Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Your Rights Online Hardware

Appeals Court: You Have the Right To Film the Police (arstechnica.com) 180

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A divided federal appeals court is ruling for the First Amendment, saying the public has a right to film the police. But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in upholding the bulk of a lower court's decision against an activist who was conducting what he called a "First Amendment audit" outside a Texas police station, noted that this right is not absolute and is not applicable everywhere. The facts of the dispute are simple. Phillip Turner was 25 in September 2015 when he decided to go outside the Fort Worth police department to test officers' knowledge of the right to film the police. While filming, he was arrested for failing to identify himself to the police. Officers handcuffed and briefly held Turner before releasing him without charges. Turner sued, alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment right against unlawful arrest and detention and his First Amendment right of speech. The 2-1 decision Thursday by Judge Jacques Wiener is among a slew of rulings on the topic, and it provides fresh legal backing for the so-called YouTube society where people are constantly using their mobile phones to film themselves and the police. A dissenting appellate judge on the case -- Edith Brown Clement -- wrote Turner was not unlawfully arrested and that the majority opinion from the Texas-based appeals court jumped the gun to declare a First Amendment right here because one "is not clearly established."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Appeals Court: You Have the Right To Film the Police

Comments Filter:
  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Friday February 24, 2017 @09:10PM (#53927123) Homepage Journal

    While I totally support the right to record, whatever one can legally observe, I struggle to understand the commonly-used argument, that such making recordings — made silently and without expression — is somehow equivalent to speech.

    Could someone, please, explain?

    • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @09:15PM (#53927143) Journal

      Just because there's no talking doesn't mean it isn't speech. There are plenty of gestures that come to mind.

      Furthermore, if I made a video of myself describing everything that I saw when something happened, you would consider that speech. So making a video of it actually happening would also be considered speech.

      Speech is more about communication. That communication does not have to be done by talking.

      • by Imrik ( 148191 )

        I think the point was more that making a video may not be speech, showing the video to someone else is speech.

        • I think the point was more that making a video may not be speech, showing the video to someone else is speech.

          In which case, stopping someone from making the video would be prior restraint of speech....

    • by Entrope ( 68843 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @09:18PM (#53927165) Homepage

      The US Supreme Court has ruled that gathering evidence in support of one's claims -- particularly against the government -- is an integral part of the freedoms of speech and seeking redress. There's a huge difference between someone saying "X happened, trust me" and "X happened, here's video proof", especially when X is something they governed clearly should not be doing.

      That doesn't mean the right to record public servants is unqualified, but it's definitely broad.

      • "something the government" should not be doing. Sigh.

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        gathering evidence in support of one's claims -- particularly against the government -- is an integral part of the freedoms of speech and seeking redress

        Actually, no, I don't think that's a valid explanation. For example, this guy — who merely wanted to gather exactly the evidence you are talking about — was convicted of "entering a federal building under false pretenses" [cbsnews.com]. By the logic you are putting forth, all his actions should be covered by the First Amendment...

        Similarly, the computer hac

        • Those things are all crimes for reasons independent of the news-gathering function. In the instant case, the only reason police stopped the plaintiff was because he was recording video in a public place.

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            the only reason police stopped the plaintiff was because he was recording video in a public place.

            Sure. I accept and wholeheartedly agree, that the guy's recording is legal and should've been unmolested.

            I just don't see, how the First Amendment protects him in the slightest. Doing, what is not expressly prohibited by law is legal in a free country — you do not need it to be expressly allowed by an Amendment or anything else.

            The only possible charge I could see is disobeying a police order — ha

            • The First Amendment protects him because any law that purported to prohibit what he was doing would be unconstitutional due to 1A protections of his rights.

              • by mi ( 197448 )

                The First Amendment protects him because any law that purported to prohibit what he was doing would be unconstitutional due to 1A protections of his rights.

                Please, explain your line of reasoning. One-liners do not cut it.

                • by Entrope ( 68843 )

                  The Constitution lays out a separation of powers between the federal and state governments. It empowers the federal government to do certain things, leaving other powers to the states or to the people. States are assumed to have general police powers, subject only to constitutional constraints. With the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, certain constitutional rights are "incorporated" against states -- so that while the state might have used its police powers to do things like preve

                  • by mi ( 197448 )

                    I don't understand what you think is so obscure.

