Store Owner Sues Baton Rouge Police For Seizing His CCTV Recording Of Alton Sterling Shooting

from the store-entirely-self-service-apparently dept

I don't get to use the phrase "with alacrity" that often, but Baton Rouge store owner Abdullah Muflahi's filing of a lawsuit against the Baton Rouge police can only be described as that.

Following the shooting of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police officers, Muflahi's store was raided by law enforcement officers who took the hard drive containing the store's surveillance camera footage of the altercation. So far, everyone involved has refused to discuss the illegal seizure of Muflahi's recording equipment, deferring to the FBI and its investigation of the shooting -- which would be something if the FBI would answer questions about the seizure and current location of the hard drive.. but it won't talk about it either.

Hence the speedily-filed lawsuit by Muflahi, as reported by Mike Hayes of Buzzfeed:

The owner of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge where Alton Sterling was fatally shot on July 5 says police detained him for hours while seizing his security footage of the incident without a warrant, according to a lawsuit [PDF] filed Monday.

28-year-old Abdullah Muflahi says that police at the scene placed him in a locked police car for four hours and denied him access to his cell phone, preventing him from contacting his family or an attorney.

According to the lawsuit, police wouldn't even allow Muflahi to go back into his store to use the restroom during his detention, forcing him to urinate outside of his store in full view of the public. And his detention didn't end there. Muflahi was taken back to the Louisiana State Police headquarters and held for another two hours while officers questioned him.

This all sounds very suspicious, illegal, and retaliatory. Muflahi not only had CCTV footage of the shooting, but also filmed it with his own cell phone, providing one of the two "unofficial" accounts of the arrest. While it's fantastic that a recent Supreme Court decision may have resulted in officers' reluctance to seize/search Muflahi's cell phone, the Fourth Amendment itself seemed to have little effect on their decision to enter his store and seize his recording equipment without a warrant. While the recording could correctly be described as "evidence," that doesn't excuse a warrantless entry or seizure.

The lawsuit, unfortunately, is a little thin when it comes to establishing anything that might overcome the immunity that shields individual officers from the consequences of their actions. While it does suggest the Baton Rouge Police Department's training is inadequate, it really doesn't go into detail as to why the court should be expected to believe this assertion. However, it does make an allegation that could be interesting if the court decides to explore it.

[Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie] has negotiated a contract with a union representing police officers that provides a blanket indemnification for police officers who are sued by the public from all claims no matter what the circumstances under which the claim arise and further provides that meritorious complaints about police officers are purged from employment files after only 18 months. Both contract provisions encourage aggressive conduct by police officers by minimizing consequences.

It's common knowledge that police union contracts are generally constructed to shield officers from not only public scrutiny, but internal misconduct investigations as well. Most of these are complemented by a "Law Enforcement Bill of Rights" that gives officers up to three days to ignore questions about alleged misconduct or excessive force. These "extra rights" are often granted in the face of police union pressure, and the unions themselves are heavily-involved in the drafting of department discipline policies. Unions also help fired officers regain their positions, making it even harder for law enforcement agencies to rid themselves of the "bad apples" continually spoiling the rest of the "bunch."

While there's zero chance any decision would result in an alteration of the union's relationship with the Baton Rouge police department or the policies it helped draft, any discussion would at least shine a little more light on how these unions tend to make bad policing/policies even worse.


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  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 11:52am

    Public Unination

    Isn't that a crime that he could be charged with?

    So here's a new approach:
    1. Detain someone for hours, without access to restroom
    2. When they urinate, arrest them
    3. Search and Seize everything

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:54pm

      Re: Public Unination

      I'd a peed on myself in the cop car. Made sure to leave a puddle too.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re: Public Unination

        Cops are used to this and they find ways to make you pay for pissing them off (pun intended). This is the problem - the cops have all the power in the dynamic because they can, and sometimes do, choose to ignore your rights and you can only protest after the fact at your own effort and expense.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 1:31am

      Re: Public Unination

      nah takes too long to wait, better use the "you're under arrest for resisting arrest" after which you can apply the "Use unnecessary violence if necessary" principle :D

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 11:57am

    "legal" crime wave

    There are more ways for LEOs to invent new crimes, or simply commit old ones, than there are ways for the citizenry to take a decade long trip to SCOTUS to attempt to obtain relief. Especially when there is little chance of any LEOs being held responsible for even the most egregious of acts of violence, sexual attack, murder. theft, kidnapping and more.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:38pm

      Re: "legal" crime wave

      oh, it has gone far, far beyond that, kamper...
      not only do piggies NOT have to have a valid law in mind when arresting you, they can make shit up, and the judges give them a free pass...
      this was widespread when they were illegally cracking down on occupy protesters, one piggy would order them off the sidewalks, then the next piggy would arrest them for obstructing the streets...

