Fighting the War on Cameras - Jerome Vorus and the ACLU take D.C. to Court

Can the police detain you for taking pictures of a routine traffic stop? Police in Washington D.C. say they can.

In 2010, photographer and student Jerome Vorus was detained and questioned by police after he photographed a traffic stop in Georgetown. The ACLU says he was illegally detained and has filed a lawsuit on his behalf. Vorus recently sat down with’s Nick Gillespie to discuss what happened that day and where his case currently stands.

With cameras and other recording devices becoming more affordable, cases like Vorus’ have become all too common. For more information on this disturbing trend, read Reason magazine's January 2011 cover story "The War on Cameras" with the companion piece "How to Record the Cops” and watch’s documentary “The Government’s War on Cameras!

Shot by Jim Epstein and Joshua Swain. Edited by Swain. About 4.18 minutes.

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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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well-spoken young man but an obvious criminal. If he didn't have anything to hide, why was he taking photos of police? He could have killed one of them with that camera (which I'm guessing wasn't even licensed.)

  • WTF||
















  • ||


  • ||

    epi, do you find that dissassembling the shoulder of a yeti is necessary or at least helpful prior to raping them?


  • ||

    It's a bit of a pain, but I'd say it's completely worth it.

  • || come for the libertarian insight. stay for the yeti raping instructionals..

  • Tim||

    I'm picturing Charlie Manson online at the prison library.

  • ||

    Look, reason isn't just a political site, it's also a culture site. And a yeti rape site. And a floor wax.

  • Tim||

    Now with LEMON!

  • ||

    And a dessert topping.

  • Jim||

    The real trick is to not get scratched up by their dingleberries, which yeti are notorious for.

  • Jeff P||

    Oh come on, yetis are asking for it...



  • Nipplemancer ||

    why not? does STEVE SMITH object to skull-fucking?



  • Joe M||

  • ||

    Stop getting our hopes up!

  • Paul||

    Oh, Ron Paul gets big endorsement.

    I got all excited there for a second.

  • zoltan||

    I LOL'ed.

  • O2||

    waterboard & sodomize the miscreant

  • BakedPenguin||

    Police arrested an innocent man on trumped up bullshit.

    And nothing else happened!

  • ||

    EAP likes this

  • Joe M||

    Yup. Nothing else needs to happen.

  • ||

    Aw. The Vorus guy's cute.

    I'd take him home to meet Mama.

  • ||

    absolutely 100% unacceptable imnsho. the right of non-cops to videotape cops (and cops to videotape their actions as well) should be sacrosanct.

    i would hope that these cops get bitch-slapped into submission.

    heck, i rarely believe federal legislation is the answer, but if it take a scotus case or a federal law, to establish the right to video/film cops in every state in the union, then i would support that.

    fwiw, my agency has very clear policy that people absolutely have the right to film us and we have no right to detain (let alone arrest) anybody for doing so.


  • Joe M||

    Where does their right to video you end? Can they video tape another person's arrest? What about their own arrest?

  • ||

    of course you can. in both cases. obviously, if YOU are being arrested, you need to submit to handcuffing, so you gotta put the camera down.

    the act of videotaping should NEVER be an issue for police. if the behavior is obstructing, like videotaping while refusing to move away from the door of a police car so an officer can get in the car or something like that, then that's a problem but it has nothing to do with videotaping.

    in brief, if you have a right to be where you are (iow not inside a roped off police cordon at a crime scene etc.) then you have a right to videotape.



    good cops should welcome videotaping because it helps exonerate the innocent and helps convict the guilty.

    heck, i can think of two recent cases in my agency where video, taken by non-cops helped exonerate cops in use of force situations. i can also think of cases where it helped convict them

    both are win/win situations

    in brief, the plain view/open view doctrine should apply. anything you are in a place to lawfully observe, you should be able to lawfully record.

    Note: i generally don't support two party consent laws for audiotaping, but those apply generally to surreptitious taping of a private conversation, not recording of something happening in full view of others, etc.

  • ||

    I think you are right. Federal legislation is required to preserve citizens rights in this case. State "wiretapping" laws make absolutely no sense as currently constituted.

    I fully understand the "private conversation being recorded by a 3rd party" issue as an invasion of privacy and it should be illegal. But two party consent states don't make any sense to me at all.

