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Boston Pays Out $170,000 To Man Arrested For Recording Police

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the better-than-a-strongly-worded-letter dept.

The Courts 270

Ian Lamont writes "The City of Boston has reached a $170,000 settlement with Simon Glik, who was arrested by Boston Police in 2007 after using his mobile phone to record police arresting another man on Boston Common. Police claimed that Glik had violated state wiretapping laws, but later dropped the charges and admitted the officers were wrong to arrest him. Glik had brought a lawsuit against the city (aided by the ACLU) because he claimed his civil rights were violated. According to today's ACLU statement: 'As part of the settlement, Glik agreed to withdraw his appeal to the Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel. He had complained about the Internal Affairs Division's investigation of his complaint and the way they treated him. IAD officers made fun of Glik for filing the complaint, telling him his only remedy was filing a civil lawsuit. After the City spent years in court defending the officers' arrest of Glik as constitutional and reasonable, IAD reversed course after the First Circuit ruling and disciplined two of the officers for using "unreasonable judgment" in arresting Glik.'"

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I just wish... (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491023)

...that a precedent had been set in by court instead of by settlement. When one party (in this case, the government) is forced by the court to do something, it tends to have more legal weight behind it than when the party instead voluntarily takes an action.

Re:I just wish... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491043)

At least this will encourage others to file similar suits, though. There's more than 1 way to skin a cat.

Re:I just wish... (0)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491071)

That's the point dude-- why rewrite the law in the inconveniently right favor when they can simply shut up anyone that makes too big of a fuss about it?

Re:I just wish... (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491137)

The precedent has *already* been set, and the City of Boston settled *as a result*.

Re:I just wish... (3, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491183)

I just wish... ..that a precedent had been set in by court instead of by settlement

Yes! I also wish to know which one will be chosen here: "The two officers, ... , face discipline ranging from an oral reprimand to suspension, a department spokeswoman said yesterday."
Why do I think it will be a lot closer to the former?

Re:I just wish... (4, Insightful)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491299)

That is kind of what I was thinking. The officers got off very easy, they probably should have been fired. The IAD officers should be disciplined as well for their poor handling of the case. Even if the arresting officer didn't know (which is no excuse) that what Gilk was doing was legal, IAD certainly should have.

Re:I just wish... (1)

Blindman (36862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491375)

According to the article, the City of Boston had a policy allowing officers to arrest people in those circumstances. No one will get fired for following this type of policy. I'm thinking the punishment will be an informal finger wag.

Re:I just wish... (4, Insightful)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491695)

I'm just glad this suit went the right way. Cam-coders in every cell phone will have a major impact on both crime and enforcement in the future. People are getting filmed while robbing or committing other crimes right and left, which is a very good thing, and a major disincentive to commit major crimes. Note that no one is trying to make us to stop recording crimes in progress, unless it's policemen committing them. The impact this has on enforcement should be equally positive, creating a major disincentive for the police to act above the law. If this had gone the other way, it would have been a blow to freedom from government oppression.

Re:I just wish... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491369)

So, the range of punishments is from being told not to do it again, all the way up to being given some paid time off? Where do I sign up?

I picture (3, Insightful)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491397)

Elmer Fudd comes out and says "Tony you been warry warry baddd".

Seriously oral reprimand? Something like "hey dumbass you just cost us two years of your wages". The sad think is it is the public's money that is going to be used to pay this. So you pay for a police officer, he pisses on a citizens rights then you tax the public some more to pay off for the damage you did. Nice.

Re:I just wish... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491213)

The precident is that police don't know the first fucking thing about the Constitution or your civil rights. Police can and will do whatever the fuck they want and your only recourse is to try and file a complaint about it after the fact (in the meantime, shut up and do what you're told by the officer).

If cops actually had a clue about law, they wouldn't be cops.

Re:I just wish... (4, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491407)

Not just that, cops are dumb as shit thugs [go.com] to start with.

They're legally allowed to refuse to hire anyone "too smart" to do the job.

Crime pays for smart people. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491525)

I once talked to someone who knows Nancy Grace - that shrill fat chick on TV. She lives in Atlanta, GA - in a really expensive suburb.

