The Police's War on Citizen Cameras Boldly Slogs On…


From NPR via Instapundit:

Consider what happened to Khaliah Fitchette. Last year, Fitchette, who was 16 at the time, was riding a city bus in Newark, N.J., when two police officers got on to deal with a man who seemed to be drunk. Fitchette decided this would be a good moment to take out her phone and start recording.

"One of the officers told me to turn off my phone, because I was recording them," she said. "I said no. And then she grabbed me and pulled me off the bus to the cop car, which was behind the bus."

The police erased the video from Fitchette's phone. She was handcuffed and spent the next two hours in the back of a squad car before she was released. No charges were filed.

Fitchette is suing the Newark Police Department for violating her civil rights. The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union helped bring the lawsuit….

The story also quotes a former cop, Tom Nolan, who is now teaching at Boston University. Nolan is a critic of police who resist the sort of oversight that comes with ubiquitous hand-held recording devices.

"The police will get the message when municipal governments and police departments have got to write out substantial settlement checks," he says. "Standing by itself, that video camera in the hands of some teenager is not going to constitute sufficient grounds for a lawful arrest."

More here.

Read Reason's January cover story, "The War on Cameras" and check out the author, Radley Balko, talking about the "3 Worst Cases of Police Abuse That Came to Light in 2011":