Cop To Cameraman: 'If You're Invoking Your Rights, You Must Be Doing Something Wrong'

from the we'll-let-you-know-when-you-have-some-'rights'-you-can-use dept

The notion that certain rights are guaranteed to citizens is being proven false every day. For instance, you have the First Amendment right to film police officers and other public officials, but it often takes an official policy change (usually prompted by lawsuits) before these public servants will begrudgingly respect that right.

You also have certain rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment, but even these aren't innate. You can't simply remain silent while detained or arrested. You have to invoke these rights (often repeatedly) or risk having your silence (things you didn't say) used against you.

In the case of photographing police officers, you'll notice that activists and others who are recording will invoke their rights repeatedly. In some cases, this forces those being recorded to back off and reconsider their attempts to shut down recordings or seize cameras. It doesn't always work but it works often enough to show that these police officers know you have this right but won't respect it unless you invoke it.

Techdirt reader timlash sends in this video of two citizens filming a sally port (where prisoners are shuttled in and out of the courthouse) in Jacksonville, Florida. As is to be expected, police officers show up and try to shut down the recording of a public building from a public sidewalk. But the most amazing part of the video is the police officer's statement in response to the cameraman invoking his rights.
"You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights."

That's the prevailing attitude. Invoke your Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and the government assumes you have something to hide. Invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and the government assumes you've committed a crime. Invoke your First Amendment right to record police officers and you're told that you're "obstructing" an investigation or creating a public disturbance.

You have rights as an American citizen. They just won't be respected by default. And when you invoke them, you'll be treated as an activist (at best) or a criminal (at worst). The land of freedom has tipped the balance away from the citizens and towards the government -- because whether we're fighting terrorism, drugs or illegal immigration, the respect of citizens' rights impedes the progress of the nation's many "warriors."

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 4:01am

    If you have done nothing wrong... You still have a lot to fear it seems....

    The "nothing to fear" crew should be reviewing their attitude by now.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      Why? They've done nothing wrong!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:56am

        Re: Re:

        I am almost certain you are being sarcastic but just in case...

        I could spend a day telling you everything you did wrong while you were doing nothing wrong.

        Ask any police officer and they can tell you, hang around or follow someone/anyone long enough and they WILL make a mistake that gives them an excuse to harass you. The possibilities are endless and once the harassment starts they usually pressure you into saying something stupid or just getting you to make a mistake that only makes the problem worse for you...

        With today's technology I could most most people look suspicious with a few selective 'reports' on their daily activities. It would only be with a through review would you find out otherwise.

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

        • icon
          Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Humans have an innate ability to recognise patterns even if those patterns don't actually exist. The cop doesn't even have to hang around long enough for you to make a mistake, you just have to do two things that the cop thinks add up to a bad thing. If you have nothing to hide* you still have plenty to fear.

          *If you somehow do have nothing to hide, you are unique in the world. Everyone has stuff to hide even if they've done nothing wrong.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:00am

    You have rights as an American citizen. They just won't be respected by default.

    I believe at this point, they're no longer rights. This is truly a sad statement as to the quality of "liberty" provided in this country.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      You are never granted liberty. You take liberty.

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

      • identicon
        hobo, 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re:

        Civil liberties are granted by the government (which we gave up to form the government). In theory, they are guaranteed. In practice, not so much.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think you miss my point.

          When it comes to the concept of liberty, it doesn't matter one whit whether or not the government "grants" them. It's only liberty when you exercise it. We do not have liberty because a government says we do. We have liberty when we engage in it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      No, they are rights but it's quite clear that the government has decided to forget the 'inalienable' portion of said rights and that they are forfeit at any point for any reason.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:01am

    The fact that you know your rights is suspicious in, and of itself and that's reason enough for a closer look at your activities.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      corollary:
      If you don't know your rights, you have none.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      Ah. So the questions is, why do you understand your rights? The implication being normal citizens don't know their rights - only criminals can list them.

      ...

      When laws are outlawed, only outlaws will have laws.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:02am

    "You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights."

    Another proud citizen expressing their love of American Exceptionalism. Yes folks, this exceptional behavior is part of what makes this country exceptional, taking exception to everyone's rights every day.

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

  • icon
    charliebrown (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:09am

    No Photography?

    After that certain date 13 years ago, there was an anti-terrorism ad campaign on television here in Australia that basically did the whole "see something, say something" along with a list of things that would be suspicious.

