Los Angeles Police Develop Sudden Privacy Concerns When Someone Flies A Drone Over Their Parking Lot

from the this-bothers-US-but-shouldn't-bother-YOU dept

If your irony detector seems to be malfunctioning, this video of Los Angeles police officers confronting some activists flying a drone over a LAPD parking lot should reset it. At the very least, it should at least indicate whether the batteries need to be changed, as any powered irony detector should have the needle buried within minutes.


With a straight face and zero self-awareness, this was the message delivered to the drone operator and camera crew.
“What concerns us is that they are filming over private property and it's gated – you’re looking at the layout of the police station, how we operate, personnel license plates,” police Lt. Michael Ling said. “It’s kind of like if it was your house, if they’re flying over your backyard you’d start asking questions about it.”
Really? Can we start asking questions now? From June of this year:
On Friday, the [LAPD] announced that it had acquired two "unmanned aerial vehicles" as gifts from the Seattle Police Department.

The Draganflyer X6 aircraft, which resemble small helicopters, are each about 3 feet wide and equipped with a camera, video camera and infrared night-vision capabilities.
The LAPD says these drones will be deployed for "narrow and prescribed" uses, which even at its tightest reading means more than a few flights over private property. And considering the LAPD has been completely obfuscatory about its Stingray usage, there's no real reason to believe it will handle this technology any more responsibly than its cell tower spoofers.

Oh, and I thought license plates were public and could be gathered by the millions without raising privacy issues.
In its 2012 guidelines on ALPR, the International Association of Chiefs of Police remind us that a license plate “identifies a particular vehicle, not a particular person.” When the Drug Enforcement Agency wanted to install ALPR along Utah highways in 2012, an official told local legislators, “We're not trying to capture any personal information--all that this captures is the tag, regardless of who the driver is.”
While the LAPD has acknowledged the privacy implications of its massive license plate database (though mainly used as an excuse to thwart public records requests), it has also said this:
Releasing the subject ALPR data held by the Department would likewise "expose to the public the very sensitive investigative stages of determining whether a crime has been committed." All ALPR data is investigatory - regardless of whether a license plate scan results in an immediate "hit" because, for instance, the vehicle may be stolen, the subject of an "Amber Alert," or operated by an individual with an outstanding arrest warrant... The very process of checking license plates against various law enforcement lists, whether done manually by the officer or automatically through ALPR technology, is intrinsically investigatory - to determine whether a crime may have been committed. The mere fact that ALPR data is routinely gathered and may not --initially or ever-- be associated with a specific crime is not determinative of its investigative nature.
All license plate data is "investigatory." So, capturing plate data from LAPD officers' personal vehicles is nothing more than evidence gathering, whether or not any crime has been committed. This drone is the new Neighborhood Watch, no different than the LAPD's newly-acquired drones.

This interaction led to the following rebuttal.
"They bring up the expectation of privacy, I’m not buying it,” [drone operator Daniel] Saulmon told the Los Angeles Times. "Suddenly they’re talking about how I’m trespassing on a public sidewalk. They do not have an expectation of privacy…if you want privacy, build a roof."
The LAPD can't have it both ways. It can't claim the right to "film" citizens and prevent them from reciprocating. Or can it?
Los Angeles police on Friday said they have asked the city attorney’s office and county prosecutors to explore whether they can legally prohibit civilians from flying drones with cameras over department-owned parking lots.
Really? If the city attorney has even the smallest amount of self-awareness and/or spine he or she will laugh the LAPD right out of the office. If these entities support a prohibition of drone flights over their public buildings, they should be asked to ground their drones and disable their plate readers. I'm sure the words "officer safety" will be thrown around to justify yet another double standard, but screw the LAPD for having the temerity to think this idea should be entertained, much less having crossed its mind without tripping all over itself.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 3:46pm

    The LAPD is quite correct. Filming police in public is one thing but when you cross over onto public property, you are violating the law. It's why you can't fly a drone over the White House or why you can't fly a drone over an airport. Flying a drone over police department property and capturing license plate numbers, the payout of the police cruisers is a violation of the privacy and security of law enforcement.

