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Photograph the Police, Get Arrested

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the don't-you-know-what-rights-you-don't-have dept.

902

Servo writes "Last month a man was arrested in New Hampshire after presenting evidence of a police officer being verbally abusive that he had captured on his home security camera system. Now just recently in Philadelphia a 21 year old student was arrested on his property after he took a photo of the police who were in the process of arresting a drug dealer down the street." From the article: "Cruz said that when he heard a commotion, he walked out of his back door with his cell phone to see what was happening. He said that when he saw the street lined with police cars, he decided to take a picture of the scene. 'I opened (the phone) and took a shot,' Cruz said. Moments later, Cruz said he got the shock of his life when an officer came to his back yard gate."

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902 comments

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so (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810013)

so what?

Re:so (2, Insightful)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810174)

Parent worse than flamebait. More like: (Score:-1, Traitor to the American people)

Why just Americans? (2, Informative)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810226)

Why not "Traitor to sentient beings of the universe, wherever and in whatever form they might be"

Re:Why just Americans? (0, Troll)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810239)

Same reason I didn't say," Traitor to the UN" or "Traitor to Michael Jackson"

Hint: Opposite of relevant.

welcome! (5, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810015)

He said that when he saw the street lined with police cars, he decided to take a picture of the scene. 'I opened (the phone) and took a shot,' Cruz said. Moments later, Cruz said he got the shock of his life when an officer came to his back yard gate.

You must be new here.

Welcome to America. Remember to leave your civil liberties at the door, thanks.

Bah (5, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810058)

In 1976 for the first time, Americans spent more on private security firms than on police forced.

I've photographed cops here in Canada arresting people a couple of times. They don't care.

Its not just the US (4, Informative)

Instine (963303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810169)

I'm in the UK, and I've seen this and worse happen for years. At an anti capitalist demo (I'm not a loony, but I do think some of the issues raised at those demos need to be raised - like subsidising the third world out of the world markets etc... but lets not go off topic)I've been charged at by police on horses FOR NO REASON AT ALL!.

And yes I've seen cameras blocked, and their owners arrested. I've seen the unlawful detainment of hundreds of demonstrators (I would have been one of them, if I hadn't been light on my feet, and had a friend to help me over a piked fence. Ironically the fence of the Royal Courts of Justice I believe).

So its not news, that there's a problem. But whats the solution?
I propose that a form of open source decentralised government evolve that slowly but surely makes the centralized government more and more obsolete. Leaching the power from centralised government will force them to be more democratic, and less hyopocrytical. I hope.

Of course "what about the money"?!?!

Well - taxes can be legaly sidestepped. Previously it was only the rich who could afford off shaw accounts etc... With this shiny new interweb of ours, we can build open source solutions to tax, for the masses!

So - imagine a karma system generating elected, regional education 'node leaders', for home and comunity eductator to amasses comparible resources as those in state schools. Now health, security, transport, energy,....

Yes this might sound wacky, but there's nothing stopping us trying. And I'm sick of the winging in here. YES your government is crap! Do something!

Re:Its not just the US (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810179)

Roole #1:
When proposing sweaping changes to something as complicated as a politicle system, try not too make to many spelling misteaks.

Re:Its not just the US (2, Informative)

Instine (963303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810209)

Oh for crying out loud! I'M DYSLEXIC!!! http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=191914&cid=157 64157 [slashdot.org]

Now if you have anything constructive to add....

This is not the police's fault. Its the Government's. And the judicial system's. Otherwise why are these cops not in the doc? And I'm not suggesting sweaping changes. I'm suggesting we slowly build our own system.

Re:Its not just the US (1, Funny)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810269)

,try not too make to many spelling misteaks.
Well done.

Re:Its not just the US (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810200)

Well, duh. Haven't you ever seen the end of Monty Python?

Re:Its not just the US (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810273)


There are people working towards this. You are not alone. The prinicple is not to overthrow the government, but to render it obsolete. People need to be offered a better solution. Modern communications technology makes this more and more plausible for larger groups of people.

The biggest barrier is money, though. I don't mean funding, but rather that money itself is a government monopoly. Ultimately, what you talk about may require acceptance of alternative (non-centralised, community-run) monetary systems. I'd have a look into this if I were you, just so you can keep it in mind. In making the the government redundant, people will have to be able to allocate resources themselves.

V for Vendetta allegory (1)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810289)

There are people working towards this. You are not alone. The prinicple is not to overthrow the government, but to render it obsolete. People need to be offered a better solution. Modern communications technology makes this more and more plausible for larger groups of people.