    If I have a right to tell the world about my recollections of a private conversation I had with Dunphy, surely I can make contemporaneous notes to bolster my recollection. Heck, if I could write fast enough, I could write the whole thing down word for word. Nobody even suggests that this is illegal.

    So what if I hired a voice actor to play Dunphy and read his part? I clearly label it as a voice actor, but I present this as my version of what I heard. Still perfectly legal.

    So the only thing these laws do is preserve the right of Dunphy to lie about our conversation. Absent a true recording, he can claim that we never discussed the Knicks acquisition of 'Mello. And without that recording, it's just his word against mine. With a recording, we all have a fairly objective record of the facts.

    I can't see any reason for these laws. Sure, it might be embarrassing if I could prove that Dunphy is a big 'Mello fan, but is it really all that less embarrassing if I merely assert that he told me about how great 'Mello's Knicks are going to be?

    To claim (as many jurisdictions currently are) that a public official going about his public duties in a public place are somehow completely protected from recording by privacy laws is silly. Even sillier in cases where the police have recording devices operating at the time.

  • ||

    like i said, i totally agree about 2 party consent laws. in my state they were passed after a crooked legislator was caught by somebody surreptitiously recording a conversation.

    if you can hear and testify about what you heard, you should be able to record it.

    again, it protects the innocent and helps convict the guilty.

    the law is bizarre

    but again, 2 party consent laws don't really apply with police taping cases, since those aren't private conversations etc and don't generally meet the criteria.

  • ||

    Dunphy, you and that "This should look good on YouTube" officer from a few days ago give me the warm civic fuzzies.

  • ||

    I'm with dunphy on this one, with the caveat that any police officer who arrests someone (or threatens to) for recording them in any manner is acting beyond their scope of office, and should be arrested and tried as a common criminal for any offenses committed during the arrest.

    Which will almost certainly include assault and false imprisonment, for starters.

  • ||

    unfortunately considering that in SOME jurisdictions, doing what they do has been upheld by courts and.or is consistent with dept. policy, you can't criminally blame the cops for doign this imo.

    what needs to be done is that dept. policies need to firmly spell out that said behavior is prohibited and courts need to establish case law that said behavior is prohibited.

    also, the legislature is within their rights to pass a law making such behavior (videotaping etc.) expressly allowed and interference with same a criminal offense.

  • ||

    Where the courts have applied state law to allow it, of course you can't prosecute the cops for doing it.

    However, where there is no legal support for these arrests, the fact that it is consistent with department policy is utterly irrelevant to the legality of the arrest.

    If anything, a policy that favors illegality is a reason for going after administration.

  • ||

    my point is that if an officer is acting consistent with past practice/dept. policy you can't make a case for criminal intent, and intent is the ESSENCE of the law (strict liability offenses aside, which i am generally against, but i digress)

    regardless, the case law/statutes/policies need to be enacted such that the RIGHT of non-cops AND cops to videotape is protected

  • ||

    Sadly, we shouldn't need a special legislative dispensation to protect us against arrest for filming police. Or a special legislative prohibition on police making arrests without any legal basis whatsoever.

    The fact that, apparently, we do says much about how close we have come to a Total State of "That which is not forbidden is required."

  • ||

    That whole "department policy" thing is odd to me. Do police departments really have a policy that says "arrest people who are making cell phone recordings?"

    That'd be a great smoking gun - getting your hands on the policy that says "go ahead and arrest people who are recording you".

    I'd bet that the "policy" that the officer is supposedly following is more of the variety of "the officer has the authority to control the scene where he's operating - his commands are to be complied with immediately. Any failure to comply authorizes arrest by default." This isn't really a policy so much as a blanket "do whatever you like" catchall.

    It is so amorphous that the guys on the front lines shouldn't accept it either. Even though it is usually used to protect them from criticism; because it is vague and capricious in it's application it could just as easily be re-interpreted when the chain of command decides they don't want to support an officer. Suddenly something that happens on a daily basis gets you fired or worse, charged. Kinda a reverse "2 felonies a day" deal.

  • ||

    they usually don't have a policy that says to do that. generally speaking, policies are usually like the constitution - in that they are more concerned with placing limits.

    iow saying what you CAN'T do, (and to an extent, how to do shit you can do)

    if a dept. makes a policy (like mine has) saying DON'T DO IT, that makes an officer that does it - WRONG, even if he is compliant with vague or whatever LAW, he is still in violation of policy.

  • robc||

    Do you really need a policy that says "Dont violate fundamental rights"?