    This article completely misses the point and tries to make the excuse that police property is the public. The officers are correct because how would you like it if I decided to fly a drone close to your bedroom window and started recording you?

     

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  2.  
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    william (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 3:48pm

    Hey! You know that officer safety comes first! We all know how venerable a 200lb, body armor wearing, gun carrying, tazer welding, baton equipped, combat trained office is when facing the citizens walking down the street holding their iPhone gun, or a camera gun, or the most terrifying of them all... finger gun!!!

     

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  3.  
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    william (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    I am not sure how you missed the point of the article

    1. Police don't like it when people record them violating their privacy
    2. Police like it when they record you, violating your privacy

    You cannot have both. or perhaps Police is not somekind of superior race that can have both, since they don't think they are citizens too.

    I, for one, does not welcome our new overlords.

     

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  4.  
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    Jesse Townley (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 3:54pm

    Re:

    Are you a troll or are you just pulling our legs? (It's been a while since I've posted here so I'm not clear on who's who anymore)

    There's national security implications with the White House and flight pattern/aircraft safety issues with airports.

    Police stations? Not so much for either.

     

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  5.  
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    Todd (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:01pm

    Crowdsourcing

    This certainly brings to mind (and is somewhat inferred from the post) the inevitable escalation. Drone flyovers forbidden. OK.

    If the police are able to record comings and goings of everyone everywhere with innocuous metadata captured with a camera, then why can't citizens do the same. It is not for lack of camera equipment, nor for lack of network connectivity, nor for lack of technical knowledge. The only reason that immediately comes to mind is lack of initiative.

    There may already be activities going on in this area that I somehow missed, but it seems like a really big citizen data repo enabling a bit of observation of "the watchers" could be useful for a lot of stuff.

     

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  6.  
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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:04pm

    Accountability

    Surveillance was always intended for peons; never for our security apparatchik, which regards itself as above and beyond accountability.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:06pm

    Re:

    You forgot MRAP-driving

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:14pm

    Re:

    Are you what happens when someone makes a list of fallacies come alive?

     

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  9.  
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    connermac725 (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    so is he the real kenichi tanaka who lives in tokyo then his argument is invalid then maybe in japan that is how the police roll.
    here in the US police departments are built with tax money so maybe not such private property then.
    seems to me a case of do what i say not what i do

     

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  10.  
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    AricTheRed (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:18pm

    Re:

    kenichi,

    Pull up your jackboots and and go comment on the health of the police state somehere else please...



    One law for the(and kenichi), another for me.

     

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  11.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:28pm

    For added humor value, someone should set up an automated license plate reader that reads the plates on all the vehicles coming in, and going out of, the police parking lot, posting the results in a public manner, then watch them whine about how that 'violates their privacy'.

     

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  12.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:32pm

    These officers were very cordial to these drone enthusiasts but I watched that video about two weeks ago and these idiots were just trying to provoke a response with the police. Secondly, your right to record ends at the gate or the door. Just as you have an expectation of privacy in your home, these officers have an expectation of privacy at their own police station. Your right to record officers in public is legal; your right to record them in their own police station is not.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:39pm

    Re:

    You're saying the cops somehow disable their drones from recording the back yards of the homes and properties that they fly over? What right do they have to see what I do on my fenced and gated property?

    And finally, recording cops to annoy them is a lot less nefarious than recording people to surveil them without their knowledge.

    Your arguments are all one-sided - you clearly believe that police can do no wrong here, and they should be allowed to violate citizens' rights to privacy, but not the other way around.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:41pm

    Re:

    Also, provoking a response is the first step in having the conversation... this is why they did what they did.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:43pm

    Re:

    awesome so I can expect the police to not be flying the drones they purchased over the city right?

    right?

    yeeeaaa

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 4:53pm

    Re:

    there is no their in this situation. The police are not a private company, they are public servants. All of the equipment, buildings, and land are owned by the public.