Anyway, they "bragged" how she never lost a case when she was a prosecutor. I had to inform this person that prosecutors cherry pick cases. In other words, they set themselves up to win.

My point? If you're a smart criminal the "justice" system is easy to beat because it's filled with stupid people and people too lazy to work to put away smart criminals.

Crime pays for smart people. And if you're really smart, they pay you to steal Case in point: Wall Street.

Re:I just wish... (5, Interesting)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491725)

The average cops attitude reminds me of the Roman consul Gnaeus Pompey, who conquered Syria and Jerusalem without the senates prior approval. When some of his victims complained that his actions were unjust, he responded "Stop quoting the laws to us, we carry swords."

Re:I just wish... GRANTED (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491303)

Agreed. This is why so often government agencies settle rather than go to court and be proven wrong. Sometimes we get lucky when they are dumb enough to not only get caught, get sued but also don't settle. Then we get precident, but ONLY when the ruling is actually "published". A quirk of court that keeps many very helpful rulings from helping real citizens.

There are other instances where citizens have won over government on this level of grand stupidity, however the regulations literally state the standard of justice is the regulators re correct unless it can first be proven in their own court (that's right) they are arbitrary and capricious. It rarely happens of course and that standard of justice flies in the face of preponderance of the evidence, but, rarely, it can happen:

http://www.v-serv.com/usr/ATFE-03-16-09.pdf

JJ

Amazing! (5, Funny)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491029)

And it only took 5 years! And it didn't invalidate similar laws in other states, either.

Re:Amazing! (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491297)

Did it even invalidate similar laws in THAT state? It sounds to me (IANAL) that they just said "Alright, we messed up this time." Not "Alright, it's utterly insane that we would even try this and we'll never arrest someone for filming police in public again."

Re:Amazing! (4, Insightful)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491681)

The apealls court claimed that the police officers position was "not even arguable" Ouch.

Re:Amazing! (1)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491683)

I dont know if it did or not by why would they? I mean next time this happens I'm sure they will be betting that the person doesn't know their rights and just goes to jail quietly and gets suckered.... Means more money in fines

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491475)

And it only took 5 years! And it didn't invalidate similar laws in other states, either.

I can't understand how the heck the above is modded funny and not insightful.

Re:Amazing! (4, Insightful)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491669)

Quoting from the apeals court ruling: "The presense of probable cause is not even arguable here."

I wouldn't want to try arguing a similar arrest was legal when the court uses language like that in it's ruling.

The court didn't say that they didn't find the police officers arguements unconvincing, they more or less said get a clue.

The police were told that it did not matter what their boss told them, they were still guilty of violating Gilk's first amendment rights, and could be personally sued for it. Which should put a chill in law enforecement officers making those types of arrests.

When it comes down to it people want $ not justice (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491031)

Not that I wouldn't do the same thing in his shoes, but I would still have liked to see this go the distance rather then it just being a payout of tax payers money.

Re:When it comes down to it people want $ not just (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491129)

Seriously, you are an idiot.

Glik did not ask to be arrested, but he was. He asked the IAD to investigate, they told him to fuck off and file a civil suit. So he did. And by winning it and costing them $170,000 the Boston police department did what they should have done in the first fucking place - the disciplined the officers involved.

Maybe the tax payers should pay more attention in the future to their local cops.

Re:When it comes down to it people want $ not just (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491379)

Seriously, you are an idiot.

Glik did not ask to be arrested, but he was. He asked the IAD to investigate, they told him to fuck off and file a civil suit. So he did. And by winning it and costing them $170,000 the Boston police department did what they should have done in the first fucking place - the disciplined the officers involved.

Maybe the tax payers should pay more attention in the future to their local cops.

I don't think the parent poster was lamenting the fact that the guy got a big payout, but that this ended up with a cash settlement instead of being played out to the end to set a legal precedent. Even if he ended up getting $170K (or more) in the end, at least it would have set a legal precedent that should make this kind of thing less likely in the future.