  • ||

    considering that no court has yet established (at least on a national basis) that there IS a fundamental right to tape police... the answer is YES!

    policy can, and sometimes should precede case law.

  • robc||

    Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press ....

    Who do you think the filmers are? They are the press.

    How dumb are you cops? Do you really need case law first? Cant you just fucking read?

  • ||

    considering that many prosecutors and judges have UPHELD this shit, apparently it's not just the cops that are dumb.

    i could get into some wank about the 1st amendment not being "absolute" or whatever, but the point is... *i* agree with you that this should be ruled as constitutionally protected actions

    but, speaking pragmatically (vs. your normal mode which is outrage, ad homs, and usually illogick(tm)), the question is WHAT DO WE DO?

    1) we can wait for courts to rule this stuff by cops is expressly prohibited
    2) we can pester local (state, county, city and/or state) legislatures to make this stuff EXPRESSLY protected and to make it a crime to interfere with same
    3) we can pester agencies to make this stuff expressly protected (the filming) and expressly prohibit the interference thereof

    my agency DOES expressly prohibit us from interfering with same.

    good for us.

    but again, you can engage in name calling, etc. or you can look for solutions

  • robc||

    speaking pragmatically

    Relying on the courts is anything but pragmatic.

    considering that many prosecutors and judges have UPHELD this shit, apparently it's not just the cops that are dumb.

    Have you seem any of my comments on Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr? Im well aware that judges and etc are very, very dumb.


    Follow the constitution. If you took an oath to uphold it, you have to, even in contadiction to the Supremes.

    name calling

    What name calling?

    look for solutions

    The solution is easy. Follow the constitution.

  • ||

    and again, rob, the point is THIS SHIT IS HAPPENING . what do WE DO?

    and i offered you some actual... y'know solutions.

    but if outrage is what you want, go ahead man. knock yerself out

  • robc||

    and i offered you some actual... y'know solutions.

    As did I: Follow the constitution.

    What the fuck is so hard to understand about that. Where do you see outrage?

  • robc||

    The advantage of my solution is it can be implemented by the individual. No need for a majority of voters or a majority of legislators or some policy setting cop-committee. Each individual cop can implement it himself.

  • ||

    the disadvantage is that it doesn't work across the board. some individuals will follow it and some don't. heck, that's the case now.

    change in legislation or case law etc. means enforced change

    via the barrel of a gun

    so to speak...

  • robc||

    the disadvantage is that it doesn't work across the board

    True, but its easy to implement. Change to policy/law are hard. That doesnt mean they shouldnt be done too, but low hanging fruit is right there.

    The problem is those cops who understand the constitution (you) who dont follow it because of policy. The WoD is clearly unconstitutional and yet potentially good cops ignore this because they are ordered to enforce it.

  • robc||

    policy can, and sometimes should precede case law.

    On that we agree, which is why you dont need a case establishing it as a fundamental right, because it clearly is.

  • ||

    oh also, there is one other way i left out

    in states that have it - citizen initiative. iow, direct democracy.

    that's how some of the best (anti-liberal) legislation in WA has been passed such as the ban on racial preferences.

  • robc||

    Also, also:

    Fundamental rights are not determined by the court. They are determined by God/Nature.

    They existed before the constitution existed, they exist outside the dominion of the constitution, they will exist long after the constitution has gone away.

  • ||

    for the record, i find it odd that such a "fierce critic" of the police as you are would be so ignorant of how police policies and procedures, general orders manuals, etc. WORK

    they DEFINE much of how police work is done, you are obviously SO knowledgeable about police suckitude, but you've never bothered TO READ ANY OF THEM?

    they ARE public record y'know.

    you might actually, you know , EDUCATE yourself by reading one or more and then be able to defend your position from a (god forbid) position of knowledge,not abject ignorance. you can rely on the media (to include reason) to filter stuff for you OR you can go for actual source material

    we read the constitution, the federalist papers, etc. because we want to educate ourselves about our govt.

    if you want to be an educated critic of police, it might help to y'know read the readily available public documents that define their self imposed rules and limits on behavior

    iow, with all thy getting, get understanding

  • tarran||

    One could also make the case that such arrests violate federal law specifically, being false arrests under color of law (I think that's what they call it).

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The ACLU is doing something worthwhile for a change.


  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Anyone else notice how close this kid's name is to "voyeur"? I smell a rat.

