"Police Officers Don't Check Their Civil Rights at the Station House Door"

Three law enforcement officials defend the arrest of citizens who record on-duty cops.

(Page 2 of 2)

Finally, I spoke with Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police. Pasco, who supports these arrests, says he’s worried that video could be manipulated to make police officers look bad. “There’s no chain of custody with these videos,” Pasco says. “How do you know the video hasn’t been edited? How do we know what’s in the video hasn’t been taken out of context? With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time, so it’s admissible under the rules of evidence. That’s not the case with these cell phone videos.”

But what about cases where video clearly contradicts police reports, such as the McKenna case in College Park?

"You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report," Pasco says. "Letting people record police officers is an extreme and intrusive response to a problem that’s so rare it might as well not exist. It would be like saying we should do away with DNA evidence because there’s a one in a billion chance that it could be wrong. At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."

Whether citizen video should be admitted as evidence (and it would seem to be pretty easy to discern if a video has been altered) is a different question from whether citizens should be arrested and sent to prison for recording cops. I mention Michael Allison’s case to Pasco, and ask if he supports the Illinois law.

"I don’t know anything about that case, but generally it sounds like a sensible law and a sensible punishment," Pasco says. "Police officers don’t check their civil rights at the station house door."

Radley Balko is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Bob||

    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures"

    God Bless America

  • Federal Dog||

    Un-fucking-believable.

  • Waggoneer||

    In God We Trust; All others, trust but verify.

  • ||

    Authority figures must be monitored at all times.

  • seanrude||

    no, no we do not.

  • ||

    If we had a bad police officer here, we’d know about it, I’d know about it, and he’d be out.

    AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHahahaha . . . .

  • ||

    Give him a break. They don't have any mirrors in his precinct.

  • ||

    Even if they had mirrors, would they cast a reflection???

  • Federal Dog||

    Double un-fucking-believable.

  • Paul the cab driver||

    All OUR cops are saints. And their excrement is not odiforous.

  • ||

    "The only person doing any harassing here is Mr. Allison, who was harassing our public officials with his tape recorder," Wiseman says. "They may have problems with some bad police officers in some of your urban areas. But we don’t have those problems around here. All of our cops around here are good cops. This is a small town. Everyone knows everyone. If we had a bad police officer here, we’d know about it, I’d know about it, and he’d be out. There’s just no reason for anyone to feel they need to record police officers in Crawford County."

    OMFG. We have nothing to hide, but you can't record anything because well just because.

  • Metazoan||

    Right. They need their privacy. But we don't need ours.

  • ||

    "They may have problems with some bad police officers in some of your urban areas. But we don’t have those problems around here. All of our cops around here are good cops."

    Translation: This is a good old boys network. We are all extremely corrupt. And we don't want anybody exposing us.

  • ||

    And I bet Mr. Allison didn't even have a license for that tape recorder. How are our good and honest public officials supposed to sleep at night when we allow random people to carry recording devices on public streets?

  • ed||

    http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/

  • ||

    This ranks pretty high up on my Balko Agida Scale™

  • ||

    Wow. I mean... wow. I knew these authoritarians would try to justify this. But... wow. I'm not sure how to react to that in a way that doesn't involve screaming at the top of my lungs.

  • ||

    Great article Radley

  • ||

    Agreed. Let them hang by their own words.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Pasco says. "[... isolated incidents ...] At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."

    Two points:

    1. Isolated. Yeah. Right. Color me impressed.

    2. Trust might work if in those "rare" instances when the authority violated that trust there was a good chance that heads rolled. As long as they don't it simple will not work, and can not be the basis of policy. Fix the accountability thing and you can have the privilege of privacy on the job.

  • ||

    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."

    I guess we should stop auditing police departments for fraud to. That is pretty intrusive isn't it? Where do they get these people?

    If I didn't know any better I would accuse Balko of making these quotes up to make police look bad, because he couldn't have made up worse quotes if he tried.

  • ||

    """At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."""

    John, I wonder how many of them agree when the authority figure in question is Obama.

  • ||

    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."

    Given that our country was built on the premise, nay, the foundation that you should never trust people with power over you, that's an insanely ridiculous statement.

  • ||

    Pasco says. "[... isolated incidents ...]

    Points to a spot. "Is that where the incident in question happened?" "Yes."

    Moves arm and points to a spot about 5 feet away. "Did it happen over there?" "No." "See? Isolated."

  • ||

    But necessary for a police state.

    Not saying we have one now.

  • ||

    Building a new foundation for an exciting and utopian future, which, in reaching, some eggs will be broken.

  • ||

    "Egg' is cop for 'cabeza,' right?

  • ||

    What are you, an illegal immigrant?

  • ||

    It appears we and the police live in the same country, but not in the same world...

  • ||

    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."
    NO, no we don't. The whole point of the constituion of the US, the whole point of our political system, is that not only do we not have to, but that we will not, we should not, and we cannot have a nation that 'trusts' government. A nation of laws, not men.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "I’m not going to respond to any hypothetical scenarios," Cassilly says. "It just depends on the circumstances."

    And a citizen is supposed to comply with that standard, how, exactly?

  • Highway||

    You know, just do whatever the cops say, and maybe they won't arrest you for something...

  • Jeffersonian||

    And if he does, the jury will just have to decide whom to believe: You, an accused scofflaw and scumbag or a selfless and brave Servant of the Law.

    What could go wrong?

  • smartass sob||

    And just take a wild guess about what kind of people are usually in the jury pool - people who work in governmet or who have family members who do. It's getting to the point where they constitute a hereditary aristocracy or nobility.

  • Joe||

    It's Maryland we're talking about here. They all either work in government, or they're convicted felons (with a fair degree of overlap).

  • ||

    By allowing a public defender to take his case, that's how.

  • mj86||

    "I’m not going to respond to any hypothetical scenarios," Cassilly says. "It just depends on the circumstances."

    And a citizen is supposed to comply with that standard, how, exactly?

    C'mon, we all know what this means. The law is whatever the cop says it is.

  • ||

    "You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report,"

    Maybe the fact that we arrest people for doing it has something to do with there being so few instances of it and so few times that it has revealed wrong doing. And of course his example doesn't cover cases like the Rodney King case where the video got out before the cops could lie about it.

    These people are just assholes. They really view themselves as being above scrutiny.

  • ||

    They're just like teachers.

  • Government of Wolves||

    I wonder what the teachers at Police Academy are like?

  • Dread||

    The Judge's standard-issue helmet and body armor. Yours, when you graduate.

    Lawgiver-2 standard-issue sidearm, with 20 interchangeable rounds and voice-activated round system. Yours, IF you graduate.

    Lawmaster, with rapid-firing cannons and a range of 500 kilometers. Yours... if you can ever get it to work.

  • Federal Dog||

    "I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report,"

    Well, yeah, genius. Because ignorant assholes prosecute the shit out of people who record their misconduct, evidence of police lies almost always comes from sources other than "citizen videos."

  • ||

    Lying, despicable assholes, indeed. Has anyone noticed how Pasco's challenge has changed over time? First it was to name a single case where recordings had proven that a cop had lied, then it was five, and now it is ten. As his bluff has been called, he has unabashedly changed the terms of his challenge. Being one who collects citations if such incidents, I am still able to meet his challenge...for now. I wonder if Moron Pasco can name ten audio recordings that prove the Holocaust occurred? Probably not, but that does not mean that it is patently absurd to pretend it did not occur, or that it did not adversely impact the lives of tens of millions of people.

  • Stop Snitchin||

    "I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report.."

    I'll bet Radley can.

  • Government of Wolves||

    "And perhaps, Mr Balko, you might be so good as to hand over that there list. My officers will need to... investigate any possible misbehavior by our boys. We just can't have that, can we boys?"

    Imagine the preceding paragraph in the voice of Lotso from Toy Story 3.

  • Mikey||

    I imagine Pasco sounds (and looks) like Chief Wiggum. "No, this number is 9-1-2."

  • Coeus||

    I'll bet Radley can.

    That was my first thought as well. Why didn't he rattle them off?

  • Josh||

    Because that's another column. You think this stuff writes itself?

  • ||

    "They may have problems with some bad police officers in some of your urban areas. But we don’t have those problems around here."

    i.e. we're not as horribly corrupt as chicago...

  • bubba||

    In which case taping shouldn't be a problem, right?

  • bubba||

    I thought the whole point of habeus corpus doctrine was that arrests are PUBLIC MATTERS to be done in the open so that the gubment can't squirrel away inconvenient people.

    How is video taping not a direct extension of that principle? To document the plight of the accused.

    (I AM NOT A LAWYER)

  • big k||

    i think the point of the constitution was to not have to be a lawyer to understand and interpret it. however, some authority figures forget this.

