As police continue to blatantly steal and destroy cameras from citizens without any legal authority whatsoever, it is essential to store our video footage online so it can accessed regardless of what happens to our cameras.
At this time, the most popular method to do this is through the Qik mobile phone application.
I personally have never used it because I tend not to use my phone for video recording, but I am going to download the app because it seems that police are getting bolder about stealing our cameras.
Fortunately, the last victim was using the Qik app when police walked up to her and demanded her phone as “evidence,” even though they had no legal right to do so.
The incident can be seen beginning at 12:30 in the above video where Antigone Darling is recording the aftermath of a protest against police in which eight activists were arrested.
She is actually walking away from police who chase her down and steal her phone.
The law states that police are required to obtain a subpoena or warrant before they can confiscate your camera unless your camera is being used in the commission of crime such as child pornography or upskirting.
I addressed this issue two years ago where I interviewed a couple of attorneys.
Sometimes police know the law but will lie to the citizen anyway as they tried to do to us in my first Metrorail incident (beginning at 2:08 in the video).
But many cops do not know the law as we learned in March when cops in New Haven, Connecticut had to go through special classes to learn how to deal with photographers.
The truth is, regardless if they know they are breaking the law or not, the worse that can happen to them is that prosecutors will force them to return the phone.
And that can take weeks.
Just ask Benjamin Bartholomew who was arrested with his brother in April in Northern California for protesting while wearing masks. They do it for political theater as I wrote about back in February.
Last time they did it, they were charged for wearing masks and for posting signs on state property. Police confiscated his phone because he was recording the entire interaction.
Even after prosecutors dropped the mask charge, they have yet to return his phone to him, which after five weeks, is a huge inconvenience.
But at least the footage was salvaged and has been online since his arrest. That video is below.