    Now, one thing on the list was photographing things but the picture accompanying it showed somebody shoving their camera through a fence and taking pictures of some kind of compound. So obviously if you stick a camera through a fence to take a picture of, say, a food distribution plant, because, say, you might be making a blog on food trucks, you might be a terrorist.

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:17am

      Re: No Photography?

      Suspicious != Illegal

      I am pretty ok with police officers asking why people are doing things that may be suspicious. I am not ok with police officers arresting them, searching them, or otherwise interfering with them doing something not illegal.

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

    • icon
      Bt Garner (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:19am

      Re: No Photography?

      HOW DARE YOU! Why have you poisoned our techdirt community with your WAR on FOOD TRUCKS?!?!?

      FOOD TRUCK AKBAR!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:13am

    I love these guys.

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:15am

    Rights are like muscles, if you don't exercise them, you lose them.

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

    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:38am

      Re:

      This needs to be a motto for the United States.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:49am

      Re:

      So, more like trademarks then? If you don't fight for them, you deem them not valid and they are unregistered?

      Isn't the point of rights that you have them by default, that you are protected by them even if you can't protect yourself?

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

      • identicon
        AJ, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        "So, more like trademarks then? If you don't fight for them, you deem them not valid and they are unregistered?"

        Exactly! I don't think it's right, but that is how it is.

        "Isn't the point of rights that you have them by default, that you are protected by them even if you can't protect yourself?"

        Right again, but good luck convincing our Government as they have seem'ed to have made it a full time job trying to relieve us of our rights.

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

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:20am

        Re: Re:

        "Isn't the point of rights that you have them by default, that you are protected by them even if you can't protect yourself?"

        I would actually say this the other way around. The point of government is to protect our inherent rights. That the government doesn't do so doesn't mean they aren't rights.

        This is why I referred to "liberty" rather than "rights" in my other comments. The concept of "rights" has become too confused with the concept of "privileges".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      We don't have rights, we have privileges, as George Carlin would say. Deluding ourselves that they can't be taken away in an instant and there's not much we cant do about it.

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

      • icon
        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re:

        Didn't that George Carlin comment end with something referring to the second amendment? If you want to keep your rights you have to be willing to fight for them.

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

  • identicon
    Carlie Coats, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:15am

    No Bivens?

    In order to bring "law enforcement" back under the law, we need a *lot* more Bivens suits
    (Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) ).

    FWIW.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:15am

    you have the right to life,
    so you must be doing something wrong,
    so drop dead?

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

    • identicon
      Michael, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:35am

      Re:

      you have the right to life

      That's a privilege, not a right.

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

      • identicon
        rapnel, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:40pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, because it's been that type of ride, the privilege of life stops at the door. Once you have it the right to it is inalienable. That is until some fucker comes along and takes your head, obviously, and the other fuckers that will sacrifice yet more fuckers to die while tracking the original fucker down. The circle of trying to control your inalienable right to continue living, until you meet a fucker, nevertheless, ends in death. It's kind of neat, actually.

        Those that would strive to control the lives of others are, quite simply, doomed to die. Unfortunately their ideas don't seem to die with them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:36am

    If you invoke your rights, either you must be doing something wrong...

    ...or the cop must be doing something wrong.

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

    • identicon
      Zonker, 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:47am

      Re: If you invoke your rights, either you must be doing something wrong...

      If you have to invoke your rights, the cop must be doing something wrong.

      FTFY

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 12:26pm

      Re: If you invoke your rights, either you must be doing something wrong...

      Was going to say the same thing.

      It would probably get you a beating(for 'resisting arrest' of course), or tossed in a cell, but the first thing that came to mind after reading the headline was the response of 'Or maybe I'm invoking my rights because you are doing something wrong.'

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  • identicon
    psiu, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:41am

    "Secure Area"

    About as secure as the Emperor's clothes were opaque.

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:46am

    Sad...

    I just want to echo that comment toward the end, that "You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights."

    Sad, but all too true. And I don't know if there's anything we can do about it -- we can fight, and we certainly will, but the other side is much stronger.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:46am

      Re: Sad...

      "the other side is much stronger"

      This is an illusion. The other side is not stronger, they are weaker by a longshot -- which is why they do everything they can to maintain the illusion.

      Our side (the people) have the numbers and the resources. If we stop allowing ourselves to be divided, they cannot stop us.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:24am

      Re: Sad...

      "...we can fight, and we certainly will, but the other side is much stronger."

      They got the guns but, we got the numbers.

      Gonna win yeah we're takin' over COME ON!!!!!

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

  • identicon
    TestPilotDummy, 11 Sep 2014 @ 6:59am

    Ha Ha I thought...