Re:When it comes down to it people want $ not just (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491285)

Not sure what this guys occupation is, but 5 years later with $170,000 isn't much to show for it. That's $34,000 a year. It's also a payout for his legal fees. Net profit??? In fact, he could still be in negative when it's all said and done.

Re:When it comes down to it people want $ not just (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491517)

It's a bonus on top of whatever his ordinary salary is, not a replacement. I dare say most people would be happy with a bonus of $34,000 a year.

Re:When it comes down to it people want $ not just (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491325)

The taxpayers are also the voters. They deserve to pay until they take notice and send a message to their government.

Re:When it comes down to it people want $ not just (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491491)

Not that I wouldn't do the same thing in his shoes, but I would still have liked to see this go the distance rather then it just being a payout of tax payers money.

Yes, that is exactly the problem: have your fight for 5 years and all the others only cheering on the margins (if ever). That's no longer justice, it's "entertainment"... and of a dubious quality.

Ridiculous amount. (-1, Flamebait)

s-whs (959229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491035)

Compensation, ok, but $170,000 is ridiculous. For getting arrested? And who's going to pay for that? Citizens, through council tax or whatever.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491079)

For 5 years of hassle to a citizen's effort to keep the government honest? I think it's a bargain compared to the payments we give out to politicians. Compare this to the millions that CEOs receive? A rounding error. This number is too small, not too large.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491259)

Agreed. I thought the courts ripped this guy off. He should have received more.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491083)

So you've never heard of punitive damages? You think he had no legal fees?

The money has to go to somewhere, and we don't generally give it to charity by default.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (5, Insightful)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491089)

ridiculous for falsely arresting someone, then dragging it through the courts for years? Anyway, it says it paid damages AND legal fees. What do you want to bet that 5 years of legal fees are about $160,000? The city got of easy.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491161)

Simon Glik was only able to afford this because he's a lawyer and had the ACLU backing him up. The government is never in a hurry, and has no shame when it comes to spending someone else's funds.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (-1, Flamebait)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491595)

I don't know, but he might be one of them pinko jews. I wish we had more of them.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (4, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491735)

So government employees do something wrong and the court punishes the taxpayers? How about paying that $160k out of the cops retirement fund?

This is like when a Priest gets caught molesting a kid and the Church pays the victim with the congregations money.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491097)

Yeah public apology and implementation of more stringent training would have been better, but 170k is pretty good as punitive fine and sets a precedent for future lawsuits. It doesn't say if the department intends to dock the officers' salaries to offset the cost (I hope so).

Re:Ridiculous amount. (5, Insightful)

wurp (51446) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491111)

Not ridiculous. He was arrested, then spent years in court trying to get the police to do the right thing. What should he have done instead? Stopped when the time he invested became ridiculous? Then they would never change their behavior, and our rights would be even worse off than they are.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491115)

I bet he won't even get half of that as the lawyers will get a good portion. The idea of this kind of settlement is to make the defendant not do it again. You can bet that in morning roll call there will be some orders there about not arresting people for using phones to record police.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491177)

Another site, Ars, I think, stated that we will get around $50k. The rest going towards legal fees.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491189)

we=he

Re:Ridiculous amount. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491309)

A part of the legal fees will go to ACLU, not a bad deal at all.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491119)

What do you think the 5 years a legal costs might amount to?

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491125)

Arrested and five years of being run-around and fighting in court.

I don't know about you, but I feel five years of my life is worth more than $170k. Our civil rights as citizens are worth much more than that as well.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491135)

Well most of it is probably going to a lawyer. In fact 170K is very cheap for employing a lawyer for 5 years.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491209)

That's true of any lawsuit against the government. The point is for the penalties to be so ridiculous, so often, that the populace gets sick and tired of shitty cops, to the point that they pressure the police departments into keeping these goons in check and ensure that they don't trample on people's rights. $170,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to what the taxpayer is spending to employ these buffoons. You want to save money, cut back on the PDs. Less spent on payroll and lawsuits.