                    What I do not understand — as should be obvious from the very title of my post — is how/why is filming considered in any way protected by (or even related to) the First Amendment.

                    • by Entrope ( 68843 )

                      The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and freedom of the
                      press. But “the First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and the
                      self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of
                      information from which members of the public may draw.” News-gathering,
                      for example, “is entitled to first amendment protection, for ‘without some
                      protection for seeking out the news, freedom of the press could be
                      eviscerated,’” even though this right is not

                    • by mi ( 197448 )

                      But “the First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press and the self-expression of individuals to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw.” News-gathering, for example, “is entitled to first amendment protection, for ‘without some protection for seeking out the news, freedom of the press could be eviscerated,’” even though this right is not absolute.

                      We are making the full circle, but let's try one more tim

                    • I'm not going to repeat what I already told you.

                    • by mi ( 197448 )

                      I'm not going to repeat what I already told you.

                      Which was precisely nothing. Thank you.

                    • Go back and read what I wrote earlier. It's not my fault that you don't understand simple English or how laws work.

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        Why should public servants expect a right to privacy in public places where I myself cannot expect it?

        Or to put it in some of their own favorite words: If they've got nothing to hide, they've got nothing to fear. Given how deeply they believe that you should expect that their insistence against being recorded suggests that they do indeed have something to fear.

        If they were really smart, they'd copyright the design of their uniforms and just prevent the distribution of such recordings under a DMCA claim.

        • Courts have generally held that public officials, like the general public, do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public. Courts have speculated (because the question was not before them) that police officers might have a reasonable expectation of privacy in particular places, such as inside parts of a police station, where members of the public would not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The reasons for that should be fairly clear. However, nothing in this case hinges on whether anyo

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The US protects the right to collect information from public land and then talk about it.
      Freedom of speech, freedom after speech, freedom of the press to gather information for a story.
      Also a person does not have to invoke their rights by "speaking" a word or requesting their rights every time they are out in public.
      The police can attempt a chat down to request/demand/induce photo ID depending on the state.
      • by Jody Bruchon ( 3404363 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @09:34PM (#53927237)
        Ironically, it has been ruled that you must speak to assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. I do not have a source to pass along, I just remember seeing that ruling go by one day and thinking "that's kinda stupid." I also don't think that people should have to identify themselves to police simply because police ask, but that doesn't stop it from being a requirement in several states.
        • by Curate ( 783077 ) <craigbarkhouse@hotmail.com> on Friday February 24, 2017 @09:51PM (#53927329)

          Woe to those who have taken a vow of silence.

          Imagine if those who have taken a vow of celibacy had to fornicate just one little time to assert their right to remain celibate.

          • Imagine if those who have taken a vow of celibacy had to fornicate just one little time to assert their right to remain celibate.

            That's called seminary school, and apparently, what happens there, stays there.

            • minor correction :

              "That's called INseminary school, and apparently, what happens there, stays there."

              Well, it might be just possible that it may present its' lingering after-effect in 9 months -lol-

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          It would be rather chilling and funny if a camera crew or person with a dslr camera on public land needed to talk loudly about their rights at set intervals :)
        • The Fifth Amendment doesn't give you the right to remain silent. It only protects you against self-incrimination.

          You can be compelled to testify against someone else. Pleading the 5th won't get you out of that, if you refuse you can be held in contempt. The reason you have to actually plead the Fifth is because you are telling the court why you refuse to answer.

        • by I75BJC ( 4590021 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @09:49AM (#53928795)
          An attorney told me that there is a difference between Asking and Ordering. Asking doesn't require an answer while Ordering does. LEOs can ask or order; the Citizen can respond appropriately. A Sheriff's Deputy told me that most civilians cannot tell the difference between Asking and Ordering. So they ask and are given information they want but are not legally entitled to. The task is to determine when the LEO is Asking or Ordering. It never hurts to ask for which the LEO is doing and responding appropriately. IMHO, much of the discussion here shows a misunderstanding of Asking and Ordering.
          • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @11:47AM (#53929165)

            An attorney told me that there is a difference between Asking and Ordering. Asking doesn't require an answer while Ordering does. LEOs can ask or order; the Citizen can respond appropriately.

