Two Reporters Arrested For Daring To Photograph/Videotape Public DC Taxi Commission Meeting

from the freedom-of-the-press dept

It really is quite amazing how so many authority types these days can't seem to comprehend the idea that people can and will take phones and record public events. Sinan Unur alerts us to the news of how two reporters were arrested in Washington DC while attending a public meeting of the DC Taxi Commission, which was meeting over a planned medallion system for taxis (used in many other cities, but somewhat controversial due to the ability to artificially restrict the market). Apparently, a reporter by the name of Pete Tucker was arrested for taking a photograph, and then Reason's Jim Epstein filmed the arrest and subsequent outrage by pretty much everyone in attendance. He then tried to leave, and the police tried to get his camera and then arrested him as well. You don't see him arrested in the video, but the woman at the end who declares that he has no right to film her (false, since this is a public place) apparently is told by a police officer that Epstein's phone would be turned over to her, which raises questions as to why police would be handing a phone over to someone else.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    "subsequent outrage by pretty much everyone in attendance"

    If majority were outraged by the actions of the police they should have taken more of a stand and made a citizens arrest of the officer for abusing his/her power. If 50 concerned citizens apprehended a "peace?" officer that would demonstrate outrage to me. This seems more like people were upset about it, but not willing to stand firmly behind their beliefs. If ever people begin to actually act on what they belive, only then do we have the possibility of real positvive change.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    citizen's arrest is a joke, also the cop would just taze you until your heart exploded

     

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  3.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:39am

    Is there any type of consequence for the police department or whatever when decisions like this are made? Are there any financial compensation programs when you're falsely arrested?

    I've lived in places where police are known to do these things just to intimidate people and they just get away with it. As far as I know in Bulgaria (used to be a Soviet state) and Turkey, not much is done when police officers make 'mistakes' like this; effectively creating police states.

     

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  4.  
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    DogBreath, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    It's a sad state of affairs,

    how there once was a show called America's Dumbest Criminals, but nowadays we are watching America's Dumbest Cops.

     

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  5.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Uhh, wow.

    How failure to understand the law again? Enough to make me think that the Hamburglar would make a better police officer than these lot.

     

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  6.  
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    FarSide (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Most people are not willing to take a stand that will land them in jail. Most people fear the police enough to not attempt something like apprehending a cop.

    What if no one else joins in? What happens when the 20 other cops in the building get called in? How about when they get your face from the video and then come arrest you at home later on, where the odds are in their favor?

    Those are the sorts of things that would come to my mind in this sort of situation.

    At least they appeared to not be beating him - that might have swayed emotions over the brink.

    Notice how to get around the 1st amendment, the cop thinks all he needs to do is say "I can arrest you for not following a direct order"

    Citizens are a lower class than the Police.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    This reminds me of that SNL spoof commercial for "Bad Idea Jeans"

     

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  8.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    THIS:

    "Notice how to get around the 1st amendment, the cop thinks all he needs to do is say "I can arrest you for not following a direct order""

    Very important.

     

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  9.  
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    DogBreath, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    I think the Hamburglar is unavailable. Last I heard, he was working for the TSA.

     

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  10.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    Consequences? Oh, you better believe there are consequences. First, they face the harrowing experience of an internal review, where highly sympathetic investigators give them total benefit of the doubt. Their fellow officers will each be rigorously interviewed, and their denials that they saw anything will only be accepted after the third or fourth repetition. Then it is entirely possible they will be smacked with the staggering punishment of paid suspension, or a transfer to an administrative job. The truly egregious offenders may end up in court, where their charges will be whittled down to the most meaningless of scraps until they are released and sent back to work where the rest of the force will be waiting with cake.

    Not only are their consequences - it's practically inhumane!

     

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  11.  
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    Squirrel Brains (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Once again, technology and corruption collide. They are trying to continue doing business in the shadows like they have always done and are quite upset that technology has made it easier to expose them. This is their last ditch effort to salvage the situation.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    I have to ask the obvious question: The meeting was a "public meeting", but was it in fact open for cameras and recording? Was it held in a public place (open air) or was it in a building (even government building)?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    I'm not sure what "open air" has to do with "public space." It obviously was held in a building, as the video demonstrates, but that doesn't make it public or private by itself.