  • Tim||

    Are you posting stoned again?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I am programmed to go deeper down the rabbit hole than your regular Hit & Runner. The only explanation for the mind-blowing dot-connecting which you see here that can make sense to you is that I'm stoned. As always, the only thing I'm high on is truth. And paint thinner.

  • Tim||

    You picked the wrong week to give up glue sniffing.

  • ||

    Did you ever notice how old the crowd at HnR is? No? That's a 30 year old callback right there folks.

    The sad part is, if Tim had a current reference nobody would get it.

  • Warty||

    Kids these days have references? I thought all they had was their texting and their phone games and their rap music and their backwards pants.

  • Tim||


  • ||


    It's Hammertime

  • ||

    Radical, man.

  • ||


  • Paul||





  • ||


  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You kids get off my thread.

  • ||

    Killer comment, dude!

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    Balko takes PZ Myers to task for joking about taking Cato out with tanks.

  • Warty||

    How can you people read that joyless old prick? He says even less worthwhile stuff than me. Why don't I get to have a devoted following of idiots, then?

  • Achtung Coma Baby||


  • Warty||

    No, no, PZ. Balko has lots of joy.

  • ||

    Don't sell yourself short, Warty. You do have a devoted following of idiots. They're called our trolls. Doesn't that make you happy?

  • Warty||

    But that's just one idiot, unless you want to count MNG. I need more minions.

  • ||

    What, now Jim doesn't count? Did you hear that, Jimbo? Warty doesn't think you're an idiot!

  • Warty||

    Which one's Jimbo again? I'll be upset if I've missed noticed some new idiot's attempts to irritate me.

  • ||

    Jim's OK. For someone from Kentucky.

  • ||

    Why don't I get to have a devoted following of idiots?

    Provide a link to your published works and we'll take a look.

  • Warty||

    There's the pitiful passive aggression that I crave. Delicious.

  • ||

    You don't get to have a following if you haven't done anything.
    "No" on the published works, then? Thought so.

  • Warty||

    What are you, autistic or something? I get the worst trolls.

  • ||

    Wanking doesn't count as "published." Sorry.

  • Warty||

    Did you think I was serious? That's just flabbergastingly stupid. Congratulations, champ.

  • ||

    It's like a fine, tasteless wine. Except it's a bitter wine. Oh so deliciously bitter.

  • ||

  • Harumph||

    Balko takes PZ Myers to task for joking about taking Cato out with tanks

    Balko needs a sense of humor, stat!

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    It's pretty evident that it's a joke (half-joke?). It's the lumping in of Cato with other pro-increased defense spending institutes that makes Myers look like an idiot.

  • Harumph||

    So? Is Myers that important? I've never heard of him.

  • ||

    It not that PZ Meyers is a moron--that's been understood for a while now among the non-brain-dead--; it's that he has such an enthusiasm for proving he is a moron over and over and over again. His stamina for self-negation is amazing.

  • ||

    my point is that if an officer is acting consistent with past practice/dept. policy you can't make a case for criminal intent,

    I'm not sure about this. The level of intent needed varies considerably. Sometimes (rarely?) it rises to the level of specific intent to break a law. Other times, it is much lower - the intent to commit an act that happens to be illegal.

    Don't know which level of intent applies to false imprisonment, assault, etc.

    The "I was following department policy" defense sounds perilously close to the "just following orders" defense.

  • ||

    RC i am well aware of this, but this is a judicial argument that probably won't win because of past practice, etc.

    it is simply an institutional problem in some jurisdictions and some agencies.

    there are three remedies

    1) case law (judges rule this conduct is illegal)
    2) statutory (legislature passes a law protecting this behavior)
    3) dept. policy

    ANY of the three will suffice

  • The Buggles||

    I am a camera.

  • Spartacus||

    I am a camera!

  • King Leonidas||

    This is a camera!

  • Gamera||

    (spits atomic ray. spins away)

  • Copland||

    Yes, and you killed the radio star. That's why you are a risk to LEOs' safety and must be a dog.

  • robc||

    Into the Lens was released on the Yes album Drama the year before it was released by the Buggles.

    Yeah, yeah, same people. But still.

  • robc||

    I guess the hyperpedantic reply to my pedantic reply would be that The Buggles version was actually titled "I am a Camera", unlike the Yes version.

  • ||

    me no leica

  • ||

    Am I the only that noticed he was detained, not arrested? Those are two different things.