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

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re: "legal" crime wave

        Citizens have power of arrest too in many states -- 49 out of 50 states have some form of citizen's arrest, often encoded into statutes. Only North Carolina entirely lacks citizen's arrest.

        If ignorance of the law but a good faith belief you are following it turns false arrests legitimate, then it would necessarily do so for citizen's arrests too, under the equal protection clause of the constitution.

        See a cop do something you believe is against the law? Arrest them! It doesn't matter whether it actually is illegal or not in those jurisdictions where judges give cops carte blanch if they have good faith.

        In those places where a mere arrest for certain things carries pre-trial, extra-judicial penalties, you can REALLY mess someone up this way.

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        • icon
          OldMugwump (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: "legal" crime wave

          Good luck with that.

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

        • icon
          PRMan (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: "legal" crime wave

          I'm sure the DA will see it your way...

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

          • icon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "legal" crime wave

            And that is the shame of this situation. Cop pulls you over for some bogus traffic violation. Cop gets abusive or in some other way violates the law or your rights. Cop arrests you for some made up law. You arrest the cop for his/her breach of the law. No one will ever hear about your arrest of the cop, and the abuse the cop applies to you in the interim...well your pocket book will certainly feel it, if not your body.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 10:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: "legal" crime wave

          Yeah, make sure to have one or two things(both would be better) before you do that:

          A lawyer at the site with you, with a live recording streaming to an off-site service/site that cannot be deleted via the device streaming.

          And/or

          An updated will for when the cop claims you were 'presenting a real and present danger' and acts 'accordingly'.

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

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 12 Jul 2016 @ 3:07pm

      Re: "legal" crime wave

      I thought one of the often-touted excuses for the Second Amendment is so that ordinary citizens could protect themselves against Government oppression.

      How’s that idea looking now?

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  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:07pm

    Recording police

    It just goes to show that, when recording police, you need to store the video on two drives...and one of those drives needs to be in Pionen.

    Because, if he gets that drive back, it's going to be erased "accidentally"...all the way down to the aluminum substrate.

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

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:15pm

      Re: Recording police

      I should have said, "...if he gets that drive back (which is a big if, as it will most likely be "accidentally" lost)..."

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

      • identicon
        David, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re: Recording police

        The prosecutor will show selected inconclusive snippets, the grand jury will not indict, the policemen will get two months of paid vacation and a promotion.

        More policemen will get shot in self-defense, police will get still more trigger-happy and paranoid, and the killings will increase.

        Until the police and their unions understand that dancing around their bad apples is what makes their jobs more dangerous in the first place, there is no hope for improvement.

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

        • icon
          Bergman (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 4:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Recording police

          Humans are generally very good at killing what they consider to be an existential threat. North Americans are better at it than most.

          Police are trained and conditioned by their fellow officers to believe they are under existential threat every instant they are doing their jobs, whether they actually are or not. But there is a growing awareness of this, that police will shoot you and claim self defense no matter how meek and submissive you are -- which is an existential threat to everyone who is not a cop (and even to fellow cops, given how often they shoot eachother due to accident or misidentification).

          We are rapidly approaching a point where police will pose such an enormous, immediate, existential threat to everyone around them that opening fire on them on sight will meet all of the legal tests for whether an act of force is legitimately self defense.

          Courts being as corrupt as they are, they'll probably reject such arguments, even as the letter of the law makes such a conclusion inescapable.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 8:13pm

      Maybe it's time to go into the streaming business...

      If the video is streamed live to a cloud service, then the drive getting seized (legally or otherwise) will be moot, especially if there's some kind of safeguard to prevent the streamed video from being deleted or altered (say a two-week window during which only commands to publish are regarded).