Remember, remember the fifth of November...

Who Watches the Watchmen? (4, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810020)

The attitude should surely be, "if you ain't got nothing to hide..." ; it's what they are increasingly coming to expect from the rest of us.

While I can understand that police are probably lairy of being photographed, because it's probably so easy to make mistakes in police procedure that if you were to record their activities, a good lawyer could probably shoot down a large percentage of arrests and whatnot... it does not inspire confidence that a public organisation who allegedly operate inside the law, to uphold the law, should feel it necessary to use their power to conceal the detailed workings of their activities.

Anyone able to point a finger at the legislation that enables them to do this? Or is there none, and they are just overstepping the mark?

do I have something to hide? (5, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810025)

The attitude should surely be, "if you ain't got nothing to hide..." ; it's what they are increasingly coming to expect from the rest of us.

If I don't have anything to hide, why do they need to watch me?

Re:Who Watches the Watchmen? (5, Informative)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810039)

They were overstepping their bounds, citing bullshit (nonexistent) laws and violating 4rth amendment rights:

From TFA:
Cruz said police told him that he broke a new law that prohibits people from taking pictures of police with cell phones.

"They threatened to charge me with conspiracy, impeding an investigation, obstruction of a investigation. ... They said, 'You were impeding this investigation.' (I asked,) "By doing what?' (The officer said,) 'By taking a picture of the police officers with a camera phone,'" Cruz said.


Re:Who Watches the Watchmen? (5, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810254)

As a general rule of thumb, it's usually safe to assume that anyone can be deemed to be breaking some law or other at any given moment. That, of course, is in itself an appalling state of affairs - it is the antithesis of democracy governed by law, as it gives the authorities carte blanche to arrest and punish whomever they wish.

"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged".
- Cardinal Richelieu

'There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with'.
- Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged"

Re:Who Watches the Watchmen? (3, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810261)

"...it's probably so easy to make mistakes in police procedure that if you were to record their activities, a good lawyer could probably shoot down a large percentage of arrests..."

In that case, the procedure is obviously far too complicated and should be drastically simplified. If something doesn't work, you fix it; you shouldn't go on using it unchanged and try to cover up the deficiencies.

Re:Who Watches the Watchmen? (1)

pitu (983343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810266)

There are times policeman wear masks or TV's mask
  policemen faces while they're walking a dangeourous "network" criminal (mafia or other ...the types of ones that have 'friends')

  This is originally made to prevent personal revenge or pressure on individuals & policemen that took place in the action.

  so I think there must be some law allowing it, but since they re policemen my natural sentiment would be they abused that right without any real cause.

Safety of police officers? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810022)

How can the police be sure that the photos aren't going to be used to identify police officers for later revenge attacks?

Re:Safety of police officers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810042)

By wearing masks of dead presidents of course. How do the police know they aren't being watched all the rest of the time they're not snatching cameras and shredding film? Somehow they seem to have been managing just fine before they started arresting the people with the cameras too.

Re:Safety of police officers? (3, Interesting)

2e (93074) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810055)

Why do people assume that the photographs are going to be used for some 'negative' reason?
Isn't it equally as likely that the photos would be used to identify police officers to shower them with praise and commendations for a job well, done.

-Steven

Re:Safety of police officers? (4, Insightful)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810130)

Isn't it equally as likely that the photos would be used to identify police officers to shower them with praise and commendations for a job well, done.

Not any more...

Re:Safety of police officers? (5, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810065)

How can the police be sure that the photos aren't going to be used to identify police officers for later revenge attacks?
The same could be said of any picture taken of anyone in a public place. Shall we ban cameras completely? Allow only nature photography? No pictures of architecture -- might be casing the joint. Anyway, what a ridiculous statement.

Re:Safety of police officers? (5, Funny)

DesireCampbell (923687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810110)

How can we assume that these 'nature pictures' won't be used to identify and murder trees later?

Re:Safety of police officers? (2, Insightful)

AndyCap (97274) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810145)

Architecture photos may well fall under copyright already, so be careful where you point that camera.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810178)

You can still photograph pictures of copyrighted buildings, statues, etc. if it's for your own use. If you start selling them, you might run into a problem, but taking a picture is perfectly legal.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810218)

So in this case, the lawyer can't take the photo?

Re:Safety of police officers? (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810242)

In what case? In the case linked, it really sounds like the officers had no justification for arrest and that he was perfectly in his rights to photograph.