    I think the question is, if someone claims it is not "open for cameras and recording," then who had the authority to "close" it? Is that really within the taxi commission's authority to stop people from recording a public meeting?

     

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  14.  
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    Dementia (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Re:

    Regardless of its location, a public government meeting is open to anyone and everyone. As such, filming and photography should be allowed unless it is somehow endangering someone or causing some set of circumstances that disrupts the meeting. Now, I will gladly admit that the arrest disrupted the meeting, but the photography and filming certainly did not.

     

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  15.  
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    ASTROBOI, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 10:59am

    Welcome to the next frontier; We have the War on Drugs, the War on Porn, the various wars on just about anything kids like and the increasingly invasive War on Privacy with its components...War on Internet, War on Email and War on File Sharing. Now we can add the War on Photography, film, video, still and motion. Of course all will eventually result in arrests and imprisonment at a time when we really need even more people stigmatised as criminals. Eventually it won't matter what the laws are since anybody that thinks will be in jail or on probation for something or other and probably forbidden to use a computer, possess a phone, drive a car or hold a job. Of course its one way to reduce unemployment.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Governments are often worse than the 'criminals' they try to suppress.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:07am

    Re: It's a sad state of affairs,

    The thing is, the existence of dumb criminals is no big deal, because everyone knows there are dumb people out there. The problem occurs when the government hires those dumb people to represent the public.

     

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  18.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re:

    No donuts! Now that would be cruel and inhuman!

     

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  19.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Governments are ALWAYS worse than the 'criminals' they try to suppress.

    You are in for some shocks, young person, when you grasp the full horror of government.

     

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  20.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:16am

    Staying Positive

    I choose to stay somewhat positive on cases like this (odd coming from me, I know). I think we have to assume that flagrant abuses of police power have not suddenly risen drastically in the last few years. Rather, it's our new-found ability to expose these abuses that has increased exponentially now that everyone has an HD-quality video camera ready to go at the touch of a button.

    We're in the transitional phase right now, where police and government everywhere will either adapt their behavior to the understanding that they are always under the watchful eye of the public, or an angry public will toss them out on their asses through any means available.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Police cannot issue orders to citizens - this isn't the military. If they're in violation of the law then can take appropriate action, but they cannot legally do anything to you if you're just a member of the crowd in attendance at a public event exercising your right to press, assembly, and freedom of speech. I'd get those sonuvabitch cops suspended and sue the hell out of the city.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    I agree with you on some points as well as the post above. However, do you consider this outrage? At what point will it no longer matter if you are tazed, broken, fired, killed? When they require you to be touched by TSA or go through radiation to get on a plane? NO! When you can't film a peace officer? NO! When you are being wire tapped without a warrant? NO! When the USA fights illegal wars in your name? NO! If they take away cable TV and beer? Most likley. When we are required to have biometric data stored in our drivers liscences? NO, RealID. When we have to have a chip implanted in us (for our own saftey of course)? I fucking hope to see some outrage by this point.

    Go ahead and keep doing what they say so nothing affects your self interest. Hey as long as they don't violate my rights I think it is just fine, especially if there is a chance that if I do something they might harm me in some way. Reminds me of the lesson that nobody learned in kindergarten. If there is a pencil on the floor, pick it up and put it where it belongs regardless of whether it is your pencil or not. Why can't we help preserve other peoples rights if they are being threatened even if our rights are not currently being threatened?

     

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  23.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    I wonder what kind of meeting I'd have to go to to have the cops give me someone's iPad?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Sounds like you are more afraid of your own police force then you are of "terrorists". Seems like a great way to live your life.

     

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  25.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re:

    I wonder what would happen to me if I were to deprive someone of their constitutional civil rights.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    "Police cannot issue orders to citizens"

    link?

    Anyway, I think you're right that suing is the best option here, unless just filing a complaint actually results in sufficient discipline. Physical resistance is too risky and makes you look worse in the eyes of all involved, and doing nothing teaches the wrong lesson to the cops.

     

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  27.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Sniff, sniff.......I smell Bacon!

     

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  28.  
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    Gill Bates, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    (Jeopardy answer): The USA today...

    What is corporate feudalism combined with Nazi fascism, Alex?