     

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  17.  
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    STJ, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 5:01pm

    "If the city attorney has even the smallest amount of self-awareness and/or spine," so this will be passed within a week.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 5:12pm

    Re:

    The Supreme Court has ruled that there is not an expectation of privacy in outdoor areas on private property. I realize you may believe that your opinion outranks the Supreme Court's, but I disagree.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re:

    Don't even waste your breath, man. Thugs like that guy can't understand the concept of honor. Or worse, they're convinced they get it, except instead of "protect the citizens with your very life" they think honor is "don't tell anyone that your partner raped a little girl".
    He'll never learn; his brain's too tiny to grasp the ideas, or maybe his parents didn't care enough to raise him properly. Either way, he's a lost cause. Just report and move on.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 5:23pm

    Re:

    What's the difference between "Filming police in public" and "Filming public property"? In both cases, you are filming something that belongs to the people.

    Your last paragraph... raises the EXACT point the article was making. Why are the police fine with flying a drone close to your bedroom window and recording you, but turnabout is suddenly an issue?

    Oh, and "the payout of the police cruisers is a violation of the privacy and security of law enforcement" and "when you cross over onto public property, you are violating the law" are two patently false statements. As the article points out, LAPD is now attempting to *make* it against the law, because they are uncomfortable with being held to the same level of scrutiny as the general public -- even though the general public have an expectation of privacy, but public officials do not, and must be answerable to the general public.

    Maybe I should have just left it at the responses you already got....

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    Well - two sets of rules, obviously.

     

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  22.  
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    JMT (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:05pm

    Re:

    "This article completely misses the point..."

    Oh the irony...

    "...and tries to make the excuse that police property is the public."

    Well it's government property so it's certainly not private property even if there are some access restrictions.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 6:34pm

    Re:

    So you let police drones have little sleepovers in your backyard, right?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: And others visiting?

    "recording cops to annoy them"

    My concern is for the privacy of people other than the police, eg someone detained or going to the police stn with the police to provide evidence but who are never charged and their visit never otherwise made public. This will potentially deter some people from volunteering information, for example if they don't want their employer, spouse, the person who assaulted or robbed them etc to be able to identify them.

     

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  25.  
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    bshock, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 8:24pm

    Wrong

    Police officers are public employees performing a public service. They have no expectation of privacy while on the job.

    If they believe they are entitled to privacy while at their workplace, they are simply wrong.

     

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  26.  
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    harry (profile), Aug 13th, 2014 @ 10:13pm

    private property????

    “What concerns us is that they are filming over private property and it's gated – you’re looking at the layout of the police station, how we operate, personnel license plates,” police Lt. Michael Ling said. “It’s kind of like if it was your house, if they’re flying over your backyard you’d start asking questions about it.”

    seriously since when is a city property "private?"

     

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  27.  
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    dadtaxi, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 12:01am

    Re: kenichi tanaka

    kenichi tanaka: Hear that sound? That was the Irony in the article wizzing right past your head

     

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  28.  
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    alternative(), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:12am

    Re:

    Filming police in public is one thing but when you cross over onto public property, you are violating the law. It's why you can't fly a drone over the White House or why you can't fly a drone over an airport.

    Oh, do show that the reason the White House/Airport restrictions are due to public/private property law. Show that via the code.

    The officers are correct because how would you like it if I decided to fly a drone close to your bedroom window and started recording you?

    Again, show how this is a public/private property issue in code/statute.

     

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  29.  
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    alternatives(), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:13am

    Re: Re:

    gutless concern troll who doesn't answer direct questions.

     

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  30.  
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    alternatives(), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 3:18am

    Re: Re:

    Provocation is also a 1st step in having a lawsuit so that law can be made or changed.

    The legislature typical reaction is "there is no problem because there has been no challenge" when there is an unresolved conflict in law."

     

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  31.  
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    David, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    "Well it's government property..." and in the US, WE are the government. Let's not forget that.

     

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  32.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Re:

    "It's why you can't fly a drone over the White House or why you can't fly a drone over an airport."

    No, it's not. You can't fly over those areas because they have been designated as restricted areas by the FAA. I seriously doubt the police station has such a designation.

     

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  33.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    "these idiots were just trying to provoke a response with the police"

    Irrelevant.

    "Just as you have an expectation of privacy in your home, these officers have an expectation of privacy at their own police station."

    Your home is private property. The police station is not. Your home has greater privacy protections under law than the police station. You're making a false comparison.

