May 11th, 2013

Arizona Man Winds Up Jailed, Unemployed and Homeless After Photographing Courthouse 215

By Carlos Miller
Raymond Michael

Raymond Michael Rodden

 

Raymond Michael Rodden was bored this week, so he drove to downtown Phoenix and began walking around, snapping photos of the federal courthouse and the state capitol with his iPhone.

The 33-year-old man ended up jailed, unemployed and homeless; his iPhone, iPad and Macintosh laptop confiscated as “evidence.”

All because they found it odd he was taking photos at 3 a.m.

“They told me they’re going to keep my computer because they want to see my search history,” he said Saturday evening in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.

“They wanted to know if I belonged to any extremist groups like the national socialist movement or sovereign citizens. They wanted to know what kind of books I checked out of the library.”

However, the only charges pending against him, if you even want to call them charges, are citations that he walked into an alley – a bogus charge that applies only to motorized vehicles –  and that he neglected to change the address on his driver license after moving to Phoenix from Tucson last August.

They couldn’t even keep him jailed on the initial charge of an outdated warrant out of California because the San Obispo County Sheriff’s Office did not want to bother extraditing him from Phoenix.

“The warrant was not even valid in Arizona,” adding that it was over a probation violation for unlawful use of a vehicle, stemming from a 2001 incident in which he took his roommate’s car without permission after a heated argument.

That old roommate is still one of his best friends, allowing him to stay in his Tucson home after he was kicked out of the Phoenix home that was part of his employment.

“I was living in my boss’s house taking care of his son,” he said. “Now he thinks I’m some crazy person.”

The fact that the Phoenix police bomb squad tore his boss’s car apart searching for explosives before impounding it most likely convinced him that Rodden was not the most suitable person to care for his six-year-old son as he worked as a long-distance truck driver.

“The most radical thing I do is read Photography is Not a Crime and Cop Block,” he said.

So like most people who read those sites, he knows his rights when it comes to dealing with police.

And that is exactly why he is going through this ordeal.

It started Thursday at 3 a.m. when he was sitting at home, unable to sleep. He decided to drive to downtown in his boss’s car, which he had permission to do.

He parked the car in front of the Phoenix Police Department and began walking around downtown, which is a ghost town at that time.

Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse

Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse

 

He snapped photos of the Arizona State Capitol and the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse, two of the city’s most picturesque buildings.

He exchanged pleasantries with Federal Protective Service officers guarding the courthouse, who are probably the ones who called police on him.

He continued walking when he noticed he was being followed by a Phoenix police patrol car. Before he knew it, he was being followed by an additional two marked cars as well as an unmarked car, not to mention a cop on foot.

“I kept walking around because I knew if I got into my car, they would pull me over,” he said.

They kept trying to talk to him but he kept asking if he was being detained and they said no, so he kept walking and they kept following, He walked around for more than an hour as the cops kept following, waiting for him to slip up.

That was when he walked into an alleyway, thinking he was not breaking any law.

Little did he know that Phoenix Municipal Code 36-61 states that “no person shall use an alley within the city as a thoroughfare except authorized emergency vehicles.”

“As soon as I walked into the alley, they descended upon me,” he said.

As one PINAC reader pointed out in the comments section, this code applies to vehicles, not pedestrians.

But before he knew it, he was handcuffed and sitting in an interrogation room at the Phoenix Police Department, fielding questions from an FBI agent and a police detective named Darren Emfinger from the Joint Terrorism Task Force as to what organizations he belonged to and what types of books he reads.

“I told them I was not doing anything illegal by taking photos and they kept saying, ‘we’re not disputing that it’s illegal, we just find it odd,’” he said.

Meanwhile, they discovered that a key in his backpack fit a Toyota Tundra that was sitting in front of their building, so they called the bomb squad to dismantle it in the hopes they would find something illegal.

“It was a complete overreaction,” he said.

When they couldn’t connect him to any terrorist activity, they jailed him on the outdated warrant, where he remained until 2 p.m. after they realized they had no legal grounds to hold him.

Once he left jail, he walked back to the police department to retrieve his backpack, which contained his laptop, iPhone, iPad and an external hard drive, but was told that it was being kept as “evidence.”

When he got back home, his boss told him to pack his bags.

“I tried to explain what had happened but they had already talked to him,” he said.

So he headed down to Tucson where he is staying with a friend.

“I’m afraid they are going to keep digging and digging until they find something to nail me with,” he said. “That is why I got out of Phoenix.”

Darren Emfinger, the Phoenix police detective and joint task force member who has been featured in the The First 48 television show and who is refusing to return his items, can be reached at  (623) 466-1398 or on his cell phone, (602) 377-9108.

The Arizona ACLU, whom he hopes will help him in this case, can be reached at info@acluaz.org or 602.650.1854.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton can be reached at mayor.stanton@phoenix.gov or 602-262-7111.


Send stories, tips and videos to Carlos Miller.
  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.m.gray Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    Dear God! How can this be true? What has this country become?
    I will be calling Monday morning.