    I thought it (title and headline) was Cop to Congressman. DAMN...

    I was hoping this was a big ass story!

    Just a cameraman.. waaa... I'm a cameraman.. I would have got the beat down, with that "He sets the rules crap"

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  • icon
    afn29129 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:12am

    Officer Sit-down

    Is that overweight officer who's driving the golf-cart
    actually physically fix enough to be a patrol cop? The Duval County Florida SO, so sad on several levels during the videoing.

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

  • identicon
    David, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:18am

    Eliminating variables

    Police work is safer when police has less variables to worry about. Being able to eliminate everyone or everything suspicious or worrisome means that you can do your work confidently, efficiently, and with minimal risk to yourself.

    "Shoot first, ask later" is one popular way to minimize risk and turmoil. "Intimidate, if necessary and/or disable with excessive force" is another.

    Photographers consequently severely interfere with the options of policemen of getting a situation under control.

    That's all perfectly understandable.

    And because it is perfectly understandable, a Bill of Rights exists to point out explicitly where the Executive is not allowed to tread, even though the Constitution's main text already lists the areas where the Executive is only allowed to tread.

    Unfortunately, policemen don't understand the costs associated with creating order in a country where laws are considered more than a joke. They want to cheat and not do the arduous and dangerous and responsible job they signed up for.

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

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:13am

      Re: Eliminating variables

      Unfortunately, policemen don't understand the costs associated with creating order in a country where laws are considered more than a joke. They want to cheat and not do the arduous and dangerous and responsible job they signed up for.
      Police work is easy in a police state.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 4:04pm

        Re: Re: Eliminating variables

        When you're the only guy with a sword, being a knight is easy.

        This is an old, old problem. And our bill of rights is almost in entirety about solving this old, old problem.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:22am

    Invoke?

    In my opinion, you don't 'invoke' your rights, you excercise them... Your right's exist regardless and by insinuating that you must 'invoke' your rights to use them is ridiculous.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:47am

      Re: Invoke?

      You are correct, of course. Unfortunately, the courts disagree when it comes to certain rights.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 4:06pm

        The courts disagree regarding some rights.

        The courts are a joke. We see that in how the police have more and better rights than we do.

        Which is to say we no longer really have those rights at all when the police decide we don't.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:47am

      Re: Invoke?

      Things that you need to exercise but dont... atrophy. It's no different for rights. They exist, but are so weak as to be ineffective if you don't exercise them regularly.

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

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:28am

    We have rights...

    So much for INALIENABLE rights. Apparently they can be given and taken away at the whim of the government or even a police officer... whenever they feel like it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 7:59am

    And to think this is what kenichi tanaka, antidirt and Whatever wholeheartedly support. Disgusting.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 4:10pm

      Re: kenichi tanaka et. al.

      Never sure if they're really pro-authority, Poe or trolls.

      Even Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli recognized that necessary evils were still evil and only to be used as far as they were necessary, and no further.

      And true sociopaths are pretty rare.

      So I figure they're trolling to be edgy, or, giving them the most credit, trying to play devil's advocate to give us cerebral exercise.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:07pm

        Re: Re: kenichi tanaka et. al.

        I don't know. There's a difference between having a run and banging your head against the wall. Both require effort and exertion, but only one actually serves any purpose.

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

      • identicon
        Just Another Anonymous Troll, 12 Sep 2014 @ 6:17am

        Re: Re: kenichi tanaka et. al.

        Let me assist you with that...
        Whatever and antidirt are pretty much trolls, antidirt's name alone should give you that.
        Kenichi is either a really good idiot or a really bad troll.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:12am

    citizen: i am invoking my rights!

    police officer: "You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights."

    citizen: you must be doing something wrong to make me want to 'invoke my rights'!

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

  • identicon
    AC, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:47am

    Time to fight for your rights

    It is time for the Citizens of the USA to fight for their rights, you need to take down the government ( Ya I know it won't happen, everyone is sitting in front of the boob tube getting fatter and dummer )

    /s

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:23am

    Let's turn this argument around -- "if you object to being filmed in your official capacity in public, you might be doing something wrong"

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

  • icon
    Jay Wolman (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:31am

    The correct response is: If I invoke my rights, it means you must be doing something wrong.

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

  • icon
    Greevar (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:39am

    Pro tip

    If the police ask you to do something, they know that you are doing nothing illegal. If you were actually violating the law, they wouldn't ask. Police don't ask you to stop violating the law. They stop it right then and there.