     

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  29.  
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    Trails (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re:

    It allows him to burgle more hams, so to speak.

     

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  30.  
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    DogBreath, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re:

    Now, I will gladly admit that the arrest disrupted the meeting, but the photography and filming certainly did not.

    By that definition, the police are the only ones who caused the disruption (a.k.a. Disturbing The Peace) and at minimum they should be arrested.

    Time to say, "Officer, arrest thyself", but it would never happen.

    /not sarc

     

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  31.  
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    Trails (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    Re:

    Ah yes, the ceiling clause of the first amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, lest they be under a ceiling. Then, beat them and electro shock their genitals if they try to record you.

    They say the last phrase was written by John Adams. Bit of kink in him, apparently.

     

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  32.  
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    Revelati, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:32am

    Gosh darnit! We need to make our policemen immune to scrutiny like this so they are free to stop those terrorisers from nine elevening our land of freedom!

    http://www.myfloridadefenselawyer.com/defenseblog/miami-beach-police-take-issue-with-civ ilian-cameras/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BART_Police_shooting_of_Oscar_Grant

    http://en.wiki pedia.org/wiki/Copwatch

    Apprently we are reverting to "old west" style law enforcement.

    Authority comes from the barrel of a gun, anyone telling you different doesn't have one.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    welcome to america, you must be new here

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Police state FTW.

     

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  35.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    It's actually quite ironic...

    Here I am, thinking that the availability of cameras in the public would actually lead to a more authoritarian state.

    But what's actually happening is that it's empowering local civilians to make their own journalism, to report stories as they are told, to empower people to actively view wrongdoings and expose those wrongdoings. I'm actually amazed and proud of that. Sure, journalists seem to get special 1st amendment protections at times, but now, we can actively see the 1st Amendment being used to express speech in a multitude of ways, that citizens couldn't before.

    And now matter how you slice it, those in governmental positions seem to hate it that the public eye can view them at any time.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Staying Positive

    or the police state will just put a boot to our collective face...

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    you dont need a link asshat, police arnt your superiors, in fact they most likely are your inferiors, and we pay their saleries, they do not get to tell us what to do. we pay other jerks even more of our money to tell us what to do

     

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  38.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    > I wonder what would happen to me if I were
    > to deprive someone of their constitutional
    > civil rights.

    As a private citizen, that would be quite difficult for you to do. Unless you're running a business and deny someone service because of their race/religion/gender, it's pretty much impossible for you to deny someone ther civil rights, because the law-- with very limited exceptions-- only protects against state action, not action by private individuals.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Been here all my life. Never been afraid of the police though.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Thats why you just go limp like a drunkard that just wants to sleep.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    What we really need is to begin pressing our legislators to pass laws that criminalize civil rights violations. Then the cops would HAVE to enforce civil rights for citizens instead of infringing upon them.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re:

    Amusing, but you missed the point. If the meeting takes place behind closed doors, there is potential that there is a "no cameras, no recording devices" restriction posted. There could also be a "no media, stakeholders only" restriction.

    I have a feeling that the people taking the pictures and video were (a) trying to make a scene, and (b) were trying to disrupt the meeting because they didn't like the result that would come from it. The minority tries to tell the majority what to do.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Well, if you say so and refuse to provide any support, I should obviously just accept your word as true I guess.

     

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  44.  
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    jonvaljon, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    if they didnt hire from the most ignorent amongst us, they would have a better grasp on the values they are supposed to be enforcing.

    A cop is not supposed to enforce his own will to dominate, he is supposed to enforce the will of the people who voted for the laws he is meant to uphold.

    You have hit the crux of the issue though; what good does it do to be in the legal clear when confronting a police officer for overstepping their bounds, if they will simply arrest you for not doing as they say, no mattter how far-fetched their request? Have fun dealing with the mess after the fact.

    If more of us new our rights, AND ACTUALLY USED THEM, and cops actually feared disipline for acting outside their authority, these kinds of cases would not go so unnoticed. Whats more, you may actually see cops learn to admit when they blatantly do not understand the laws they are payed to enforce, and defuse tense situations, versus flipping out when they are told they are wrong like a kid in a candy store.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    But who has the right to place such restrictions?