            That's right, and that's how so many cops get people to give them their ID when they actually have no right to get it. They do the "I need to see your ID" and they hold their fingers about 2 inches apart as if they were holding a driver's license. Most people will just hand it over without thinking. Not me. :)

            They also do the, "Hey do me a favor and ....", but that carries no more weight than if I asked you to do something. For fuck's sake, they're asking for a favor (and saying so!), not giving you an order.

            They can ask you anything they want, that doesn't mean you have to satisfy their request.

            (Even if they order you to do something it doesn't necessarily mean you have to do it. That's a whole 'nother subject, though.)

            When they tell me they "need" to see my ID in a situation where I'm not legally compelled to provide it, I tell them that their "needs" don't outweigh my "rights".

        • by Altrag ( 195300 )

          It is stupid, but mostly because of an excessively literal usage of the word "silent." Being legally "silent" doesn't mean you can't fart or ask to go to the washroom.

          Likewise, vocalizing the phrase "I need to piss" doesn't necessarily count as "speech" as in the first amendment, because "speech" in that context is more about transfer of thoughts rather than strictly the act of using your mouth to form words.

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @10:49PM (#53927499)
      The same way written text, or a drawing with no words, or any other form of expression is considered speech.

      The first amendment was created in a time when things like radio, television, the internet, etc. didn't exist and were perhaps beyond imagination. However, it's evident that the idea was ensure a freedom of expression, regardless of medium. I only wish they'd get the same fucking clue when it comes to the fourth amendment because computers and phones are pretty obviously covered by similar reasoning.
      • So they're reinterpreting the constitution? Doesn't that lead to socialized medicine, death panels and compulsory gay marriage?

    • Because the First Amendment doesn't just protect speech, but also freedom of the press. If the press can't observe and gather evidence, it can't be particularly effective.

      "Today's top story: the Government did stuff today. Probably. And now sports!"

    • by iCEBaLM ( 34905 )

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Everyone calls the first amendment "free speech", but it also covers the press (aka, video recording), and peaceful demonstrating.

    • While I totally support the right to record, whatever one can legally observe, I struggle to understand the commonly-used argument, that such making recordings - made silently and without expression - is somehow equivalent to speech.

      Could someone, please, explain?

      It basically involves the idea of journalists gathering information for a story, and anyone, yes anyone can be a journalist.

      You don't need credentials, you don't have to work for a news organization, period. Any citizen can be a journalist as per the 1st Amendment.

      So, the upshot is that anyone can gather information for a story, whether they intend to publish it or not. And that means that anyone can video or record ANYTHING that can be seen from a public vantage point without exception. That includes publi

  • So crazy Texas judge says not legal precedent can be set because no legal precedent has be set, hmm, OK, stays well are from crazy as fuck Texas legal system.

    • The question of whether the right is "clearly established" goes to whether the police get qualified immunity. If there was no clearly established right, they get qualified immunity, and don't have to stand trial. If the question goes to an appeals court, they are supposed to first determine whether the right exists -- after which it becomes clearly established, helping the next plaintiff -- and then whether it was clearly established before. They have to clearly establish whether the right exists before

    • So crazy Texas judge says not legal precedent can be set because no legal precedent has be set, hmm, OK, stays well are from crazy as fuck Texas legal system.

      Texas judges are known to be a little...eccentric.

      https://thinkprogress.org/texa... [thinkprogress.org]

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Yeah, and linking to think progress is the best example of a self-reinforcing echo chamber with a side of propaganda.

        After all, one can see what happens when progressive replacements get into power. Laws? Nope, those are for little people. And illegals? No, those are "guests" who should just be set free. [judicialwatch.org] That also includes violent offenders who've committed murder, rapes and so on. I'm sure you're happy with that policy right? Who doesn't want a murderer simply released back on the street. Or putting

        • Yeah, and linking to think progress is the best example of a self-reinforcing echo chamber with a side of propaganda.

          There is a video of the guy saying that Obama was going to lead the United Nations and invade Lubbock, Texas. You can ignore the "propaganda" and just listen to the judge in his own words if you are afraid of being infected by the dangerous thoughts of Think Progress..

          I mean, I don't know if you've ever been to Lubbock, Texas, but don't nobody go there by choice.

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            There is a video of the guy saying that Obama was going to lead the United Nations and invade Lubbock, Texas. You can ignore the "propaganda" and just listen to the judge in his own words if you are afraid of being infected by the dangerous thoughts of Think Progress..