      Preferably, such an collection would be regularly archived offshore.

      Such a service may have an international following. The US isn't unique in its epidemic of law-enforcement officers attempting to seize documentation of their on-duty behavior.

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

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:09pm

    With actions like this it's no wonder some have taken to shooting at cops. Inexcusable yes. Understandable? Absolutely. The frustration of the community CONSTANTLY watching crooked cops(read as murders) get wrist-slapped, and let go is infuriating. There is no respect given by LEO's to the public but yet they DEMAND the utmost respect. It does not work that way. A certain amount needs to be given to the position, but the rest needs to be EARNED. They don't give 2 flying fuks about getting respect the honorable way. Cops that break the law are no better than the criminals they chase. I'd venture to say they are worse. At least with a criminal you know where they stand.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:35pm

      Re:

      What will happen also is the city will be slapped with a lawsuit and the tax payers will end up paying those costs. Why not sue the police union for protecting the bad apples in the ranks and reap the rewards from there.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      "Cops that break the law are no better than the criminals they chase. I'd venture to say they are worse. At least with a criminal you know where they stand."

      They're much worse because nobody expects criminals to obey the law. That's why they're criminals. Cops are not only supposed to know the law, but also uphold it, even when no one is watching or recording them.

      A cop breaking the law is like a social worker molesting a child or a soldier shooting the citizens of his own country. It's the deepest betrayal possible and should be prosecuted and punished more fiercely than most other crimes.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 13 Jul 2016 @ 5:13am

        Re: Re:

        They're much worse, and more dangerous for an additional reason as well: Unlike criminals without badges the law doesn't recognize 'self-defense' when it comes to a cop, since a cop would never assault or otherwise inflict harm on someone without a valid reason.

        If a criminal without a badge pulls a knife, or a gun, or just starts beating you with their fists you're allowed to fight back, and so long as you don't go too overboard the law will almost always side with you if you claim self-defense. If a cop does any of that though fighting back will get you slammed with aggravated assault of an officer charges along with whatever else the prosecutor feels like tacking on, assuming you don't end up in a morgue from the police 'defending themselves' from your actions.

        Both the police and members of the public know this, so while a 'regular' criminal will always have to worry about their victim fighting back, which will likely act as a check on their actions at least to a degree the same can not be said of a cop, making them far more dangerous.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:18pm

    I'm waiting for the hard drive to be returned with piss-poor 'amendments' to the video that would be obvious to a blind guy and his dog.

    Don't kill me I'm going to
    Kill you all with this nuclear bomb strapped to my thigh.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:26pm

    Exactly what does this store owner expect to get out of this lawsuit? While the police overstepped their boundaries, they won't get anything more than a reprimand, time serving behind a desk and possibly a suspension from the force for a limited time. If anything, it was a legally unethical move by the police, nothing more. The store owner simply does not have anything to justify getting around the
    'police immunity' restriction associated with lawsuits, simply because his rights were not being violated. Police officers have the right to detain you if you have evidence related to an investigation and to prevent you from either destroying that evidence or releasing it to social media or the news.

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

    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:43pm

      Re:

      The cops overstepped their boundaries?

      They committed an illegal arrest.

      False imprisonment.

      The use of actual or implied force to cause him to commit a crime.

      Theft of a security system.

      Raid of premises without a warrant.

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

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:46pm

      Re:

      So the alternative is to just roll over and accept it?

      "Police officers have the right to detain you if you have evidence related to an investigation and to prevent you from either destroying that evidence or releasing it to social media or the news."
      Absolutely 100% incorrect. What they have a duty to do is secure the perimeter and make sure the crime scene does not get compromised further and wait for the WARRANT to proceed. Then they take inventory of what was taken and from where. They do not have any right to detain you for 4 hours with no charges. You go to the store owner, which would prolly have been more than happy to cooperate with the police, and say we have restricted access to this area while we wait for the warrant. Period.
      Unless... you know the footage showed something other than what LEO's have said happened. At the very least the way it went down makes it look like they have something to hide.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:10pm

        police detention

        As far as I am aware, the police can detain you for up to 24 hours without charge, or even allowing you to communicate with an attorney. They do have to stop asking you questions if you say you don't want to answer any, but it doesn't sound like they were asking him any questions.