    • n4zhg

      And when you call, don’t forget to remind them they violated a federal consent decree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sethlevy Seth Levy

    I am hoping some local media get ahold of this and get the other side of the story. Not that it will be believable but it will helpful to get their side out in the open, it is much easier to poke holes and catch them in a lie that way. This is absurd if true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnamitchell John Mitchell

    Typical. Welcome to the new AMERIKA. Hope you all enjoy your oppression.

  • Jon Quimbly

    That citation for “use of alleys as thoroughfares” seems bogus, because that’s vehicle code, and the term “use as thoroughfare” applies to vehicles not pedestrians.

    Usually it means driving across a gas station -from one street to another and not stopping to buy gas- to avoid waiting at the corner to turn. That’s illegal in most states, and it sounds like AZ applies that limit to alleys as well.

    Applying that law to a pedestrian in an alleyway? Totally bogus. Alleys are there so workers can enter buildings, park trucks or cars for unloading, etc.

    • whoisthisreally

      It is completely legal to cut across a parking lot to avoid sitting at the light if you open your door as you go through and put your foot on the ground.

    • D S Craft

      Cutting across a parking lot is certainly not illegal in Kalifornia and no, you don’t have to put your foot on the ground either. What you do have to do is stop at the exit before entering the street so you can check for traffic, which is just common sense anyway.

  • scruffylookingnerfherder

    Well, I sent a note to aclu AZ, encouraging them to get involved in this case to defend Mr. Michael and enjoin further abuses. I might bounce a letter off NPPA, too, asking them to renew their requests to train police in AZ on photographer’s rights.

    Too bad we can’t bundle up arizona with texas, and send them out into the pacific ocean like the bizarre islands their inhabitants already think they are.

    • Proud GrandPa

      Don’t bother with the ACLU. Those amoral idiots officially believe the first amendment protects the sale of child porn.
      .
      Try a better civil rights group that actually understands the constitution.
      .

      • Mike Pelletier

        Do you have a source for that?

        • Proud GrandPa

          Yes, a lot of sources. You can find them by websearching ACLU and child porn. Also search for Barry Lynn, ACLU, and child porn. There are many, many sources for this including the ACLU itself. They admit it!
          .
          Ask them yourself. I did. They said they oppose child porn etc. and that the pervs who make it should be jailed, but — pay attention — THE ACLU’S OFFICIAL POSITION IS THAT ANY LITERATURE INCLUDING CHILD PORN AND CHILD FORCEABLE RAPE, ONCE PRODUCED IS PROTECTED FREE SPEECH AS IS ITS POSSESSION, DISTRIBUTION, OR SALE.
          .
          Ask the ACLU. I didl

          • Jan R.

            That’s a gross distortion. This claim goes back to the fact that in 1982 the ACLU filed an amicus brief in New York v. Ferber, a child porn case. Their position was not (as you claim) that the sale of any kind of child pornography should be legal. Rather, they argued that the New York statute in question was unconstitutionally broad and that the proper standard should be the three-pronged obscenity established in Miller v. California.

          • Proud GrandPa

            No that is most certainly NOT a distortion. You have failed to ask the ACLU about its belief that the first amendment protects the sale, ownership, and distribution of child pornography once it is produced. I did ask. They admitted it!
            .
            In addition in about 2003 or 2004 at their annual convention they discussed how to present (conceal) this to the public. And their former chief legal counsel admitted that child rape and murder of the victim was also protected free speech once produced.
            .
            The ACLU has a warped and illogical view of the first amendment. They have lost on this and will continue to do so.
            .

          • Jan R.

            Excuse me if I don’t simply believe you.

            What was the name of the person you asked, what position does that person hold in the ACLU and what, precisely, was it that you asked and they replied? What, precisely, was said at the annual convention and what is the provenance of that allegation? Same question with regards to what you allege the chief counsel said.

            I’ve known people who work for ACLU of Florida for years and they certainly don’t take the position you claim.

          • Jan R.

            By the way, if they truly held the position you claimed, one would think that at some point they would have argued that position in one of the very many trials for possession of child pornography that go on all the time. Yet as far as I can determine (with the exception of the above-mentioned New York v. Ferber in which they did not take the position you claim) they have not. Not even when Charles Rust-Tierney, who was an executive of Virginia ACLU at the time of his arrest, was tried for possession did they participate in his defense.

          • Fotaugrafee

            OK…where’s the email and/or correspondence the both of you? Sounds to me like Jan R. noted… “gross distortion”. You’re apparently senile, “Grandpa”.

            Ya durn kids, git off ma lawn!!

          • Guest

            You tool. You like like half of the dimwits in America who want to sanction the jackasses in the Westboro Baptist Church. I think they’re dispicable, but they still have a freedom of speech. I think you’re confusing / broadening what differences might exist between weirdos like NAMBLA and child pornographers, both of which are loathsome to me, but whom I respect their right to free speech (including flyers, so long as illegal acts are not depicted or suggested on them).

