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Man Ordered At Gunpoint To Hand Over Phone For Recording Cops 983

HungryHobo writes with this excerpt from a story at Pixiq: "Miami Beach police did their best to destroy a citizen video that shows them shooting a man to death in a hail of bullets on Memorial Day. First, police pointed their guns at the man who shot the video, according to a Miami Herald interview with the videographer. Then they ordered the man and his girlfriend out of the car and threw them down to the ground, yelling, 'you want to be f****** paparazzi?' Then they snatched the cell phone from his hand and slammed it to the ground before stomping on it. Then they placed the smashed phone in the videographer's back pocket as he was laying down on the ground."
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Man Ordered At Gunpoint To Hand Over Phone For Recording Cops

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  • by Scareduck ( 177470 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:07PM (#36338374) Homepage Journal
    the cops could have avoided all that trouble [], and then it would just be a he-said/she-said scenario. Neat. Clean.
    • by asdbffg ( 1902686 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @07:39PM (#36338916)

      the cops could have avoided all that trouble

      Yes, by not shooting people or threatening witnesses at gunpoint.

      • by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @07:44PM (#36338944) Homepage

        the cops could have avoided all that trouble

        Yes, by not shooting people or threatening witnesses at gunpoint.

        But then why would anyone bother to become a cop?

        • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @10:00PM (#36339598) Homepage Journal

          the cops could have avoided all that trouble

          Yes, by not shooting people or threatening witnesses at gunpoint.

          But then why would anyone bother to become a cop?

          There're still plenty of drug dealers to shake down and prostitutes to extort free sex from.


        • by martyros ( 588782 ) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @10:07AM (#36342330)

          But then why would anyone bother to become a cop?

          You've put your finger on the source of the inevitable problem. Given the job, you're guaranteed to get this kind of person showing up at least occasionally; just like you get BOfH sysadmins, Wall Street attracts get-rich-quick schemers, the lawsuits attract ambulance-chasers.

          The critical question isn't whether these things happen; they will. The critical question is how they organization responds. What will happen to these police, and the department that they work for? Will they be fired and never allowed to work in law enforcement again? Will there be a review of the attitudes of the police department to see if there are other systematic violations of rights, or a failure to provide adequate training or incentives to uphold the law (rather than abuse it for personal gain)? Or will they be given a slap on the wrist, and business continue as usual?

          If there are consequences, then it won't be as attractive to this kind of person; or, this kind of person will control themselves because they know there will be consequences. If there aren't consequences, you're going to attract a whole lot more of this kind of person.

    • by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @08:16PM (#36339134) Journal
      The real trick is to post everything directly to "The Cloud". Yes, yes, I hate the term as much as the average /.-er, but in this case it's extraordinarily useful. Destroying the device doesn't destroy the data, and you also have a record of the destruction. There's a good reason for decent systems to keep off-site (ideally off-continent) records.
      • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @12:01AM (#36340086) Journal

        The real trick is to post everything directly to "The Cloud".

        True. And the easiest way to do it is to use Qik []. You can even set that up for the vids to land directly onto YouTube.

      • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Sunday June 05, 2011 @11:24AM (#36342738) Journal

        The real trick is to post everything directly to "The Cloud". ... Destroying the device doesn't destroy the data, and you also have a record of the destruction.

        This is what happened at the Democratic Convention protests in Chicago in 1968.

        Chicago was a machine-run city and the police were able to keep pictures of their misdeeds out of the newspapers by seizing and/or smashing the photographers' cameras. In preparation for the convention (and the pre-announced protests) the machine's unions had prevented the stringing of video cabling to likely protest sites.

        But this was the first serious deployment of the "minicam" by the three networks' news operations. It was a massive shoulder-mounted camera, feeding a backpack full of electronics and batteries, radio-linked to a truck full of equipment within a block or two that relayed it to the studio. But it worked. And Chicago was a main switching/mixing/studio center for all three networks' transcontinental feeds.

        So the police, with orders to keep things out of the media, did their standard smash-the-camera number (like they did when the local newsies got ouf-of-line and tried to report on them). And when the police batons smashed a camera lens the image, from the lens' viewpoint, was already out of the camera and into living rooms nationwide.

        With the improvements in video camera technology - first the personal portable video camera, then the inclusion of cameras and video-record functionaltiy in most modern cellphones - the bulk of the population has been in a position to play Chicago News Cameraman. "Who watches the watchmen?" can now be answered "All of us!" Since the Rodney King incident the police have been hunting for ways to suppress this coverage. And this bunch seems to have settled on the pre-minicam Chicago Police approach. In this case the camara man managed to extract and protect the "film". But the real solution is the same as it was in '68: Real time upload to external archive and/or live publication. You hit it dead-on.

        Fortunately the pieces of that are now available as stock products (minor assembly required). Smartphone plus applet for live streaming to archive and/or social-network/video publication. The readers' letters attached to TFA name at least two such applets: QIK (and QIK Plus) and Ustream.

  • Ahhh crime. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qatz ( 1209584 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:07PM (#36338376)
    Theft, destruction of private property, destruction of evidence, assault, and I'm probably missing a few.
    • Re:Ahhh crime. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Soilworker ( 795251 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:12PM (#36338406)

      Is the US trying a new way of social reinsertion by giving policemen jobs to prisoners with clear psychopath behavior ?

    • Re:Ahhh crime. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jra ( 5600 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:18PM (#36338436)

      I'm fairly certain this gent has a 42USC1983 claim against all of the individual officers involved, and I *certainly* hope he's taking advice on that point.

    • by hduff ( 570443 )

      Theft, destruction of private property, destruction of evidence, assault, and I'm probably missing a few.

      It's OK because it's the police, so you have nothing to fear, citizen, unless . . . you have something to hide.