        I very much hope I'm wrong about detention, but I don't think so.

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        • icon
          Padpaw (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:44pm

          Re: police detention

          then you need to educate yourself about what the police can and cannot legally do.

          They have to inform you why you are being arrested, if you are not being arrested they cannot legally force you to stay with them. you have the right to get up and leave unless you are under arrest.

          If you are under arrest you do have the right to an attorney. it greatly scares me that there are such uneducated people like yourself out there when it comes to your basic rights.

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        • icon
          Lance (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 8:04pm

          Re: police detention

          They may only detain you for a very short period of time (during which you may end the encounter when you wish) unless they can articulate a specific, reasonable belief that you may have committed a prosecutable offense. They can't accost you on the street and decide to talk to you (or make you sit in a car) for hours. They can't extend a traffic stop by more than a few minutes, because traffic violations are not crimes. Having access (we assume) to the video that was recorded in the store is clearly not a crime. Even refusing to hand it over would not be actionable. The only way they could legally detain him is if they caught him trying to alter or delete the video after they identified it as potential evidence. There is no way they had reason to believe he had committed a crime. What they did is at least false imprisonment. If they were concerned about destruction of evidence, they can hang around and make sure he doesn't delete anything while they get a warrant. They can't interfere with him otherwise. it is a clear violation of his civil rights, which is a crime by the police. We all know charges won't be filed, but that doesn't change the facts.

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

        • icon
          Groaker (profile), 13 Jul 2016 @ 4:16am

          Re: police detention

          It varies from state to state. There is a difference between detention and arrest. Detention is only for a short period, and the individual can not be significantly moved. Once the police move an individual to say a police station, a short period has passed - probably 90 minutes in most cases, then the detention turns into an arrest.

          In some states you can be arrested and held on a policeman's say so for 24 or 72 hours without charges being filed. But the rights of the accused vary between detention and arrest.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      Police officers have the right to detain you if you have evidence related to an investigation and to prevent you from either destroying that evidence or releasing it to social media or the news.

      If they did not ask politely first, and have their requerst refused, they have no right to treat someone possessing evidence as a criminal.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:59pm

      Re:

      Police officers have the right to detain you if you have evidence related to an investigation and to prevent you from either destroying that evidence or releasing it to social media or the news.

      Police officers also have the DUTY to go FETCH a fucking warrant before taking your property.

      I'm so sick of people like you continuing to make excuses for piss poor cops that are funded with taxpayer dollars.

      What you meant to say was the cops need to step up and start doing their fucking jobs right.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:05pm

      Re:

      Legally unethical? I suppose that's one way to describe it. OF course, by that standard, most crimes are merely 'legally unethical' as well, from armed robbery to murder.

      Title 18, Section 241 & 242 define the crime of violating constitutional rights under color of law, such as the fourth amendment one their warrantless, non-exigent seizure of the video represents.

      Section 241 is the conspiracy statute, 242 is for individual violations. Since few police act alone, Section 241 seems to apply here better than 242. At the level of violation of rights the seizure of the video represents, every officer involved is criminally liable under federal law for a crime that has a maximum sentence of ten years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both.

      While it's rare for a federal prosecutor to press those charges, it's good to remember than anything you can win a federal civil rights lawsuit over IS an actual for-real crime under Title 18 of the US Code.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:42pm

      Re:

      making the public aware of whats going on maybe.

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 6:38pm

      Re:

      "Police officers have the right to detain you if you have evidence related to an investigation and to prevent you from either destroying that evidence or releasing it to social media or the news."

      I don't believe that right is nearly as broad as you think it is, but can you explain how being detained, handcuffed, in a car for hours was required in order for the police to remove a hard drive? You can't possibly believe that's not grossly overstepping what the law allows and what was even necessary.

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 7:02pm

        Re: Re:

        It is possible that the police in this instance were aware of the publicity relating to (maybe even Techdirts) those police officers who raided that pot shop and failed to find all the cameras and then had such a hard time being believable. This leaves one to possibly believe that they were just doing a thorough search, for four hours. Of course, we have yet to hear if the store was torn to shreds searching for hidden video cameras. Rather than detail the destruction, the plaintiffs just assumed that whatever remuneration achieved would cover the repairs to the shop. Maybe /s or maybe not /s.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      "or releasing it to social media or the news."