            Stu-nod.

          • Fotaugrafee

            You tool. You sound like half of the dimwits in America who want to sanction the jackasses in the Westboro Baptist Church. I think they’re despicable but they still have a freedom of speech. I think you’re confusing / broadening what differences might exist between weirdos like NAMBLA and child pornographers, both of which are loathsome to me, but whom I respect their right to free speech (including flyers, so long as illegal acts are not depicted or suggested on them).

            Open the can of worms by sanctioning the groups whom you don’t agree with (personal security), and you fuck it up for the rest of us. Just do us a favor & move into a church or something.

            Stu-nod.

        • Fotaugrafee

          No, he’s a Jesus-loving, god-fearing idiot who spouts off about ridiculous shit like this.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

        If youre white the ACLU ignores you…

        • http://www.thryse.com/ Kaitlyn Richardson

          Wrong. You obviously know nothing about the ACLU.

        • HLW

          RIGHHHT, The American Nazi party was defended by the ACLU… I’m sure that the mahority of that group is white….

        • Fotaugrafee

          Yeee-haww!!!! That’s right, that there ACLU only works for them there coloreds, right Cletus?

      • Phred

        Credible source for that claim about the ACLU supporting child porn? Please! I’d love to see even one!

    • nrgins

      HEY!!!! I LIVE IN TEXAS, OK??? Will you at least give me some warning before you throw the state into the ocean?? I got some stuff I don’t want to get wet.

      • scruffylookingnerfherder

        Meet in NM.

        Bring Austin.

        • Fotaugrafee

          AMEN!! Austin is about the only thing in that damn state that’s worth saving. It would be a state on it’s own!! Too bad it’s the capital of a state loaded with rednecks.

    • john philpot

      I have a better idea, hows about the other 47 continental united states take back all the senile, racist, jack ass retirees who moved out here, leave Az for the people who moved here for the independence and not the weather, and then we revisit how crazy arizona actually is?

      • Fotaugrafee

        You consider the topic of this every post “independence”? Surely you jest…?

  • nrgins

    This is so damn sad. All because of this “war on terrorism,” which is an excuse for spending money on the military (and now the police), giving them permission to use extreme measures as a way to propagate this “war on terror,” and so, continue to spend money. Plus, cops at 3 am are bored and need something to do. So damn sad. I hope he can sue them (though I don’t know what the grounds would be). Sad.

    • Dante Ignatius

      I’d say there are some grounds, at least. Drudging up the little I remember from a law class I took three years ago, he could get them for: a) loss of wages b) loss of employment (sort of alongside the first) and c) pain and suffering.

      I’m sure that they can get nicked for invasion of privacy and confiscating his things without cause, but that might just go under pain and suffering.
      Long story short, I agree with you, this sort of thing shouldn’t be allowed and I hope he does get justice for this kind of crap.

      • nrgins

        You may be right. But he’d have to show that they weren’t just “doing their jobs” and have reasonable cause to arrest him. If not, then any “pain and suffering” he endured would just be seen as an unfortunate result of being arrested, and they wouldn’t be responsible. And, since they found the shallowest of reasons to arrest him, it seems they have that covered.

        Now, tearing apart the car and contacting his boss (causing him to lose his job) is another matter entirely. But, hey, all in the interest of fighting those dastardly terrorists, right? The Patriot Act probably has them covered on that end too.

        • steveo

          Once the fbi gets involved they can do just about anything to investigate you from birth to present time. They can detain you for as long as they want. They detained Jose Padilla without an attorney, hearing, trial for 3 1/2 years.

          • http://meancreativity.com/ Mason Pelt

            You can sue the FBI for that. I know people how have.

        • Libertarian-Deception

          Patriot Act, Statism. Kookism. You need to dig deeper, you fool. this is not an ideological battle of left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Statism vs liberty. This is war against White people.

          Why do hostile globalist elite defend Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but ravage White majority Europe/North America into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Gulag with dystopian non-White colonization?

          East Asia is 99% yellow. Africa is 90% Black. West Asia is 99% Brown. But 3rd world colonizers, Muslims, Sikhs, Hispanics, are aggressively advancing their agenda by annihilating gullible Whites, just as China annihilates Tibet.

          How long will gullible Whites cuckold for murderous anti-White elite, who confiscate our guns, infiltrate/subvert our banks, FBI/CIA, indoctrinate White kids in academia/mass media, plunder White jobs/wages, & butcher White soldiers in bankrupting wars?

          “Native” Americans invaded from East Asia. Yellow & Brown races committed 10-times more genocide, slavery, imperialism than Whites. Since Old-Testament, Whites have been victims of Jewish/Crypto-Jewish, Turkic, Muslim, N.African imperialism, slavery, genocide.