  • ||

    the growing national debate over citizens arrested for recording on-duty police officers

    "Growing," maybe, but like an embryo is "growing." Will the National Uterus nurture, absorb or abort the "debate"?

  • Pip||

    It was just covered in Time Magazine.

    http://www.time.com/time/natio.....66,00.html

  • Ted S.||

    Ah, but who reads Time magazine?

  • Amakudari||

    A lot of people in waiting rooms at doctors' offices.

  • fuzz||

    yeah, in about 10 years time

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    +1

  • jester||

    But where are the gatekeepeers to process all of those internet postings by unprofessionals? How can we trust the internet. Not so funny how Time plays it both ways. At least those douches got it right for once.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    National Uterus? Well, I know the National Asshole is Texas so the Uterus must be somewhere north of there...Nebraska? Would that make the Kansas Oakie line the Taint of America?

    Confused in Denver

  • Brother Wolf||

    LA is the national asshole.
    Texas is the national scrotum.

  • hmm||

    If you have ever smelled the feed lots from around Hereford and the panhandle you would understand why Texas is the asshole.

  • kilroy||

    It had been established two weeks ago that the Rio Grande was the taint.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    How in the hell did I miss that thread. Classic. One for the anals of H&R history (get it, anals, hehe)

  • hmm||

    awaits his cliché...

  • ||

    Everyone knows that New Orleans is the Asshole of America. Look at all the shit that floats down the Miss.
    California is a vaginal wart we have been meaning to see a doctor about.

  • Anonymous Crank||

    "Well, I know the National Asshole is Texas.."

    Clearly, you have never been to Gary, Indiana.

  • ||

    Say what you want about Texas, but we're a one-party consent state and we don't have these kinds of cases here. It's one benefit to having a legislature that meets for only 5 months every two years.

    It is states such as Maryland and Illinois that seem to be the problem. States where - how do I put this delicately - the voters have a greater faith in the goodwill of government, as reflected in the petty tyrants and buffoons they elect to rule them and the vastly greater influence of public sector unions that protect such persons on the taxpayer dime.

  • ||

    "You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. "I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report."

    Does he mean per day or per hour?

  • ||

    Since the vast majority of those interactions were not tape recorded, he has no idea. He is not just saying "trust us". He is saying fuck you, of course we are honest. It is a small but important distinction.

  • wolfgang||

    You know John that reminds me of the idiot FBI agent during the congressional hearings of the Waco TX incident that had the arrogance to say that he didn't have the qualifications to be a member of congress, but that congress did not have the qualifications to do his job either. In other words, DO NOT QUESTION HOW WE DO THINGS!

  • Amakudari||

    And then I'd pressure him to name 10 incidents where a recording meaningfully put an officer at risk or threatened any of his Constitutional rights through no fault of his own.

  • ||

    I would counter with, "In those millions of contacts, are you saying that no officers have lied on a police report?"

  • ||

    So apparently the only ones bright enough to create "official" video because of chain of custody concerns are cops? These are the same cops that bungle up crime scenes all the time?

    Next, the "let's get rid of DNA proof" straw man argument. What the hell was that guy smoking?

    Maybe we should just make the same argument cops make when they want to search something. "If you don't have anything to hide, you won't mind the camera."

  • ||

    Come on Balko, admit it. You Steven Glassed this article. No one could be as stupid as the people you quote. No one. I can't believe anyone who says this shit can even feed themselves much less hold down a job.

  • ||

    Visited any of the cop-talk websites lately, John? The comments there make these guys look like a human-rights crusaders' Nobel Prize address.

  • hmm||

    Just hit up AR15.com. Post something even remotely anti cop and watch them go ape shit.

    Not that I do that on a monthly basis or anything.

    Most don't like Radly Balko too much. He is awesome troll bait on that board.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    AR15.com? That sounds like a site where cops can go to pretend that they are in the military, and busting non violent drug users is like going toe-to-toe with the Taliban.

  • hmm||

    The site is awesome for information on ARs, 1911s, and other guns. In general the people are pretty decent, but there is a huge LEO and decent military presence. The LEOs win the dumbass award. I actually got one so riled up he was threatening me, until an attorney that frequents that particular forum warned him that what he posts is admissible. The thread got quite fast.

    What can I say. I have an inner troll, and sometimes I just can't resist.

  • ||

    ARFCOM, as those of us "in the know" call it, does indeed have a number of boot-lickers. But there are plenty of members willing to stand up and nobody is punished or delisted for it.

    When the cops and their boot-lickers want to congregate, they have the "Brothers of the Shield" forum in which to fornicate.

  • ||

    Hey, Hmm, you mind lettin' me know next time you're headed out there to rile up the natives? I'd love to watch. I like watching. Mmmmmm, nothing like watching fools be fools (Not you, Hmm.)...

  • hmm||

    Oh I'm a fool. I'm comfortable in my skin.

  • Federal Dog||

    "No one could be as stupid as the people you quote. No one."

    Please. Those stupid fuckers show up in court every goddamned day.

  • ||

    Radley's game face communicates to them that he is a responsible journalist. I'm assuming none of these intellectual blank cartridges actually read what he or others write of their "interviews", but I'll surmise they'd be reluctant to give interviews if the journalist continually broke out in maniacal laughter every time they barfed up those gems. It's like a form of camouflage; he comes on like a dull date, they cross the line and head for home base and he documents the whole thing. For Posterity, of course.

  • Atanarjuat||

    The market has responded to this problem.

  • ||

    Gawd, it just brings a tear to a potential felon's eye when he sees what monumental strides the electronics world makes in search of balance.

  • Apogee||

    There's your 10

  • Paul||

    "I don’t have any hard and fast rule I can give you,"

    Fuuuuuuuuck you with highly polished brass knobs on. I've had some experience with this law enforcement bullshit, and frankly, I'm kinda done with it.

    Me: "Officer, where can I practice this activity legally?"
    Officer: "I don't know, I can't tell you that, but I will arrest you if you practice it in an area where it's illegal"
    Me: *sigh* Ok, if I do it right here?
    Officer: Illegal.
    Me: If I move 20 feet over there?
    Officer: Illegal.

    etc. etc.

    Fuck you, if law enforcement displays ignorance of the law, then that's the first sign it's a bad law.

  • ||

    But we don’t have those problems around here. All of our cops around here are good cops.

    If we had a bad police officer here, we’d know about it, I’d know about it, and he’d be out.

    At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures.

    Police officers don’t check their civil rights at the station house door.

    There's no way I could have kept a straight face upon hearing some of those quotes. They escalated in inanity through the article. My reactions alternated between scoffing amusement and blind fury.

    I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report

    What's the bet? I'll even give you odds.

  • Upgrayyed||

    I recorded me and your wife doing it. what

  • Ddeyargpu||

    You spelled it wrong.

  • ||

    Wrong. Two D's, for a double dose of pimpin'.

  • ||

    “How do you know the video hasn’t been edited? How do we know what’s in the video hasn’t been taken out of context? With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time, so it’s admissible under the rules of evidence. That’s not the case with these cell phone videos.”

    Wow, are you kidding? And This:

    "Police officers don’t check their civil rights at the station house door."

    Brazen! You wouldn't want anyone to infringe on an officer's civil rights (or delicate sensibilities) while that officer is stomping on yours, that's just not cricket.

  • the reaper||

    Imagine if Amadou Diallo had a camera? Can you say insta-Felon, regardless of what happened to him? How dare he question cop on perp love in the privacy of a detention room. They'd probably want him to register as a sexual predator for life.

  • Virginia||

    I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report

    I tried providing links to 5 and got a "too many links" error. Dangit H&R!

    Here's two.

    There's a treasure trove of police abuse caught on citizen cam out there. That FOP clown has obviously never heard of youtube.

  • ||

    Doesn't matter, he'll just change the bet to 10 incidents where the officer lost his pension over what was on the video, with a requirement that the video and its maker be mentioned by name in the officer's dismissal papers.

    After that, he'll require Radley to come up with 10 instances where video cost an officer his job while also grossing over $40million at the box office.

    After that, he'll challenge you to find 10 instances of filming bad police officers that wound up earning the filmmakers an Academy Award.

    Not so smart are ya now, pal?

  • ||

    Here's the trailer script.

    [Fade in, narration voiceover]
    In a world full of criminals, they were the last line of defense.

    [Cut to stern cop type with the flat top]
    "All of our cops around here are good cops. This is a small town. Everyone knows everyone. If we had a bad police officer here, we’d know about it, I’d know about it, and he’d be out."

    [grainy video of cops beating the shit out of Maryland students, narration voiceover]
    But they just couldn't leave well enough alone. Those peons had to record good cops doing their job against lowly citizens.

    [voiceover quote]
    "I’m saying that not everything a police officer does on the job should be for public consumption."