    Anyway, I would assume a "public meeting" is not held "behind closed doors" and, frankly, I don't value your "feeling" (i.e., random speculation) too much based on the video evidence showing the arrestee acting in a civil manner.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    you dont get out enough then lol.

    My 90 year old grandma is afraid of the police, and she is a saint!

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: It's a sad state of affairs,

    I have a friend who is a cop. He works in the county jail most of the time. He says that the people incarcerated, top to bottom, are the dumbest humans he has ever witnessed.

    His take on it is that the smart criminals are few and far between, and almost never get caught.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Sounds like a good idea. Why not do the leg work for some people and post phone numbers and email adressess for people to contact and get the ball rolling (could be your local community or on a national level). Everyone that feels strongly about civil rights should make at least one call or send one email a day. Do more if you like, but complaining and doing nothing won't help. Tell everyone you know to do the same. The people have the power, it is the same power that Orwell said the proles have. You just don't know it, can be easily distracted or don't have the will.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    he is right.. the police cannot issue an order to you unless you are under arrest, or being detained for questioning.

    You are not required at all to obey the orders of an officer unless they have "deprived you of your freedom," aka detained/arrested you.

    If a cop really takes it that far, with nothing to back it up, you better beleive the city/town/county is liable for a false arrest lawsuit.

    Its a game of chicken; the officer's confidence that he is acting within the law, versus yours.

    The cost for the cop being the ire of his supperiors for costing the city money in fees and lawsuits, the cost for the citizen being a taser to the face and jail time.

    You can see why one of these actors has less incentive to show restraint when faced with these situations...

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    because you need evidence for something that is common sense

     

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  51.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Staying Positive

    It's possible, but I think that at some point, concessions will be made or the citizenry will start exercising its second-amendment option.

    I'm starting to think the police are really just paper tigers. They talk and act tough when confronted with people who can't defend themselves, but they wet themselves and get all misty-eyed when a confused homeowner puts a bullet through one of them during a no-knock. Notice how they'll send in a SWAT team to find someone who fraudulently obtained a student loan, but when it comes to a known murderer, mafia boss, and #1 on the FBI's most wanted list, they resort to trickery so as not to invite violence.

    They only act tough in the face of an unarmed opponent.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    "what good does it do to be in the legal clear when confronting a police officer for overstepping their bounds, if they will simply arrest you for not doing as they say, no mattter how far-fetched their request?"

    What good? If people did this it would help more people know their rights and actually use them. What a better way than to demonstrate to the police and the general public that those who are aware of the rights will no longer stand for over reaching authority. It sounds like you are saying that you know your rights but wouldn't use them in this situation because of the "mess after the fact." Please tell me what your spine is made out of.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    That is precisely the problem. Not the not getting out part (which I would bet a years salary that I do more than you), but the blind fear part. What exactly are you afraid of? And for fun, who exactly is America at war with?

     

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  54.  
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    DogBreath, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    "Police cannot issue orders to citizens"

    Police can issue all the orders they want. The difference being that these days the police aren't able to arrest someone on some trumped up charge that would only leave their word against mine in court anymore. Not with videocameras in practically everyone's cellphones these days.

    This link has it's own story about such police abuses of the press (it also as quite a few links to other stories about the same kinds of incidents all over):

    But orders to shut off our cameras in a public place were almost always ignored. Often we did that for our own protection. In one case the video evidence showed a police officer was not telling the truth when my colleague, photographer Frank McDermott, was arrested at the scene of a drowning at a Virginia hotel many years ago. When the officer's supervisors saw the video (it was still rolling when the police officer placed the camera in the trunk of the police car following Frank's arrest), the charges were suddenly dropped and the officer found himself in quite a bit of trouble.

    Maybe the police should read the Miranda warning themselves every morning just to be familiar with the phrase "anything say or do can be against you in a court of law" (including getting your case thrown out on it's ear because you lied and/or violated the defendants constitutional rights), and add "and remember, you are probably being recorded, so don't do anything stupid like making up laws as you go along, ok?"

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    its not blind fear, its well documented and seen fear. the fear that some thug with a badge is gonna try to restrict freedoms that they have no right to restrict.

    for an example of the things people actually SEE that freak them out about the police, see the video posted above ;)

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    my spine is made out of titanium brother. I think you missed my entire point; yes it does no good if you know the law and get arrested, UNLESS we all do it more often and create a climate where police consider these things before taking actions.