          Gullible Whites should reject subversive anti-White ideologies – libertarianism, feminism, liberalism, & reject hostile slanders of racism. Love to all humanity, but White people must organize to advance their interests, their fertility, their homelands. Spread this message. Reading list: goo.gl/iB777 , goo.gl/htyeq , amazon.com/dp/0759672229 , amazon.com/dp/1410792617

          • HIUBLIJO

            I am not sure that I see any evidence of what you are accusing the government of doing. Which anti-white elites are you talking about. Certainly not the anti-whites in inner city Detroit, Chicago or St. Louis.

            Sorry, pal. I don’t see a lot of young blacks whose unemployment numbers are in the double digits “plundering” jobs from whites.

            Gotta give me a little better evidence than you have so far.

          • Elhombre

            Dude you sound batshit crazy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/davidzion.brugger David Zion Brugger

            Enough of that racist stuff Lib-Dec,
            You know you are not allowed to have more less excersize a “race’ any more than a color,, that is only for every other race and color in the stew.
            Rights, you have no rights, only special interest groups have ‘Civil Rights as created and issued by the legislatures of traitorous men.

          • jesusknight

            your an idiot…

          • marque2

            Unfortunately He speaks more truth than you are willing to admit. White males especially have been discriminated against for years. In fact since the 1980’s since the focus has changed on educating women, at the expense of men (women need to study more science, more math …) we end up with a bunch of drugged up men (on ridilin) who are not graduating high school and are no longer going to college. Last year 40% more degrees in college went to women rather than men.

            So are we dismantling all the government sponsored women’s rights groups on campus of course not.

            Yes we favor women and minorities, and especially favor hostile minorities in this country and take pot shots at white guys like this – for balance.

          • jesusknight

            I was not speaking about women or that white males are not discriminated against. Too blame the Jews and others for our problems is wrong, though. The blame is strictly on the focus which our government will not go past for some reason or other, which should be based on skill and talent, not ethnicity. I am an American whose heritage is Mexican (I am NOT a hyphenated American!), and I know that ethnicity is something that should not be the focus for jobs or schooling.

          • dragmex

            Now they know how blacks and hispanics have felt for centuries.

          • Kriegar

            Doesn’t make it right, by any standard.

          • Fotaugrafee

            And you don’t know how use the proper variation of “you’re”. Maybe just try “ur” next time.

          • foo

            sikhs are aryan/indo-european. you sound like a race traitor to me. are you a double agent ?

          • Fotaugrafee

            Are you fucking retarded, or just another dipwit WASP / KKK clown?

        • Patrick Piklapp

          Since the only thing that have him on is citations, how about false imprisonment, denial of representation, illegal search and seizure, and theft (because nothing in the pack has anything to do with the charges).

    • JAY CARNEY

      the war on terrorism has seemed to take a nasty turn and has been focused on Americans the govt deems a threat….what does this govt deem a threat most? Radical terrorists from overseas? Nope Mexican drug cartels ? Nope…This govt is just hoping and hoping that they can find a white American who is politically affiliated with the right, the tea party , or any conservative group this govt tries to pin every terrorist event on….In America 2013 under a radical president and admin, you are a target if you are in the group(s) I described above…yet if you are an actual terrorist who actually causes terror, then they will bend over backwards trying to hide you from the public…This country is completely turned upside down thanks to a govt more worried about attacking political opponents than they are about defending us from actual threats…I feel I went to sleep and woke up in Soviet Russia circa 1975

      • nrgins

        I don’t think it has to do with political enemies. I believe it has to do with money. For a decade or more they were able to pour billions of dollars into overseas wars, buying all sorts of equipment. The public has grown weary of these. So, in order to keep the money pipeline flowing, they’ve focused on equipping local police departments, giving them tanks, drones, heavy artillery weapons, and encouraging them to root out terrorists (otherwise, why spend all that money on equipment, right?). It’s all about the military-industrial complex (previously more accurately called the military-industrial-congressional complex), and making sure the money continues to flow into it after the two wars have dwindled down.

        • JasonIvers

          I disagree… I don’t think it is primarily about the money, I think it’s about the power.. Political enemies and money are both just “side effects” of an attempt to gain/consolidate power.

      • Fotaugrafee

        You’re just as fucked in the head as the racist / WASP clowns commenting here.

        • Kriegar

          Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t watching you.

      • Kriegar

        It’s very simple of you, and very easy, to make all of those unfounded assertions-but I have to remind you that it was not only Bush that brought us the “Patriot” Act, but it was also he that smuggled the Bin Laden family out of this country, immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

  • whoisthisreally

    I posted his number on 4 social media sites…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregg-Jones/527975393 Gregg Jones

    The ACLU won’t help him. He’s not an illegal alien. He’s not a minority. He’s not Muslim. Besides, the ACLU got their orders from Dees and the SPLC as to how dangerous to the nation Constitutionalists are.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.murray.35175 Joseph Murray

      The ACLU defends people from all parts of the political spectrum. They defended the Klan and Neo-nazis as long as they were Constitutionally in the right. Don’t talk about things you know nothing about. Ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s embarrassing. You sound like a bigot.