    Regardless, I still don't understand why come cops have a problem with being recorded. I welcome anyone to record me doing a traffic stop or anything else during the course of my shift. First of all I can assure that they will be supremely bored 95% of the time. Filling out paperwork and driving around don't really make for great TV. Second, what is the big deal? The camera in my car and mic on my belt are recording everything already so why should I care if someone on the sidewalk wants to record me?

    Obviously these things are happening, but I don't understand it. None of the cops I work with or any in the surrounding area that I know of have any problem with being recorded.

    Dunphy's point about the right to record if you have the right to stand there is correct. When you physically get in the way, then there is an issue. Photography can also be a reason to talk to someone. Not when they're taking pictures of me, but if they are photographing a bank or secured building in the middle of the night? Yes I am going to talk to them.

  • Paul||

    The camera in my car and mic on my belt are recording everything already so why should I care if someone on the sidewalk wants to record me?

    Not necessarily.

    Officer Ian Birk was conveniently just out of dash-cam view when he shot man holding a vaguely shiny object in his hands, four times in the backside.

    I suspect that if we'd had a cell phone video of the actual shooting, Birk's shooting wouldn't have been merely ruled "unjustified" leading to firing and "possible other discipline", it would have led to criminal charges.

  • ||

    unlikely, considering the relevant RCW about good faith , which i commented on extensively.

    when it comes to DEADLY force (and not just force) WA state expressly prohibits the prosecution for police officers in certain respects, even if unjustified (again, has to do with good faith) etc.

    that's not a great law, but it's the law.

    i strongly doubt that videotape of the shooting would have shown sufficient evidence to criminally charge him GIVEN that statute, but i could be wrong.

  • robc||


    I think we covered this once before, but it is shocking me yet again.

    So, if I understand this, cops in WA are held to a LOWER standard than non-cops, not even an EQUAL standard?

    I know that is the way it tends to work out, but your law actually says that? I see now why you blame the legislature for everything (not that that is wrong) -- yours seems to be especially stupid.

  • ||

    when it comes to deadly (and only) deadly force, WA cops have a good faith that protection that non-cops don't have. (9a.16.040(3))

    note also that in WA, the burden is on the PROSECUTOR (cop or noncop defendant) to DISPROVE self -defense. and if the jury finds the guy not guilty AND rules it was self-defense, the state has to pay lawyer fees and lost wages...
    in the way one of the statutes is written, they have a slightly stricter criteria for when they CAN use deadly force. however, there is also a statute that gives them a good faith protection against prosecution

    iow, yes our law actually says that.

    here's 9a.16.050
    Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:

    (1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or

    (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he is.

    RCW 9A.16.030
    Homicide — When excusable.

    Homicide is excusable when committed by accident or misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means, without criminal negligence, or without any unlawful intent.

    The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:

    (1) Whenever necessarily used by a public officer in the performance of a legal duty, or a person assisting the officer and acting under the officer's direction;

    (2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;

    (3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;

    (4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;

    (5) Whenever used by a carrier of passengers or the carrier's authorized agent or servant, or other person assisting them at their request in expelling from a carriage, railway car, vessel, or other vehicle, a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful and reasonable regulation prescribed for the conduct of passengers, if such vehicle has first been stopped and the force used is not more than is necessary to expel the offender with reasonable regard to the offender's personal safety;

    (6) Whenever used by any person to prevent a mentally ill, mentally incompetent, or mentally disabled person from committing an act dangerous to any person, or in enforcing necessary restraint for the protection or restoration to health of the person, during such period only as is necessary to obtain legal authority for the restraint or custody of the person.

    RCW 9A.16.040
    Justifiable homicide or use of deadly force by public officer, peace officer, person aiding.

    (1) Homicide or the use of deadly force is justifiable in the following cases:

    (a) When a public officer is acting in obedience to the judgment of a competent court; or

    (b) When necessarily used by a peace officer to overcome actual resistance to the execution of the legal process, mandate, or order of a court or officer, or in the discharge of a legal duty.

    (c) When necessarily used by a peace officer or person acting under the officer's command and in the officer's aid:

    (i) To arrest or apprehend a person who the officer reasonably believes has committed, has attempted to commit, is committing, or is attempting to commit a felony;

    (ii) To prevent the escape of a person from a federal or state correctional facility or in retaking a person who escapes from such a facility; or

    (iii) To prevent the escape of a person from a county or city jail or holding facility if the person has been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a felony; or

    (iv) To lawfully suppress a riot if the actor or another participant is armed with a deadly weapon.