    [courtroom proceeding, narration voiceover]
    Now they're taking matters into their own hands, confiscating citizens' cameras for their own good.

    [Montage of beatings take place, voiceover quote]
    " I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report.”

    [title slide]
    Beatdown!, coming to this theater (and street, and your house) soon

    [fade out with voiceover quote echoing]
    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."

  • ||

    He's not your pal, friend.

  • ||

    He's not your friend, buddy.

  • Bender Bending Rodriguez||

    He's not our buddy, guy.

  • Bender Bending Rodriguez||

    your. damn.

  • kilroy||

    Once again I call for the creation of a national Film a Cop Day.

  • Yonemoto||

    Support.

  • Paul||

    "They may have problems with some bad police officers in some of your urban areas. But we don’t have those problems around here.

    Oh no. Oh no no no no no, fuck you very much, Boss Hog. It's your rural, good-ol-boy, hayseed cops which are the fucking worst offenders. Never, ever turn your back on a fucking hayseed cop. They lack the public oversight, everyone is everyone else's cousin, the sherrif hunts and fishes with the judge... yeah, no.

  • ||

    Remember, in Mayberry Andy Taylor was both town sheriff and JP.

  • ||

    I dearly wish more cops behaved like Andy Taylor.

  • ||

    I doubt that Danny Walker (Danny Thomas) would agree with you.

  • jester||

    Pray for the Wildcats! (OK so he wasn't a cop, but he sure acted like one.)

  • Government of Wolves||

    "They may have problems with some bad police officers in some of your urban areas. But we don’t have those problems around here. All of our cops around here are good cops. This is a small town. Everyone knows everyone. If we had a bad police officer here, we’d know about it, I’d know about it, and he’d be out. There’s just no reason for anyone to feel they need to record police officers in Crawford County."

    Wow. That is the most sinister thing I've heard ever. This guy is just begging, begging to be the villain of a airport-fiction thriller. Does he even realise how much he sounds like some stereotyped small-town leader from a bad horror film?

    "We got our own ways of doing things down here, Mr Balko. Now you head on back to your 'big city', because this town ain't gonna be so... hospitable come morn'."

  • ||

    No, this guy is begging to be the defendant under 18 USC 242 and the respondent under 42 USC 1983.

  • Paul||

    You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report,"

    Good, then you have nothing to hide, nothing to fear. You just made an excellent case against yourself.

  • ||

    You know, the video I'd really like to see is of Radley's face as he was listening to these guys, and legal or not it should include audio, since it's actually impossible to imagine those combinations of words coming out of the mouths of real people; I need some proof.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Well just plain fuckity fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

    Un-fucking-believable.

    "The only person doing any harassing here is Mr. Allison, who was harassing our public officials with his tape recorder," Wiseman says.

    Hey Wiseman (how inappropriate is that name?): Fuck you, you officious asshole.

  • Government of Wolves||

    And your little dog, too.

  • Federal Dog||

    The cops shot the dog after grabbing the camera.

  • ||

    That was stunning. Just stunning. I knew cops and prosecutors were arrogant but had no idea they would go on record with remarks like these.

    The bright side is that public opinion is overwhelmingly on the side of transparency and accountability, and remarks like those in this article just make cops and prosecutors look worse.

  • ||

    The cops have grown so arrogant that it will (hopefully) be the key to their undoing. They say shit that is so egregious that even people who generally and automatically support the cops are taken aback. There just needs to be more and more exposure of this stuff, and the cops will dig their own grave with statements like these.

    I hope.

  • ||

    It will be interesting to see if any of these charges return in a guilty verdict. If the law if properly read to the jury, almost all will be aquittals.

  • jacob||

    The Ohio case ended in a no contest plea and time served (three days). The lady arrested just wanted to be done with everything so she plead out.

  • ||

    Mission accomplished.

  • ||

    I may be optimistic but I see the tide turning, though slowly. As I've said before, when I was a kid (70's) our parents told us that cops were there to help us and to look for one if we were in any kind of trouble; I don't know anyone who tells their kids that any more.

  • ||

    I agree, but the cops aren't going to have their power reduced without a fight. It will take a huge public backlash against the police (and their bootlicking sycophants) to do it.

  • Tulpa||

    and their bootlicking sycophants

    My ears are burning!

  • ||

    I remember hearing the same things in elementary school in the 80's--that the Cop was your friend...even as a little kid they made me uneasy. Friend? Bullshit! He's got a gun and a stick! And no candy! He is no friend of mine!

  • Joe||

    He's got a gun and a stick! And no candy! He is no friend of mine!

    Yeah! He's nowhere near as friendly as that guy in the van who waits by the playground.

  • the reaper||

    As opposed to the men with guns and sticks who come bearing candy? Did those "friends" of yours also wear raincoats when you were a kid?

  • ||

    The problem is, is that it will take a Kent State-level of fuck up for the public to snap out of it's daze to want to do anything about it. Until then, it's just "cops doing their best with what they have. Why do you hate cops? If you hate them so much, then don't call them when some punk is breaking into your house."

  • ||

    Well, really what it will take is some larger incident involving many cops, or a Serpico coming forward and talking about cop culture. Because until then, people will just say "isolated incident" and "most cops are good, there are just a few bad apples". You know, the same shit they always say.

  • ||

    You have far more faith than me. In my mind, if we were to have a Kent State-level incident involving cops, statists on both sides of the aisle would be falling over themselves to defend the officers, albeit for different reasons.

  • ||

    My reply is that if some punk was breaking into my house, I would handle the situation myself. Then I would call the police so they could clean up and write their report.

  • jester||

    Reminds me of Mad Magazine's 'Talking Stamps' paperback with its parody of the US Postal Service's Law & Order Commemorative: "You're getting the chair, kid".

  • jacob||

    The Ohio incident had a police officer arresting a lady because he wasn't sure if her cell phone was a gun. however, his initial instructions were that she turn it off and put it back in her pocket.

    If that dipshit really thought it was a gun, why did he ask her to put it away first?

    Makes be embarassed to be from Ohio.

  • ||

    If *you* were the cop, wouldn't *you* want her putting her gun away? More difficult to explain is why he wanted her to turn her gun off.

  • jacob||

    No, if *I* were the cop I would remove the gun from the perp's possession and then ascertain why it was being pointed at me.

  • The Gobbler||

    I think "turn it off" should set of the BS meter. How does one turn off a gun?

  • Almanian||

    My Glock works like this:

    BAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!!!!!! *clinkclinkclink*

    "There, now it's 'off'."

  • the reaper||

    Don't carry one in the pipe?

  • BeesinTheBrain||

    Citizen video being manipulated to make police officers look bad is exceedingly rare. As such throwing people in prison when they record police officers is an extreme and intrusive response to a problem that’s so rare it might as well not exist.

  • ||

    ""The test is whether police officers can expect some of the conversations they have while on the job to remain private and not be recorded and replayed for the world to hear."""

    Recording sound is a little bit trickier, some state laws prevent it, some don't, some allow recording law enforcment. But they should follow the law.

    Having said that, I wonder what is his opinion of police cruiser dash cams that can record audio?

    I like they way they conviently forget about the plain view doctrine when it's, well, convient.

  • Sean||

    "With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time...."

    Until it mysteriously disappears, as happened in the University of Maryland case.

  • ||

    Their complaint is based in the need to control. If they can't control where that video goes, they don't like it.

    It's not about honesty, integrity, or the facts. It's about control.

  • ||

    Wasn't the officer in charge of that video the wife of one of those who beat the student?

  • ||

    """"The only person doing any harassing here is Mr. Allison, who was harassing our public officials with his tape recorder," Wiseman says. """

    Put the camera on them, it's harassment. But when they put the camera on you, not so much.

  • ||

    That's "gathering evidence".....

  • f**k the police||

    One would think that a public servant, acting in a public place and supported by public funds, might be subject to public scrutiny.

  • Hank||

    That was like a collection of idiotic, and disturbing, Brian Dennehy sheriff quotes. How in the fuck does someone even see a prison cell for recording someone else openly, let alone a "public servant?"

  • ||

    Frank: I was hunted once. I just came back from 'Nam. I was hitching through Oregon, and some cop started harassing me. Next thing you know, I had a whole army of cops chasing me through the woods! I had to take 'em all out. It was a bloodbath.

    Charlie: That's Rambo, dude.

    Frank: What?

    Charlie: You just described the plot of Rambo.

  • Jack||

    "Pasco, who supports these arrests, says he’s worried that video could be manipulated to make police officers look bad. “There’s no chain of custody with these videos,” Pasco says. “How do you know the video hasn’t been edited? How do we know what’s in the video hasn’t been taken out of context? With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time, so it’s admissible under the rules of evidence. That’s not the case with these cell phone videos.”