General rule of thumb is that if you're on public property, you can take the picture. You can't impede emergency crews, you can't be a peeping tom, and you can't take a picture of Area 51, but just about anything else is OK. This guide [krages.com] has been linked by a couple other people and goes into more detail. It doesn't address the copyrighted architecture though.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810256)

Oh, I forgot to finish my post.

Again, this is just for TAKING photographs. THere are some issues if you start distributing them, selling them, etc. The copyright is one thing, model releases is another, there may be more.

I might get that dude's book at some point and go through it, 'cause I'm starting to get into photography more myself. It'd be useful to know.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810265)

I was joking: The lawyer takes the picture as evidence, which then enables the lawyer to win a lawsuit and profit. The lawyer profits off the photo. Does this violate copyright?

That was all there was to it.

Re:Safety of police officers? (5, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810247)

See this very well-written article, by an intellectual property attorney:
http://www.photosecrets.com/p14.html [photosecrets.com]
Only buildings created after December 1, 1990 are protected by copyright. Fortunately for photographers, the copyright in an architectural work does not include the right to prevent others from making and distributing photos of the constructed building, if the building is located in a public place or is visible from a public place. So you don't need permission to stand on a public street and photograph a public building. You don't need permission to photograph a public building from inside the building (although you may need permission to photograph separately-owned decorative objects in the building, such as a statue). You don't need permission to stand on a public street and photograph a private building such as a church or a house.
This "photographer's exception" to the copyright-owner's rights applies only to buildings, a category which includes houses, office buildings, churches, gazebos, and garden pavilions. The exception does not apply to monuments (protectable as "sculptural works") or other copyrighted works, such as statues and paintings.
No idea how it works in other countries; I've heard unconfirmed reports that the situation in France is particularly bad. Apparently you can't take a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night without violating somebody's copyright there. (I think it's the lighting.)

Re:Safety of police officers? (2, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810267)

I once asked the security officers in the main post office in New York if I could take some pictures and said it was fine provided that the faces of the public employees weren't included.

on a separate trip to the USA, in Phoenix AZ., my father asked a couple of cops if he could take a picture of their two cars parked side by side and they said "sure" provided they were not actually in the picture.

Re:Safety of police officers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810097)

That's about as good as saying 'How can the police be sure that eyewitnesses won't remember their faces for later revenge attacks'? If someone really wants to remember what another person looks like (for whatever purpose), they can do it the old fashioned way -- with their god damn eyes.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810308)

they can do it the old fashioned way -- with their god damn eyes.

Then they can take those god damn eyes out, show them to the hit man and tell him to execute the last motherfucking sonofabiatch they were been looking at.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810119)

I don't know what it's like in the US, but in Netherland, a police officer always has to show his ID when a citizen asks for it. It's illegal to impersonate a police officer, and this is the only way people can check if you really are a police officer. Also vital if you need to file a complaint because you were treated badly by the police.

Expecting revenge attacks against police by normal civilians is silly. It's only going to get the perpetrator in prison for a very long time.

The police needs to trust the people a bit more. If not, how can the people possibly trust the police?

Re:Safety of police officers? (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810124)

How can the police be sure that the photos aren't going to be used to identify police officers for later revenge attacks?

How can the police be sure that official uniforms won't be used to identify police officers for later revenge attacks?

Funny that you would say that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810168)

IIRC, that is the same logic that is used to prevent taking pix of death squads in 3'rd world countries. I wonder how far towards this, we have traveled over the last 5 years.

Re:Safety of police officers? (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810186)

If they were concerned about that they would wear masks. Think before you post.

Re:Safety of police officers? (2, Interesting)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810187)

How can the police be sure that the photos aren't going to be used to identify police officers for later revenge attacks?

I would "think" it would be reasonable for an officer to get a name of a person who photographs a crime scene or an active arrest, could be handy evidence and they are a witness.

It would be unreasonable to assume someone's photographing you for a revenge attack and act on it. But in the unlikely event a revenge act takes place, they got someone who they can talk who has pictures of officers and bystanders.

Well what do you expect? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810026)

I'm not suprised at all. The USA has under the Bush Administration has become a police state. If the people get a back bone he waves the terrorist flag and everyone ducks for cover.
Its really sad all in all.

crucial differences (-1, Redundant)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810032)

I'm not sure the extent to which I have sympathy with the guy taking a picture in the street, you could say that the police have a right to privacy and that especially if they are arresting a drug dealer then they might fear that some future reprisal could come about against them because of the picture. I would think this should really depend on how the interaction between the guy and the police went. In this case the police sould have just asked him to delete it and then sent him on his way - I don't like the way they seem to threaten him - so long as it didn't appear that the police were doing anything illegal (if they were he should have the right to keep it as evidence against the police).