    Also, if they don't know what statute you're violating, then you're probably not violating anything.

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:41am

    Snappy response

    No, officer, if you have a problem with me invoking my Rights, you're doing something wrong!

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

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:31am

    There IS a tiny gray area

    If you listen carefully, the officer appears to be objecting to the fact that the interior of the building - as visible through the open doors - was being photographed. That may or may not have happened, but the possibility exists.

    Just as you can photograph the outside of a house, but NOT use a telephoto lens to peer through the windows, this might have some validity.

    There's another remote possibility that such photographs would be useful for planning a break when prisoners are being transferred - which is why our local courthouse closes the doors behind the vehicle before this is done. Jacksonville doesn't?

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 10:55am

      Re: There IS a tiny gray area

      "Just as you can photograph the outside of a house, but NOT use a telephoto lens to peer through the windows, this might have some validity."

      Well, first, was a telephoto lens in use? Second, you can (at least in my state) use a telephoto lens (or binoculars, or a telescope, etc.) to peer through windows -- you just have to be in a place you're legally entitled to be when you do it.

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

      • icon
        scotts13 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:37am

        Re: Re: There IS a tiny gray area

        "Well, first, was a telephoto lens in use? Second, you can (at least in my state) use a telephoto lens (or binoculars, or a telescope, etc.) to peer through windows -- you just have to be in a place you're legally entitled to be when you do it."

        The focal length of the lens is irrelevant; you could as easily come closer while still staying on public property, or crop the image. I'm pretty sure your locality has peeping tom laws that would prevent you from photographing the interior of a house, even if some view could be obtained in an otherwise legal manner. Ditto, the secure area inside a police station or courthouse.

        I am somewhat unimpressed by shenanigans like this. I'm all for exercising ones rights to demonstrate and reinforce them, I've been stopped from photographing in public myself, and didn't back down. But there's little reason to photograph this particular area other than to force a reaction.

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

        • identicon
          Michael, 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:45am

          Re: Re: Re: There IS a tiny gray area

          I'm pretty sure your locality has peeping tom laws that would prevent you from photographing the interior of a house, even if some view could be obtained in an otherwise legal manner.

          Every peeping Tom law I have ever seen requires the "peeper" to be acting secretly. Standing on a sidewalk looking into a window usually does not apply. Can anyone provide the relevant law where this incident happen?

          Ditto, the secure area inside a police station or courthouse

          If the secure area inside a police station or courthouse is just on the other side of doors that they have propped open, I would recommend they tighten security procedures rather than trying to chase away people with cameras.

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

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 12:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: There IS a tiny gray area

          " I'm pretty sure your locality has peeping tom laws that would prevent you from photographing the interior of a house, even if some view could be obtained in an otherwise legal manner."

          This made me actually look up the law in my area. The key part of violating the peeping tom laws is that the "peeper" must be doing so while attempting to be concealed. Standing on the sidewalk with binoculars, looking into an open window, would not violate the law.

          A couple of court cases a few years back actually clarified all this a bit. You can photograph or look at anything that is visible from a place that you are entitled to be, as long as you aren't trying to hide while doing it, using any equipment that is commonly available to the public (e.g., binoculars or telephoto lenses are fine, but sonar or infrared sensors are not).

          This applies to public buildings, including law enforcement buildings, just as much as private property.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 12:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: There IS a tiny gray area

          But there's little reason to photograph this particular area other than to force a reaction.

          The police are being forced to react nearly every time someone photographs or films them doing their job in public; by their overdeveloped sense of entitlement to act without being held to account.

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 2:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: There IS a tiny gray area

          But there's little reason to photograph this particular area other than to force a reaction.

          When the police don't react inappropriately, then there will be no reason.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 8:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: There IS a tiny gray area

          "But there's little reason to photograph this particular area other than to force a reaction."

          One of the nice things about being free is that you don't need a reason to do things.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:08am

      Re: There IS a tiny gray area

      If you listen carefully, the officer appears to be objecting to the fact that the interior of the building - as visible through the open doors - was being photographed.

      If that's a security problem then they need to redesign something. Two sets of doors, or a curtain, or something. This was two guys out in the open obviously pointing cameras at the door. If they had had nefarious intent they would have been having a coffee with their hidden camera, or used a telephoto from down the street, or something. Relying on "please don't take pictures" isn't security.

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 11 Sep 2014 @ 2:55pm

      Re: There IS a tiny gray area

      If you listen carefully, the officer appears to be objecting to the fact that the interior of the building - as visible through the open doors - was being photographed. That may or may not have happened, but the possibility exists.

