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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Obstruction?

    Unless the guy was actually putting the camera in their faces, or parked his car so the police couldn't open their door, he wasn't obstructing anything. I think his "back off a bit and keep filming" approach was probably the correct one.

    Filming is not obstruction. In fact, NOT filming would be more obstructive, as possible evidence of what actually happened might be lost.

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