In a chaotic video out of Maryland, a horde of cops were struggling to arrest two suspects in the middle of a road for unknown reasons when an officer storms up to the videographer standing on the side of the road and tells him, “get out of my face.”
The videographer asserts his rights to record, so a police sergeant then storms up to him and starts shoving him, telling him to “get the hell out of here” and “leave” and accusing him of “diverting my attention” from piling on the two suspects who were not resisting – even though there were countless other people standing around watching, none of them, however, holding a camera.
A Chicago police officer slapped a man’s camera and threatened to arrest him for disorderly conduct because he had video recorded her car after she parked it on the side of a road in what appears to be a bustling commercial area of the city.
The officer was in full uniform, but the car she was driving, appeared to be her personal car instead of a department-issued car. She had a couple of shirts strewn upon the dashboard, so the man asked about them.
She responded by telling him he was not allowed to record her car, telling him it was “illegal.”
Despite favorable court rulings for citizens and adverse publicity for law enforcement, cops in Florida have not received the memo that they are not allowed to suppress the First Amendment through wiretapping charges.
Not only is a South Florida woman preparing to sue the Broward County Sheriff’s Office after she was violently dragged out of her car for recording a traffic stop last year, a North Florida man is suing the Bay County Sheriff’s Office for arresting him after he admitted in traffic court last year that he had recorded the initial stop.
It crept up on me because I stopped thinking of the past when I began focusing on the future of this blog, which was around the time I left Pixiq in October 2012.
Pixiq, as many of you remember, was the Barnes-and-Noble owned photo website that hosted Photography is Not a Crime for two years, paying me a decent amount depending on how many page views I would receive.
They ended up shutting down, forcing me to have to start paying for hosting and dealing with ongoing tech issues, but also giving me the freedom to turn this site into something much bigger than Pixiq had ever been, which was not much after they cancelled my contract a few months before shutting down.
Less than a month after Broward Sheriff’s attorney and political spin doctor Ron Gunzburger sat on a panel with me claiming that his department is fully trained to respect the rights of citizens to record in public – berating me for having even suspected otherwise – more evidence has emerged confirming he is pretty much full of it.
The latest incident emerged Tuesday involving a commanding officer with more than three decades of experience as well as a history of larceny arresting a woman for audio recording a traffic stop, forcing his way into her car to grab her phone, then pulling her out and dragging her on the gravel, injuring her in several places as another deputy stood by with his gun drawn.
All while yelling at her that she was committing a felony, telling her, “I know the law better than you.”