    (2) In considering whether to use deadly force under subsection (1)(c) of this section, to arrest or apprehend any person for the commission of any crime, the peace officer must have probable cause to believe that the suspect, if not apprehended, poses a threat of serious physical harm to the officer or a threat of serious physical harm to others. Among the circumstances which may be considered by peace officers as a "threat of serious physical harm" are the following:

    (a) The suspect threatens a peace officer with a weapon or displays a weapon in a manner that could reasonably be construed as threatening; or

    (b) There is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed any crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm.

    Under these circumstances deadly force may also be used if necessary to prevent escape from the officer, where, if feasible, some warning is given.

    (3) A public officer or peace officer shall not be held criminally liable for using deadly force without malice and with a good faith belief that such act is justifiable pursuant to this section.

    (4) This section shall not be construed as:

    (a) Affecting the permissible use of force by a person acting under the authority of RCW 9A.16.020 or 9A.16.050; or

    (b) Preventing a law enforcement agency from adopting standards pertaining to its use of deadly force that are more restrictive than this section.

    RCW 9A.16.110
    Defending against violent crime — Reimbursement.

    (1) No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.

    (2) When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense. This reimbursement is not an independent cause of action. To award these reasonable costs the trier of fact must find that the defendant's claim of self-defense was sustained by a preponderance of the evidence. If the trier of fact makes a determination of self-defense, the judge shall determine the amount of the award.

    (3) Notwithstanding a finding that a defendant's actions were justified by self-defense, if the trier of fact also determines that the defendant was engaged in criminal conduct substantially related to the events giving rise to the charges filed against the defendant the judge may deny or reduce the amount of the award. In determining the amount of the award, the judge shall also consider the seriousness of the initial criminal conduct.

    Nothing in this section precludes the legislature from using the sundry claims process to grant an award where none was granted under this section or to grant a higher award than one granted under this section.

    (4) Whenever the issue of self-defense under this section is decided by a judge, the judge shall consider the same questions as must be answered in the special verdict under subsection (4) [(5)] of this section.

    (5) Whenever the issue of self-defense under this section has been submitted to a jury, and the jury has found the defendant not guilty, the court shall instruct the jury to return a special verdict in substantially the following form:

  • Coeus||

    Photography can also be a reason to talk to someone. Not when they're taking pictures of me, but if they are photographing a bank or secured building in the middle of the night? Yes I am going to talk to them.

    You watch too many movies. If they're smart enough to case a place, they're smart enough to find pictures online. All you're doing is harassing them.

  • ||

    and you have too much faith in the intelligence of criminals.

    yes, they DO stupid shit like that. i could give story after story, but the reality is that many, if not most of them, are often NOT smart enough to do what you say

    lemme give you an example. it's relatively easy to encrypt files, yet a staggering # of child pr0n etc. suspects, when we do search warrants have tons of unencrypted child pr0n crap on their computers and no (apparent) encrypted files.

    the entire french connection investigation was started because a moron was throwing around money in a bar like it was going out of style and doing other reckless shit that made an off-duty detective suspicious enough to look into it.

    the son of sam was caught (eventually) because of PARKING tickets he got near crime scenes.


    much like 911 truthers engage in the fallacy of the allpowerfulcompetent govt. to pull off such conspiracies, you are engaging in a similar fallacy assuming that because something is stupid as fuck, means a criminal won't do it

  • robc||

    The proof of your point is the fact that anyone with the brain to pull off most crimes correctly could make more money not being a criminal (or being a white collar criminal).

  • robc||

    Of course, that all goes out when the purpose of the crime is terror/violence instead of money.

  • ||

    and consider recently that for the first time in history, the amount of $$$$ stolen/diverted etc. in online crime outstripped "real world" crime and the trend aint reversing

    a moron would rob a liquor store (or even worse - bank) at gunpoint to get (usually) a relatively small amount of money and risk massive penalties as well as (in the case of banks) concurrent federal AND local investigations when they could make tons more money ripping people off online

    fingerprints have been around a long time, yet guys will STILL plan and execute burglaries and NOT wear gloves.

    we don't (usually) catch the smart ones

  • Coeus||

    Can you think of any that actually involved what we were talking about? Or you just mindlessly defending harassment again?