The problem here is that the settlement isn't nearly ridiculous enough. The cops' penalties range from "oral reprimand" (i.e. nothing) to "suspension". They should be fired at a minimum and possibly have criminal charges brought against them for abuse of police powers.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491281)

After paying his lawyer and taxes, he'll end up about $20 in the black.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491289)

In order to change anything, it has to be enough for the offender to sit up and take notice. Now if only the officers in question were liable for 1% of the settlement, we would make some real progress.

Re:Ridiculous amount. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491523)

You're absolutely right. The correct thing to do in this case is to try the officers in question for kidnapping, and their superiors AND the IAD for being an accessory to kidnapping. Making settlement payouts from the general fund does nothing to deter future crimes on the part of these thugs.

Its close (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491039)

Its close but its not April 1st yet guys!

lose-lose (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491041)

Boston has paid out nothing; Boston tax payers have paid out. There is no downside to law enforcement breaking the law, as they simply fall back on the (apparently) bottomless pockets of the general population. It's unlikely those involved will receive so much as a reprimand, let alone be fired. Even when officers are fired, they simply get re-employed as another location. It's a lose-lose situation for everyone but the officers.

Re:lose-lose (5, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491173)

Let it be a lesson to those people electing someone on a "tough on crime" ticket (which in turn means: free reign for the police to do as it likes.) They pay with their tax money for their mistake.

Re:lose-lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491265)

Boston's taxpayers should have voted for officials that obeyed the law, then.

Re:lose-lose (2)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491637)

That's not one of the choices.

Boston is actually pretty good as far as major cities go. It does suck, just not as bad as most.

Re:lose-lose (2)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491613)

But let them (cops, captains, chief, IAD, DA) pull the same shit again and heads will roll. This is a win for the good guys no matter how you cut it.

Re:lose-lose (2)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491785)

One thing that I don't get from the article is if the suit against the officers has also been settled. The appeals court said they had no reason to suspect their actions were legal, no matter what their bosses told them, and could therefore be personally sued.

Re:lose-lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491807)

No more likely Boston's insurance paid out. Which might cause bostons insurance premiums to bump up a little.

police department AND Internal Affairs are blind? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491069)

should be 10x that.

Make an example of them until they take our rights seriously. It's obviously a cultural problem they have deep into the roots.

same story yet again (3, Interesting)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491091)

this also happened in Mass around 2001 or 2002, where someone was getting harassed and decided to record the procedure. He was a musician and had a recorder of some sort in his car. After all the grief that he took, he brought the tape to internal affairs to have the offending officers reprimanded, and they used the tape against him in a wiretapping case. Now he has been harassed and arrested. WINNING

Yeah, really! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491095)

How can it be "wire" tapping to record what your eyes can plainly see, in public? What wire? What tapping?

Re:Yeah, really! (1)

oldwindways (934421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491195)

At least in Massachusetts, the wiretapping laws cover both in-person and telephone conversations being recorded. The key bit is that unlike the majority of states, both parties need to consent to recording in MA. http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter272/Section99 [malegislature.gov]

Re:Yeah, really! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491271)

How can it be "wire" tapping to record what your eyes can plainly see, in public? What wire? What tapping?

The wiretapping law is about recording audio, and last I checked, your eyes don't see audio.

Furthermore, he was not being specifically charged with "wiretapping" but with violating the law which is commonly referred to as the wiretapping law (don't know what its actual name is) but also covers some related issues of recording. Remember, a law isn't just about the name it is referred to as. Or do you think the PATRIOT act is just about being patriotic?

Typical /. (1, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491105)

I knew that there would be more people whining about tax money here, than the violations of the man's rights.

Re:Typical Human (2)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491221)

If anything, I expect a larger outrage here about the rights than you would get in most news circles. The average person doesn't care about the rights issue because it's happening to "someone else", whereas the settlements (and the money to fund it) is coming from them the taxpayer and does have an effect on them personally (if it changes tax rates or effects funding on things the other individual cares about). Plus there's the whole "he got money for nothing" angle which is more a jealously thing.

You're not complaining about Slashdot, you're complaining about human nature.