            Having worked in Texas, it's very similar to working in Alberta. They've got a strong independent streak, and a similar belief that their place is theirs. You could have of course linked to the video without giving clicks to think progress though right? But you didn't. It's also not the "dangerous thoughts" it's the outright fabrications, lies by omission, quote mining and full-on narrative crafting that they engage in. They're a pure propaganda organization, and using them as any form of a source woul

            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

              Really? I've been in quite a few shitholes before, but Lubbock doesn't even rank in the top 50. That's reserved for places like Chicago, Shanghai, Toronto and so on.

              You're right. The Lubbock Opera House is one of the wonders of the civilized world.

    • I've lived in texas, and it's not very sane down there. It's my policy to stay away from anything doing with texas completely.
  • establish rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @09:47PM (#53927311)

    - wrote Turner was not unlawfully arrested and that the majority opinion from the Texas-based appeals court jumped the gun to declare a First Amendment right here because one "is not clearly established."

    Under the US Constitution, you don't have to "clearly establish rights"; rather, the government has to clearly establish that it has been granted certain powers by the people.

    • by Entrope ( 68843 )

      If a plaintiff wants to sue government individuals as individuals for violating the plaintiff's civil rights, the officials will almost certainly assert qualified immunity, at which point the plaintiff must demonstrate the officials' actions violated "clearly established" law.

      If a plaintiff cannot or will not do that, he or she can only sue the government entity, not the officials in a personal capacity.

      • at which point the plaintiff must demonstrate the officials' actions violated "clearly established" law.

        My point is that the court reasoned as if the plaintiff needed to "clearly establish a right"; under US law, you should not have to clearly establish that you have rights, the government should have to clearly establish that it has the powers that it is exercising. The reasoning of the court is abhorrent, albeit distressingly common: US courts have started treating Americans like European peasants.

        • Then kindly say what you mean. Don't say "you do not have to" do a thing when you mean "you should not have to do" that thing. The rules about qualified immunity were spelled out by the Supreme Court; this appeals court is bound to follow that precedent.

          • Then kindly say what you mean.

            I did say what I mean: I made a general comment about the distinction between "establishing rights" and the granting of powers. Nowhere in my comment did I say anything about the ruling itself. Apparently, you simply can't read.

            • You stated what you think the Constitution should mean, but phrased it as an accepted or actual state of affairs. Don't get pissy just because someone pointed out that your comment was either wrong or extremely poorly phrased, depending on how generous a reader is being.

        • > the government should have to clearly establish that it has the powers that it is exercising.

          That's what she said. Where "she" is the judge you're pissed off about. Basically this is what has happened:

          Judge: 2 + 1 = 3
          ooloorie: No, damn it! 2 + 1 is 3 you fucking idiot!

          The key word in what you said is "the government". According to the dissent (and the majority also agrees on this point), the government violated the guy's rights. Maybe they didn't train the officers well enough or whatever, but a

          • The key word in what you said is "the government". According to the dissent (and the majority also agrees on this point), the government violated the guy's rights.

            Again, you are not listening: I'm objecting to the notion and language that Americans have specific rights that can be violated. That is a view of justice and the law that applies to European peasants, it is not what we have in the US. In the US, citizens don't have rights that can be violated, government has (limited) powers that can be exercised

            • > citizens don't have rights that can be violated, government has (limited) powers that can be exercised.

              That would give the government much, much more power the Constitution currently grants. A few examples:

              The government was granted the power to tax.
              - But may not violate citizens right to equal treatment, they can't tax hispanic people four times as high as asian people.

              The government was granted the power to regulate interstate commerce.
              - But may not violate your first amendment rights by prohibitin

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @11:19PM (#53927585) Journal

      The hearing was about whether he should sue only the city of Fort Worth, or also sue the individual officers personally.

      The law about that is the officer os personally liable for monetary damages only if *all* reasonable cops would know that what they did was unconstitutional, because there was clearly established law covering those specific actions in that particular circumstance. In all other cases, the offended party can sue the city or state that the cop works for.

      A couple of examples:

      A cop is interviewing a suspect. When the suspect just sits there, refusing to talk, the cop hits the suspect with a stick in an attempt to force a false confession. The officer would be personally liable because it's *clearly established* that such behavior is violates the suspect's Constitutional rights. No reasonable cop could think it's okay to hit the guy.