    "Your right to record officers in public is legal; your right to record them in their own police station is not."

    Please cite the law that says this. By the way, it's not "their own" police station. It's the public's police station. The police just work there.

     

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  34.  
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    Digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:19am

    Re:

    A building owned by the public with public employees in it is a far cry from the whitehouse.

    Pull your head out of your ass and stop sniffing your own flatulence, open air parking area is public, period and perfectly legal to fly over.

    Thanks for trying though

     

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  35.  
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    Digger, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:21am

    Time for CItizen-Cam

    Set up cams all around every police department, garage, etc, record all of the comings and goings, put every camera view up on the web, 24x7 - then we can all watch.

    F the F'ing F'ers

     

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  36.  
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    Cal (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Re: kenichi tanaka, "... LAPD is quite correct"

    You're mistaken.

    They have no LAWFUL expectation of privacy when using a citizen paid for building, using vehicles paid for by the citizenry, salaries paid for by the citizenry, etc.

    Actually all modern federal and state law enforcement agencies violates our constitutional republic's most firmly held conceptions of criminal justice which was written into the Constitution of the United States of America. Law enforcement under our legitimate government was a duty of every citizen, not the duties of professional governmental law enforcement which is the direct opposite of a limited government - each state's Militia.

    It was set up this way to protect the peoples liberty and natural rights, and to hold those who serve within the governments accountable to the people by the people. There is a reason that the Preamble to the US Constitution starts with: “We, the people of the United States... do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.

    As Dr Edwin Vieira states so well in his book “Constitutional “Homeland Security” Volume 1: the Nation in Arms”: “That means "that NONE of those tasks are assigned to the Army, to a Navy, to a (constitutionally unknown) National Guard, or least of all to any unnamed professional police, security, or intelligence agencies of the General Government or of any state or locality. Rather, the Constitution's explicit emphasis on the Militia as the preeminent forces by politicians of a garrison, "national-security", or police state...
    So those bound by Oath who "knowingly, with willful blindness, or in reckless disregard of the consequences of his/her action" votes for an unconstitutional act, bill, etc; when a "President or state governor refuses to veto it and instead executes it; or when a Judge, either of the supreme and inferior courts of the general government, or of any state knowingly declares such a statute valid and enforceable - each and every one of them violates his oath of office....” (End Dr. Vieira quote)

    This growing power differential goes against the principles of equal citizenship that is the bedrock of this nation. The great principle of the American Revolution was, after all, the doctrine of limited government. Advocates of the Bill of Rights saw the chief danger of government as the inherently aristocratic and disparate power of government authority, so wrote in immunities (natural rights) of the people from those in government overreaching themselves against the people. Constitutions - state and federal - specify the principle that all men are "equally free" and that all government is derived from the people.

    The modern disparity between the rights and powers of police and citizen shows up most in the modern law of "resisting arrest". Any US citizen was privileged to resist arrest if probable cause for arrest did not exist or the arresting person could not produce a valid arrest warrant where one was needed as individual liberty is the bedrock of our constitutional republic. It wasn't that long ago that the United States Supreme Court held that it was permissible (or defensible) to shoot an officer who displays a gun with intent to commit a warrantless arrest based on insufficient cause. Officers who executed an arrest without proper warrant were themselves considered trespassers, and the owners had a right to violently resist (or even assault and batter) an officer to evade such an unlawful arrest.

    Well into the twentieth century, violent resistance was considered a lawful remedy for Fourth Amendment violations. Even any third-party person who voluntarily assisted were lawfully able to forcibly liberate wrongly arrested persons from unlawful custody.

    By the 1980s many states had eliminated the right of resistance for the people in order to make it easier for professional governmental law enforcement to do the work of the state; plus criminalized the resisting of arrest or anything else by the general populace of any "officer" acting in his "official" capacity.

    Then they eliminated the requirement that an arresting officer present his warrant at the scene, PLUS drastically decreased the number and types of arrests for which a warrant is required. Basically destroying the basis of our legitimate government, and the level of protection given to us, and put into place by the Framers into the US Constitution and state Constitutions.