Re:Typical /. (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491343)

No, it's not more about tax money than a man's rights. It's more about a non-punishment of paying a settlement out of tax payer money instead of some kind of repercussions against those who violated a man's rights. For the most part, the government doesn't pay for their abuse when the repercussion for a crime is handing out "free" money and hoping the other party shuts up about rights violations... you pay for this and the abuse goes on.

Re:Typical /. (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491345)

I guess that tax payers have no rights that have been violated here?

Unless it is your contention that the IAD was negotiating with the best interests of the tax payers in mind, then I think you should take a big long think about this.

Re:Typical /. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491355)

Maybe because the violation of his rights is plain as day, while the slap on the wrist that really only hurts the public is a little bit more subtle.

A while back, there was a school that was fined for giving students laptops with webcams and spying on the students at home. My initial reaction was "Good!" until I read the comments, and it was similiarly pointed out that it was taxpayer money being awarded, not really punishing the school officials who made the idiotic decision to invade privacy.

Re:Typical /. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491455)

They're related. If public servants can abuse members of the public and then pass the responsibility for restitution on to other members of the public, then they have no incentive to stop. If the fine were paid by the officers in question, then it would be a different matter.

Re:Typical /. (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491811)

The appeals court did rule that the officers could be personally sued, but I don't know what became of that.

$170,000!? (1)

ToiletBomber (2269914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491133)

Dayum, I need to record cops and get myself arrested!

Re:$170,000!? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491363)

Dayum, I need to record cops and get myself arrested!

He ended up with $50K after his lawyers were paid, for 5 years spent in court. I can think of easier ways to make $10K/year.

Re:$170,000!? (0)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491499)

He ended up with $50K after his lawyers were paid, for 5 years spent in court. I can think of easier ways to make $10K/year.

He wasn't in court every day.

Or most days.

Or even very many days. Figure he probably spent three weeks, tops, actually in court as a result of this.

And did his normal job the rest of the time. So this is a bonus. Not a huge one, but it paid for his new car, no doubt.

Re:$170,000!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491663)

Figure he probably spent three weeks, tops, actually in court as a result of this.

Oh, go fuck yourself. This guy wasn't contesting a traffic ticket, when all you have to do is show up in court.

You obviously have no idea how much work it takes to run a 5 year lawsuit in federal court.

Meanwhile in Philly (4, Interesting)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491145)

Re:Meanwhile in Philly (1)

cain (14472) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491493)

You lost me when you linked to WND. If you've got other sources, I'd be glad to see 'em.

Re:Meanwhile in Philly (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491513)

I find it rather suspicious the 4 misdemeanours weren't named in that article wheras the dropped felony was. Use of ellipsis in quotes also raises alarm bells. I suspect there's a bit more to that than the articles are saying.

Re:Meanwhile in Philly (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491687)

It's not that the cops are slow to learn. It's that the lesson they're being taught is they can do whatever the fuck they want, and the worst possible outcome for them is a paid vacation. The most likely outcome is they get away with it clean and their victim is punished. You want the cops to sit up and take notice? Judges need to start having them taken out back of the courtroom and summarily executed for pulling this shit. Won't happen, because most judges (and juries) are on the side of the cops no mater what.

What is the world coming to (1, Troll)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491169)

Recording cops get you arrested, but carrying a gun hoping for an excuse to murder someone, then chasing down and killing a random child in cold blood does not even get you detained.

Re:What is the world coming to (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491241)

Child? I like how the pictures show him as a kid, not as an over 6 foot troubled 17 yo that needed help.

Re:What is the world coming to (4, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491707)

Child? I like how the pictures show him as a kid, not as an over 6 foot troubled 17 yo that needed help.

I like how quickly you fell for a Stormfront scam [streetwisepundit.com] .

Whoa, back up a minute. (5, Insightful)

Dancing Propeller He (632229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491219)

So until, the police and Internal Affairs get caught breaking the law, the law on the books isn't actually followed by the exact people who should know the law? Vigilante justice from within the police system is not a good culture to have brewing. Shouldn't anyone within the policing system that breaks the law or supports breaking the law be fired? Seems to be a conflict of interest to me.