  • ||

    i'm not defending anything. you are reflexively argumentative. i am saying the claim that no criminal intent on doing nefarious deeds with information gained from photographing infrastructure would be stupid enough to do it in sight of the public (iow officers) is a ridiculous claim.

    criminals do stupid shit all the time, and that includes terrorists.

    detentions for ANYTHING need to be consistent with constitutional standards. that's the point.

  • Coeus||

    In that case, you should be able to find at least one example of some brave officer thwarting the criminal photographers activities. If not, then it would seem that my statement stands. I made a statement about a very specific circumstance, which you countered with a ton of off-topic crap. Yet I'm supposedly the one who's reflexively argumentative?

  • ||

    "The footage was recorded on a man's mobile phone as he travelled around London in July, 2008. Five men were arrested after he was caught filming and acting suspiciously at Liverpool Street station, police said. "

    it's exceedingly rare (and note i am not supporting the harassment of photographers, i am saying your claim that legitimate terrorists would just get the photos online and not do their own photography is not correct. sometimes they will, sometimes they won't)

  • Coeus||

    From the article:

    "Two men were subsequently convicted of a huge mobile phone and luxury goods fraud scam"

    Bravo. After harassing five men for taking pictures, two were convicted of a completely unrelated crime. But the police assure us that they were acutally planning a terroist attack. Sorry, try again.

  • ||

    The police said the CPS had decided there was sufficient evidence to bring terrorism charges, but it was not in the public interest because they would have received the same sentence as for fraud.

    Police believe the men may have been a fundraising and research arm of an al Qaeda-linked group in North Africa.

  • Coeus||

    The police said the CPS had decided there was sufficient evidence to bring terrorism charges, but it was not in the public interest because they would have received the same sentence as for fraud.

    Police believe the men may have been a fundraising and research arm of an al Qaeda-linked group in North Africa.

    Yes, they say a lot of things when fighting for their right to harass random people. Would it suprise you to believe that I'm a little skeptical of taking the police's word at face value? You did read the part where they released this information in response to people getting irate at their harassment of photographers, didn't you?

  • ||

    Keep in mind I'm not talking about confiscating their cameras or taking them to jail. I'm talking about speaking to them for a few minutes to find out why they are taking pictures at that place at an unusual time. I don't see how that qualifies as harassment. Using your argument a person who actually was a terrorist could take those pictures and trust that no one would bother him because why would a terrorist be taking pictures when he can just get them online? So why should I talk to anyone? If I see someone trying to break into a car do I just assume it's the owner and he locked his keys inside? If everyone worked on the honor system I wouldn't have a job. I think we both know that crime occurs though.

  • Coeus||

    Keep in mind I'm not talking about confiscating their cameras or taking them to jail. I'm talking about speaking to them for a few minutes to find out why they are taking pictures at that place at an unusual time. I don't see how that qualifies as harassment.

    If they're not allowed to walk away while you're talking, then they are being detained. If they are being detained for taking pictures in public, then they are being harassed.

    If I see someone trying to break into a car do I just assume it's the owner and he locked his keys inside?

    Cars get stolen and cleaned out all the time, and cops catch the thieves in the act. There is proof of this. In fact, there's a very high correlation between breaking into a car and stealing (the car or it's contents). I'm still waiting for the proof that a cop has halted a terrorist attack by harassing photographers even once (proof, not assertions from self-serving PDs).

    And if you finally find that proof (though I'm skeptical that any exists), it's only useful to you if you feel that you should be able to detain and question any person engaging in any legal activity that has even once proven to be linked to a crime.

    It may also be possible to reduce crime by detaining people legally open-carrying for questioning. Doesn't mean it's right.

  • ||

    So I can assume by your logic that if you were the owner of a business and you went by there at say, 3am, long after it's closed, and someone was standing there on your private property taking pictures that you wouldn't think anything at all was unusual about that? Or if someone was on your front lawn taking pictures of your house?

    Still keep in mind, I have no problem with being recorded while I'm working. Take all the pictures and video you want as long as you aren't physically in the way. Part of our job is to question things that are out of the ordinary. So, yes, if you are taking pictures of someplace at an unusual time I'm going to wonder why. If you're walking through a parking lot/garage looking into cars in the middle of the night, I'm going to wonder why. This does not at all mean you are committing a crime, but I am certainly free to watch you to determine what you're doing. 99% of the time it's nothing and I drive away. Sometimes I go talk to you and 99% of those times it's nothing and I drive away. Sometimes it is a crime though. If I never wondered why someone was doing something, and I never talked to anyone, I would never catch any criminals, because the rest of the time all you do is call us after it happens. Then you wonder why we weren't there to stop it, even though you don't want us around.