    So police ALWAYS follow the rules of evidence preservation Mr. Pasco?

    It might be a private conversation if two cops are debating over who gets the last doughnut on the plate, but when on duty and fulfilling any part of that duty, they are public servants...Quit trying to dance around the issue and back up your officer's alleged integrity with smoke and mirrors.

    Chain of custody? Weak
    Evidence manipulation? Pathetic
    Video editing? Anorexic to the point of death weak

    You are concerned at the emergence of a trend which poses a threat to the sacred halls of copdom: Ordinary citizens using modern technology to fight back against unruly, abusive, and illegal actions by tax feeding uniformed government thugs.

    Any DA's, judges or legislators who move against the citizens need to be impeached, removed, gone from office.

  • Federal Dog||

    "“How do you know the video hasn’t been edited? How do we know what’s in the video hasn’t been taken out of context?"

    Hey, you stupid fuck, have video editors review it. That's how.

  • ||

    And they get this hot under the collar about video taping? What would their reactions be if John Q. Public were to literally fight back against the unruly, abusive and illegal actions of tax-feeding uniformed government thugs? (Thanks for that phrase; love it!) In other words, if the citizens pulled out a semi-automatic weapon and shot the offending cop to rags, their reaction to that might be ... more? less? ... energetic? Yes, more, because that's what the Michigan cops, Statzpolitzi, and federal Gestapo did to those "militiamen" up there. Arrested them for - allegedly - planning to shoot policemen. You know, there's just no pleasing some people.

    And, by the way, for the record, under every test designed by every appellate criminal court in the nation for "a reasonable expectation of privacy", policemen who are outside of their police station conducting their business as law enforcement have zero expectation of privacy. And, they may not have any inside the PD, outside of the cells and interregation rooms. Of course, remember that all those cases were criminal law, meaning the class of persons whose "reasonable expectation of privacy" was being legally defined were convicted felons. Makes me wonder why I spent any time practicing law .....

  • ||

    This is especially troubling when it comes on the heels of the recent egregious Supreme Court opinion that your right to remain silent only begins when you verbally invoke it: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/us/02scotus.html

  • Leroy||

    "After two hours and 45 minutes of questioning, Mr. Thompkins said yes in response to each of three questions: “Do you believe in God?” “Do you pray to God?” And, crucially, “Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?”" - NYTimes

    He was read his rights, and made an incriminating statement. He waived his right to remain silent when he started talking. I don't see the issue here. If someone else does, please enlighten me.

  • ||

    I don't mean to go all ITG, but as a lawyer, I would be in favor of seeing Joseph Cassilly and Tom Wiseman prohibited from the future practice of law. I'm truly appalled by their comments.

  • Shep||

    "They may have problems with some bad police officers in some of your urban areas. But we don’t have those problems around here. All of our cops around here are good cops."

    In other words, shut up and obey.

  • ||

    It should be made explicitly legal to record *any* public official (police officer, DMV clerk, whatever) in the performance of his duty at *any* time and in *any* place. There; I've just fixed the "problem" of some irrational "expectation of privacy" while making an arrest.

  • Waggoneer||

    When I went through immigration proceedings, to naturalize my wife, I had to go to interviews at the INS office. To enter the building I had to surrender all cameras and audio recorders. They obviously didn't want people recording all the BS they tell people as they process their applications. I was completely at their mercy.

  • Robert||

    No, I'm sure the requirement is there so you won't record confidential info regarding other persons. They didn't let us employees have cell phones, lap tops, recording media, etc. in the Census Bureau office either, for the same reason.

  • ||

    But you were an employee, with potential access to many private conversations. A person actually in the immigration system (or participating in a census interview) would not have the opportunity to record other people's confidential conversations, just their own conversation. And why in the world would that not be allowed? Heck, I think it should be required.

    Unless they're allowed to listen in on other people, which would be just as bad if it's supposed to be "confidential".

  • Joel||

    Interesting comments. You are all under arrest.

  • ||

    Come and get me, pig.

  • Sean||

    Good luck, I'm behind 7 proxies

  • ||

    Part of the problem is that few city newspapers have the resources, convictions, or cojones to maintain anything other than a symbiotic (aka 69) relationship with the cops and local prosecuters.

  • ||

    When citizens can once again lie with impunity to law enforcement as long as the former are not under oath, or when law enforcement must NEVER lie to citizens, or face severe penalty, then maybe we can talk about prohibitions on recording law-enforcement and other government officials, on-duty. Until then, citizen recordings help equalize the dangerously unbalanced power relationship between the government and the people.

  • hmm||

    If I didn't know better I would say this was a satire and Balko wrote the whole thing. Adding the obvious stupidity, lack of logic, and thought to make this work some sort of dark comedy.

    Sadly I have to believe these people exist and believe this shit. Which is just plain fucking scary.

  • Spartacus||

    "The test is whether police officers can expect some of the conversations they have while on the job to remain private and not be recorded and replayed for the world to hear."

    So, the test of whether there is an expectation of privacy is whether they can, you know, expect stuff to remain private. I can't believe this guy got through law school, and I can't believe any judge would actually listen to this without laughing out loud. I will be proven wrong, probably.

  • ||

    No, Spartacus. The phrases, "reasonable expectation of privacy" and "expectation of privacy" are legal terms of art and Doofus D.A. was dodging answering the question by using the legal argot like an octopus uses ink.

  • Christ on a Cracker||

    "Police Officers Don't Check Their Civil Rights at the Station House Door"

    That is exactly what you did at every job I held. I always assumed my employer had the right to, and in some cases the duty to, be aware of everything I did while at work - interactions with customers and vendors, other employees, monitor email, conversations, everything. (Ok, the restroom stalls are debatable).

    Now,should a cop be any different?

  • TallDave||

    Yes, they should have even less expectation of privacy.

    It really is unbelievable. Their job is to inflict the power of the State on people, often violently. That they should have an "expectation of privacy" while doing so is incredibly asinine. That's not just an invitation for abuse of authority, that is a license for abuse.

  • ||

    That's an excellent point. The lady in control of my account at Comcast has her customer conversations recorded for "quality control purposes", but the guy pointing a gun at someone on the side of the road? He's got privacy.

  • Brian||

    "I don’t have any hard and fast rule I can give you," Cassilly says. "It depends on the circumstances, and if the officer in those circumstances had good reason to think he wouldn’t be recorded. Should a domestic violence victim have a camera shoved in her face and have her privacy violated because someone is following a police officer around with a camera?

    Never seen Cops then I guess. Does anybody know if the people filmed and shown on that show sign a release of some kind?

  • Zeb||

    They do blur a lot of faces, so I am sure that the people shown do need to sign a release.

    Is that show still on? I haven't seen that in a very long time.

  • Rogered||

    They're asked to. The producers dress like LEO and imply that signing the release will result in leniency. Those that don't sign releases are obscured, like the logos etc.

  • Ed Minchau||

    The question is not whether private citizens agree to be shown on the TV show COPS, the question is do they agree to be filmed at all? As private citizens, often in their own homes or on their own property, do they not have even more of an expectation of privacy than a public servant performing public functions?

  • TallDave||

    Just unbelievable. These guys really don't get it.

    Great work, Radley.

  • ||

    It would seem like making comments like this would be especially moronic when police officers' pensions and such (and unionization and right to strike) are news topics.

    I'm pretty sure you could get 70% of people to say it's okay to film a cop, and that's a percentage you only get for really outrageous things, like opposing compulsory purchase of health insurance.

  • ||

    OK folks, at this point it could not be any clearer that Cassilly, Wiseman, Pasco, et alia porcina are simply disgusting liars. These turds do not believe what they say, and they know there is simply no rational basis for saying any of it. Their colossally stupid utterances serve no purpose other than to preserve their license to wield power and authority abusively. They view our civil rights as nuisances to be mooted and eliminated with all due haste.

    Pigs such as these have clearly drawn a line in the sand. They have collectively said, "You rights are shit, as are you. I may do whatever I want to you, and lie about it as ever I wish. If you don't like it, then I dare you, no, I double-dog dare you, to cross this line and knock this stick off of my shoulder. Do it, and let's just see what happens to you, 'Citizen!' Ha Ha Ha Ha..."

    So, what is our response to them going to be? These scum are attempting to render us subject to the rule of a national Porcarchy; what are we going to do about it? What constructive steps should we take to remind these despicable pieces of dung where the seat of power rightfully lies in society? How do we make these coprophages truly fear the consequences of continuing their campaign to diminish personal rights in this country?

  • ||

    There’s no chain of custody with these videos,” Pasco says. “How do you know the video hasn’t been edited? How do we know what’s in the video hasn’t been taken out of context? With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time, so it’s admissible under the rules of evidence. That’s not the case with these cell phone videos.”