    • Re:Ahhh crime. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @07:47PM (#36338966) Homepage

      Does anyone know of an iphone or android app that automatically uploads video to a remote server while it is being taken? Therefore things like smashing a phone would be useless, as it would already be publicly available.

  • Bad cop, no donut (Score:5, Interesting)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:08PM (#36338380) Journal
    By the time our porcine "protectors" figure out that smashing up the instrument rarely destroys the recording, we'll all have real-time internet-connected video cameras.
  • UNacceptable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:08PM (#36338386)

    Yet another example of a government agent stomping on the Constitution. What type of country has this become? One where the government can track, monitor, record, and harass citizens, yet citizens can't even record a public event without being treated as terrorists. Just disgusting.

    Now they should sue and we can all pay for it with an ever increasing tax burden.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:08PM (#36338388)
    The U.S. is much better than China. We are free. []
    • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @07:15PM (#36338804)
      We are free, except for the millions of people who are behind bars; in fact, the US imprisons more people than any other country, including China, and the only countries to even imprison more people than the US were the USSR and Nazi Germany. As if that were not shameful enough, we also imprison a higher proportion of our black population than South Africa did during Apartheid.

  • by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:08PM (#36338390)

    ...and cops wonder why we hate them?

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:10PM (#36338400)

    The HTC EVO is a Sprint phone, it doesn't use SIM cards.

    Also, video isn't stored on the SIM card.

    Maybe he means the memory card?

    Removing the memory card requires removing the battery first on an HTC EVO. It's somewhat unlikely he did that discreetly.

  • Fucking pigs. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:11PM (#36338404) Journal

    Fucking pigs.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:15PM (#36338426) Homepage

    If there's enough of the phone to recover images, then the cops have made their situation worse. It looks like that's the case, but it's from an SD card, not a SIM card - given how Sprint's phones work.

    Another point - how about apps that instantly stream to an offsite location? The cops would still be thwarted, and still have to pay.

    Hopefully the cops end up paying tons of cash to replace the phones, along with whatever criminal penalties come from their actions.

  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:16PM (#36338428)

    Record it online, not on your phone. Although I suppose it won't be long before cops carry cell jammers as a regular thing.

  • by dachshund ( 300733 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:19PM (#36338454)

    What we need is a Federal law with two components:

    1. Establish that it's perfectly legal to film the police doing their job in a public place.
    2. Make it a crime, punishable with serious jail time, for a police officer to intimidate a photographer, confiscate their camera, or return the camera without the images.

    This law should have no exception for "accidents" like phones being smashed or evidence being lost --- any more than we tolerate "accidents" involving children being lost or killed. Police should know that the minute they confiscate a private individual's camera they are putting their careers and their freedom in the balance should anything go wrong.

    Of course none of this would be workable; if Congress actually passed any kind of law it would almost certainly protect the police and not the citizenry; and half of Slashdot would probably object to this being a Federal law rather than a state law or would propose that we adopt a technological/market solution instead.

  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:24PM (#36338486)

    ...can be found here []. Rather chilling.

  • Not an iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afortaleza ( 791264 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:27PM (#36338508)
    When it says he removed the SD card, you know it's not an iPhone.
  • Lawlessness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hackus ( 159037 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @06:37PM (#36338570) Homepage

    Since I was born in this country I have never seen so much lawlessness by financial institutions, politicians and law enforcement.

    If this continues the USA will break up. If the USA becomes politically unstable we could see civil war.

    There are already indications of this as state legislatures ignore their constituents and yield to the criminals in Washington.

    We have states desperate to save the currency Washington is destroying, by declaring new issues of monetary and economic rules in their own states.

    Meanwhile you have Federal powers trying to make it illegal to put anything other than Federal Reserve notes and arresting anyone who dares try.

    A confrontation is coming between those who have looted and stole everything in this country and those who have been stolen from.

    Be sure you pick the correct side when the crap hits the fan, because it is going to get very very ugly.


  • Qik (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kral_Blbec ( 1201285 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @08:32PM (#36339198)
    Its events like this that are the reason I have Qik on my phone. I've never used it, but give me 15 seconds to get started and I'll be uploading live video to a remote server. Go ahead and take my phone. Its already in the cloud.
  • meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hellop2 ( 1271166 ) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @09:29PM (#36339450)
    Sounds just like every run-in I've ever had with police. I've even videotaped the cops beating the shit out of my friends. The only thing that ever amounted to was my friends not being convicted of Obstruction of Justice, Disobeying a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, Interfering with an Investigation. And, maybe a couple cops quit the force.

    It was funny when they played the video in court and the Judge looks over at the prosecutor and said, "Don't you hate when that happens? Case dismissed."

    But the cops were never convicted of anything. Not even the local lawyers in my town want to take on the cops.

    p.s. I remember the time a cop, with his foot stuck in my door over a noise complaint, grabbed my arm and said, "That's it, you're under arrest." I yanked my hand back and said, "Fuck you, get off my property, you're trespassing." Oh there was also the time that same cop just busted into my house (also a noise complaint) with his arm extended pointing a can of pepper spray at me... I ran into the kitchen where there was like 20 people. The cop eventually put away the pepper spray and walked away... knowing he would have sprayed everyone. Oh there's also the time a cop said I did a 360 on my motorcycle going 50mph, and when I stopped put my hands on my head, and sat down Indian-style, he beat me repeatedly with his baton.. so obviously I got a resisting arrest charge... dismissed, thankfully. Oh and a few months ago when I got a ticket for driving on a learner's permit with no licensed driver... though there was a licensed driver in the car, and I haven't had a learners permit for 15 years... I appealed that and.... inexplicably, lost. I could go on and on.

Where are the calculations that go with a calculated risk?