      If the evidence wasn't publicly released chances are the cops would have much more easily gotten away with their crimes. It very much sounds like this is what you want. Do you know what kinda scumbag this makes you look like?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re:

        (well, the confiscated evidence wasn't publicly released but there was evidence that was publicly released. If it weren't for the publicly released evidence chances are .... yet you support the public suppression of important evidence).

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        The public has a right to know how taxpayer funded police officers are behaving and so we have a right to that evidence being publicly released. and police should have no right to prevent said evidence from being publicly released.

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

  • identicon
    SpaceLifeForm, 12 Jul 2016 @ 12:43pm

    Unions

    They are all fine as long as
    they protect fascists,
    but if you need to make a living...

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    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:15pm

      Watched a corrupt Union get better.

      That is not a fair assumption. Take the IATSE. Once very crony-corrupt is now investing in their members and becoming very corporate, very professional and very fair. Took most of my adult life to happen but it finally did. Now when you come to Philly and request a lighting tech for example, you are getting a qualified technician, not just Vinnie's cousin that needed work.

      Shows make millions. And to pay a guy 10 bucks an hour is deplorable. The union, when it works right, makes sure Theatrical Stage Employees get a decent wage and can afford to feed their families for the countless 19 hour days associated with live performances.

      Won't someone think of the poor defenseless Stage Hands??? LOL.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:01pm

    Please. If a police officer knows for a fact that you have evidence related to an incident that the police are investigating, then they actually do have the right to detain you from doing anything with that evidence.

    Hell, they don't even have to have a warrant to arrest you, that's for the prosecutors and the judges to decide, the police are there to uphold the laws and are not expected to interpret the laws.

    Stop acting like every police officer has to have a college degree in jurisprudence in order to detain someone.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      Have you not noticed that your police tend to arrest people who may evidence of their wrong doing. They are sending the message that people should not try to hold them to accountfor their actions.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      Stop acting like every police officer has to have a college degree in jurisprudence in order to detain someone.

      Stop making it sound like fetching a warrant is too much to ask.

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

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:32pm

      Re:

      "Hell, they don't even have to have a warrant to arrest you"
      Arrested for what... exactly?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      "Stop acting like every police officer has to have a college degree in jurisprudence in order to detain someone."

      They should goddam well have a degree in criminal justice. Unfortunately, not all jurisdictions have more than a GED requirement because they also pay shit and get what they pay for - corrupt or apathetic cops. But a cop needs at least an associate degree in criminal justice to have a chance of respecting citizen rights because they're not going to get that training from the police academy.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:46pm

      Re:

      so arrested for resisting arrest then?

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

      • identicon
        David, 12 Jul 2016 @ 11:08pm

        Re: Re:


        "I don't think it's a joke, sir," Clevinger replied.

        "Don't interrupt."

        "Yes, sir."

        "And say 'sir' when you do," ordered Major Metcalf.

        "Yes, sir."

        "Weren't you just ordered not to interrupt?" Major Metcalf inquired coldly.

        "But I didn't interrupt, sir," Clevinger protested.

        "No. And you didn't say 'sir,' either. Add that to the charges against him," Major Metcalf directed the corporal who could take shorthand. "Failure to say 'sir' to superior officers when not interrupting them."

        And you thought Heller's "Catch 22" was satire. Arresting people for resisting arrest is really the pinnacle of stupidity.

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 6:46pm

      Re:

      Let's not forget that the police who detained this man for hours, despite the fact that he was under no suspicion of wrongdoing, did so in order to confiscate evidence of their own wrongdoing. Every possible reading of this story absolutely screams police cover-up. Are you sure this is the hill you want to defend?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 8:03pm

      Re:

      And what the fuck happened to "ignorance of the law is no excuse"? So the police can harass me and waste my time based on imaginary laws they think might not exist? Hell, why not go the whole hog with suspicion? "We arrested this guy because he looked like he wasn't suspicious so he was obviously hiding something!" And after all that hullabaloo you can go on, business as usual, because "good faith, trololololol"?