    Give me a break.. The cops have "lost" footage all the time when it incriminates them.

  • KW6||

    Yeah, like the "unreadable" computer disk with the video from the Las Vegas cops shooting of a guy at Costco.

  • bigT||

    "...the law in Illnios is much clearer. It is illegal to record anyone in public without their consent"

    Ya think maybe some Illinois politician might have, just once, taken a video of his daughters in public and happened to get some innocent bystanders in the picture?

    Mr. Obama, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent...

  • jester||

    Good Idea! Test that law. And it doesn't have to be Obama. We don't want Arizona to deport our president.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Do the tickets used to see, say, the Bears, Illini, Cubs, or White Sox grant consent to be recorded or are crowd shots in Illinois illegal?

  • MikeS||

    "I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report"

    And the hundreds of innocent people busted for DWI using boilerplate police testimony?

  • MikeS||

    PS - I wonder how these jokers feel about the amateur video tape of cops that helped get Mehserle convicted of a lesser charge?

  • Meh||

    I have a friend who took some video of a couple of cops messing with some homeless people outside of his house. The cops were being pretty abusive and harassing in the video and all this took place 2 doors down from a homeless shelter. My friend and his roommates haven't done anything with this video because of these types of cases. There would be no question about where the video was filmed from and they fear this type of retaliation.

    Cops are people just like all of us. They have good and bad days. Because they aren't immune to all the shortcomings as the rest of us I think it is unwise to put too much "faith and trust in our authority figures."

  • ||

    A good day is when they call in sick and can't screw with people.

  • ||

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  • BakedPenguin||

    A very succinct summation.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Oh, and what the fuck is it with the NYPD and sodomy?

  • ||

    wiseman was right, no evidence of police wrong doing was shown in any of the videos the public was not allowed to make.

    ???????

  • ||

    Submit everything to wikileaks.

  • ||

    Mr. Wiseman (an obvious oxymoron) is either so arrogant in thinking that his group of cops is above reproach or he is part of a dirty cop coverup. Nobody, sir, can know everything about their cops on the street. One thing slides here, another there and, the next thing you know, there's a dirty cop. They all break a rule here and there, it's just who will go "farthest." Of course, Illinois has a habit of violating the civil rights of their citizens.
    The prosecutor in Md had better charge the TruTV folks who follow the Md cops and tape folks who are speeding. Pull me and I'll sue you all.

  • ||

    Hmm. Faith and Trust in Authority Figures. Police get the benefit of the doubt in court. Period. If they lie, and I have been both witness and object of police lying, there is little I can say to convince a judge that uniformed thug is abusing his/her authority. I was at a coffee shop one day when a female state trooper loudly declared that she had awakened in a foul mood and that everyone she stopped on that day was to be ticketed, implying she had little regard for anyone's guilt or innocence. How do you fight that? I was raised in a country where cops were, for all intents and purposes, deputized criminals. I met the occasional one who, when questioned about it, told me he went along because he had mouths to feed, but agreed it was a tragic situation. How do you fight that? And when a police force is superpopulated with such fiends, who collude and have a like-minded prosecutor. Sure, it's a lot like swimming with sharks. I did it for years, knowing full well that they would typically leave me alone. but all it takes is one to make a hash of your day, or your life, and if it happens to YOU, it then becomes a big deal. How do you fight that?
    I carry a camera with me at all times, plus a digital recording device. I will take my chances if I see some uniformed fiend abusing his or her authority. Let the chips fall where they may.

  • Hitler||

    I don't see what's the problem here. I love the police - and all of you should too!

  • jester||

    Sting and his man-skirt suck and so does his incessant resurrection of old material set to symphonic arrangement. Fuck 'The Police'.

  • Boss Tweed||

    At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in ourselves and ignore authority figures who claim to have our interest at heart.

    Tell the cops to stay away if they don't want to be recorded. Anything they say or do can and will be used against them in the court of public opinion.

  • ATDT||

    "I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report."

    Ahahahahah. Citizen video be damned, this happens DAILY using cop-created video. As a criminal defense attorney, I am ECSTATIC whenever there is dash-cam video available in a case, because it's NEVER as bad as the police report.

    Even beyond cops lying there's the problem of cops making mistakes because they are biased against the people they arrest.

  • jester||

    It is of course the most amazing ironic twist when 'wire-tapping' laws are turned on their heads. 'Wire-tapping' was originally designed to protect the small and powerless against superior forces on 'fishing expeditions'.

  • KW6||

    "'I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report,' Pasco says."

    Hell, Jim, I can show you video proving that a Utah Highway Patrol trooper lied to his BACKUP.

    And, as you people are always saying, if you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear from our surveillance!

  • ||

    Wiseman is a douchebag. Let's make sure that this harassment of an innocent citizen is brought up again and again for as long as that SOB pursues a political career.

    -jcr

  • ||

    as a cop myself, i'll make my position clear. any citizen should be able to record a cop at any time (there might be some sort of exception - like during grand jury testimony but really... pretty much ANY time and ) and ESPECIALLY while making an arrest, a traffic stop, or any sort of adversary encounter.

    similarly, a police officer should have the same right to do so when he is at work.

    the former protects society from bad cops and protects good cops when false complaints are made.

    and the latter does too

    my state has two party consent law (to my knowledge no citizen has been arrested in years for recording cops on duty) but that applies to "private conversations". yes, those require two party consent to record. police encounters with people in the course of duty (traffic stops, domestic violence calls, etc.) are not "private conversations". they are public acts by definition

    any cop should walk around under the assumption that he is being videotaped at all times. this means when i REALLY really have to pick my nose, i have to find a really private place, but such is the price we pay for an open society.

  • jester||

    had no idea that nosepicking was other than a cultural faux pas. I would even grant law enforcement the chance to pull out a wedgie.

    it's the other un-humane stuff i take exception to.

  • ||

    i would really prefer not to be the youtube video of the week, in full uniform picking my nose.

    i will admit i was once interrogating a suspect and he pointed out that my fly was unzipped. ok, i was embarassed. otoh, he made a full confession, so maybe it's a good icebreaker

  • ||

    Videotape?
    Shee-it, if a guy in street clothes cuts me off in traffic, gets in my grill, and pulls a handgun, my choices would be:
    1. Pull a gun and shoot the mother-fkr dead before he shoots me.
    2. Gun the engine and get away, preferably while running him over dead in the process.
    3. Hit him in the head with the video-cam in the hope he is knocked senseless, disarm him, and then drive away.

    The LAST thing I'd be trying is to videotape the guy.

  • ||

    Safety first.

  • ||

    Safety first.

  • steve davidson||

    Does Illinois not have an surveillance cameras at Walmart or on banks?
    "It is illegal to record anyone in public without their consent. The state has no stipulation about privacy expectations."

  • Zeb||

    I believe that in most states, the restriction is on audio recording, which most store security cameras do not do.

  • ||

    Well, there's the law and then there's "the law". We are expected to know the difference. Ignorence of "the law" is no excuse.

  • ||

    Has anyone heard any updates regarding the paid vacations for the offending officers involved in the UMD students' @$$WH00P1N's following the Duke game?

  • Tango Mike||

    @$$WH00P1N's

    We're adults here. You should try to be one, too.

  • ||

    Brutal and unjustified battery through the use of various methods including fists, feet, and nightsticks. They did beat various students' buttox, left cheeks and right. Is that P.C. enough for the language police on this board? In New York officers of the law have shown a propencity toward "sticking", no pardon me, "inserting" long objects into the rectums of citizens. What is the proper term rectum or anus? Did the broom reach the colon? Would that be better? Colon beating cops? La de da...

  • ||

    Hey fuk-face, I believe you were being addressed. When you sip down your humble tea, it is only proper to put your pinky up. What say you, boy?

  • ||

    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures."

    Sigh.

    No. We are a nation of laws, not men. Etc.

  • ||

    Not only are these state laws regarding recording police officers irrational, they are and have been found unconstitutional.

    Time to compel state legislators to clarify this issue and eliminate these unconstitutional felony statutes.

  • ||

    Will they arrest you if the video supports the police's version of the incident?

  • ||

    He Sounds like one of the old southern sheriff's under Jim Crow, doesn't it?

  • ||

    So in Illinois, unless the person was asked and consented, the police dash cam couldn't actually be used to record anything?

  • ||

    You can't have a police state without police.

  • ||

    Sounds like this entire defense hinges on the odd idea that it is possible to have a conversation that is private for one party and public for the other. That's the question i'd like asked to these apologists.

  • ||

    Maryland law's requirement that "both parties consent" is all well and good when either party has the option of terminating the encounter, but when a policeman demands that you "remain engaged," that takes things to another level.

