More examples of police arresting people for filming them
Police commonly arrest people for filming them. In fact, there are websites that exist to document this, such as Photography is Not a Crime. Arrests happen daily across the nation. Here are a few cases.
I. Louisiana sheriff's deputies arrest a man for filming a traffic stop, from at least 50 feet away. Their rationale for the arrest, well, they had to spend time to investigate who was, though such a reason could be utilized by the police (as it will) to hinder any filming of them or oversight.
II. San Diego cops violently arrest man who while being given a ticket for smoking on a boardwalk where it is prohibited, refuses to stop filming. The rationale, the phone/camera could be used as a weapon. Again, another rationale that could be used by the police anytime they want to suppress oversight and freedom of the press/speech.
III. Omaha, Nebraska police chase a man in order to take his camera after he videotapes the brutal beating of his brother. Amazingly, they ended up getting fired, and fairly quickly. Of course, there names weren't released by the police chief. If Omaha is anything like Milwaukee, these appeals by the fired cops will drag on for a while.
IV. Outside of the U.S., in Montreal, Canada, a senior police commander ordered the arrest of a young woman for posting on instagram a picture she took of an unflattering graffiti drawing on a wall, of the police officer. Now he perceived it as threatening, maybe, but she didn't create it, just she just took a pic of it and posted it. She didn't send it to the cop and she wrote no threatening message.
V. Police in Northampton, MA violently beat and pepper spray a man for filming them. To say the cops were unprofessional would do a disservice to anyone who has been only unprofessional. I think the Chinese government expects better of their police in interactions with the public then what these cops showed. Since the man beaten was African-American, as are some of these other examples, I have to wonder if race was a factor.
VI. In one of the worst examples of a cop being a bully, an Sebastian County Sheriff's deputy named Officer Fuller arrests and beats up a man who refused to give up his phone (which was within his right) for taking a picture from a safe distance of a SWAT raid.
Although it isn't stated in the article, I imagine this SWAT raid, as many are, was involved in our failed war on drugs. In fact, the cop when asked why he had the man arrested stated he doesn't like being told no, and he would make something up. Actually, other then that rare bit of honesty, cops do this a lot.
There are other examples of police arresting individuals for filming, and unfortunately I will in the future likely be writing more articles on them.
By the way, if you want to support freedom of the press, speech and hold the police accountable for illegal acts, please consider joining with me, the American Civil Liberties Union. I don't think there is a finer organization fighting for American values, then the ACLU, and they have been doing so for almost a century now.
A lesser known but also fine organization you can join is the Center for Constitutional Rights. Thanks.