      • Fotaugrafee

        Like? He is, like most of the anti-ACLU rejects talking shit on this post.

    • Francisco_dAnconia

      State branches of the ACLU operate with a great deal of autonomy and help people of all colors and religions.

    • devil_wheels

      But the ACLU are helping him and you need a new theory.

      In a confused society every organization comes with it’s confused ideology. The ACLU is no different. They get things wrong sometimes. They get it right too sometimes.

    • Fotaugrafee

      Ahhh, another tard who popped out of the woodwork when he Googled “ACLU”.

      • Kriegar

        People only like the ACLU when they agree with what it has achieved in their mindset. When they are required to see that there are two sides to every coin, they start barking and whining.

        They claim they want freedom in America, then complain about Free Speech. They want Freedom of Religion, but not the Separation of Church and State. Too many of them would be happy to do away with rights for minorities, women, and waged laborers. I’m glad I wasn’t born in the fifties, and I have no intention of allowing these cretins to return us to them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JJizzile John H Johnson III

    Police State

    • steveo

      What the hell did we think we were doing when we let them pass the Patriot Act?

      • http://twitter.com/DonCKissick Don Kissick

        “We” were thinking, “OMG the terrorists are coming for us, they hate us for our freedom!”

        Also, at the time the vast majority of Americans were all for it, unfortunately. Now, entirely along partisan lines most who opposed it at the start now don’t want to talk about how Obama’s using it and some of Bush’s old supporters who insisted we had to fight the War on Terror along with having the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act on the books only argue against it because it’s Obama.

        If this particular form of stupidity in our society isn’t amended before long, America truly is doomed.

        • Fotaugrafee

          Newflash, Faux News junkie, this is EXACTLY what your savior “W” had in mind when he created the Patriot Act. He wanted full-time surveillance of everyone in America and what they’re doing. And if it doesn’t agree with “their agenda”, they get raked over the coals for it.

        • Kriegar

          I can’t think of one person who was in their right mind who was “all for it”.

      • dragmex

        You couldn’t stop them. The patriot act was written years before 9/11, you might wonder why?

      • Fotaugrafee

        Just like everything else, they do it w/o any kind of public information. We elect representatives, who in turn make the laws for us, and then we bitch about the laws / ground rules that they set. I think Congress needs to be destroyed / disbanded permanently.

  • Mark G

    “The most radical thing I do is read Photography is Not a Crime and Cop Block,” he said.

    I’m sorry, this guy went looking for his 15 minutes at 3AM and he found it, now he’s doing exactly what he set out to do; call foul and stomp his incredulous feet.

    • Difster

      Even if that’s the case, the cops were still wrong. So what’s the real problem? You’re a statist boot licker that doesn’t think authority should be challenged?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542192065 Jay Cox

      What, you’ve never had trouble sleeping around that time of night and just got out and drove?? Lucky you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/adam.pringle.3 Adam Pringle

      wait till something like this happens to you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregg-Jones/527975393 Gregg Jones

        Something like “this” won’t happen to him. He will answer every question the officer put to him. He will empty his pockets. Hand over his camera. And before the officer allows him to leave, he’ll lick a little shoeleather.

        • squinty

          Which may not keep him from getting arrested.

          • Fotaugrafee

            That’s ok, all the “bootlicking” he does will help him if they lock him up. Bubba needs his knob shined, Mark G. is the man for the ‘job’.

        • Kriegar

          Carry his own KY, as well.

      • Fotaugrafee

        He’s a boot licker, he’ll never do something so “bold” in his entire existence.

    • BusPass

      If you are accusing him of baiting the cops, then the cops need to stop going fishing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sharky1953 Howard Joey

      ALERT!!!!! MARK is a troll! report at 11!!!

    • Kriegar

      You must be joking.

  • Difster

    F’ing coproaches.

    One of these days, one of these victims of police abuse with nothing left to lose is going to go all Dorner on them and be a lot smarter about it than the actual Dorner.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

      Then the apparatchik media will tell us all how these “crazy tea partiers just went crazy on this wonderful affirmative action police officer…
      Our leftist enemies are brave and secure in the knowledge that “those whom control the degree process control everything”..

      • Kriegar

        It’s not the “leftists” that you need to worry about, certainly. NeoCon warmongering Republitards are your most likely concern.

  • Mike

    I forwarded the link to the Bad Phoenix Cops blog (http://BadPhoenixCops.blogspot.com) — might garner some more publicity it.

    Let’s hope he can get a lawyer to take the case.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jan.kever Jan Kever

      I would hope someone would take it….

  • http://twitter.com/om43photo Rob

    “we’re not disputing that it’s illegal, we just find it odd”, so just sit tight because we’ll be making something up to charge you with. It will be completely bogus, of course, but we don’t care about that because it will go on your permanent record, and give us an excuse to harass you further in the future.