The other case is far more black and white for me, the police were breaking the law, they had no reasonable expectation of privacy (because they were on private property where it clearly stated that audio and video recording was taking place) and arresting the guy is completely wrong. It is situations like this that make people not trust the police and it is one which the police have caused themselves.

Re:crucial differences (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810056)

you could say that the police have a right to privacy


Police officers on duty in a public area have no more right to privacy than anyone else, i.e. none, and thank God for that. Power corrupts, and police have power. The only thing that reliably prevents police abuses is public accountability, which can only happen if the public is informed.

Re:crucial differences (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810081)

. . .you could say that the police have a right to privacy . . .

No, I could not. The second a police officer puts on a uniform and a badge he is a public officer, ostensibly working in the public's interest and certainly paid from the public's coffers.

And as a branch of the government requiring oversight it is the public that provides it.

KFG

Absolutely not. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810108)

you could say that the police have a right to privacy

And you would be very, very wrong.

People who are police officers -- that is, the men and women who do that as their job -- have a right to privacy, when they're at home and off-duty, or doing personal business. As public officials, they have none as they are conducting their jobs. Some of what they do may be confidential, because there's a vested public interest in keeping it secret, but such areas should be clearly and narrowly defined by law. (And that's different from general 'privacy' anyway.)

Furthermore, when standing on a public street, nobody has a right to privacy sufficient to overwhelm my right to photograph them there. It's a public place, you chose to be there, if I choose to record an image of that public place with you in it, tough luck for you.

It's a very dangerous road we go down, when we say that any aspect of our Government -- from the local police on upwards to the highest echelons of the Executive Branch -- has an inherent "right" to be secretive. Nobody does. Where the government is secretive, it should be so only because there's an overwhelming public interest for it to be that way, or where doing so prevents citizens' rights from themselves being violated (e.g., personal records maintained by the government on Federal employees). But those should be the exceptions, and not the rule. Any time you have a situation where citizens have to justify the disclosure of information from the government on a regular basis, you have a problem.

Re:crucial differences (1)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810109)

If you look at the Constitution/Bill of Rights, right to privacy is never explicitly stated. (Though I wish it was; just saying). The Supreme Court has said priacy is included in "basic human rights", which is mentioned http://www.usconstitution.net/constnot.html#privac y [usconstitution.net] - but again, I guess that could be easily reversed since privacy is not explicit.

Re:crucial differences (5, Informative)

Dr. Donuts (232269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810259)

No no no no no.

Under constitutional law, you have ALL rights. Law dictates limitations or prohibitions, it does not grant them. A law doesn't have to explicitly state you have a right.

Laws are subtractive, not additive.

This is a common misperception by the public at large.

Re:crucial differences (3, Interesting)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810114)

I understand the fear that the guy might be involved with the drug dealer, but just deleting the pictures (or confiscating the memory card so it can be securely erased down at the station) ought to have been sufficient. At my previous job I was a researcher working on wireless medical devices to assist in distaster management; my group was invited to participate in a major disaster drill in southern california (many emergency response organizations, from local police to the FBI). We were allowed cameras on the scene to document and evaluate our work, but we were explicitly forbidden from taking pictures of certain responders (eg. the SWAT team, people in HVAC suites, etc.). One of my coworkers got caught violating this (he was taking pictures of the victoms but guys in HVAC's could be seen in the background), and was cuffed and arrested; fortunately they ended up just erasing the pictures and he was never charged.

Re:crucial differences (2, Informative)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810172)

you could say that the police have a right to privacy

Sure, you could say it. But you'd be wrong.

Read their rights? (0)

corychristison (951993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810033)

After reading the article, it has no mention of the officer reading Cruz his rights... is that not illegal in the States?

I am Canadian and Police Officers don't have to here... but are they not supposed to there? If he didn't, I heard that alone can cost you your job... but then again sometimes rumours migrate up here. :-)

Re:Read their rights? (2, Informative)

hattmoward (695554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810051)

I don't think it's required, but not hearing your miranda rights can make a big hole in a case against you. The cop who blew it won't look so hot at that point. It's kinda funny in that it doesn't apply if you're not in custody. more reading here: http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/mirandarights/a/mira ndaqa.htm [about.com]

Re:Read their rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810087)

Legally you don't have to read Miranda rights until you appear in court. Typically, Miranda rights are read at the scene, at the police station, and during arraignment. Additionally, a defendant will usually sign that he or she understands the Miranda rights and indicate whether or not a lawyer is requested.

