Two weeks after a Gresham police officer snatched a camera phone from a woman recording him, another Gresham police officer arrested a woman for recording him before turning on a man who happened to be recording that arrest.
This time it was an officer Brooder who is under the impression that citizens are not allowed to audio record him without his permission.
But Brooder is highly misinformed because Oregon is a one-party consent state when it comes to the wiretapping law, meaning as long as somebody is part of a conversation, they are allowed to record whether the other person is informed or not.
Even if it was a two-party consent state, he still wouldn’t have a say in the matter because he did not have an expectation of privacy as he stood outside an apartment complex.
But considering how the local media gave the Gresham Police Department a free pass on the issue during the last month’s incident, it is not surprising that Brooder thinks he can create his own laws.
It all started when Brooder and other officers responded to a call from a woman in the apartment complex complaining about a neighbor who had threatened her.
When cops arrived, the woman stepped outside her apartment to talk to police while another woman claiming to be her sister stood nearby recording with her cell phone.
Meanwhile, PINAC reader Jesse White stepped out of his friend’s apartment in the same complex and noticed the investigation, so he pulled out his camera and began recording.
Brooder first ordered the second woman back inside, telling her to mind her own business.
When the woman insisted on staying there recording, he moved in to arrest her. That was when White piped up and informed Brooder that she had the right to record the investigation.
Brooder then turned to White and demanded his camera as evidence.
White refused to hand it to him, asserting his rights, but Brooder snatched it out of his hands in the same manner Gresham police officer Taylor Letsis did to another citizen last month.
Brooder then demanded that White sign a document stating that he turned the phone over without being coerced or threatened, adding that he would destroy the phone if White didn’t sign the document.
“I felt very bulldogged into signing the paper,” White said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime Saturday afternoon.
“The officer was a fucking asshole.”
Brooder returned the phone to him about 90 minutes later after he had downloaded the video.
Surprisingly, he had not deleted the video.
Three years ago, a city attorney from Beaverton, Oregon issued a memo to police officers clarifying the state’s wiretapping law for cops who were still confused about it.
Meanwhile, the Gresham Police Department still insists on stating the following on their website when it’s becoming clear they have no intention of respecting the Constitutional rights of citizens.
We will respect and protect the constitutional rights of all citizens, treating them with courtesy and respect, using force only when necessary. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of our employees by providing equal employment opportunities and enhancing their work lives through fair and equitable treatment. The dignity of each individual is central in the way we conduct our business.