    “How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and … forcibly enter?”
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,

    The right to resist unlawful arrest IS a constitutional one. It stems from the right of every person to his/her own bodily integrity/health and his/her liberty of movement, which are among the most fundamental of all natural rights.

    The treatment of law enforcement in the courts shows that the law itself of crime control has hugely changed. Under the common law, there was no difference whatsoever between the privileges, immunities, and powers of constables and those of private citizens. Professional governmental law enforcement were literally and figuratively clothed in the same garments as everyone else and faced the same liabilities — civil and criminal — as everyone else under identical circumstances.

    When the USA started delegating their constitutionally required law enforcement duties to the professional governmental law enforcement, the laws were then relaxed to allow police to execute warrantless felony arrests upon information received from 3rd parties. Since the information received from 3rd parties (heresay)could not be confirmed, the professional governmental law enforcement could no longer be required to be "right" all of the time, so the rule of strict liability for false arrest was lost.

    This deprived Americans of the certainty of guilt when warrantless arrests are committed against the populace. Plus judges now only consider only if there was "reasonable grounds" to suspect a person because of 3rd party information not being able to be confirmed, rather than "actual guilt" in committing a crime by those doing the (illegal here) warrantless and no knocks on peoples homes.

    This, combined with greater deference to the "state" in most law enforcement matters has reversed and gone against the Supreme LAW of our land that they all are sworn to support and defend and all must be in Pursuance thereof it.

    It has reversed the original intent and purpose of American law enforcement that the state act against stern limitations and at its own peril.

    Americans now have fewer assurances that they are free from unreasonable or unlawful arrests, and no way to recover the damages caused from false arrests under the "color of law" being perpetuated on the people.

     

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  37.  
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    Cal (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re:

    "It's why you can't fly a drone over the White House or why you can't fly a drone over an airport."

    No, Washington DC was given to the federal government by the states so that it would be neutral in behavior, not favoring one state over another. It is those who serve within the federal government's property while they serve and under their laws except they are REQUIRED to support and defend the US Constitution.

    Article One, Section 8, Clause 17 states, Congress has the power: "To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States (Washington DC), and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings."

    That is the difference.

     

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  38.  
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    Cal (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    You are incorrect. Governmental professional law enforcement agencies have no lawful expectation of privacy here in the USA. In China, Russia, Japan, etc they can do what they want. Here they are now TRYING to do what they want and are being used as the first wave to DESTROY our legitimate government and our nation.

    There is NO authority give to our governments to have created a governmental professional law enforcement. The US Constitution does NOT recognize governmental professional law enforcement which is why the ONLY lawful authority they have here in the USA is the OATH they are REQUIRED to take and keep. When they do not do that they are committing an act of terrorism against the US people under 28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

    You see, they took over OUR constitutionally mandated requirement to train as the Militia of the several states and to:
    - Enforce the US Constitution and each state's Constitution,
    - Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which is constitutional laws ONLY),
    - Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
    - “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

    Around the 1930's those serving within our government started pushing for governmental professional law enforcement for "our own good". Also, at this time is when Joseph Stalin in 1933 said, ”The United States should get rid of its militias”.

    We did.

    The drafters of the Declaration of Independence had experience of the use of a standing army to oppress the people. They knew that a standing army is a tool of government and can be used by that government to enforce its rule in defiance of the wishes of the people. Because a standing army is usually distanced from the people, and its members are usually not from the locality in which they are stationed there is not a relationship with the locals making their use against the local population much easier.

    Yes, governmental professional law enforcement is a standing army.

    Understanding the 2nd Amendment is important. 2nd Amendment, Bill of Rights: 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" means that when the people are doing the duties assigned to them as the Militia we will always have our freedoms, and be relatively free from corruptness within our governments since it is OUR assigned duty to see to it that those who serve within them are constitutional in action or removed, and charged with crimes where it applies.

    From the framers and others of that period who tried to give us the way to keep our nation free; and for us to make sure that EVERY person was equal in standing, with the right to create the life that they wanted instead of what we have today:

    "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies." George Washington

    Richard Henry Lee: "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"

    George Mason, Co-author of the Second Amendment: "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

    St. George Tucker, a lawyer, Revolutionary War militia officer, legal scholar, and later a U.S. District Court Judge, wrote of the Second Amendment: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government.” (The Supreme Court has cited Tucker in over forty cases, in the major cases of virtually every Supreme Court era.)

