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. icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), 8 Jun 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Look, I'm sorry that everyone feels I am twisting your point, so let me clarify: I don't think you, as an individual, are consciously giving a vote of support to thug cops. I didn't mean to imply that, so that part was indeed an unfortunate mistake.

    But here is what I'm trying to say: the position you have taken in defense of the police is, to me, indicative of a much deeper problem of how society as a whole perceives the police. I have heard a lot of people make similar arguments in their defense, and in fact I was once one of those people, and for a long time I too really hated the way so many people condemned all cops in broad strokes. But then one day (spurred on by the events of the G20 in toronto) I had a realization: that's bullshit. Why was I running around making excuses for a police force that had failed to win the respect or trust of the public? Why was I going to people who are genuinely afraid of the police, who do not feel secure but in fact feel victimized when the police are around, and saying "I know they can be scary sometimes but you really shouldn't be afraid."

    After the G20, in which Canadian police behaved atrociously, I was pretty pissed off about the things that had happened in my city. So were a lot of other people. And yet I constantly met people whose stance was "big deal, they aren't always like that, and they didn't mean for it to get so out of hand" -and again, I say bullshit. I'm not saying we should line all the cops up and shoot them, but that doesn't mean we should simply forgive what happened.

    It's a "first they came for..." situation, in a lot of ways. I can't help but think that if it was you being threatened at gunpoint for doing something completely within your rights, you might not be so quick to excuse the institution that let this happen.

    And so that's why, deep within any speech about how not all cops are bad or about how we need to find "balance" between oppression and anarchy, what I hear is a more disturbing core message: the idea that some oppression is acceptable. When I point that out it is not to accuse you of being a fascist, so again I'm sorry if that's the impression I gave - but I do believe that if you look closer at what you are saying, you might realize you are rationalizing something that doesn't deserve to be rationalized.

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