      Ever wonder why a lot of people think of the police as thugs? Ever consider that it might be because asstards like you will go to the ends of the earth to justify their actions to the death?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      They had no reason to arrest him in the first place because he did nothing wrong. and I don't think they arrested him they detained him. For that they need reasonable suspicion that he was involved in a crime. They didn't have that so they can't detain him against his will.

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:15pm

    The so called evidence was not at the crime scene, but at least 20' away. Do the police have the right to detain anyone at any distance from a crime?

    According to SCOTUS, after being detained for 90 minutes, the detention becomes an arrest. There was no basis for this arrest, nor questioning him without the presence of a lawyer. The store owner had no obligation to talk to the police whatsoever. His arrest was therefore quite illegal.

    Again, according to SCOTUS, it is only under the rarest of circumstances that police have the right to remand an involved person's property, in particular a picture or video. And we know that any video that the police don't like is probably going to disapear.

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

  • identicon
    Norahc, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:20pm

    Next week's story

    Now that the store owner has filed this lawsuit, I wouldn't be surprised if next week he was charged for urinating in public branding him as a sex offender.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:36pm

    Whine about it all you want but where it concerns evidence, closed circuit video is also evidence. The problem here is whether the police had exigent circumstances to enter the premise or whether they had the right to detain the store owner.

    I'm not disagreeing that the police may have went somewhat overboard in his detainment but they were correct in seizing the video of the shooting, no matter what their intent was. If what they did was illegal, then that's up to a grand jury and the prosecutors' office to determine.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      'm not disagreeing that the police may have went somewhat overboard in his detainment but they were correct in seizing the video of the shooting, no matter what their intent was.

      Yes, of course.

      They shot and killed the man.
      Then they seized all the video because it's evidence (without a warrant - you conveniently keep skipping over that part).
      Then they're going to investigate themselves.
      (Let's all pause and take a guess how that's going to turn out.)

      Then at some point in the future, the video will be released, but there's going to be some footage conveniently missing.
      Hmmmm...where have we heard this before?

      http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/laquan-mcdonald-investigation-305105631.html

      http://a rstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/02/journalist-recovers-video-of-his-arrest-after-police-deleted-it/

      h ttp://www.cnet.com/news/police-accused-of-erasing-cell-phone-footage-of-fatal-beating/

      I could go on and on and on....or "whining" as you put it.

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

    • identicon
      Quiet Lurcker, 12 Jul 2016 @ 3:20pm

      Re:

      Somewhat overboard??????

      Why in ******** couldn't they be arsed start the process of getting the video by simply asking politely if they might have the tape or have a copy made?

      If even a part of everything the suit asserts is true - and I am NOT saying any of it is - then quite simply, the cops screwed up by the numbers, full stop.

      As it is, the fact they simply took the video and delivered it to the feds (so they say) should (in an ideal world, which this is not) make a court very, very skeptical about their testimony.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:48pm

      Re:

      you are trying to defend illegal actions solely because it was police officers that committed them.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 8:09pm

      Re:

      So as long as they think there's evidence they can seize, it doesn't matter how they go about doing it. I mean, it's clearly not up to the layman's common sense to decide even if half a neighborhood gets blown up as long as they think there's something worth seizing... not like there's such a thing as tainted or illegal evidence, right?

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

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:39pm

    Here's the crux of why:
    "Muflahi filmed one of two videos of the shooting that has gone viral, showing officers struggling with Sterling before he was shot multiple times. After the shooting, one of the officers can be seen pulling a gun from Sterling’s pocket."

    Lemme guess.... the LEO's said he pointed it at them? Kinda hard to do when it's in your pocket. Gotta make sure nothing contradicts your lies.

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 1:42pm

    So far, everyone involved has refused to discuss the illegal seizure of Muflahi's recording equipment,
    Is it illegal?

    A couple years ago (in Canada) someone moving out of my apartment block left a mattress behind outside. That night some kids set it on fire. The new caretaker had been told that I knew how to work the cameras.

    It's amazing how when the police knock on your door, you KNOW it's the police even when you have no reason to expect them.

    Apparently if I hadn't been able to save the video to a flash drive for them, they would have taken the entire camera recording system.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 2:17pm

    AC Piggie, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that cops don't have to understand the law to arrest or detain you. Police officers have a codebook they go by to determine whether they have reason to arrest you, these police codes are what they go by.

