Technology

Citizen-Shot Photographs Show Apparent Police Execution

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Human rights activists in Kenya are calling for reforms to the country's law enforcement system after Kenya's largest newspaper published citizen-shot photographs showing what appears to be an extra-judicial execution by police in Nairobi.

Like the 2009 protests in Iran, this yet another example of how advances in personal technology are serving to keep governments across the world more accountable. One of the best things a third-world country like Kenya could do is institute protections for people like the photographer who took those pictures, to ensure that people who keep corrupt or brutal developing-world government officials accountable don't suffer repercussions for their efforts. Ideally, such protections would also include punishment for any government official who does try to punish a citizen like the one who took those photographs.

In completely unrelated news, Florida teen William Kilgore was arrested and jailed last week for videotaping police officers in the town of Tarpon Springs. When Kilgore's friend Tommy Frane pulled out his cell phone to record that arrest, Tarpon Springs police officers then confiscated his cell phone, too.

Also completely unrelated, as I pointed out over the weekend, over the next several months at least three people will go to trial in Illinois for recording police officers, including one woman who was arrested for recording her attempt to report an alleged sexual assault by a police officer. All face felony charges that carry 4-15 years in prison.

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  1. All face felony charges that carry 4-15 years in prison.

    At least attorneys are getting work in this tough economy. So there’s that.

  2. Are you saying we shouldn’t aspire to be like Kenya ?

    1. Maybe we will wave to Kenya as we pass them travelling in opposite directions.

    2. No, we should aspire to be like SOMALIA!!!!1!!1!!

  3. One of the best things a third-world country like Kenya Illinois could do is institute protections for people like the photographer who took those pictures, to ensure that people who keep corrupt or brutal developing-world government officials accountable don’t suffer repercussions for their efforts. Ideally, such protections would also include punishment for any government official who does try to punish a citizen like the one who took those photographs.

  4. Radley,
    You friggin’ rock. Big time.

  5. The mugshot ad in the FL story rocks.
    Also, the reporter and commenters seem to be in favor of the cops facing civil liability. Compare and contrast with IL reactions.

    1. Yeah, the FL reporter actually interviewed a pro-1A lawyer. Imagine that.

  6. Are the criminals responsible for this evil going to be extradited to Illinois where justice can be dispensed? I mean, really, can you believe those mundanes are getting away with taking pictures like that?

  7. I read the first comment at the Kenya story, and it was in support of the cops…I’m…not sure there is a word for what I’m feeling.

    1. Sick to the stomach.

  8. Those guys in Kenya were probably speeding, thereby deserving summary execution.

    1. Imagine had one of them had a small, closed pocket knife and a pice of wood.

      1. Or be walking suspiciously outside a Tacoma Wal-Mart with a teenager.

        1. Or he had a “Kilamajaro Dew” in his pocket.

    2. Or had bottles of that deadly liquid Mt. Dew on them.

      1. That just merits a good beating

        1. Just let it sit for a while afterward… otherwise it’s mountain dew all over your shirt.

          1. Crap. Next time, read through all comments first…

  9. damn birthers

  10. Cameras and cell phones– asymmetrically distributed information– will be the downfall of tyrannies everywhere.

  11. Whoever published the Kenyan photo is obviously a self serving anti-Kenyan egomaniac and the publication of the photo may well lead to brave Kenyan police finding themselves in further danger than they already face on a daily basis.

  12. I find it depressing as hell that the citizens of Illinois apparently have no problem with their fellows being sent to prison for 4-15 years for taping anything, much less a public servant in a public place.

    1. Yeah – this kind of just makes me think, “Fuck you, citizens of IL – you’ll put up with this shit, all the criminality, the ridiculous gun laws – then you deserve it.”

      Fuckers…

      1. Clarifying – “criminality within the gummint”

      2. then you deserve it.”

        Rahm Emmnuel was leading in the polls…

  13. How about the extra-judicial police executions here in the US? Virginia, to be precise.

    Story is they were setting up to arrest a guy who was engaging in small-time gambling. The guy basically was bar-betting. An undercover cop lured him outside his house to pay the cop $1,500 in winnings. The guy was standing in his sock feet in his driveway when the SWAT team came driving up. One cop was assigned to point his gun at the guy to “control” him. Shortly after getting out of his car, however, he shot the guy. The bullet bounced off his spine and pierced his heart. He died right there.

    The cop claimed he was hit by the car door as he was getting out and accidentally discharged his gun, but expert tesimony and a digital reconstruction of the scene said that was impossible, based on the distance, the position of the dead guy and the angle of trajectory. Fairfax County settled with the family for $2 million to avoid going to trial. There also was some indication that the cops sought to bury some evidence that the guy had a cell phone and the cop mistook the cell phone for a gun and shot him on that basis.

    Here’s an older story about it.

    1. One cop was assigned to point his gun at the guy to “control” him.

      Great. Cop doctrine is to violate the most basic gun safety rules. What a bunch of idiots.

      1. Not idiots. Cowards. Cops are cowards.

      2. Which is why they should be allowed to have better guns than the rest of us.

  14. To make it clear, the Illinois cases deal only with AUDIO recording. In other words it’s legal to video but if you capture any AUDIO you’re in deep shit. This is the case whether it is the cops your videoing or your friends in the park and you catch someone else’s conversation. The women filing the complaint was only recording audio.

    1. At the risk of being a correcting jagoff, it is the use of an “eavesdropping device” that makes it an arrestable offense under the IL statute. An “eavesdropping device” is defined as “any device capable of being used to hear or record oral conversation.”

      So, if you use a video recorder with audio capabilities, I’d imagine you’re caught in the net, though I didn’t look at any case law to see if there were any precedents. The way the statute is worded, it doesn’t sound like merely having the mute button on will suffice. Which makes it even worse.

  15. Wow those Tarpon Springs cops either stupid, extra arrogant, or completely uninformed about the sunshine laws in Florida. The police don’t get nearly the protections they do in the northern states. Hopefully the officer’s names will be posted everywhere, and then promptly punished and sued. Sadly my fellow Floridians will have to pay. But the bigger message we can send in my home land then the less this crap will happen down here.

  16. Oh ya and the in-dash cams will be available soon. They don’t often get the luxury of deleting those.

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