      On the other hand:
      Two weeks after a police station in Dallas is shot at, a guy is hiding in bushes across the street from a police station near Dallas. Cops approach to see what's going on. The guy is filming the police station (casing it?). Cops ask for ID. The guy asks to speak to a supervisor. The cops call their supervisor to come over, handcuffing the guy for five minutes until the supervisor arrives. Did they violate his Constitutional rights? Maybe. Does every reasonable officer *know* that what they did violates his civil rights? No, an officer might reasonably *think* it's okay to cuff the guy for five minutes. There's not *clearly established law* that in the situation described, they can't cuff him while awating the supervisor he requested. Therefore he can sue the city the cops work for, but can't sue the individual cops personally.

      The second scenario above, in which a reasonable cop might mistakenly think cuffing him for a minute is okay, is patterned after the actual events in this case. In reality, he wasn't hiding in the bushes. I added that to make it a better example, an example of a scenario where a reasonable cop might be unsure of what they can and can't legally do.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        If the person is not on police property?
        How far back is that "in bushes" or "across" zone? A street, a few streets? One block? Given a zoom on a better quality video camera?
        Does a person need to be in the bushes? What if they are smart and are not really hiding? Standing next to a tree? Walking near a tree that they could hide behind later? Member of the press looking for the bush where the person got handcuffed? A tourist? A member of the public? Another First Amendment audit near the bushe
      • You're missing the point. I'm not concerned with the details or the outcome of the case, but the reasoning. Under US law, you should not have to clearly establish that you have rights, the government should have to clearly establish that it has been granted the powers that it is exercising. The reasoning of the court is abhorrent, albeit distressingly common: US courts have started treating Americans like European peasants.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Saturday February 25, 2017 @07:05AM (#53928351) Journal

          Apparently I didn't make my point clear enough:

          This ruling wasn't about whether or not the guy had the right to film the cops. (Yeah the summary is misleading. Without looking back at it now, I'm going to guess it was by Beau "clickbait" HD).

          > the government should have to clearly establish that it has been granted the powers that it is exercising. The reasoning of the court is abhorrent

          You're contradicting yourself there because the dissent you're objecting to says that the government owes the guy money, because the government infringed his rights.

          Furthermore, "the reasoning of the court", which you call "abhorrent" says that not only should he sue the government, but also the individual officers as well.

          The really funny part is this - the dissent, which is what you actually don't like, I think, is based on the argument that sometimes court rulings can be hard to completely understand - a point you're proving well by completely misunderstanding the topic of this hearing.

          • This ruling wasn't about whether or not the guy had the right to film the cops.

            And I wasn't commenting on the ruling, I was commenting on the language.

            The really funny part is this - the dissent, which is what you actually don't like,

            No, what I don't like is the notion of "rights" that need to be "established". Even the attorney for the plaintiffs uses the language involving "clearrly established rights".

        • And you're missing the point several times over. Qualified immunity is not about requiring a plaintiff to demonstrate their rights before they can sue the government over infringements of those rights. It only applies when they want to sue government officials in a personal capacity, rather than the government itself. The rule exists because without something like it, government officials would not vigorously enforce laws due to the risk of civil liability.

          • Qualified immunity is not about requiring a plaintiff to demonstrate their rights before they can sue the government over infringements of those rights.

            I'm not saying anything about qualified immunity or the merits of the case. I am admonishing people to stop talking about "infringements of rights". Americans aren't European peasants.

      • by mrsam ( 12205 )

        Your second case is a red herring.

        Turner was not "hiding in the bushes across the street from a police station near Dallas", as you implied. Did you watch the video?

        Turner was plainly standing, out in the open, on a public sidewalk. He was clearly unarmed, and posed no threat. All he had was a camera, and all he was doing was filming.

        It might be reasonable for the police to come out and try to talk to him. But do you believe that, under these circumstances, it was reasonable to handcuff him, throw him in a

        • > Turner was not "hiding in the bushes across the street from a police station near Dallas", as you implied.

          Let me quote myself for you, "he wasn't hiding in the bushes." Did you misread "wasn't" and think I said "was"?

          Did you miss "here are two hypothetical examples"?

          > Do you believe that the cops were in the right, arresting a man standing in plain sight

          It's interesting that after that long angry rant, at the end you ask me what I think about it. Perhaps you realized that in no point in the po

          • Let me summarize what I just said, to perhaps make it more clear:

            The judges had to decide if it was *possible* that the cops might have been stupid.