Re:Whoa, back up a minute. (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491459)

They acted in a way they believed the law specified. It took 5 years of lawyers and judges wrangling for it to be conclusively decided that the law didn't specify that and the arrest was wrongful.

If it took people who have been studying law most of their lives that long to decide, what chance does a police officer, with a comparatively small legal knowledge and a few minutes under pressure to make his mind up, have to get to the right decision? It would be more than a bit harsh to brand cops criminals when they were forced to make a decision that was beyond their capability.

Re:Whoa, back up a minute. (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491489)

Are they capable of patriotism and the respect for rights and the rule of law that that patriotism (in the US) entails?

Re:Whoa, back up a minute. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491635)

That, sir, is utter bullshit. If we as a society are going to give you a gun and the legal power to detain, pepper spray, taze, and shoot citizens then you damn well better know what you're doing. What happens when someone gets killed because an officer misinterprets something? As history shows, not much,

Re:Whoa, back up a minute. (4, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491699)

Oh god, please. Compare to this case in Baltimore from just last month: BPD is hauled into court by the ACLU for routinely arresting people when they video police, under wiretapping statutes. Three days before the court hearing, BPD announces that they concede that people shouldn't be arrested for photography -- but within the same day, BPD are still arresting people taking video: except the charge has now magically changed to loitering.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bal-in-federal-hill-citizens-allowed-to-record-police-but-then-theres-loitering-20120211,0,3706866.story [baltimoresun.com]

The police departments are very consciously corrupting the law to benefit themselves, doing everything they can to delay and obstruct justice, and prosecutors are helping them along. If they get definitively slapped down in court for one thing, then within 24 hours they come up with brand-new bogus legal readings and go on with their abusive behavior unchanged. This is not remotely a "decision beyond their capability" one-time accident.

Re:Whoa, back up a minute. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491813)

So, cops can get away with "ignorance of the law...", and the rest of us can't?

That is so awesome. /s

Re:Whoa, back up a minute. (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491543)

I would think that with enough precedents against them and enough six figure settlements, any city would catch on pretty quickly that they need to fire such law-breaking cops. Hell, if another cop pulls this shit in Boston, you can bet the suit won't be for $100,000, but for a ton more because the city is showing signs of being a "habitual offender".

On the way out of the courthouse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491255)

...his attorney puts two quarters in a vending machine, selects a pack of chewing gum and hands it to him, saying "Here's your portion, have a nice day."

Money is not enough (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491277)

So, does that compensation include:

1) Removing his fingerprints from not only Boston police's files, but the FBI and every other system it was instantly and permanently sent to?

2) Removing all records of his improper and illegal arrest from every system?

Somehow I think information, once collected, is forever there. He will now be "searched", like a suspect, every time prints are run.

Imagine crowd-circles of recording wannabe's... (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491321)

So, now that if could be worth almost $120K to be arrested for recording police in action, I wouldn't be surprised if the next big craze (or How to Make Money scheme) will be to look for & start recording any police action (from the common ticketing of a motorist to questioning witnesses or suspects near the scene of an incident, etc.)

It's perhaps like a lottery... some officers will be either unaware of the final outcome of the Glik story or perhaps simply lose their cool in the heat of the moment.

1. See & Record some police-in-action sequence
2. Be arrested for it
  : (be lucky enough to have an outcome like Glik's)
3. Profit!

Re:Imagine crowd-circles of recording wannabe's... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491391)

There are several people on YouTube that do exactly that.

It's only when these nazi thugs face punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491423)

It's only when these nazi thugs face punishment, public humiliation, lose their jobs (and I mean they'll carry such shame they will have a hard time getting a job cleaning up porno booths, or even Assistant Crack Whore) that they'll start to get the message. This police state is going to cost a lot of money.