    Thomas Cooley: “The right is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. . . . If the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for that purpose”.

    Samuel Adams: “Under every government the last resort of the people, is an appeal to the sword; whether to defend themselves against the open attacks of a foreign enemy, or to check the insidious encroachments of domestic foes.  Whenever a people ... entrust the defence of their country to a regular, standing army, composed of mercenaries, the power of that country will remain under the direction of the most wealthy citizens.
    And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions”.

    Samuel Adams: “It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control ... The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them..”

    Patrick Henry: "If you have given up your militia, and Congress shall refuse to arm them, you have lost every thing. Your existence will be precarious, because you depend on others, whose interests are not affected by your infelicity."

    William Rawle, whose work was adopted as a constitutional law textbook at West Point and other institutions, and was United States Attorney for Pennsylvania, describes the scope of the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms:
    “The prohibition is general. No clause in the constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.”

    Justice Story, Associate Justice, Supreme Court wrote: “The next amendment is: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
    The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them”.

    Tench Coxe: “Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American...The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”

    Tench Coxe: asserts that it's the people with arms, who serve as the ultimate check on government:
    “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms”.

    James Madison: “... large and permanent military establishments ... are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.”

    Joel Barlow, Revolutionary War veteran, wrote “Advice to the Privileged Orders, in the Several States of Europe” said of the US Constitution: "… not only permitting every man to arm, but OBLIGING him to arm.” (caps are mine)

    Early American Caselaw;

    Cockrum v. State: “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power”.

    Bliss v. Commonwealth:
    “Arms restrictions - even concealed weapons bans - are unconstitutional, since arms bearing is an individual right and the legislature may not restrict any aspect of such a right.”

    Nunn vs. State:'The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the milita, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right”.

    Andrews v. State explains, this "passage from Story, shows clearly that this right was intended, as we have maintained in this opinion, and was guaranteed to, and to be exercised and enjoyed by the citizen as such, and not by him as a soldier, or in defense solely of his political rights."

    Thomas J. Jackson: “The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.”

    Thomas Jefferson:“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

    James Madison: "An efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution and required by the spirit and safety of free government."

    John Norton Pomeroy: "The object of this clause [the right of the people to keep and bear arms] is to secure a well-armed militia.... But a militia would be useless unless the citizens were enabled to exercise themselves in the use of warlike weapons. To preserve this privilege, and to secure to the people the ability to oppose themselves in military force against the usurpations of government, as well as against enemies from without, that government is forbidden by any law or proceeding to invade or destroy the right to keep and bear arms."

    Noah Webster: "Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."

    State Gazette (Charleston): "No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state.... Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the  freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."

    Constitution of the United States of America:
    US Constitution, Article I, Section. 8, Clause 11: “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water”.

    The congress has the duty to grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal when they are needed to enforce the US Constitution, the laws, or defend the people and the nation. This is using private citizens in their own privately owned crafts to defend the USA and her people, this is using the Militia.

    Clause 15: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel invasions."

    This clause shows that the militia of each state is taxed with the defense of the USA and her people, not just with the defense of their state; and they are to be armed with weapons that can repel any invasions bearing modern weapons of war. Congress is required to provide those military grade weapons for the militias.

    Clause 16: “To provide for organizing, ARMING, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.

    Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural, explained that: "a well-disciplined militia" is "our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them" and also a guarantee of "the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; [and] economy in the public expense."

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    RD, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    "It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people."

    And this, right there, is why America has been at war, or involved in world wars, for over 100 years. If we had 20 years of peace and no conflicts (that we didn't create or stick our nose into) then the justification for spending $4 trillion dollars a year would be impossible to justify. By being actively engaged in war and "police actions" and such abroad (since somewhere in the world, there is *always* a war or conflict going on) then the MIC can remain fully funded and in charge.

    Also, AWESOME posts by Cal today. These are THE best arguments and delineations of the 2nd amendment I have ever seen.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Michael, Aug 14th, 2014 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re:

    and you forgot the ubiquitous pop-tart gun.