    • steveo

      I’m pretty sure the feds can still waterboard detainees into talking. They say they can’t but I think they still do it. They can send you to a foreign “safe” house and nobody would ever hear from you again. Watch zero dark thirty, where they “kidnap” the suspect and transport him blindfolded to god knows where?

  • Dan

    Although he wasn’t breaking the law, did he really need to be out at 3am taking photos?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sharky1953 Howard Joey

      questioning this person? you got to be F’ing kidding me! they do this crap to him and your asking what was he thinking or some crap like that? ya all got to be trolls, only trolls would come up with CRAP like that!

      • genewitch

        he had on a tight dress

    • http://www.facebook.com/ashelton1980 Andy Shelton

      I agree that it’s odd, but the bottom line is that he was not breaking the law. I’ve been out that late shooting. It’s none of anyone elses business unless a law is being broken. We have so much going on in this country. Are the authorities really focused on this?? This is part of the problem!

      • Francisco_dAnconia

        You should care because Phoenix PD will arrest you and confiscate as many of your possessions as they can.

        • mbecker908

          He was lucky the County Sheriff didn’t get him.

    • http://twitter.com/blendedpurple blended purple

      yes, we must do as we’re told.

      • http://twitter.com/radishthegreat Radish™OfWillendorf

        Everything that is not mandated is forbidden.

    • Mike Pelletier

      When else can you get photos of empty streets? When else can you get distraction from insomnia? What if that is the time when you have inspiration? What if you work during the day? Surely all of these explanations are individually each THOUSANDS of times more likely than “terrorist.”

      • Romet6

        Exactly.

        When you want to get a good photo of a building then it might be best if the view is not obstructed by dozens of random people and seriously, if you were planning an attack then you’d probably prefer to take the pictures during daytime, when you can hide in crowds.

        Why would you even need to go down there with a camera when you could just use the street view on Google maps. Also, they think that while there’s a bomb in the vehicle, an attacker would just go around taking pictures of new potential targets?

        Are they using brains at all? What kind of drooling mentally handicapped criminals could they catch like this?

        • CptNerd

          “Are they using brains at all? What kind of drooling mentally handicapped criminals could they catch like this?”

          Well, they say never punch above your (mental) weight class, so I’d say any at the same level as themselves.

          • Romet6

            The only reasonable explanation that I can come up with for this situation is that the guy might have felt self-conscious near the cops (as some people can get around the authorities) and thus might have looked suspicious, like he’s trying to avoid them and has something to hide. The cops then followed him around a bit and picked him up for questioning.

            The cops were certainly in the wrong here and should be punished for going this far. He should sue them.

          • Kriegar

            Yeah-acting suspicious. He had a camera.

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.menes.790 Daniel Menes

      Dan, if you can ask that question, you are no longer a free man.

    • John Campbell

      Um, buildings look different at night, compared to how they look in daylight; are people supposed to lack interest in the difference…?

    • Romet6

      “Photography is not a crime.”

      It might be unusual for a random person to take pictures at this hour but would it be very odd for someone interested in Photography?

      I have been out with a camera at all hours, photographing a variety of things and that shouldn’t be enough reason to ruin my life.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

        It is to any NAZI FASCIST leftist in Amerika…

        • squinty

          It’s not a left/right issue. I wish it was, because that would imply that at least one end of the political spectrum was on the side of photographers, and the first amendment. But neither is.

          Bear in mind that it’s Eric Holder’s “leftist” justice department that has repeatedly issued statements to law enforcement agencies enjoining them not to arrest citizens who record police.
          Now, my opinion of the Holder justice dept. probably isn’t much higher than your own, but I’ll save the criticism for my left leaning friends who’d defend him.

        • Fotaugrafee

          ^^^ Dumbass.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.murray.35175 Joseph Murray

      I hear arguments like this all the time. It’s depressing. If it’s *legal* the choice of whether to do it or not is up to you; the concept is called FREEDOM.

    • nrgins

      It’s called “civil rights.” Look it up.

    • steveo

      They probably arrested him more for the fact that he wasn’t talking to them than the fact that he was talking pictures. It’s his right to remain silent, but I’d at least give them my name and tell them I was out doing a documentary, and turn on the video.

    • BooMushroom

      I’m not sure if you’re trying to say “everything within the state, nothing outside the state,” or “everything not permitted is forbidden,” but either way, you are part of the problem, and I wish that just because you love your chains, you wouldn’t feel the need to put them on the rest of us.

    • http://twitter.com/neeksgeek Richard Thomas

      Oh, please! What does this do to protect *anyone* from crime/terror? Nothing! A total waste of taxpayer money and a very poor exercise in “law enforcement.” I submit that it is the police behaving as terrorists, since the effect of their actions is evidently to encourage people to “stay indoors at 3am.”

      I guess all patriotic insomniacs just watch TV at 3am.

      /sarcasm (No, really!)

