Basking in the viral glory bestowed upon one of its officers this week, the Rochester Police Department resorted to petty retaliatory and intimidation tactics against citizens attending a community meeting Thursday afternoon.
The citizens were attending a meeting to discuss the arrest of Emily Good, the 28-year-old woman who was jailed for videotaping cops from her front yard, when they realized cops were outside issuing tickets for having parked more than 12 inches from the curb.
The above video shows cops using a little purple ruler to prove their case.
Cops claimed they were responding to citizens who had complained about the cars being parked more than a foot from the curb (where is there an eyeroll smiley when you need one?).
According to Rochester Indy Media:
At approximately 5:30pm, four police cars were seen driving east on Troup St. and then turned right onto Clarissa St. The police cars parked a block down from the Flying Squirrel and got out of their cars holding clips boards and ticket books. They proceeded to walk down the line of parked cars on Clarissa St. checking registrations and inspections directly across from where the meeting was taking place. They then proceeded to pull out rulers to measure the distance from the curb to the tires of each car. They stated that they had received civilian complaints regarding cars being parked too far from the curb on Clarissa St.
The citizens who had been ticketed were attending a community meeting to discuss police accountability and to plan support for Good, whose video became a viral sensation after it was uploaded this week.
Mario Masic, the officer who arrested Good is supposedly under investigation, but it doesn’t take a detective to see he committed an unlawful arrest when he jailed Good in her front yard after she refused to go back inside her house.
The issue has sparked debate throughout the internet with most people supporting Good, including many officers on Police One.
She was on her own property and was not a threat to anyone. The officers clearly did not want to be observed or recorded. Welcome to an open society. This entire department needs to be retrained about OPEN societies and the rights of the citizen.He clearly did not know how to resolve the situation and only made it worse.
Sorry guys and girls………..bad arrest here…this was an “Ego Arrest.” If that was my daughter there would be no doubt left in her mind how disrespectful her actions were in filming the cops but, when push comes to shove, she has every right in the world to do it. To make matters worse, the cops doing to MV stop/arrest looked like they were having an uneventful, “routine” stop and arrest. Who really gives a shit if we are being filmed….make sure you get my good side.
The Supreme Court of America has stated that if you can film them they can film you. If your so da== worried that you may be seen on u-tube then get another Job. The officers knew who she was and had no problem tell she started filming so the ruse of officer safety was just that. They did not want her to film them and made a federal case about it. The only disruption was made by the police when they centered on her. Behind their back? Hell any person anywhere could take them out with out their knowing about it. If your so dam= paranoid then find another job. The use of Officer Safety is used way to often to justify any action where there is no officer safety involved. Are we living in a police state? Do we have to fear for our lives ( citizens) from the police? I’ve been on duty since the 60’s and seen a great change in police officer attitudes. Some times I get scared. For my men know that if they are going to use “officer Safety” they had well be able to prove that there was a valid threat.
I am not throwing the officer under the bus here- but we all recognize when someone takes an action we ourselves would not, or should not, have taken.
We cannot allow ourselves to take the officer’s side solely on the basis of being in the officer’s side. While there are many times when we might post something based more on bravado than realistic common sense or law (remember ‘somethingsup’), we must also use honest critical commentary to learn what is proper, and what is not.
There are many times we do not like what we see around us, but we must temper that against what is ‘right’ at the time, as well as what the law is. If I had my way, I would prohibit everyone around my scene for as far back as I can make it (at least a few blocks), ESPECIALLY the media. But I do not get my way- none of us do.
We cannot simply use the phrase “I do not feel safe” as the justification for taking action against someone.
I can remember decades ago being ‘taught’ to present your nightstick to an aggressive offender in a way the offender might take it, arming himself with a deadly weapon, thereby allowing the use of deadly force against him. That wasn’t right then, and merely saying some words doesn’t make it right now.
Just my two cents- for whatever that might be worth in today’s economy…
A commenter on the Boy With Grenade blog who has not learned how to unlock his caps key said that police were perhaps trying to prevent Good from videotaping them making an illegal search.
PLEASE ALLOW ME TO GIVE SOME CONTEXT, YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS. EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY ROCHESTER POLICE, ALONG WITH NY STATE TROOPERS AND OTHER AREA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CONVERGE ON THE CITY AND DO TONS OF VEHICLE STOPS AND ILLEGAL SEARCHES OF PERSONS AND VEHICLES. IF THEY RECOVER ILLEGAL CONTRABAND IN AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL MANNER, THEY SIMPLE LIE AND SAY THE DRIVER GAVE THEM PERMISSION TO SEARCH THE VEHICLE. IN COURT ITS THEIR WORD AGAINST AN OFFICERS… WE ALL KNOW WHO WILL BE BELIEVED. IF THEY PULL YOU OVER, YOUR VEHICLE IS BEING SEARCHED, POINT BLACK. THEY MAKE UP ALL KINDS OF B.S. REASONS.FOR THE STOPS AND THEY ALWAYS END UP AS FULL SEARCHES. IF YOU DONT BELIEVE ME COME CHECK IT OUT. WELL, ONE OF THESE STOPS IS WHAT WAS BEING TAPED. THIS HAS BEEN A MATTER OF RPD POLICY AND APPROVED BY BRASS FOR YEARS. THEY ARE HOPING THE STORY DOES NOT TURN IN THE DIRECTION OF THIS LONGSTANDING POLICY OF STOP, FRISK AND SEARCH THAT OCCURS EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY. THEY HAVE TO CODDLE MASIC OR HE IS GOING TO SPILL THE BEANS. IT WAS NOT JUST HIS DECISION TO ARREST HER, HE WAS PROTECTING THE POLICY OF THE ILLEGAL STOPS, DID NOT WANT ONE TAPED.
Good was arrested on May 12, a Thursday. The man they had handcuffed while they appeared to rummage through his car was released.
UPDATE: Below is the raw video which shows the four patrol officers ended up ticketed not more than four cars.
UPDATE II: Just got word that charges against Emily Good have been dropped and that police will investigate the officers who handed out the parking tickets for selective enforcement.
Some readers took issue with the fact that I posted Mario Masic’s photo, email address and linked to his Facebook page in my last article, but those are all items he made public on the internet himself. He would have done the same thing had he been investigating one of us. CM