The go/no go point with Miranda rights is when a defendant enters a plea. The Miranda rights can be read anytime before then.

Re:Read their rights? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810189)

Well, that's not entirely true, is it? Isn't the go/no go point when the officers start questioning the person? If they do that before Mirandizing the suspect, anything they say can be thrown out, no?

Re:Read their rights? (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810147)

The police only have to read you your rights if they want to question you and then later use your testimony (the results of said questioning) as evidence.

If you're caught red-handed doing something illegal, then it's not out of the realm of possibility that the police might just not bother. If they don't want to ask you anything, then they don't need to make you aware of your rights. (At least not right at the scene of the arrest, like you're familiar with seeing in movies.)

I have known numerous people who have been arrested and never read their rights at the scene, because there was no reason for the police to question them; the evidence was so overwhelming (e.g. simple drug possession, DUI) that the police didn't care what they had to say and weren't going to ask them anything. Whether this is official procedure or not I can't say.

Re:Read their rights? (1)

evolseven (941210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810154)

Actually if police are going to arrest you but not question you, Miranda Rights do not have to be read, but if police are going to question you in any way about an accused crime while you are in there custody.. they must read you your Miranda Rights..

Re:Read their rights? (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810159)

Just before questioning. They can't ask questions about the crime before making you aware of your rights. Arrest is allowed, but they must be read before you are questioned.

Re:Read their rights? (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810204)

Recently, I believe, the court struck down the legal requirement to read the suspect the Miranda.

You're a little wrong there... (4, Informative)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810208)

Excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

10.Everyone has the right on arrest or detention

(a)to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;

(b)to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and

(c)to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.


At the very least they have to tell you that you may retain a lawyer and, if I am not mistaken, the Supreme Court has ruled they must also tell you that you have the right to remain silent. I don't know where you get this idea that the police in Canada don't have to tell you your rights, you see them do it all the time on the Canadian version of Cops.

Cool story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810037)

But correct me if I'm mistaken, isn't this supposed to be "Your rights online"

Re:Cool story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810122)

And just where are you reading this? In your local paper?

Re:Cool story (0, Offtopic)

evolseven (941210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810167)

Yes, Its your rights, Online.

Re:Cool story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810232)

You are reading this online?

The guy was using a mobile phone to take a picture (Digital), he would have then loaded the photo/video to youtube/google/flickr.

All very much online to me.

The trick to doing it right is to upload as the photo/video is taken, and then spread it to as many people as you can.

Re:Cool story (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810285)

But correct me if I'm mistaken, isn't this supposed to be "Your rights online"

All cell phones that can take a picture are capable of accessing the internet, and hence it is online.

Disagree with me, and I'll call the cops on you.

It's a play on words.... (1)

RJabelman (550626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810310)

I always assumed it was a joke on phrases like:

"Your rights, on the line"

(Best pronounced in a pseudo-dramatic newscaster type voice)

Only in the USA.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810038)

where I live you see the cops telling the criminals not to touch the cameras or cameraman because they are within their rights to film.

Welcome to fascism, America... (5, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810040)

You are just 70 years behind Europe. What took you so long?

(Moderators: this is called black humor [wikipedia.org] ).

MOD PARENT DOWN! (-1, Offtopic)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810294)

He's trying to influence the moderation system by indirectly refering to it!

Who to believe? Hmm.... (5, Insightful)

Anthony Boyd (242971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810047)

Police told Hairston that they did take Cruz into to custody, but they said Cruz was not on his property when they arrested him.

OK. I'm more inclined to believe the cops... wait a second...

A neighbor said she witnessed the incident and could not believe what she saw.

"He opened up the gate and Neffy was coming down and he went up to Neffy, pulled him down...

Oh, you dumb, dumb cops. Of course Neftaly Cruz was "not on his property" during the arrest if you went onto his property and dragged him off! Why would you do that in front of witnesses?

-Tony

Re:Who to believe? Hmm.... (0, Offtopic)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810092)

Theres good and bad in all, strip down the person and listen to just the words. After all the truth is the truth nude, in a bondage outfit or a nun's habbit and that's all that matters.

