone, which contained the video, and had it in his mouth the whole time. The video itself is now available on YouTube. It's pretty intense (and NSFW with the sound on). It shows the initial shooting, and then all the way up to the point where the same police who just opened fire on someone else are pointing their guns at the guy doing the filming, as he sits in his car. I have no idea how he was able to get the SD card out and in his mouth before police seized the phone:
This is all pretty scary no matter how you look at it, and it's really troubling, yet again, to see such a brazen abuse of the law by law enforcement officials who think that it's somehow against the law to film their actions in public.

Filed Under: filming, miami beach, police

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  1. identicon
    The Insider, 7 Jun 2011 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Pay Attention

    You must be watching a different video than i did, and if so, give me the link.
    1. A cop can tell me to have sex with a goat, that doesn't make it a valid order.
    2. The cop pointing the gun comes out of the circle of action actively pursuing the filming bystander...pointing a gun.
    If you point a gun at another human being, the normal reaction is fleeing, no matter if you are a cop, or if you are the reincarnation of Buhda.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

    Police forget that they are paid employees of the citizenry they serve, and that citizenry includes the suspects till proven guilty.

    I would feel safer if one of two things happened:
    1)Police were disbanded and citizens were responsible for defending themselves (And no, i don't even own a gun, but if this happen, i would, and i would be responsible for my actions)
    2) Police are held to higher standards and stricter penalties, as well as any public servants (Politicians, judges etc) and have a camera on them EVERY SINGLE MOMENT THEY ARE ON DUTY.
    Why? Because they are not a regular citizen. They are a servant of the law. With great power comes greater responsibility.

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