Andrew Henderson, the Minnesota man who was criminally charged for recording deputies in public, is in need of an attorney to defend him in his upcoming trial.
The 28-year-old welder said he makes too much money for a public defender but not enough to hire an attorney.
He said he reached out to the ACLU more than a month ago, but was ignored.
Meanwhile, he is facing disorderly conduct and obstructing charges, which were filed more than a week after a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy illegally confiscated his camera. Read the report here.
Deputy Jackie Muellner claimed Henderson was violating the federal HPPA law because she was dealing with a mentally ill patient. But there is nothing in the HPPA law that addresses recording patients being led into ambulances.
Henderson said he only saw a man with a bloodied, bruised face being led into an ambulance, so he started recording. He said he sat on a park bench more than 30 feet away and did nothing to cause a distraction.
It is an obvious abuse of authority considering Muellner had the chance to arrest him on the spot if she really believed he was committing a crime.
And it’s even more of a breach of authority that someone apparently deleted his footage.
“I know I recorded 18 minutes,” he said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Tuesday night.
Muellner, who told Henderson that she was seizing it as “evidence” because she didn’t want to end up on Youtube – as if that makes sense – claims in her report the video camera contained no footage.
So if that were indeed the case, then she has even flimsier grounds to criminally charge him, not that she had any to begin with.
Henderson said he began audio recording with his Android phone once she snagged his phone.
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The incident took place October 30 in his apartment complex and he didn’t receive his camera back until November 19, which was when he learned the Canon FS20 contained no footage.
“I tried to recover it but nothing came up,” he said. “I used like four or five programs.”
The incident has received some local media coverage. Someone also posted a question on Ask Yahoo about the legality of the deputy confiscating the camera, receiving a horrible answer from somebody named Tapestry6 with some idiot rating the answer as “good.”
If it was an ongoing investigation and the sheriffs deputy felt it would compromise
a case that was till ‘open’ then she had every right to take the evidence. And the person who is revealing that should be slammed hard for interference in an investigation.
YouTube can be very wrong on airing things police investigation and its also an embarrassment for the citizen who was photographed too. Nobody has the right to film unless they have asked permission, and if they film before permission is granted they should ask for permission before airing it on any public domain.
Henderson has a pretrial hearing scheduled for January 30. Call (651) 645-4097 to encourage the ACLU of Minnesota to assist him in this matter. Or email them at ACLU of Minnesota.