Re:Who to believe? Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810150)

Eye witness testimony is always suspect. Maybe all she had was a camera phone?

Don't lump bad cops with good cops (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810048)

The 99% messes it up for the 1% that are good cops.

Scumbag (0, Flamebait)

yellekc (819322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810064)

He's obviously one of the drug cartel's henchman with a name like Cruz. He was probably taking pictures to send to all the other drug dealers in the area. The police were being very prudent in this post 9-11 world. Since they were unable to determine his innocence on the scene, the best bet is to arrest him and figure it out latter.

You CANNOT be serious (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810287)

Let's just strack picking any non white people of the street and deal with it later. Lets just pick everyone up with cameras. Or everyone near where a durg dealer is arested.

civil suit dead ahead (4, Insightful)

jeffsenter (95083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810083)

I am not a lawyer. If the facts of this incident are as described in the story this is an easy civil suit for wrongful arrest. A law that outlawed taking pictures of police activity in public would be unconstitutional (1st Amendment) in any case and doesn't exist. The right to observe police activity in public is well established. Another poster mentioned that the police might have a right to privacy in making an arrest in public. Wrong. One cannot have a right to privacy in public doing a public activity. There is no possible expectation of privacy there. This isn't to say that police all over the country don't pull this kind of shit all the time-arresting or attacking people for videotaping or taking pictures of public police activity. Usually it isn't quite this blatant though.

Re:civil suit dead ahead (4, Interesting)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810158)

I was at a political protest and happened to observe a cop give a peaceful (but somewhat annoying) person the finger. I laughed and whipped out my video camera and said to the cop semi-seriously "hey do that again, let me get that on video!"

The cop grabbed my shirt and pulled me toward him and growled in my face "you want to get arrested?!?!"

I laughed again and said "for what?"I lucky in that there were plenty of people around and also that a managing officer pulled the cop away and told him to cool off... but if I had been arrested it wouldn't have been the first time I was arrested on false premises.

Not all cops are dishonest - but it only takes one to mess up your day, and generally the otherwise honest cops will look the other way when it happens - they have to stick together.

Re:civil suit dead ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810255)

I got pulled over. Officer proceeded to make fun of the brand of beer that I had in the back of my truck. Man, Natty Ice gets no respect.

Re:civil suit dead ahead (0)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810277)

Why does everyone assume everything in public is instantly against privacy? There is a level of privacy you're aforded in even the most public places.

Looking up someone's skirt for example is a privacy matter, yet her panties/vagina is in public no? What about what's inside my bag, isn't that my concern and hence private?

Just because we're in public doesn't mean everything is public, it means we give up the safety of doing things where people can't see.

To sum it up... (4, Insightful)

Parallax Blue (836836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810090)

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? [Who will police the police?]
- Latin proverb

Re:To sum it up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810135)

I do, Mr. Pessimal. All the time.

Re:To sum it up... (5, Funny)

EdipisReks (770738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810146)

Who will police the police?
some kind of robot, maybe?

Re:To sum it up... (1)

Ksisanth (915235) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810206)

Juvenal wrote that.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? But who will guard the guards themselves?

Rodney King? (4, Interesting)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810096)

If this was indeed a law, then incidents like the Rodney King incident would never be able to surface.

Police also denied that they told Cruze he was breaking the law with his cell phone.

So did I miss it or did the police never say 'why' Cruz was arrested?

Re:Rodney King? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810128)

If nothing else they can always use the "intererence" + "resisted arrest" line, which are sort of like wildcards they can use. Especially "resist arrest", which not only is a totally arbitrary judgment call for an individual policeman to make, it's also easy to 'provoke'. Just go up to someone and grab them and try to restraint them. For any normal person that's such an unusual event that the INSTINCT is to fight it.

Re:Rodney King? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810173)

How can you be arrested for "resisting arrest"? They need a reason to arrest you before you have an arrest to resist. Also passively filming something doesn't count as interference (I assume that's what you meant since "intererence isn't in the distionary), does it?

Re:Rodney King? (2, Informative)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810203)

Resisting arrest is usually tacked onto something else; the reason why they're arresting you. I've never seen it as a stand-alone reason for being arrest. I mean how can you resist arrest, if you're not being arrested in the first place.

Requisite (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810112)

I, for one, do NOT welcome Big Brother.

*needle rises above sixty*

I, for one, welcome Big Brother.