            I don't think that's possible. I'm sure that the cops were mad, not stupid.

            One judge thinks it's possible that the cops were stupid / poorly trained.

            I'm not mad at the judge - it's not completely ridiculous to think that a cop might be stupid.

          • by PPH ( 736903 )

            But do you believe that, under these circumstances, it was reasonable to handcuff him,

            Yes. It's called "detained pending an investigation". And since it's a common practice in law enforcement, Turner may be able win a suit against the department, but the individual officers were acting in accordance with standard policies.

      • On the other hand: Two weeks after a police station in Dallas is shot at, a guy is hiding in bushes across the street from a police station near Dallas. Cops approach to see what's going on. The guy is filming the police station (casing it?). Cops ask for ID. The guy asks to speak to a supervisor. The cops call their supervisor to come over, handcuffing the guy for five minutes until the supervisor arrives. Did they violate his Constitutional rights? Maybe. Does every reasonable officer *know* that what they did violates his civil rights? No, an officer might reasonably *think* it's okay to cuff the guy for five minutes. There's not *clearly established law* that in the situation described, they can't cuff him while awating the supervisor he requested. Therefore he can sue the city the cops work for, but can't sue the individual cops personally.

        The second scenario above, in which a reasonable cop might mistakenly think cuffing him for a minute is okay, is patterned after the actual events in this case. In reality, he wasn't hiding in the bushes. I added that to make it a better example, an example of a scenario where a reasonable cop might be unsure of what they can and can't legally do.

        Actually, I don't think that would be legal, and there is clearly established law that the cuffing is at least a detention requiring reasonable suspicion. It's been well established that they can pat the guy down for weapons legally, and that should be sufficient to assuage their concerns - cuffing someone simply because they refuse to give their ID would be unreasonable.
        In this particular case, you'll note that the officers actually won the appeal (affirming qualified immunity) on the first amendment clai

        • > Actually, I don't think that would be legal

          I don't necessarily disagree. Certainly it would still be questionable, which was the point - a scenario where it's not 100% crystal clear.

          > the cops handcuff the guy while waiting for the supervisor that he asked for. They're not taking further investigative steps

          That's a reasonable argument. It could also be argued that getting the supervisor's assistance *is* a further step. Of course in this case it seems at least one cop was acting out of anger.

          As

  • Rights vs. Facts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Friday February 24, 2017 @10:24PM (#53927435) Homepage Journal
    One my have the "right", but to any annoyed cop, that won't stay the baton to the face, the chrome bracelets, and the ride to jail. As the saying goes, "You might beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride." Until immunity is limited, and some type of consequences attain to violation of the law, bad actors in LEO will continue to behave badly. When a cop violates the law, and the taxpayers fund their defense even in the most egregious of circumstance, there is little motivation for departments or individuals to root out and stop abuse from bad cops. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    We are fortunate that there are few bad actors, but we are unfortunate that their brothers and sister officers are usually very reluctant to report those that are.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2017 @05:04AM (#53928201)

      The only fix to that is swift, decisive, and extremely harsh punishment for abuses of the law; as opposed to free all-expenses-paid vacations like they instead currently get.

      If using the baton and arresting someone illegally, that shouldn't JUST cost you your job: that's assault with a deadly weapon, and kidnapping to boot. People with power over others MUST be held to a higher standard: The stick MUST be at least twice the size of the carrot, and never a carrot of its own!

  • Do live broadcasts. They cant delete that from your phone.
  • I've followed Phillip Turner's 1st Amendment audits for a long time and it was very good to see him prevail in court. Very, VERY good.

    This was a huge win for everyone in the US that gives a damn about the 1st Amendment.

    *(His Youtube channel is "The Battousai", so people call him "Batt" or the Batman.)

    You have the absolute right to film the police in public, period. Watch and learn, kids: https://www.youtube.com/user/T... [youtube.com]

  • I've had all the claims of "fake news" that I can handle since President trump started uttering those two word less than one year ago. If that's your only retort without offering any kind of proof, then you are just as ignorant as the POTUS tweeting that same phrase and he seems to have done that every day for the past week. Fucking morons. And yes, there are at least two "fake news" comments in this story alone.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

Working...