A New Jersey man who had his camera confiscated after photographing a police parking lot from a public street has filed a federal complaint.
Anthony Hardy, 46, was taking pictures of a Jersey City police parking lot in January 2011 looking for possible violations with the police vehicles.
Last month, he filed his complaint with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office’s Civil Rights Division.
According to the Jersey Journal:
He says he was on the sidewalk photographing “non-duty cars” driven by police department employees that he believed had violations such as single license plates, tinted windows or windows partially blocked by PBA shields or placards.
Hardy said when an officer approached him he explained as much before walking toward his car and realizing the officer was following him. He says he went back to “alleviate any concerns,” but the officer summoned additional units.
The officer “demanded identification which was produced due to an imminent threat of arrest,” Hardy says, adding that he was surrounded by five officers, “all engaged in attempts to fabricate pretenses for arrest.”
Hardy said he reiterated that he was only photographing non-duty vehicles to document violations, but a supervising officer arrived and said he “would be arrested if I did not surrender my camera.”
Hardy handed over his camera to avoid arrest.
Now police, who were so vocal against Hardy as they violated his rights, have refused to comment on the issue.
I had my own adventure in Jersey City a couple of years ago.
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