In several episodes over recent months, Arlington police officers have been forced to flee the scene of a crime as cop watchers arrived with cameras, members of the Tarrant County Peaceful Streets Project and Texas Cop Block who parked nearby, recording officers from a public space, leading officers to stop what they were doing.
In one recent incident, the Dallas Observer’s Sky Chadde was on hand to report:
“At a recent cop watch, I was in the car when we pulled up to one traffic stop. The man was on the ground with had his hands behind his back. As soon as cop-watcher Joseph Tye got out of his car, the two officers let the man go. He got in his truck and drove away, and so did the officers.”
Chadde’s report begs the question – if officers are fleeing the crime scene when concerned citizens arrive with cameras, then who exactly is committing the crime?
After a call for help about a 19-year-old woman who reportedly threatened her family with a gun, San Jose police found the girl armed with only a cordless drill.
According to the San Jose Mercury News:
Police and witnesses — some of whom captured the incident on cellphone video — said when [she] got within about 15 feet of [Officer] Okuma, the officer opened fire.
Jesse Fruhwirth was recording the Tesoro Refinery in Salt Lake City when he was stopped and questioned by what appeared to be an on-duty police officer. Salt Lake City police officer Yvette Zayas stopped Fruhwirth while driving a marked patrol vehicle with the sirens on, in full uniform, telling Fruhwirth he was not free to leave.
However, Zayas was being paid by the Tesoro Refinery – where she worked while off-duty from the police department – and the only suspicious activity she detained Fruhwirth for was recording from public property – which is not a crime.
Now, Fruhwirth is suing Zayas for violating his Constitutional right to free speech and to be free from warrantless searches and seizures.
In a chilling show of militaristic thuggery, police in Oregon arrested a man for attempting to video record them blasting their way into a neighbor’s home as they served a search warrant.
The Gresham Police Department, which serves a city of just over 100,000, rumbled down a residential street at 4 a.m. Tuesday with several armored vehicles, blasting flash grenades into a home, jolting the entire neighborhood awake.
Here is the body cam video Albuquerque police released to the media from the shooting death of Jeremy Robertson in July, a man they claimed was killed because he made officers fear for their lives.
However, the footage begins in the minutes after Robertson was killed, leaving us no way to verify their claims.