    "If more of us new our rights, AND ACTUALLY USED THEM, and cops actually feared disipline for acting outside their authority, these kinds of cases would not go so unnoticed."

    I think you forgot to read the whole post ;)

     

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  57.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    because you need evidence for something that is common sense

    Well, that sense is not as common as you think.

    Where I am, in Michigan, you most certainly can be charged with "Obstruction" for "a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command" of a police officer (or a firefighter, or a college campus cop, or a conservation officer (park ranger), or just someone involved in a search and rescue).

    Michigan Legislature - Section 750.81d

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Right. So what is your saint of a grandmother scared of? Don't be afraid of somone trying to restrict your freedoms, challenge them, or they will take them and more away if you give them the chance. Hitler was given Poland... He still wanted more. All I am saying is don't give them away so easily. I'm sure that more people in the room had phones that they could have pulled out and began filming too. Maybe the cops would have realized their fault if everyone in the room turned the camera on them. I do get it though, it is easier to just keep the phone in your pocket.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Stephen, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:39pm

    Is there a Federal equivalent to California's Brown Act?

    I thought things like this would be covered by the various "Sunshine" laws. Here in California, we have the Brown Act protecting the right to know about how public officials do business.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Act

     

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  60.  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    For further information on your rights and more acts by police that will surprise you check out copblock.org

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    I read the entire post. The last paragraph would be great, but "UNLESS" we all do it more was not in your original post, which was kind of the point of my post.

    Please explain how it does no good if you know the law and get arrested. Knowing the law would certainly benefit me if I was arrested. It would also give me something to talk to the arresting officer about ;) Titanium is better than what I have.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    David Liu (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As far as the evidence tells us, this was a public meeting, where anyone could enter (see the fact that two reporters were even allowed into the meeting).

    New York is also a one party consent state, which means that, as far as I can tell, anyone is free to record the hell they want, barring some contractual rules or other stuff.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    key words there? "lawful command"

     

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  64.  
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    Overcast (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:42pm

    They should then be sued for calling it a 'public' meeting, when in fact it was not.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Here's the thing. People like to say a lot of things on this site as if those things are true, when it's really just those people saying what they think *should* be true.

    All I'm asking for is some support for an assertion other than "I said so, so it's true."

    I'm not even saying it's false, just that I'm not going to take some random internet dude's word for it.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    So if a cop asked you to hand him over $100 so that he can gamble with it, we're required to obey?

    No, it doesn't work that way. Cops can't just arbitrarily order people around.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This was in D.C. I think

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, the only evidence that this was a public meeting was the guy himself repeating it over and over again. Otherwise, there is no such information. Rather, it looks much more like a closed door meeting for stakeholders, not reporters or the public at large.

    I also find that he failed to show his press credentials or back up his claim of being a reporter. It really does appear more like a blogger / internet dude playing reporter and not following the rules that are in place for that building or meeting.

    The cop wouldn't have randomly just appeared in his face, so there is clearly a reason that is *not* shown on this video.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yup, here's the scoop:

    Reason is the monthly print magazine of "free minds and free markets."

    It seems that the "reporter" is not much more than your average unpaid blogger. He is a libertarian, seeming intent on upsetting the apple cart.

    I would really enjoy to know what happened in the 3 or 4 minutes before the video started rolling, that would be much more telling.

     

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  70.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    key words there? "lawful command"

    For sure. Open to much interpretation.

    For example, I believe "get out of the vehicle with your hands where I can see them" has been upheld by the courts as a lawful command. On the other side of the spectrum, something like "drop your pants and bend over" (cue Deliverance music here) would most certainly be considered to be an unlawful command.

    Unfortunately, there is a ton of space in between those two that is open. And, it really doesn't make much difference anyways, since the police can always arrest you for it and dismiss the charges later.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re:

    We should make an app that streams the audio and video feed from the phone to an online storage at the press of a button. Lets call it something cool like the iWitness (tee hee).

    If you are abusing your authority, and somone had the iWitness on you, you are screwed.

    You can't make the user delete it (the app does not support it), and you could pulverize the phone and it would not help.