Threatened for photography (-1)

G4Cube (863788) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491439)

http://vimeo.com/38077785 [vimeo.com] I wrote this Friday night, I have since learned that the 5th and Mission garage is city property. I still have not gone to my car. The following is a letter I submitted this morning on the website of the SMFTA, faxed to the board of the SMFTA and sent to CBS Channel 5 San Francisco. I am staying in town 10 days as a contractor. For the past 10 years I have been parking for as many as 12 days at a time while performing my duties at these events. Tonight I went to my car to get a tripod for my camera, my hobby being photo and videography. I turned on my camera as I was walking out of the garage and continued taping as I was walking down the public sidewalk. 2 of your security guards accosted me and said "You are not allowed to take pictures here". I said I didn't know that and apologized saying that I did not see any signs that prohibited photography. One of the guards told me that I had to delete my photos immediately. I objected saying he had no right to tell me what to do with my photos (actually they are video files). They asked me if I was parking in the garage and I said yes. They asked to see my ticket I told him I didn't bring it because I wasn't going to leave the garage, just get something out of my car. They took this as an admission that I didn't have a car in the garage. They asked me where it was parked I said the 2nd floor on the south side. One man asked me for my ID. I said I did not have to give them my ID because I had broken no laws and he was not a policeman. By now 2 more large security guards had arrived and they surrounded me in a rather intimidating fashion. They told me that I had trespassed and that I was in trouble. I reiterated that my car was parked in there and I asked them if they were detaining me. They did not answer then said that the manager was on his way to talk to me. I replied fine, I will talk to the manager. I believe his name was George he would not give me his last name. George takes his position very seriously. He comports himself with a self-important overbearing attitude. His voice immediately went to a near shout stating that I had been trespassing and then he threatened me with arrest for criminal trespass. I stated the trespassing laws in California do not work the way he thinks they do. He thinks that himself detaining someone even off the property then telling any policeman that a person has trespassed means that the officer will automatically arrest that person. This interpretation of California trespass law if carried out on an uninformed citizen not on your property but detained on the sidewalk would subject your company to serious liability. I suspect that the officer hearing what had transpired would merely say that no crime had been committed. George did not take my instructing him on how trespassing law works very well. His voice went up in volume and timbre and he started using swear words, taking the Lord's name in vain and saying that he wanted to fuck me. Looking around I could see the security guards were embarrassed at the way this man was acting. Several had stepped back no longer wishing to be directly involved in George's tirade. He asked me if I wished he call the police. I replied no, certain that they would be irritated at his wasting their time. George told me to, I believe his words were "You are wasting my time. Now get the fuck out of here". I told him I was now on public property and he had no legal right to tell me what to do. At this time George looked around at the other security guards and told them that if I showed up on the property they were to arrest me for trespassing. I now fear I cannot go back to my car without bodily injury being inflicted on my person. I wish someone from upper management to meet me at the property line and escort me to my car. I will gladly leave your premises. I would also like a personal apology from the George person. If I do not receive one I will pursue legal action. He does not reflect well on the other employees, management, or owners of the facility. Please call me at your earliest convenience. I am here several more days but would like to remove my vehicle from your facility. If you would like to listen to his verbal abuse of me on the public street it is recorded. If you do not respond within 24 hours I will be forced to resort to legal remedies. I will also foreword a copy of this letter and the recording of the interaction with "George" to all the business partners you list on your web site and several news organizations. Only a personal apology will forestall this. I suggest you speak to George about this now. Anthony Loro

Freedom of the Press (3, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491441)

I can't believe this was ever an issue. Recording events as they happen, whether it's with a video, audio, or the old-fashioned pen-and-paper method, is a protected right under the first amendment of both the U.S. and most State Constitutions.

And to the person who wished a precedent had been set? Here it is: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/08/28/2030243/mass-court-says-constitution-protects-filming-on-duty-police [slashdot.org]

Cut to Monday night... (-1, Redundant)

G4Cube (863788) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491449)

