Police Abuse

Boston Charges "Photography is Not a Crime" Activist with Felony Witness Intimidation for Publishing a Public Information Officers' Work Phone Number, Suggesting Maybe People Use It

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The lead up to this classic case of police intimidation is a long convoluted story, told in detail at Carlos Miller's Photography is Not a Crime blog, involving a case of a Boston cop roughing up someone videotaping him in public. 

The investigation into that case led to an associate of Miller's, Taylor Hardy, being charged with violating wiretapping statues for allegedly taping a conversation on the phone with Angelene Richardson, a Boston police public information officer. Hardy insists he did tell her he was taping. (He had posted on YouTube, but since taken down, a portion of their taped conversation.)

Miller now explains:

When Hardy informed me had received the notice of complaint from the Boston Police Department, ordering him to attend a hearing in front of a magistrate judge, I wrote about it on this site, encouraging readers to call Richardson and ask her to drop the complaint.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 10.07.48 PM

After all, as a media spokeswoman, she should understand that all conversations with the media, unless other stated, are on the record. In fact, she should insist reporters record her comments to ensure accuracy.

That led to numerous PINAC readers calling Richardson, which obviously is something that unsettles this public information officer, suggesting that perhaps she is in the wrong line of work.

And that led to Detective Moore filing a criminal complaint against me for witness intimidation, which I received Friday and is posted below, claiming that I caused Richardson all kinds of pain and grief because I posted her publicly available work contact info on my blog.

He also threatened to charge any readers who called her, making me think that perhaps the Boston Police Department is recording all incoming calls because how else would they gather the evidence to charge my readers for witness intimidation?

Richardson's office number is on the Boston police department's public web site. She's a public information officer. Encouraging people to call her and giving our her number is a felony in the Boston police department's mind, because she has previously decided to use her powers to file a complaint to intimidate a journalist.

Honestly, once we know and understand that "the police are our friends," what other questions would there be to ask, really?

Reason on Carlos Miller. Our January 2011 Radley Balko Reason classic on "The War on Cameras."

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  1. What would mass calling accomplish other than encourage the PD to double down and flay the author as an example? It’s not like this is a controversy-averse business trying to maintain friendly public relations–obviously, in retrospect, given their PR hack’s threat.

    1. Now I have to wonder if it’s wise to tell people to call their congressmen…

      1. Nah, that’s intimidating the witless.

        1. Ah. I stand corrected.

  2. Dude, if you’re going to write a parody of police/governmental idiocy and unthinking evil please try to make it a little believable. I mean, no one can be this fucked up, right?

    Right?

  3. What part of “right to privacy” don’t you understand?

    You can’t seriously expect a police department public relations specialist to deal with just any random member of the public in the course of her work day. That’s crazy.

    1. That’s where I always used to get confused. I thought these people served the public and then I came to understand that they actually serve the Public, by which they mean the other people in their government tribe, and, grudgingly, members of other government tribes. Once I grasped this the setup totally makes sense.

      1. serve the Public

        IT’S A COOKBOOK!

        1. Now how many people do you think are going to get this reference? 🙂

          1. I got it.

          2. Lots? Plenty of people watch The Twilight Zone.

            1. Wasn’t that also in the first season treehouse of horror?

              1. How To Cook Humans
                How To Cook For Humans
                How To Cook Forty Humans
                How To Cook For Forty Humans

          3. I got it.

          4. Do you understand where you are?

            This place is geekier than when geek went to geektown.

            1. This place is geekier than when geek went to geektown.”

              i thought we were gayer than the gayest gays in the gaydobah system?

            2. This place is geekier than 8 geeks geeking 9 geeks

          5. I’ve never even seen the show that spawned the reference and I understand it. It’s part of the culture.

  4. And that led to Detective Moore filing a criminal complaint against me for witness intimidation, which I received Friday and is posted below, claiming that I caused Richardson all kinds of pain and grief because I posted her publicly available work contact info on my blog.

    Nothing is more intimidating than having to answer to the people who pay your salary.

  5. With just the slightest tweaking this would make an awesome Onion piece.

    1. The Onion really needs to do an issue where the news stories are all true and see if anyone notices.

      1. do an issue where the news stories are all true

        That would be a short issue.

  6. I HATE it when people call me at work. Mostly because they want to talk about work. I wish I had police powers to put jackboot to their necks like the BPD.

