Police, Yet Again, Arrest Someone For Filming Them, Saying It's Obstruction Of Justice

from the sad dept

These stories are becoming all too common. The police in Suffolk County, New York (where I grew up, actually), arrested a freelance news photographer who was videotaping the conclusion of a police chase. The police told him to "go away," while letting others stay. The guy, Phil Datz, moved further away, and started filming again... at which point he was arrested and charged with obstruction. After realizing that they had no case (and after the story got some press attention), it was announced that charges would be dropped and that "officers will undergo media relations training." But it's pretty ridiculous that such training is needed in this day and age. There's simply no way that police should be on the street if they believe it's illegal to film them in public.

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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Aug 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    stop making sense... if you make sense they just look worse.

    I could give you a song and dance about because those cameras are passive, so the cop doesn't have to worry about being caught doing something wrong.
    I could point out most CCTV cameras on a good day can't get you a clear picture of anything.

    But I agree with the idea that police who make these arrests for people filming them are stupid. Using wiretap laws or anything else they can dream up to get these people is stupid. I think the real reason cops fear video is you can't put it on the witness stand and make it question what it thought it saw. You can't put pressure on a video to make it "unable to recall clearly" the events.

    Video rarely works out in the police's favor, but that is because other than Officer Lyons, a majority of video of police shows them in a negative light. I think it hurt their feelings so they get sad and lash out at people to feel better.

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