The following happened on Monday night and I e-mailed it to the guy that I talk to on Monday. Who I thought was going to take care of everything and straighten out the security company at the garage. I guess I was a little optimistic and how long it would take to do that as you can see by the following events. I thought you guys had called over there and straightened out the security guys. I wanted to go to a movie in Palo Alto tonight so I thought I would just go get my car and go to a movie. The lady from CBS called me back and said she wanted to talk to me about what happened on Friday night so I said okay I'll meet you at the Starbucks and tell you what happened. She shows up with a cameraman and they want to watch me go to my car and I said okay. So we are walking to my car on the sidewalk out front I see one of the security guards from Friday and I point at him and say that was one of the guys that surrounded me. So of course they point the camera at him and ask him if he was involved with me on Friday. He loses it, tells me I'm going to get arrested and then grabs for the cameraman's camera. 3 or 4 other security guys show up and the manager (it says manager right on his jacket) show up and they tell me I'm going to get arrested. Mr. manager goes across the street to a police car that's there and brings them over. Meanwhile Channel 5 is having a field day shooting these guys being menacing, the cops talking to me, talking to Mr. manager, etc. I just want to get my car and go to a movie. It takes me 40 min. to get in. I tell the cops I want the camera people to go with me because I want to give them a ride back to where the truck is parked about 3 blocks away. The security droids won't let that happen. They say no photography on the site. I cannot believe this. The street cop bumps this up to his sergeant who talks to Mr. manager and basically tells him: 1 This guy has a ticket. 2 He wants to get his car. 3 These people are with them and they can accompany him. 4 We are going along also. So that's what happens. You guys really need to straighten out the security people there. And as I said I will not be letting this go until I get an apology from the guy who went off on me on Friday. 6:02 PM on Tuesday night. I just came from the 5th and Mission garage, where I met with John Brown, corporate manager and Tony Delorio the facility manager. John was my age, Tony one half. I asked them what the corporate policy for photography was in the garage. They said it was from 9 1/2 years ago and they didn't encourage photography. They didn't actually say corporate policy prohibited photography. So I'm wondering where the instructions for the security guards came from. Anyway I'm sure new instructions will be going out to all the guards and managers regarding anyone taking a picture or video inside the facility. They brought in the George guy who was going to apologize to me. I prepared a somewhat lengthy statement for him, which I cut short when I could tell by his body language, eyes and face that he really did not want to listen to this asshole one second longer than he had to. I indicated that it was time for him to speak. He qualified his apology by saying he was only sorry for yelling at me. I told him I did not regard it as an apology and that I didn't want to look at him any longer. He left. I looked at John and Tony and told him he was not sorry, and he would do this again subjecting the corporation to further possible liability. John indicated that Tony, his manager would deal with him. That he was a member of a union which did protect him up to a point. Having been a union member I understand how it works but I also understand the union cannot protect him from himself. In the long run his performance is what keeps him in his current job or gets him transferred to a job designed to make him leave the company. John went on to say that this being a customer service position and me being a customer was there anything he could do to actually make this up to me. He asked me if a period of free parking would be acceptable. I replied, I would never feel safe parking my car here. Any one of the 4 guys seeing me park here could easily retaliate on my property. He offered to comp me the time that I had parked here, a total of $195. I said that would be entirely acceptable. I now consider my interaction and desire for redress from 5th and Mission parking garage to be at an end. Other than having my bicycle stolen during a show 5 years ago this is the most distasteful thing San Francisco has ever served up to me. Whatever CBS Channel 5 wishes to make of this is out of my hands.

Wow what a crappy way to spend 5 years. (2, Insightful)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491477)

5 years. Way to go USA justice system. You suck.

Just take photos non stop (1, Interesting)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491507)

I guess the beginning is for the brave, but if everybody just takes photos non stop ... eventually the police will be decentitized. Everybody knows that there are cameras everywhere noways so much like open source ... a million eyes will eventually weed out the bugs in the system. We are living in times of change.

Meter maids working overtime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491651)

I was wondering why the meter maid were working overtime these last few days, I got a ticket last week at 9pm at night, usually they are mostly gone by 7pm in most areas. In the end, we locals pay the bill.

It should have been a LOT more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39491665)

Cockroaches scurry away when they are exposed to the light.... Just like cops hate to see their actions on the 5 o'clock news...

Even though it was wrong to begin with (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39491667)

how can IAD call it"unreasonable judgment if they had been supporting the idea for 5 years?
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