  • ||

    Out-and-out piggery. Police actions are public acts, there can be no "expectation of privacy." What the pigs mean is an expectation of being able to lie their way around things.

  • dantealiegri||

    So I have an idea.
    Why don't we just make *distributing* a recording of a person the illegal part; not the recording itself?

    This way if you think someone is committing a crime, and tape them, as long as you hand it directly over to the police, there is no crime. Then if the police try to bury it, you can release it to media under a whistleblower type of protection.

  • ||

    "Police officers don’t check their civil rights at the station house door."

    Neither do citizens. Perhaps someone might mention that to him.

    "Public servants" exist to serve the public. When they do it in public, the public should be allowed to record it (ok, undercover operations, donut discussions and the like are excluded, generally speaking).

    The Declaration of Independence says "That to secure these rights, [Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness] Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

    Public servants need to review that point. It's a balancing act sometimes, but to be videoed doing your job which is for the public and finded by the public, and in public, should be a no brainer.

  • ||

    I reject the notion that any government official has a "privacy" right in connection with the performance of their work, be it done publicly or behind closed doors.

  • Mike DeSoto||

    You have 960,000 police officers in this country .

    That seems wildly excessive. Fire half of them.

  • ||

    Mike, you are on the right track, but I have a better idea: Abolish any "police" force which has a qualifier in its name: transit police, public housing police, park police, university police, etc.

  • douglas||

    Append any swat unit to that list. Also, I propose allowing the following federal law enforcement agencies to be armed (just tossing this out there for feedback):

    FBI
    Secret Service
    US Marshal Service
    any military police/investigative unit
    Intelligence agencies doing domestic counter-intelligence
    ICE
    Customs & Border Patrol
    Bureau of Prisons
    State Department(for diplomatic protection details only)
    Capital Police (highly against giving honorary deputizations to elected officials from this or any agency. If they want to carry, they can do so by their rights as a citizen and if their state disallows it then fuck them).

    Disband the ATF

    Disarm the:
    IRS (or disband as you see fit)
    Department of Commerce (let the Secret Service take over mint and treasury policing)
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office
    Department of Education
    Health and Human Services
    FDA
    Fish and Wildlife
    Interior
    Agriculture
    Supreme Court Police (roll into US marshall service)
    Library of Congress Police
    BLM
    BIA
    Any federal SWAT department (save for perhaps the FBI, with a bar for their deployment set as high as how rare SWAT teams would become).

    Comments?

  • ||

    Got a bunch of good ol boys on the force?When it comes time for the town budget,defund the bastards and listen to the pigs squeel when they have to justify
    their existence.

  • staubin||

    i love the logical fallacy of the FOP Chairman. banning DNA tests has nothing at all to do with recording police. it's the worst analogy ever. he equates the observation of a process like policing to determine if it is being done correctly with discarding a process like policing that works because it makes a couple of mistakes.

  • ||

    I have said for many years that the Italians had to create the Mafia because the Irish already had the police departments.

  • Mike B||

    "I don’t have any hard and fast rule I can give you," Cassilly says. "It depends on the circumstances"

    I guess what it really means is some penus-head, foreskin chinned lackwit of a DA should make it up as he goes along. Behold the triumph of progressivism.

  • ||

    And we'd prefer that you not go around publishing our pension benefit spiking and OT numbers. We're just guys keeping our end of the bargain that are suddenly the bad guys. Sure, we work for you, and we do our work in public, but we're not paid enough to have our civil rights violated that this.

  • ||

    So, does the Maryland cop or Illinois copy have to inform you that they are recording you with the mike on their shoulder? If so, and they don't is it an illegal wiretap? Or, is a traffic stop probable cause?

  • ||

    Ok, but are not our police officers and our law enforcement officials expected to be held to a higher standard of conduct than a typical citizen? Thus, while they have Civil Rights as citizens, we pay them and train them and ask them to uphold a higher standard as our physical representatives of the law and of our collective will to enforce and uphold the law.

  • Whappan?||

    No, our police officers and other law enforcement officials, indeed all public officials are held to a MUCH lower standard of conduct than peons. Their motto is "Authority without accountability, power without responsibility."

  • ||

    The reality in traffic stops or anything else involving getting the police is that a judge is going to be far more prone to listen to a cop's side of the story than a regular citizen if it comes down to the cop's word against the citizen. Sure, you can try and fight it and might when in court, but who's got the time or the funds to do so?

    Police, on the job, should have no expectation that their official actions, either verbal or physical, have any privacy protections.

  • ||

    I'm considering mounting a number of cameras to my car and having them record 24/7. If businesses and the government want to setup cameras everywhere then I will do it too.

  • ||

    If you are serious, check out a guy im MO by the name of Brett Darrow...

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/15/1522.asp

    THAT is the sort of setup that would be nice to have in your vehicle...

  • ||

    Actually, here is a link to a video made from his vehicle...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3GlEe1kCHA

  • ||

    At a minimum I believe we have the right to videotape the police granted to us by "Freedom of the Press".. If there is a police incident, it is automatically considered newsworthy.

  • ||

    RE: This is a small town. Everyone knows everyone. If we had a bad police officer here, we’d know about it, I’d know about it, and he’d be out. There’s just no reason for anyone to feel they need to record police officers in Crawford County."

    -- Worst excuse Evah

  • ||

    I agree. In reality small towns are the worst. Where would a citizen go to complain of unfair treatment without fear of reprisal? The cops also tend to help their buddies in town and crap on others, I have seen that around here.

  • ||

    just when you think you know someone, it turns out not being so: word of advice don't leave the chicken house door unlocked? the coyote just may take advantage of it?? you'd be surprise what comes from small towns? as Gomer always said surprise surprise surprise

  • ||

    When a police officer is on duty he is conducting, We the People's, business. The officers only expectation should be that everything done in the name of, We the People, will be subject to public record.

  • ||

    Lord Almighty. This country will collapse when the essential right of a police officer, or any public official, to commit aggravated perjury without being called on it is taken away from them. It will be the end of the world as we know it.

    I feel fine.

  • ||

    Suppose, in Baltimore or Chicago, a drug dealer meets one of his customers on the sidewalk, gets palmed some money and palms back a quantity of some illegal drug. A cop on stakeout records the transaction on his cell phone camera, and the video is used at trial of the drug dealer. It turns out that the evidence against the drug dealer is the customer's testimony, procured through a plea bargain, and the video.

    Should the video be excluded as evidence, leaving the self-interested testimony of the customer as the only evidence against the defendant at trial?

  • ||

    Do enlisted soldiers check their civil rights at the basic training gate?

  • anon||

    "At some point, we have to put some faith and trust in our authority figures"

    no.

  • ||

    Exactly, you have to stay vigilant about those in charge of "protecting" you.

    People only keep on the straight and narrow when given that much power when they realize they will be under heavy scrutiny.

  • ||

    Any law which makes it a felony to record the actions of public officials ( including the police ) is a terrible law. Given the great deference of the legal system to public officials, ordinary citizens must have the ability to present video testimony to protect against unjust treatment.

    In the case of the Maryland cyclist, he was wearing a helmet camera; the video surveillance could not have escaped the attention of any competent police officer. This case should be thrown out on those grounds alone.

  • ak4mc||

    Anyone acting under color of authority is rightly an object of public scrutiny. Anyone who doesn't wish to be an object of public scrutiny needs to hang up the badge and find some other line of work.

  • ||

    "The officer having his gun drawn or being on a public roadway has nothing to do with it," Cassilly says. "Neither does the fact that what Mr. Graber said during the stop could be used in court. That’s not the test. The test is whether police officers can expect some of the conversations they have while on the job to remain private and not be recorded and replayed for the world to hear."

    So you can't record a cop if he has an expectation of privacy, and the expectation of privacy is based upon a cop not expecting to be recorded?

    What law school did you attend Mr. Cassilly? I believe they may want to review your diploma.

  • Andrew the Noisy||

    The worst thing about Joseph Cassilly?

    He's running unopposed.

  • ||

    To start the list of 10, here is one:

    http://www.startribune.com/local/66721387.html

  • ||

    http://www.homelandstupidity.u.....ice-is-ok/

    Already been ruled on folks. Legal

  • JdL||

    Can anyone who reads this dispute the conclusion that cops are the scum of the earth?

  • Joel||

    So do I have a right to tell the police to turn off their damned dash cam because I didn't check my civil rights when I got into my car? Hell no, because there is no right not be filmed when you're in public. Otherwise we'd shit-can every traffic camera and every red light camera.

  • ||

    I had a buddy who had a traffic stop go wrong, nothing major but suffice to say his account disagreed with the officer at the scene. He went to the prosecutors office and requested the dash cam video of the incident and was basically told he could not have it. The recordings can be used for the benefit of law enforcement only.