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 14th, 2014 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re:

    > I'm sure the words "officer safety" will be thrown
    > around to justify yet another double standard

    > There's national security implications with the
    > White House and flight pattern/aircraft safety issues
    > with airports.

    I know "officer safety" has been abused by the police to justify a lot of nonsense, but in this case, there is indeed a legitimate safety issue. There are a lot of people who would like nothing better to quickly and efficiently kill a lot of cops. There have been nuts in the past who felt so strongly about it that they've walked into police stations and just started opening fire to see how many cops they could kill before they were brought down themselves.

    As easily as these drones can be fitted with a camera, they can be fitted with explosives as well. They're a perfect little delivery system for a targeted IED, giving someone the ability to kill a bunch of cops without even having to die in the process, or even be very easily caught. The police have a legitimate concern that they might be used that way. I'm sure most here will scoff and laugh and say that'll never happen, until the day it does.

    On the other hand, the idea that any photography of their secure area is a trespass is nonsense. That cop was just making things up on the fly to justify his position. California trespass law requires a physical intrusion onto private property or restricted areas. Photographing property from a public street does not meet the elements of trespass. I'd have asked the cop if there was a 5-story building across the street, would it be a trespass to stand on the roof and look down on their parking lot. To answer 'yes' to that would drive home to him how absurd his interpretation of trespass law is.

    Likewise the drone pilot was being silly with his "This is public property, isn't it?" questions. Just because property is public-- i.e., owned by the government-- doesn't give people free reign to do whatever they like on it. The Pentagon is public property but try walking into it or flying a drone over it without authorization and see what happens to you.

    Seems like both sides of this issue have resorted to some rather hyperbolic and inaccurate legal arguments to justify their positions.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    > That's the difference.

    Washington DC being a federal district has nothing to do with why the government is able to legally forbid people from flying drones over the White House or otherwise trespass on the grounds.

    If that were the case, then they would have no authority to prohibit such activities on federal property that isn't in DC. Like the Pentagon. It's in Arlington, VA. Or the CIA, in Langley, VA. Those facilities have the same sort of restrictions that are found at the White House, but they're not in DC. Yet they're perfectly legal and valid restrictions nevertheless.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 15th, 2014 @ 11:38am

    Re:

    > Secondly, your right to record ends at the
    > gate or the door.

    What if there was a 5-story building across the street? Could the police tell everyone in the building they are not allowed to look down out of their windows at the parking lot across the street, or record anything they can see? Could they charge someone with trespassing for being in their *own home*, just because they were looking at something the police don't want them to look at?

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As easily as these drones can be fitted with a camera, they can be fitted with explosives as well. They're a perfect little delivery system for a targeted IED, giving someone the ability to kill a bunch of cops without even having to die in the process, or even be very easily caught.

    How would banning drones over police stations help with that at all? It's not like someone intent on killing cops is going to be concerned about such a law.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re:

    Are you a troll or are you just pulling our legs? (It's been a while since I've posted here so I'm not clear on who's who anymore)

    kenichi tenaka is always in favor of any police action, and comes up with some way to justify any infringement of rights by the police and the government in general, often by blaming the victims.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    these idiots were just trying to provoke a response with the police.

    You always trot this out when a story about recording police comes up. Do you think the right to record police is conditional, based on your motivation for doing so?

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > How would banning drones over police
    > stations help with that at all? It's not
    > like someone intent on killing cops is
    > going to be concerned about such a law.

    That's like asking why bother making a law that you can't bring a gun on board an airplane because people who are intent on hijacking the plane won't be concerned that it's against the law.

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 18th, 2014 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's like asking why bother making a law that you can't bring a gun on board an airplane because people who are intent on hijacking the plane won't be concerned that it's against the law.

    If there were no way to enforce the law, then it would be equally useless, yes. As it happens there are ways to keep people from bringing guns onto planes, so that law has some usefulness. How could a law banning flying drones over a police station help prevent your bomb scenario? Unless the LA police are going to deploy some kind of point defense system around their stations I don't see the relevance.

    I still think this is solely about police who don't want to be watched by the public, and has nothing to do with officer safety.

     

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


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