    You could threaten the filmer, arrest them, even shoot them. But it is too late. Your misdeeds are in an cyberlocker halfway around the world.

    What has been seen cannot be unseen. Your actions have been recorded and you will have to face the consequences.

    And flipping out on the first guy that iWitnessed you will only get you in more trouble as other people on the scene bring out their iWitnesses.

    There is no hope, no way out. The only option is to preemptively follow the law and stay within the boundaries of your legal autority.

    About time the authorities learned what chilling effects feel like, neh?

    It would also probably work on criminals to some degree, if it becomes widespread enough for it to be common knowledge.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    So if a cop asked you to hand him over $100 so that he can gamble with it, we're required to obey?


    Highway robbery? Texas police seize black motorists' cash, cars”, LA Times, March 2009

    TENAHA, Texas— You can drive into this dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana border if you're African-American, but you might not be able to drive out of it—at least not with your car, your cash, your jewelry or other valuables.

    That's because the police here allegedly have found a way to strip motorists, many of them black, of their property without ever charging them with a crime. Instead they offer out-of-towners a grim choice: voluntarily sign over your belongings to the town, or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.

    More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with any crime.

    [...more...]


    Now, just a hundred dollars may not be worthwhile. But if the cop needs a few thousand...

     

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  73.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    "Authority comes from the barrel of a gun, anyone telling you different doesn't have one."

    In that case, I guess I'm fortunate that I (legally) own one.

    RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH!

    (And, no, I am not a cop, just a concerned citizen. And I also don't believe the quoted statement to be true.)

     

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  74.  
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    Thomas (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    Just shows..

    cops are corrupt and don't want people to videotape what they are doing. We're reaching the day when the cops are absolutely not to be trusted.

    If the police had their way, the cops that beat the *** out of Rodney King would never have been prosecuted since there would be no videotape evidence.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Issuing orders and "arbitrarily order[ing] people around" aren't necessarily the same thing, are they?

    I didn't suggest that all orders issued by any police officer must be obeyed.

    I asked for the prior commenter to support his assertion that cops can't issue orders (e.g., "put your hands up").

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "it looks much more like a closed door meeting for stakeholders, not reporters or the public at large."

    What makes it look that way?

    Why does someone who works for Reason not count as a "reporter" in your mind? Why does it matter?

    Of course there is a reason the cop is hassling him. I assume it's because someone didn't want him filming/photographing. That doesn't mean he can't under the law.

     

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  77.  
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    HrilL, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    I sure as hell am. I don't even try to stand up for my rights anymore. Its not worth being taking down and cuffed and taken to jail never once being told what you're being charged with until you get released the next day with a nice ticket for something you never did. We've got one of the most corrupt and power hungry Police forces in the country. They decided in 2006 to take out the dash cameras because too many of them were caught doing illegal things. Now there is no cameras so they do even worse things that they can get away with.

     

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  78.  
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    Sinan Unur (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

    Thank you and I prefer to stay positive as well

    First off, thank you very much for picking this up.

    I am not as concerned with police officers' actions as I am with the attitude of the members of the commission that they can freely restrict people's right to record and disseminate news.

    The "disruptive behavior" criterion seems to be anything that bothers the commission chairperson. A commission that is working on restricting the supply of transportation services to citizens of a city whose work does not involve anything related to national security, or violation of anyone's privacy has no acceptable reason to restrict the information flow.

    It seems to me that various public officials preferred the days when no one knew about the meetings which were announced on a dusty panel in the basement of the city sanitation services department, no one attended them and no one watched them on public access TV.

    After all, there is a reason the Hitchhiker's Guide gets to hits this very early on:

    There's no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you've never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven's sake, mankind, it's only four light years away, you know. I'm sorry, but if you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.


    Today's technology is making it easier for such things to come out in the open and we are better off for it.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Nicedoggy, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Bad officer! bad officer! no donnuts for ya".

    :)

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    People aren't willing to stand up for what they believe in these days. 50 strangers banding together to arrest a police officer seems plausible, but in reality there were probably only 3 people in the crowd who felt outraged enough to want to do something about it. Without the rest of the crowd on their side, they'd just get arrested too.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    You took his sentence out of context. Stop with the reading comprehension problems and make at least some effort to understand the issues without looking like a complete jerk.