And to think that... (2, Insightful)

wayward_bruce (988607) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810120)

...when I first came to the Land of the Free, I had a strong inclination to take a photograph of the light show that two police cars were flashing for my amusement just in front of my bedroom window at 2:30AM. Some poor bloke was being stopped for drunk driving. Anyhow, I refrained from snapping the picture even from within the safety of my darkened bedroom, feeling that I should wait a little until I get better acquainted with the customs of the country. Just for the reference: I hail from the "Land of the Slaughterers", i.e. Serbia, bombed by the U.S. and a few minions back in 1999. Good grief, I might have gotten myself into so much trouble for practicing our savage ways of taking photographs of public service officers on duty.

Photographers' Rights (5, Informative)

NoName Studios (917186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810131)

There is a great document put together by a lawyer called Photographers' Rights. http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm [krages.com]

Basically, it is 100% legal to photograph any emergency personal in the line of duty as long as you are not interferring with their work. As well, no one can confiscate your film or digital media. However, both of that is null and void if you do get in the way of emergency personel. If you are on private property, such as a shopping mall, they can ask you not to take photos, but you can't be penalized for it unless you continue against their will.

Obligitory "Learn your Rights" post (4, Informative)

PsychosisC (620748) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810137)

I understand you've probably seen this before, but if you haven't, this is pretty important. BUSTED - The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters [youtube.com] I've only had two encounters with police officers... but both of them sort of leave me thinking less of them.

I was lost while looking for where to pick up my nephew from his babysitter, so I pulled over and walked up to a house and asked for directions. My car was a pretty old car, in a reasonably nice neighborhood. When I came back to my car, a person was walking around it, looking in each of the windows. I asked him why, he said, "I'm a cop, I'm supposed to".

Around two in the morning, I had to go home from campus (Lan Party =)). A police officer pulled me over on the way out. Her stated reason, "It's suspicious for someone to be getting their car out of the parking lot this late at night." The traditional image of police is protectors, but to be honest, they are just paid to arrest people. There is a very big difference. A highly visible police patrolling the ghetto does us more good than a traffic trap. One actually lowers crime, the other gets arrests.

Re:Obligitory "Learn your Rights" post (0)

Serveert (102805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810210)

My favorite memory of the police was when I was in a small town in PA, chatting softly with a diverse group of friends, Greek, French, Moroccan, German, you name it.. at 1am. A cop pulled up and said, "Go home!" I said, "excuse me?" He then yelled in a voice full of adrenaline, "GO HOME!" Then I had to explain to my guests how we live in a free country while we went home.

I really hate cops. To me they're the fun killers. I've always played by the rules but it seems that when I've stepped out and did something crazy like talk to people at 1am, some pi^h^hcop is there to make sure I don't have a good time. Their pretext "is to keep everyone safe." That's how you lose liberties, "to protect our freedums."

Now I'm married and I don't have to deal with that, but I have no respect for cops. I've also in my pre-married years, managed to live in Europe where I found cops to be kinda cool for the most part and no one bothered you if you did something sinful like try to have a good innocent time.

So what's the deal here? (4, Insightful)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810142)

Police are fighting terrorism and crime, so therefore are above any kind of accountability?

No way!

Next, we could see the US military operating secret overseas prisons! [washingtonpost.com]

I wish the Cruz family the best of success with their legal actions against the police. This will be an interesting test of the US Constitution and judiciary.

The Photographer's Right (4, Informative)

pen (7191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810163)

Here is a handy pamphlet called The Photographer's Right [krages.com] that provides some advice for dealing with a situation like this.

I keep warning you people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810185)

I keep warning you people, but you don't seem to listen. The DEATHCAMPS are 3 years away!

Maybe I missed something... (1)

NexFlamma (919608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810193)

What exactly are they charging him with?

Or did they just detain him in order to confiscate his camera?

I imagine that if it's the latter, that there are tons of lawyers just salivating over the idea of the case against the police department they could cook up.

Whatever happend to IAD? (5, Interesting)

leereyno (32197) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810231)

Some criminals wear badges, which is why police departments have an internal affairs divsion, to find and remove bad cops from the force. These sound like cases for IAD to me, big time.

Now maybe its just me, but there does seem to be an increase in cases of police officers getting confused and thinking they work for the gestapo. There was a case a month back or so where the daughter of a police officer was arrested for "trespassing." She and a friend were lost and had stopped to ask a police officer for directions. The officer refused to help them, stating that they would have to find their own way out. A few moments later they spotted another officer and drove over to where he was to ask for help, at which point the first officer rushed over and berated them for daring to ask her partner for help when she had already told them to get lost. So they drove up the street a ways, pulled over, and began trying to find out where they were on a map while trying to call the girl's father on a cell phone. A few minutes later these same officers arrested them for "trespassing" ..... on a public street. The girl and her friend spent the night in jail. They weren't charged of course because they hadn't committed any crime.