      If they didn't want the interior to be seen, maybe putting the door right on a public street wasn't the best design decision. How about putting it in a fenced in area, or using two doors so that when the outer door is opened, all people see is an entranceway?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 11:20am

    You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights.

    Why don't we just get rid of all rights? If you don't have any rights you can't be doing anything wrong. QED

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  • identicon
    x, 11 Sep 2014 @ 1:03pm

    The actul statement is "The police officer must be doing something wrong if a citizen has to continually remind the officer of his/her rights".

    Fucking pigs.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2014 @ 1:20pm

    You're trying to get all lawyery with a thug. Lawyer logic doesn't work on thugs. Expect to be arrested, miss days at work, pay huge sums of money, and one day you "might" be able to prove a thug wrong in court.

    That's the best outcome you can hope for.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 2:16pm

    At this point...

    ...the police can just shoot you or assault you for no clear cause, and get a week of paid suspension.

    I'm surprised these guys haven't had their faces tased and their cameras seized just because a cop doesn't like their looks.

    (I do hope he's streaming so that when it does eventually happen we get to see it on video.)

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

  • identicon
    Casey, 11 Sep 2014 @ 2:52pm

    I like Sgt. Richardson

    Contrary to the youtube annotation, he wasn't making a "veiled threat", he was letting the photographer know what laws he is supposed to uphold.

    now since neither photographer was arrested for something stupid, obviously there was nothing that he could do. Bravo for the photographers in standing up for themselves. and bravo for the police officer for not being a total jerk and arresting them for some asinine law that is on the books.

    The police officer is right that it is a matter for the court to settle when a local ordinance/law doesn't jibe with the state or federal law or the constitution.

    The only issue that I have is the "You must be doing something wrong if you invoke your rights." That was just plain wrong and the officer (and the other one in the cart) needs some corrective training about that.

    kc

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

  • identicon
    KRA, 11 Sep 2014 @ 3:29pm

    We need more of this

    Most people are happy to cheer someone on when they want to fight the power, but very few people will step into the arena. I am at a point where I like to see people asserting rights for no reason other than they can.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 3:42pm

      Asserting rights to make sure they're there when we need them.

      Hear, hear.

      We're deep into an era where most folk are content to pretend their rights will be there when we need them, and dismiss occasions outside their immediate sphere when those rights are not respected.

      The price of freedom and all that. And we've failed at being vigilant.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 11 Sep 2014 @ 3:35pm

    ???

    A secure area thats open to the PUBLIC??

    When has a PUBLIC official, had rights greater then a Movie star on his own property?

    when DID A BUILDING FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS BECOME A secure premises??

    At this point, Im considering CUTTING my Taxes just to get rid of these folks..

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

  • identicon
    Gonnosuke, 11 Sep 2014 @ 4:20pm

    I've had the unfortunate experience of having a fairly large number of interactions with police officers (never arrested or detained) and in my experience most of them actually do abide by the law. By that I mean, I have to invoke "I'm sorry officer but I don't consent to searches" a dozen different ways and ask "Am I free to go?" in response to their non-answers before they finally give up and allow me to go about my business.

    I guess I've been fortunate because even though I've nothing to hide, I've never had any police officer search my car or person after I denied consent. They've tried to trick me into giving consent (the "I'm just going to search you real quick to make sure you're not carrying any weapons" sounds very official when they spring it on you) but if you stick to your scripts -- and make no mistake -- everyone needs to know the scripts, they usually give up and find an easier target. Most people are stupid, ignorant or naively compliant.

    The odd thing is that when it's over I have the impression the police have more respect for me than they did at the beginning of the encounter. They know it's a game and they know the rules. They're surprised when anyone who isn't a cop knows them too.

    TL;DR
    Present your ID
    Remain courteous
    Don't consent to searches
    Ask the magic question "Am I free to go?"
    Don't be afraid to say nothing at all when asked a question or to ask "Am I free to go?" in response to any of their questions.
    If you're not free to go -- stop talking.

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

  • identicon
    NotARobot, 11 Sep 2014 @ 9:42pm

    Can't do this in Australia

    We can't even do this in Australia. Any attempt to take a photo of any government building and you're effectively labelled a terrorist, I don't think they even warn you first just throw you in the slammer

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2014 @ 12:15am

    Okay then

    Clearly the cop can tell us all about his criminal abuse of power then. What he doesn't? Well if you're doing nothing wrong you wouldn't need to be invoking your rights!

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


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