  7. Who intimidates the intimidator?

    1. Richard Petty?

  8. OT: Healthcare.gov is good for one thing – porn.

    CGI Federal, the IT contractor responsible for the site said the obscene content was uploaded by a disgruntled employee.
    Ken Renynolds who is a spokesman for CGI Federal told CNN the problem with the site has been resolved. “This is an isolated incident,” Reynolds said. “The employee responsible for the obscene material has since been terminated. One bad apple does not speak for an entire company. I assure the American people that their privacy and information is safe and secure as always.”
    – See more at: http://nationalreport.net/obsc…..ECVHU.dpuf

    1. Almost good enough to be true…

      1. Have you ever seen Soviet porn?

    2. Lulz. Seems like if you were going to do that, you’d want to have some really terrible porn. Goatse or something like that. Go for something entirely horrible. Or earn a place in the anonymous pantheon by rick-rolling the entire country.

      Don’t worry, he definitely didn’t put a back door or logger, or take a copy of a DB on his way out, though.

      1. Yeah, I was thinking if it was me I woulda put up the one with the ugly dude in women’s lingerie sticking his tiny dick in the tailpipe of a car.

        I am sure with a little looking I could find some equally awful stuff

    3. Is one of the images from Flynt’s Sarah Palin parody?

  9. It’s so hard to read these stories without completely losing my temper.

    I wish some president would make an issue out of this. Nobody’s going to get elected to the White House by running against the police, but maybe as a reelection issue? Some Republican should make a national issue out of cleaning up the country’s police departments.

    1. Some Republican should make a national issue out of cleaning up the country’s police departments.

      I see you’ve never met a republican.

      1. They might do something like the Christopher Commission.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C…..Commission

        You know, but better?

        And I’m hoping the Republicans are in a rebranding phase. And if they want to make themselves look like they’re not so dismissive of the problems of minorities? there’s your issue.

        It isn’t being addressed by the Democrats. Hell, they’re all public employees anyway, and the cops you piss off are probably just gonna be in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles, anyway.

        1. Well, there’s the whole republican-voters problem.

          The republican voters I know wouldn’t vote for some hippy-type fag that wants to hamstring the heroes in blue by letting the scumbags and illegal spics run free to terrorize nice white people over the law and order, lantern jawed AMERICAN that just wants the boys in blue to have the tools to get home safely to their families every night- *breathes* -in a primary.

          1. So, like Patterico, for example?

            Ok, cheap shot there, but GBN hits the nail on the head: The elephants don’t like our principles much more than the donkeys do.

            I haven’t lived everywhere in America but I’ve sampled a good bit from the NE, to rural Deep South, to Pacific NW and the biggest difference I’ve noticed is the one in flavor, rather than substance.

          2. “Well, there’s the whole republican-voters problem.”

            That’s why I’m hopin’, maybe, it’s a reelection issue. Next time a Republican president is running for reelection, and already has all the support from his own party, maybe cleaning up the nation’s police departments becomes…something of a wedge issue.

            If cleaning up the nation’s police departments slips a wedge between civil rights leaders and the public employee unions, then maybe that’d get some traction with swing voters.

            Anyway, it would be a lot harder to paint the Republican incumbent as being insensitive to minority issues (in the eyes of swing voters)–if he or she is out there trying to stop the police from violating people’s civil rights.

          3. That’s pretty much how Crazy Joe runs his reelection campaigns:

            “My boys are the only thing standing between the reefer-crazed mexican rapist and your granddaughter. Vote for me.”

    2. So you want the feds to usurp state and local powers even more? Unless they’re violating civil rights based on membership in a protected class, there’s jack shit the Constitution authorizes the feds to do.

      1. Police abuse of power can often verge into legitimate civil rights abuses, particularly when they’re stopping people from taping them in public. That’s a clear violation of the first amendment, and the federal government therefore has the ability to get involved when there are legitimate violations of constitutional rights going on.

        1. The feds (meaning executive branch) can only get involved if rights are being violated based on membership in a protected class. “Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation” — it’s there in the 14th and other amendments for a reason. The amendment itself does not prescribe federal action.

          1. The feds (meaning executive branch) can only get involved if rights are being violated based on membership in a protected class. “Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation” — it’s there in the 14th and other amendments for a reason.

