Forget Being Arrested For Filming The Police, Now They're Arresting People For Sitting
from the something-seems-wrong-here dept
Of course, what good is that when the police are coming up with any reason possible to arrest people. Boing Boing points us to a story of a police officer in Atlanta who arrested a disabled woman after throwing her to the ground, after she refused to move from the chair she was sitting on. When she refused to move, the officer grabbed her wrist and twisted her arm, causing her to fall to the ground, injuring her shoulder in the process. After being taken to the hospital, she spent the night in jail for "disorderly conduct." For sitting in a chair.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution report notes that a police review board reviewing the case found that she was falsely arrested, and also noted that the officer in question had made 38 arrests over a five-month period -- with 27 of them being similar charges of "disorderly conduct." They noted that the 27 arrests were "three times the amount made by two other officers that patrol the same area, during the same shift." All of this suggests an officer abusing his power, by simply claiming "obstruction" for anyone who doesn't follow his commands, even if there's no legal basis for them. The board recommended that the officer, Kenneth Thomas, be disciplined. To date, the police department has done nothing.
There are, of course, always stories of police abusing their power, but it's for these reasons that the right to film police in their activities is important. Good and honest police officers (of which there are many) should support such things. If they're doing their job within the confines of the law, they should be happy to be filmed or photographed.