I don't know how this case turned out for the officers involved, but it shows a serious lack of oversight when two cops are able to run wild and abuse the public in that manner.

Now I know for a fact that most cops are decent men and women who treat citizens with all due respect, despite having to be human-garbagemen and spend much of their time doing what I call "white trash patrol." Just watch a few episodes of Cops and you'll know what I mean. But even so there are a few who are bad apples, and unless they're culled from the force then you end up with situations like these, or worse.

The last thing any police department should be interested in doing is making themselves the enemy of the public. The police depend upon public goodwill to do their job, and to come home alive at the end of their shift. If the police do not have the trust of the public, then they will not have the cooperation of the public. This is already the case in urban slums where calls of "five-O!" cry out day and night warning the residents that a police car or officer is in the area. When the police become a nuisance equal to that of the criminals they are supposed to be pursuing, then the public will treat them with equal disdain.

In most parts of the world, being a police officer is met with about the same level of respect as a personal injury lawyer would be here, if not less. The police are held in contempt because in most parts of the world, particularly the 3rd world, corruption and abuse are almost part of the job. Police officers in the US are, at least among healthy segments of society, viewed with respect if not admiration. But this esteem is fragile because at the end of the day the police are armed agents of the state and that makes them difficult to love. So when officers abuse and betray the trust of the public and make false arrests, all it does is make life that much more difficult for them and and their fellow officers. Things like these are noticed, and remembered.

Question..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810263)

If you kick a cop who is trying to arrest you for something that is not illegal, can you be charged with anything? I mean, it is illegal to arrest or detain someone who is not breaking the law or under resonable suspicion of breaking the law. So, if you kick or physically try to separate yourself from an officer who is trying to arrest you for, say, the same thing that Cruz was "arrested" for, are you breaking the law by doing that? What they are trying to do is illegal, and what you did was not, so can it be agued that it was self-defence? I know hitting a cop is a stupid thing to do in the first place, but in a situation like this, is it really illegal?

-----

Sig Sauer

Re:Question..... (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810298)

You bet you can! That's why this is a favoured police tactic in all relatively law-abiding countries. (In police states, they can just drag you off and dispose of you without needing any pretext).

Assaulting a police officer (in the execution of his/her duty) is a serious offence. So if a policeman can't think of any other way of putting a citizen in the wrong, he may well resort to baiting him. If Materazzi had been a police officer, Zidane would probably have got several years of prison time for head-butting him, no matter what Materazzi said to him first.

If there are no witnesses - or at least none who can't be intimidated - police officers can get away with a great deal of provocation. After all, there have been numerous incidents here in the UK, as well as in the USA and elsewhere, when groups of police have actually killed civilians who had not done anything obviously wrong - and got away with it.

Another variation is to bring in a citizen and charge him with assaulting a police officer, although it actually happened the other way round. Moral: if at all possible, never let the police catch you alone without reliable witnesses.

Nazi Germany (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15810274)

The US has become a defacto fascist state. Much like Nazi Germany last century. Starting wars without valid reason. Protecting governments that involve in state-organized terrorism (Israel). Bush and his gang and their counterparts in Israel are committing war crimes at a rate of which Hitler would have been jealous of.

But that I already know for a long time ... What deeply saddens me is that most of the European governments don't give a shit about what's going on in the world. They are very afraid of upsetting the their US or Israeli "friends". Israel continues to abuse its victim role of the second world war genocide. It's like in 1984 where the victims of the past became the butchers of today.

Obstruction! (4, Funny)

one_red_eye (962010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810299)

"He said he was taking pictures with his cell phone and that was obstructing an investigation," said Aracelis Cruz, Neftaly Cruz's mother.

Of course it's obstructing, because the officer had to leave the original scene to arrest some kid causing problems down the street.

Not surprising. (1, Insightful)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810306)

Considering that cops were caught red-handed fifteen years ago beating the living mess out of Rodney King, it was only a matter of time when they would attempt to strike at the heart of the problem...and outlaw cameras.
Jesus Christ, these imbeciles are unbelievable! Be it drug hysteria or a phantom war on terror, right wingers always find an excuse to erode citizens' rights while erasing as much oversight for themselves as possible.
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