    Clearly this indicates the need for citizens to document the situation with their own equipment. I have met good cops and bad cops. There is no reason they should be given some privilege the rest of us don't have. To do that would guarantee abuse of their authority. Reasonable people can determine if the incident was taken out of context. If a guy is subdued on the ground but is still being beaten, the context is irrelevant. We have all seen dozens of these videos.

  • ||

    "With dashboard cameras or police security video, the evidence is in the hands of law enforcement the entire time, so it’s admissible under the rules of evidence"

    And if it is, bring suit for invasion of privacy and illegal recording under the same wiretap codes.

  • ||

    I would like to see someone do this.

  • ||

    Aren't the Crim. J. degrees heavy on the soft sciences? (psy, soc, etc.)

  • yoho||

    fuck the popo and the fed, may they all burn in hell. We don't need a police state,we need freedom

  • ||

    Odd, I was in law enforcement and at no time did I expect that what I did was private. They must teach different things at the academies now.

  • ||

    I guess we'll soon be seeing a national "Assault Recorder Ban."

    But seriously, we will, of course, soon see people charged as "terrorists" for recording gubmint officials. MARK MY WORDS, IT WILL HAPPEN!!!!

  • Toaster Crisp||

    If your going to get 75 years for taping a police officer in the line of duty, you might as well just shoot him. You will serve less time and get respect from inmates. Hell, dirtbags will idolize you.

    The time should fit the crime.

    btw, I am a duty disabled retired officer. And the career perp who tried to kill me is out on parole already, to make room for low level drug offenders.

    Thanks for nothing.

  • Corporate Gestapo||

    The punish and enslave.

    Cops actually use this motto with great pride, even plastering it on their personal vehicles. So let's not delude ourselves.

    The cattle cars will be here, all in due time...

  • Oops||

    To Punish & Enslave

    Fixed...

  • lake ozark||

    what about tv shows like cops? they follow the cops around with cameras, im sure they edit the videos that get aired on tv.

    police officers record the stops, audio , video. seems like a double standard and people making excuses to cover up potential wrong doings that officers commit in thier official capacity, which we the people have the right to scrutinize.

  • ||

    Nope, nothing wrong here.

    http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/

  • ||

    I don't even know what to say about this I'm so shocked. Public Servants are no longer Public Servants, or are they Public Servants when it suits them or it's to their advantage? What if the tape exonerates them? I'm gobsmacked.

  • Charles Cavanaugh||

    I was charged with reckless driving by an off-duty police officer in Kirkland, Washington. The officer lied shamelessly under oath and I was convicted. That was 20 years ago and I have not driven since. If I'd had a recording of our encounter, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

    The officer was fired a few weeks after my trial. I don't know if my experience factored in at all. I do think that both the judge and the prosecuter were highly suspicious that they were being manipulated and unable to look me in the eye.

    In any case, it seems to me that mis-behaving cops are neither rare nor confined to urban areas.

  • Ben||

    As Juvenal said "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" or basically "Who will guard the guards".

    You cannot trust people with power because people are evil. I don't care how "good" a person is if he sees that his word is gold and people have to do whatever he wants them to do, then he will abuse that power.

  • ||

    I believe that it is very important that when any officer and or any injustice be a product of Audio/Video, this helps the public in so many ways, and keeps any wrong doing from corrupt cops, who said they are immune from corruption or other? you take in California with the Rodney King beating? this type of action must be contained, and when it does happen it gives the police department a first hand to defend itself when confronted with such or rather they wish to see it in the media, or Y-tube or any news paper prior to having some defense; I carry a camera in each car and for what every reason it may be, I'll record such, the work for the public, or do they have something to HIDE?? its not a one way street, you video us, you'll get it in return, for public safety, and with so many cops now days being caught in corruption, this is the reason prosecutor is attempting to file this felony charge, not to protect the public, but "the corruption under the color of authority"???

  • ||

    Catch me, Catch Me if you can ...
    If you prove it with your cam ...
    I'll throw your arse in the can...
    If you catch me dead to rights ...
    Your video will never see the light ...
    If I beat you with all my might...
    better not have that cam in sight...
    Catch me Catch Me if you can ...
    I'm above the law , cause I'm the man.

  • ||

    "Police Officers Don't Check Their Civil Rights at the Station House Door", but apparently every citizen checks theirs as they step out onto the street. Cops can video US, but we who pay their salaries can't video THEM??

    Somebody hum a few bars of "The World Turned Upside Down", please.

  • ||

    Let this be a lesson to us all - if you value your freedom and you see cops, don't record them, kill them.

  • ed||

    if you are out in public you have no expectation of privacy. It is legal for someone to videotape someone in public without their consent but not audiotape. That is BS and the police and prosecutors are trying to intimdate the public from exposing wrongdoing by police.

  • ||

    So its mandatory for cops to record (audio) or videotape most encounters with the public these days (usually department policy) yet citizens (I won't use "civilians" becuase cops are civilians as well) can't?

    You notice the states that have these laws tend to be the most statist and populist.

  • ||

    I'll add -- for all of you who brought up the Rodeny King case -- that the LAPD was stuck in a corner in this case. The City Council, being a populist sort of council and not one prone to common sense, had denied all sorts of intermediate levels of force to the LAPD.

    So the result was predictable.

    Politicians set up the cops in this case by taking away lots of their tools.

    Sort of like telling a cope he can yell at you or shoot you, because hitting you with his baton is forbidden. So he yells and then he shoots. Every time.

    This is why you now get these same populist political locations trying to prohibit the use of recordings -- they are playing CYA because of the rules they set up in the first place.

  • ||

    If the cops don't have anything to hide, then they wouldn't mind being recorded. They are public servants who answer to us. It's about time they realized this.

  • Brandon||

    FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

    What part of Freedom of the Press DON'T people understand??

    Answer: They DO understand it, and those who act like they don't and want to make a fuss over it (ie: The Gestapo("police")) are simply criminals. End of story.

    If you are out in public, you can be recorded. Period.

    "That’s likely because any policy that makes recording cops an explicitly legal..."

    "That makes recording cops legal.."

    Seriously, who thinks like this? Do we need laws "ALLOWING" and "GRANTING" people the permission to breath to?

  • Ekim||

    Police officers work for the public, and the public has not only the right, but the duty to monitor their job performance.

    Off duty, they have a right to privacy just like anyone else. Their own time belongs to them, but their on duty time belongs to the taxpayers who hire them. All workers get monitored by their employers on the job.

  • ||

    "The activities of the police, like those of other public officials, are subject to public scrutiny. . . . Videotaping is a legitimate means of gathering information for public dissemination and can often provide cogent evidence, as it did in this case. In sum, there can be no doubt that the free speech clause of the Constitution protected Robinson as he videotaped the defendants on October 23, 2002. . . . Moreover, to the extent that the troopers were restraining Robinson from making any future videotapes and from publicizing or publishing what he had filmed, the defendants’ conduct clearly amounted to an unlawful prior restraint upon his protected speech. . . . We find that defendants are liable under [42 USC] § 1983 for violating Robinson’s Fourth Amendment right to be protected from an unlawful seizure." — Judge Harvey Bartle III (PDF)
    http://www.homelandstupidity.u.....ice-is-ok/

  • Billy James||

    Police officers are public servants. PUBLIC SERVANTS...what does this yahoo not understand? He's taking it personally because its his county, he pretty much said so. this is america we the people rule not officers who don't want their corruption publicized. Here in Texas we carry guns to protect ourselves and some of us cameras too. It is a great combination. Anyone who thinks an officer on duty has a right to privacy needs to remember that no public servant on duty does. just like no employee at any job does unless they are in the restroom, a changing room,etc. Cops should be held to a higher level of accountability because they are sworn to protect and serve.

  • jack valenti||

    No one but law enforcement believes banning this is a good idea, and they have no footing here.

  • mike||

    So the government can videotape the public anywhere they feel like putting up a camera, but the public cannot videotape the government?

  • Brandon||

    All public officials, while on duty, MUST be scrutinized with every decision they make that affects the public, no ifs ands or buts about it. It's a no-brainer to allow citizens to record folks like cops while they're doing their job! Your duty is to be a public servant; if you're not serving the public properly, everyone else has a right to know!

    If a cop doesn't wanna look bad on camera, he should BEHAVE PROPERLY and within the law! No police brutality or any other bullshit. GOT IT, law enforcement? You guys are just afraid of being held accountable, instead of being able to abuse your power whenever you feel like it.

  • Brandon||

    If a public official is doing his job right, why should he care that someone is filming? Why should a cop care if someone is filming as long as he's acting lawfully and ethically? If he's got nothing to hide, he shouldn't be afraid. The term "public servant" means nothing if someone gets arrested simply for holding them accountable and exposing their actions.