      Seriously, photographers have done night photography for
      decades. The world looks very different at night! Take a look sometime. I
      teach photography at the college level, and can assure you that
      first-year photography students often get assignments to make night
      photos. One common assignment is to photograph the same scene at all
      hours of the day, and this includes after dark. Nothing suspicious about
      it. It’s a valuable skill for any serious photographer and it is also
      something that many FREE people enjoy.

    • akatsukami

      Although you’re not breaking the law, do you really need to be commenting on this story?

    • mostly harmless

      I don’t think it is odd: it’s a productive use of an otherwise sleepless Night… at least until the cops got involved! If people aren’t allowed to leave their homes and exercise free will within the law, at least have the courage to ratify a law that states it plainly so everyone knows what they have voted for. Arresting and harassing people on preposterous pretences is cheap and cowardly, and letting them get away with it sets terrible precedents.
      Why do the majority have to suffer for the repulsive crimes of a relatively tiny lunatic minority?

    • Phred

      “Need” to be out there? Doesn’t matter. He has a right to be there whether it’s 3:00 in the afternoon or 3:00 in the morning. Need has nothing to do with it.

    • squinty

      It’s a bill of rights, not a bill of needs. His behavior didn’t have to be “necessary,” just legal. What was really unnecessary was his arrest, and detention, and the shredding of his friend’s car.

    • Fotaugrafee

      Why is that your concern? Should we all be fucking robots in America & adhere to some set of principles about “what people should be doing at 3am”?

  • Raymond Michael

    UPDATE!!!: Cell Phone area code is wrong. It’s (602) 377-9108

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barbara-Alison-Himes-Marinakis/100000243675669 Barbara Alison Himes Marinakis

    I’m no lover of statism or police overreach, and at first glance this case does seem extreme. But If I put myself in the cops’ shoes, I wonder what I would have done…

    There’s a car freshly parked in front of the police station at 3 AM. Maybe I or one of the other cops look out and see that guy parking there, or just see the car there when it wasn’t there a few minutes ago. And I wonder “Why would someone park there? Everything around here is closed.”

    And then there’s this guy walking around the city taking photos late at night of *government* buildings. People who do terrorist acts often do that in preparation for a bombing or other crime. Maybe this guy is innocent, but his behavior is strange and – whether there was a formal “war on terror” or not, I’m on high alert because of the Boston Marathon bombings. And I’m never going to forget the Oklahoma City bombing. *And I do not want to be one of those people who suspected something but ignored those suspicions.*

    And then it turns out that the guy taking the photos is also the guy parked in front of the station… Hmmmm….

    And not only that, but the name on his license doesn’t match the name on the car registration… That’s also odd.

    There are some clues here that add up to suspicious behavior. And the guy chose to park in front of the station… could there be a bomb in that car? Are there enough clues to warrant searching the car? To warrant keeping the guy’s stuff for further examination? What if that’s what the clues are saying, and I don’t listen?

    It’s not the “War on Terror” that can put a policeman in this frame of mind. It’s the acts of terrorism that have already happened, and the knowledge that there usually were clues that had been ignored prior to a horrific deadly explosion.

    Now, I’m a huge believer in individual rights and I abhor a police state. But I also abhor mass murder and mass amputation. And if I were in those cops’ situation I think I’d have a very hard time making a decision either way.

    This is not the same kind of situation where someone is filming an arrest or police misconduct and gets in trouble for monitoring police behavior. This is police living in a world where terrorism happens and where a cop doesn’t want to be the one who wasn’t on the ball enough to stop it.

    And yet, innocent people can do some unusual things that can fall into a pattern that looks suspicious. (Although, I’m not so sure that this guy wasn’t *trying* to look suspicious – when I saw that his most *radical* behavior is reading “Photography is not a Crime” it occurred to me that he might have been looking for an “heroic” adventure.) And overly-zealous policing can lead to innocent people and liberty getting trampled. Not okay.

    So, how to handle it?

    • Raymond Michael

      EXCEPT: They didn’t know the truck existed (or notice it) until 3-4 hours AFTER arresting me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jan.kever Jan Kever

        Absolutely fight this with everything you have! Friggin’ Arizona is a public embarrassment! The country will soon be entirely on your side.

    • rangepig

      “People who do terrorist acts often do that in preparation for a bombing or other crime.” Really? When has this ever been shown to be true? Bruce Schneier, a well respected security expert, has repeatedly debunked this myth. Maybe they do this in movies but in real life this just doesn’t happen.

    • BenTheGuy

      Kidnapping, stalking, theft, and harassment are not good responses. These cops are criminals. I put myself in their shoes, and I think…. I just kidnapped sunshine, stole his stuff, harassed his employer…. I’m a criminal, and can no longer say I follow a decent code of ethics.

      • n4zhg

        I put today’s police in the same category as TSA: There are no ethics codes in existence that affect them.

    • nrgins

      Stopping the guy and talking to him is one thing. ARRESTING him on superficial charges; tearing apart a car (!) for no reason; contacting his employer – all because he was snapping pictures. That, my friend, is NOT reasonable!

