The war by the police on your right to film, continues
Ian Van Kuyk is a student at Temple University, in Philadelphia, PA. I have been to Philadelphia a couple of times, it is a beautiful city. He, along with his girlfriend were arrested on March 14, 2012. Heinous crime, they committed? Not really, they were arrested because he took pictures of a police officer arresting someone. His girlfriend was arrested for taking his camera as he was being arrested.
Kuyk was originally charged with a felony of hindering apprehension. The apprehension being it seems, for exercising his First Amendment rights to take pictures, including that of the police. Something that the Philadelphia police department mentioned the public had, in a memo given to all members of their police department, by their commissioner of police.
The Philadelphia Police Department has stated it is undergoing a review of the incident that might take up to 75 days. Which is strange, because they did not wait to bring charges against this student, after a review of up to 75 days. If it warranted charges right away, than why does it take 75 days to determine if the charges were warranted? In the meantime this student faces preliminary hearing in mid-April.
It is amazing that the government can arrest and prosecute you immediately for a legal act, but it takes up to two and a half months for it to make up its' mind if it did the right thing. Luckily, Van Kuyk does not have to rot waiting in a jail cell in the meantime, but some who are illegally arrested and waiting a review, do.
This is not the only example of abuse of authority by police in the U.S. Maryland is a hotbed of Constitutional violations by their police. A motorcyclist named Anthony Graber, who posted on Youtube a video of himself being arrested ( he had a very visible helmet cam on) was later arrested again, days later by state police because the audio supposedly violated wiretapping laws.
Which it clearly didn't of course because there is no expectation of privacy in public. There is also a lawsuit against Baltimore police by an individual named Christopher Sharp, who had his cellphone video of violence used by Baltimore police against a person at the 2010 Preakness horse race, erased. They also erased some home videos of him and his son.
Even in Milwaukee we see incidents of police harassment of reporters and journalists and illegal arrests. For example videographer Clint Fillinger was arrested by the Milwaukee Police Department, last year for filming a house fire. He was not in any area restricted to the general population.
Who also can forget New York City Police taking cameras of journalists, and targeting them for arrest, during the Occupy Wall Street protests? Or, visibly blocking them from filming arrests. A Detroit journalist named Diane Bukowski was arrested in 2008, and had her pictures deleted by the police (which is a felony in itself) for allegedly crossing a yellow police line. While illegal, if true, it hardly warrants 5 felony charges.
If all these actions happened in Syria or China we would condemn them, well, why is there so little reaction when they happen here in the U.S?
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Philadelphia suburbs, Pennsylvania, United States