  • Brandon||

    Every state (and probably federal, as well) constitution should have an amendment that says something like "All on-duty public officials who are corrupt are not immune from being held accountable in whatever way possible or necessary, by citizens."

  • Brandon||

    If we vote for someone or our taxes pay their salary, we have EVERY RIGHT to know what they're doing with the power we have granted them. To say that we can't hold these bastards accountable when they fuck up, even though OUR money pays their goddamn salaries, is atrocious!

  • Brandon||

    The most hilarious thing about laws banning you from recording public officials is that they're oftentimes referred to as "wiretapping laws." WIRETAPPING?? Isn't the original definition of wiretapping when a law enforcement official, usually from the FBI, bugs someone's phone or sends someone over to the crime scene wearing a wire to record the convo? And they get a fucking warrant (or should)?

    How recording a public official in broad daylight with a very visible camera phone or camera in general is tantamount to "wiretapping" or the equivalent of what the FBI oftentimes does is beyond me.

  • Brandon||

    Wiretaps are done without the suspect's knowledge; recording public officials is NOT. Except if you're Mary Landrieu, and the 'tapper is James O'Keefe.

  • ||

    Thank God for the Illinois ACLU. They have filed suit against the authoritarian Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez over the Illinois eavesdropping statute. The news story can be found here:
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/m.....10.article

  • ||

    As citizens our only hope of containing and stopping police abuses and brutality is the recording of incidents. The fact that these very same recordings could actually exonerate some of the officers does not seem to register with them. It is a case of "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. Over the years I have grown to fear our police force, I have seen instances of abuse, brutality, and downright criminal behavior (up to and including murder) escalate until now barely a day goes by without another report of police exceeding their authority (in one way or other) somewhere. It appears that our police have been taken over by sadistic thugs and the "good" officers are now in the minority (if there are even any left). I really fear where our country is heading if we do not get some common sense and decency back into our government, our military, our schools, our homes, our churches, and our police!

  • ||

    As citizens our only hope of containing and stopping police abuses and brutality is the recording of incidents. The fact that these very same recordings could actually exonerate some of the officers does not seem to register with them. It is a case of "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. Over the years I have grown to fear our police force, I have seen instances of abuse, brutality, and downright criminal behavior (up to and including murder) escalate until now barely a day goes by without another report of police exceeding their authority (in one way or other) somewhere. It appears that our police have been taken over by sadistic thugs and the "good" officers are now in the minority (if there are even any left). I really fear where our country is heading if we do not get some common sense and decency back into our government, our military, our schools, our homes, our churches, and our police!

  • shawn_h@sprynet.com||

    The expectation that the police while on duty would have a private conversation is absurd on the face of it. EVERYONE wants to know what's going on. When the cop yells, it's impossible to keep the 'conversation' quiet. This whole thing is absurd. We NEED to be able to keep cops hones; they're crooked enough already!

  • ||

    Police should be held to a higher, not a lower standard than the public. They should feel the leash around their neck that we have on them, and when they get out of line, we should yank on it HARD!

  • Jeremy||

    I cross the border at otay mesa border crossing nearly daily. I can't count on my fingers or toes how many times I have been treated with blatent disrespect, with no concern for the government's "customer." The "Pledge to Travelers" is just there for decoration. I have a hard time distinguishing between the Mexican police and the American police at times.

  • ||

    Why does Mr. Cassilly and his regime still allow sexual predators to plague Harford County Maryland? The prosecutors offer offenders better deals than anywhere in Maryland, but want to prosecute this guy for video taping an officer......Unbelievable!

  • Can||

    Cassilly is obviously a nazi

  • ||

    Obviously, we need a citizen's Miranda for the officers.

    You have the right to operate within your sphere of authority. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. From this point forward, you are in the public domain and nothing we share is private.

  • ||

    Hi folks,

    As to the right of privacy. A prominent bumper sticker
    "For your legal protection - All contact, conversation or approach to this vehicle and it's occupants may be recorded on audio and with images in accordance with any laws requiring notice to all parties for such activity. All recordings and images will be instantly stored on the internet for the safety of all concerned."
    A lot of words here but you get the idea. Notify any public official ahead of time that they may or will be recorded. End of issue. If the bumper sticker is a problem hand the officer/s a note card and read it to them. If you are concerned about the phone or recording device being taken away - set up a streaming to an internet site, preferably in a jurisdiction beyond the local authority. Remember you are no longer violating their right to privacy or the expectation of privacy.
    The wording may need some work but you get the idea. You are giving notice. They no longer can say they didn't know.

  • David||

    Doing time for recording a public event is a violation of a citizen's rights. If all 'their' cops are 'good' cops, why go to such draconian lengths to try to conceal interactions between police and citizens? Interactions of this sort should certainly be public knowledge, and to serve time for simply making a recording sounds like Nazi Germany to me.

  • Thomas Moore||

    So in Illinois it's a felony to record a teacher or professor without permission? So the teachers there could send students to prison for five years for using their cellphones???????

  • Anonymous||

    I am from Robinson and to say there are no "bad" cops is a lie. Police officers in the area DO target certain citizens and those in the area are powerless against the local government. Two people with the same clean record can be arrested for the same crime, but one may serve a 10 year sentence and pay restitution, while the other goes free and owes nothing. This town is backwards and unbelievably fake. Nothing in this town is as picture perfect as the local officials want you to believe. Well, I guess it is for them, because they can have a son who drives drunk and kills someone, but that "good" son will never face anything more than a dismissed DUI, if he is even charged with one.

  • Neil||

    Joseph Cassilly is a fascist.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • ||

    will someone take one of these cases to the supreme court already? This is far too large an issue to let simmer under local mismanagement...

  • ||

    I can't help but also point out that no citizen has an expectation of privacy in public, a fact that police love to cite when you question them filming you (and they are filming you).

    Wiseman is either purposefully misleading people into thinking they can expect to be private in public, or is simply ignorant. Either way, this is the sort of incompetence that needs to be questioned, continuously!

  • Jordan Shoes||

    so perfect.

  • Jordan Shoes||

    so perfect.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    THANK U

  • ||

    "You have 960,000 police officers in this country, and millions of contacts between those officers and citizens. I’ll bet you can’t name 10 incidents where a citizen video has shown a police officer to have lied on a police report," Pasco says.
    I've got 10 a police officer in california arrested a skater and told him if he moved his arm the cop would break it like a twig, the cop later told a citizen that he had not threatened anyone
    Two cops in lousiana strangled a man to death because he swallowed a small dime of pot they strangled him for 5 min and then the man died and they said he choked on the baggie WRONG
    We need to record police if not they'll kill us all and get away with it if we cant protect our selves from the law then how the hell are we supposed to live in a cell for the rest of our lives beaing beat by police all day all night

  • ||

    i know its only two but this erks me bad cops think they can do what ever they want when ever they want and they dont want to be recorded showing that they take advantage of their title and they lie steal and murder people just to get away with it!

  • ||

    They shouldn't leave their civil rights at the door, but it should be legal to audio/video record them, as they have the ability to violate the civil rights of citizens who cannot defend themselves against the police because citizens do not have the same powers and immunities as the police officer. If a police officer beats a citizen, the police officer will easily get away with it, which is INCREDIBLY common. If a citizen beats a police officer, it is generally recorded audio/visually and the citizen is never given any lenience for any reason whatsoever (including because "the officer challenged them", "challenging" being an excuse many police use to attack citizens who do not kiss their boots). Because the police officer does not act as a regular citizen, I think they should be randomly monitored a certain number of times every year without the consent or knowledge of the officer. This random quality control would greatly improve the police force. They would NEVER be monitored off duty. This happens to employees in many other high-ranking non-law enforcement positions. If they have nothing to hide while on-duty, they should not oppose being monitored from time to time, or at least by those whom they are attempting to arrest, charge etc. The people whom they want to arrest should be allowed to video tape/audio record the conversations they are having with the officers to ensure that the citizen is treated properly, the citizen is treating the officer properly, to ensure the charge is fair and just, and to ensure the officer does not abuse the citizen being charged/accosted. In general, creating an official record of the event in audio/visual form would create a solid foundation for any court case. It would make the legal process much easier on both sides. No more lies, no more bullshit, no more abuse.

  • GREG SPARKS||

    CONSENSUS MY BUTT, ITS AGAINST THE LAW TO ARREST A "PERSON" INVOLVED IN A LAWFUL ACT.

  • robz||

    Is this country becoming another 1980's Soviet Union? Or is it 1940's Germany I'm thinking of? ZEIG HEIL!

  • robz||

    Damn,an Ogunquit,Maine officer tracked my cell phone today.I guess he didn't believe I'm in Florida.How legal is that? Maybe I'll track his cell and see if he charges me with a FELONY. They're all DOUCHE BAGS!

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