    It's up to the district attorney and the prosecutors to determine whether to press forward with charges. If they don't think there is a case, they will refuse to prosecute or dismiss the charges before a judge.

    Police officers are not lawyers, that's why lawyers are also not police officers. You really should do your own research. It would make you sound less stupid.

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

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:49pm

      Re:

      That's you whatever isn't it

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 5:53am

      Re:

      AC Piggie, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that cops don't have to understand the law to arrest or detain you.

      Is there any other job anywhere where you can be totally ignorant of what you're supposed to be doing and it's a valid excuse?

      Seriously, you really think it's appropriate to pay them for this "work?"

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 2:32pm

    Then there was also the false arrest of the guy who posted the storekeepers personal video to the net, without which this would have gone down just like the cops wanted it to. So the retaliated in order to keep their honor, and the fear of the community intact.

    I know what SCOTUS said about the cops not being held to the legal standard that the citizenry is. But why bother to train cops if they can't be held to a standard? Just give them an M2, and have them vacuum up the streets.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 3:57pm

    So let me see if I got this right...

    When Johnson chose to attack the officers on the street he was going after the pawns.

    Maybe one might be better going after the rooks and royalty.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:01pm

    Clearly it is like John said, "They drew first blood".

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

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 12 Jul 2016 @ 5:38pm

    This is why people will shoot cops. There is no longer even the illusion of accountability for their illegal actions. Some people are closer to snapping than others and choose to take the law into their own hands when they see the system they believed in failing them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 7:33am

    I just posted this on the other thread but I figure it's worth repeating here as well

    First of all if the cops want to retain evidence they should ask for copies of the footage without confiscating it

    Secondly as soon as someone potentially died on the scene at the hands of police it becomes a conflict of interest for the police to confiscate footage or for them to continue on an investigation where the police themselves are possible criminals. They shouldn't even be allowed on the scene. Police should not be allowed to investigate their own potential misconduct or to be allowed to remain on the scene where they can attempt to destroy and alter evidence. An independent third party should investigate the scene and if they want footage they should only ask for copies of the footage and not be allowed to confiscate the footage.

    Thirdly the police had little reason to confiscate the footage in the first place. The alleged reason for confiscating the footage is that it's supposedly evidence to a crime. What crime? Their own crime? See above, that's a conflict of interest, they shouldn't be allowed to investigate their own crimes. You mean the alleged crime of the victim? What crime did he commit, selling CDs? He supposedly may have resisted arrest? Not a strong reason to confiscate footage and his alleged crime is far outweighed by the importance of making sure his death wasn't the result of police misconduct. Plus the victim is dead so you can't use that evidence to prosecute him. So why do the police need to confiscate it?

    For the above reasons the confiscation should be illegal. Even if the police requested a warrant, for the above reasons, the warrant should be denied to the police.

    The entire procedure and set of laws regarding when evidence can be confiscated and by whom and how needs to change.

    Hopefully the spambot won't flag it as spam since it's being repeated.

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

  • icon
    TRX (profile), 13 Jul 2016 @ 8:14am

    The value of the stolen hardware - and "stolen" is the correct word - is probably well down in 'misdemeanor' territory. However, the value of the recording might well be in the six figure range, which is felony-level theft. And it's time-sensitive property; if the police give it back after a year, they've stolen the present value of that property.

    The guy should start soliciting bidders now in order to establish the present value.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 3:55pm

    F*iiiiiiiep*

    Hadn't heard of the case, watched the vid at the linked thesource com link, have to say: I'm never going to visit my relatives in the US even if one is prof at a highly decorated university and the other works directly for/with the president. Sh...stuff is scary!!!

    They guy was down, 2 officers on him. How the piiep is there any reason to kill him?

    OT:
    No warrant, no ability to get anything. If they did it is illegal and if anything was changed on the original item then it is illegal and the PD might even be viable on the harshest charges off all: copyright infringement! The store owner created the video therefor it is his copyright.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2016 @ 4:03pm

    Not as bad as

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mezvCg0A5c

    Walking, headphones on, not hearing the officer, get killed.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2016 @ 6:31am

    I always recommend having decoy "working" dvr easily accessible and real one hidden and locked away in another building with external hard drive even hidden further away. And I mean criminals without badges here.

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


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