    The point here is that this particular order made by the cop was not an order that the cop had the benefit to make. He had no right to make such an order and, as such, no one would be obligated to follow such an order.

    It's little different than a cop ordering me to hand him over all of my money because he wants to spend it on Vegas. Cops can't make orders just because they want to, cops can only make certain kinds of orders under specific circumstances and this order, under the given circumstance, wasn't an order that could be made.

    "link?"

    Can you give me the link to the law that specifically says that cops can't arbitrarily ask me for money so that they can spend it on Vegas?

    Even if no such law exists, the point here isn't that there are no laws preventing the cop from making such orders, it's that there are no laws giving the cop authority to make such orders. A cops authority isn't opt-out, where it is assumed that cops could make any order they wish so long as the law doesn't explicitly prohibit them from doing so, a cops authority is opt-in, cops can only do what the law specifically gives them authority to do. What the cop ordered here was not within his authority. The burden isn't on me to prove that the cop doesn't have the authority to make such an order by showing the specific law that says he doesn't, the burden is on you to show that the cop does have such authority by revealing the specific law that says he does.

    Despite this, we have freedom of the press, which explicitly prohibits the government from suppressing such things.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    I'm tired of repeating myself but I'll keep saying: USA is a Police State.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

    Re: I guess I'm fortunate that I (legally) own one.

    Until you try using it on a cop.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

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

    It really is funny watching you bend over backwards to support stupidity.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 9:07pm

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

    I am not supporting stupidity. What I am saying is that the video starts late, we don't know the true act that instigated the issue, we don't know if this guy was there really as a reporter or with an agenda (and a camera man). We get to see the second half of the story, and just like the Rodney King deal, once you knew more about what lead up to it, the more you can understand the over reaction by police. I still don't support them for it, but I can understand better knowing more of what happened before.

    This story smacks of setup, because there isn't much with Reason that would suggest they would send a reporter to a local taxi story. I don't think this guy is actually a reporter with them at all, just a freelancer or contributor for byliner.

     

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  86.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 28th, 2011 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    But you can always bring a false arrest lawsuit, I believe...

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2011 @ 11:41pm

    Re:

    ""Is there any type of consequence for the police department or whatever when decisions like this are made?"

    It's amazing how I can get in all sorts of trouble, and face all sorts of huge penalties, for something as harmless and victimless as copy'right' infringement, yet cops can break laws in very harmful ways without any of the responsible parties facing any consequences whatsoever.

    The laws that protect the rich come with steeper penalties than the laws that protect the public. We need to abolish this one sided legal system and vote for politicians that will pass reasonable laws.

     

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  88.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 2:56am

    Copyright Infringement

    If you film the COPS then you are infringing on the copyright of FOX. Yes, FOX are the only ones who are allowed to film COPS.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    It's also belaboring the obvious, as in "The sun rises in the east."

     

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  90.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, according to 'Hot Fuzz', the penalty would be having to /buy/ everyone else donuts!

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re:

    Was this the young John Quincy Adams, recently 'discovered' Founding Father at the tender age of 11 or so? ;)

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    Sorry. I like it when people say what they mean and mean what they say.

    Anyway, I disagree with your belief about what they other guy "really meant." He acted as if only people who signed up for the military have any obligation to follow orders. I don't think that's true (depending on the order and who gives it).

    I think you're right that the cop's order was not lawful, but that doesn't necessarily answer the question of whether there was any obligation to follow it. I don't really know the law in that area, but I think, for example, you might be charged with resisting arrest even if it later turns out they didn't have probably cause to arrest you.

    As for your Vegas hypothetical, it seems totally irrelevant, as I never suggested a cop can lawfully order you to do any old ridiculous thing (as I thought my prior comment made clear).

    If you're going to get mad about people taking things out of context, you might as well read WHAT I ACTUALLY WROTE.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Not sure this was outrage by those in attendance

    "50 strangers banding together to arrest a police officer seems plausible"

    Really? That doesn't seem remotely plausible to me.

     

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

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    As the grip of the empire tightens more freedom fighters will slip from the grasp, Liberty is at stake here and needs to be fought for.

     

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


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