    • mbecker908

      How to handle it? Sue their asses off, both the city and the cops personally. ( I know, sovereign immunity, but make their lives hell in the process.)

    • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

      Idiot leftist to the bone…. Over think everything, even something so basic and simple as freedom…

    • john philpot

      How to handle it? Dont put the police station next to 7 hotels in a down town area where parking is nonexistant?

    • Francisco_dAnconia

      Sooo.. you would violate the law and shit on an innocent guy’s life because you’re a coward. Got it.

    • Dug101

      Maybe he thought it was the safest place to park, in front of the police station. His mistake. If you want to be safe avoid interaction with the police as much as possible.

  • steveo

    must have been a slow night

  • Robert LaBelle

    Think people. Use a minute to allow your brain to look at all the FACTS and the apply pure reason and logic to come to a conclusion.

    Fact 1. Stealth, in the background, unnoticeable, unseen, disguised and many more terms defining an individual who KNOWS HOW TO DISAPPEAR IN PLAIN SITE are the hallmarks of an intelligent wrongdoer.

    Fact 2. In plain site, visible, obvious, stands out, non-threatening appearance are the hallmarks of a person not involved in criminal activity.

    Which facts represents this gentleman, the acts committed against this gentleman are power plays ,chest beating gorilla acts of thugs with badges nothing else.

    My Opinion, I do also value yours respond with any intelligent reply please

    • Gunter Hå Olsen

      In a free world he would be entitled to beat up the pricks.

  • killer3000ad

    Maybe the cops needed to make their arrest quota for the day.

    • n4zhg

      Police don’t have quotas. Just ask Adrian Schoolcraft.

  • HowardHinde

    Our governments, local and federal, are causing more terror than the extremists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

      Without question… Just wait till the Bill actually comes due…

  • cj

    U need to find a good attorney in ur area.Look under a website called superlawyers.com.This website shows u the best attorneys in ur area under there particular field.Trust me there the best site to find any kind.I would get one as u were falsely arrested and detained.Dont let this slide .Also make a complaint to the internal affairs dept. and also the department of justice,go to the website and get info..GO to there website.I understand as leos they have to be on the up and up with terrorism but also need to use common sense.What if tonight I decide to go film a courthouse somewhere which in turn I know I will get harassed by a leo.Soon people will be doing this on purpose just to set cops up for lawsuits and to make a point .Any volunteers ?lol

  • http://twitter.com/zfa069 zfa

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Granted, going around taking pictures at 3am is kind of odd, but certainly not an arrestable offense. I hope he can get his belongings back from the cops, and I hope he sues the living daylights out of them. They cost him his home and livelihood with their overzealous actions. I’m all for homeland security, but this is just shameful.

    • Romet6

      For a photographer, it wouldn’t be so odd at all.

      • steveo

        yeah, photographers and skateboarders, which are on the bottom of the list for most leos anyway.

  • cj

    I don’t know about u folks but I feel like getting a few of us together and purposely having our cameras ready and to expose these civil right violators.We might take the ride to jail,but lawsuits will be in the future for false arrest and internal affair investigations will cost these bullies their jobs.As a retired leo,there is a lot of uneducation of certain laws just like any other occupation,u have good ones and bad ones.

  • BenTheGuy

    When cops do things outside the bounds of the law, they should be treated like anyone else. They kidnapped this guy and stole his stuff and harassed him…. And they had nothing on the guy. They are criminals!

    • http://www.facebook.com/dusty.thompson.169 Dusty Thompson

      Cop should be held to a HIGHER standard, but in modern LEFTIST unionized Amerika the opposite has happened… I trust the Police far less than I trust the Gang bangers… At least with gang bangers I can defend myself…

      • BenTheGuy

        Now wait a second…. This was in Arizona, hardly a hotbed of the left. Other than that I agree with you. Police everywhere, not necessarily because of leftist ideals, are becoming more and more a problem. Too much militarization, too much us against them mentality… I’d say the root of it is more and more authoritarian government making more and more behavior criminal.

        • john philpot

          Aside from the fact that it happened in the Phoenix metro area which had its population increased by a factor of 4 by people moving in from southern California I might have agreed with you. AZ total population before the cali invasion was 3 million, now its nearly 7, with most of them living in the Phx area

    • Kellen Lawler

      Ben… I have posted this in a few forums … even in Excoplawstudent own blog asking for clarification and why this law is not being used.. No replys from anywhere/anyone. It sure seems rights
      or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United
      States are BEING deprived daily…. yet I have never heard anyone mention this law…. why not? I’ll post it again.

      DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW

      Summary:

      Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting
      under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right
      or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United
      States.

      For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law”
      include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials
      within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the
      bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done
      while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the
      performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under
      color of law within the meaning of this statute include police
      officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as
      well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and
      others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary
      that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color,
      religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of
      the victim.

      The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a
      life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances
      of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

      TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

      Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully
      subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the
      deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the
      Constitution or laws of the United States, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
      more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of
      this section