  • Coeus||

    So I can assume by your logic that if you were the owner of a business and you went by there at say, 3am, long after it's closed, andsomeone was standing there on your private property taking pictures that you wouldn't think anything at all was unusual about that? Or if someone was on your front lawn taking pictures of your house?

    You could assume that. You'd be incredibly wrong and have absolutly no logic skills if you did, but no one's stopping you.

    Both of those are crimes. It's called trespassing. Taking a picture of a building while standing on public property is not a crime. This is basic. Christ, if you guys don't know the difference between legal and illegal, how the fuck do you expect the general public to?

    Sometimes I go talk to you and 99% of those times it's nothing and I drive away. Sometimes it is a crime though.

    If you actually think that 1 out of 100 people you harass for taking pictures is a terrorist, then there's not a whole lot of rationality there for me to appeal to, is there, Agent Bower?

  • ||

    That was my original point. The photography is not illegal, but where you are and when you are there might be. Which is why photographing police is not illegal, but where you are while you're doing it might be. Just because you have a camera in your hand doesn't mean you can stand wherever you feel like to use it. Record me from the public sidewalk or from private property? Fine. Record me while standing in the middle of the road? Not OK. Record me while standing close enough to physically get in my way? Not OK.

    This is not a hard concept. When you have a camera you are free to go wherever anyone else can go. You don't get special privileges when holding a camera.

    Also, talking to someone is not harassing them. Would you shout harassment if I just stopped to ask how your day was?

  • Coeus||

    That was my original point.

    Then you left out your original point in your original post. Try to watch that in the future. You said if a person was taking a picture of a bank or a secured building. You never said a word about trespassing. The people getting hassled (at least the majority of the articles I've seen) were not trespassing.

    Also, talking to someone is not harassing them. Would you shout harassment if I just stopped to ask how your day was?

    If I'm not allowed to ignore you and walk away under threat physical harm and or arrest, than it's harassment. Look at what happened to that ex-NFL player who tried to walk away when the cops were "just talking" to him. I already covered this earlier in a comment addressed directly to you.

  • ||

    I still contend this is not a widespread issue. I know guys like you tend toward hyperbole though. "The War on Cameras"? Come on. If that was true there wouldn't be any footage of police anywhere, and yet I look on YouTube and it's all over the place. The vast majority of them do not involve the cops preventing anyone from recording, and I'm not including dash cam footage. It really isn't that big of a deal to 99.99% of cops. If it really was there would be hundreds of thousands of these incidents if not millions. I invite you to record any police interaction you see and I guarantee you will be bored to tears very soon.

  • Coeus||

    I still contend this is not a widespread issue. I know guys like you tend toward hyperbole though. "The War on Cameras"? Come on.

    Damn, you are just a concentrated ball of fail, aren't you? I never said that. I didn't write the article. Learn how quotes work. And as for hyperbole...

    Sometimes I go talk to you and 99% of those times it's nothing and I drive away. Sometimes it is a crime though.

    And with that, Agent Bower, I rest my case, and leave this dead thread.

  • robc||

    Since I give him shit most of the time, just want to say: I agree with Dunphy.

    Oh, and looked up KY law - its unclear, because the law is vagueish, so I cant tell whether a taser is considered a "deadly weapon" or a "dangerous instrument" (but it is one of the two). However, it doesnt matter because everywhere else in the law that "deadly weapon" is mentioned it is followed by "or dangerous instrument", so legally speaking, they are functionally equivalent.

  • Warty||

    Your horrifying headline of the afternoon: Male breast reduction surgery becoming increasingly more common.

    But for men and boys who have the condition, it isn't funny at all. It can be a source of mortification -- and a reason many men never take their shirts off in front of anyone.



  • zoltan||

    How is that cheaper than getting off their asses and eating better?

  • Coeus||

    Soy and some essential oils have been known to cause moobs, even among the skinny.

  • T||

    Estrogen is naturally present in soy products, so moobs is just one of many unpleasant side effects from soy.

  • Warty||

    The cure for moobs is very simple.

  • nike basketball||

    is good

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u


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