            Begging the question of whether or not protected classes and the CRA are even tangentially related to the actual language of the 14th Amendment

            Protip: They aren’t.

          2. Wrong.

            See Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
            Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

            This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.

            This law further prohibits a person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation or custom to willfully subject or cause to be subjected any person to different punishments, pains, or penalties, than those prescribed for punishment of citizens on account of such person being an alien or by reason of his/her color or race.

            Acts under “color of any law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under “color of any law,” the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs.

            cont…

            1. Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to one year, or both, and if bodily injury results or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined or imprisoned up to ten years or both, and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

              Notice that, in the second paragraph, the persons of class language is an addition, not a limiting factor. The feds can come down on police for violating the constitutional rights of anyone.

          3. Um, Dipshit the Feds can get involved without a single new law being written.

            There are no exemptions in Federal Civil Rights laws for Police or other State agents.

            If a President wanted to make an issue out of this he could start arresting every cop who pulled a stunt like this and charging them with civil rights violations

      2. Oh Christ, here we go. Another Sunday of listening to Tulpa’s inane ramblings.

        1. Another Sunday of having to deal with people rewriting the Constitution in their fevered minds.

        2. Fuck that, he thinks he’s found safe haven late at night and on weekends, when people have too much actual stuff going on to come i here and point out what a fucking lying idiot he is.

          I’m out, I’m doing something productive today.

      3. The peons are trying to assert that they have rights? There’s no need to fear, underdog shooter is here!

      4. there’s jack shit the Constitution authorizes the feds to do.

        Who created the problem of qualified immunity? You take that away and let’s see how fast cops learn to take an extra breath and think for a change.

  10. Cops are giant pussies when they don’t have overwhelming force on their side? What a shock.

  11. “He also threatened to charge any readers who called her, making me think that perhaps the Boston Police Department is recording all incoming calls because how else would they gather the evidence to charge my readers for witness intimidation?”

    It does sound like maybe they’re recording incoming calls. So, yeah, there’s the Fourth Amendment, but there’s a First Amendment, too.

    Let’s take a look at the First Amendment:

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

    Petitioning the government for a redress of grievances is a First Amendment right, and if calling up a public official to complain about what she’s doing in office doesn’t constitute petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances, then I don’t know what does.

    Somebody should call the FBI. Aren’t they supposed to investigate civil rights violations?

    1. how else would they gather the evidence to charge my readers for witness intimidation?

      Caller ID, or call trace if they convince the phone company to cooperate (which they would). Seriously, I would have thought Miller wasn’t technologically-illiterate.

      1. All Caller i.d. proves is that someone called you; it provides zero proof of the witness-intimidation content of said call.

        1. Or rather, more specifically, proves a call was made from a number; not even proof of a specific individual making the call.

          1. If the owner of the number didn’t make the call, hopefully they have evidence of forced entry into their home/lost cell phone or will provide the identity of the person who made the call using their phone.

            1. Wow you’re fucking stupid.

            2. Why would they need to do that, when minus a recording there is no evidence that the call constituted witness intimidation?

        2. Yeah, you’d think an asshole who makes a point to call someone else out on their technoligical illiteracy6 wouldn’t be so technologically illiterate.

    2. Petitioning the government for a redress of grievances is a First Amendment right, and if calling up a public official to complain about what she’s doing in office doesn’t constitute petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances, then I don’t know what does.

      Of course, but if the calls were threatening or obscene there aren’t First Amendment protections for that, at least according to current case law. Also the civil rights violations the FBI can investigate are only those based on a protected class.

      1. “Of course, but if the calls were threatening or obscene there aren’t First Amendment protections for that”

        “”He also threatened to charge any readers who called her”

        Read it until you stop having shitty reading comprehension.

        1. That would put him into an infinite reading loop. Which, granted, would stop his inane postings.

      2. Sometimes, Tulpa, I think you look for people to disagree with–before you look at what you’re disagreeing with.

        1. Sometimes, Tulpa, I think you look for people to disagree with–before you look at what you’re disagreeing with.

          Ya think?

          Tulpa comes here to argue. He doesn’t care what he’s arguing about or whether it’s relevant. He is simply an asshole.

          1. Ahhhrg, don’t feed it, FdA!

            1. Calling it the disgusting piece of shit that it is, isn’t feeding it.

              It wants to argue.

            2. Don’t complain. I’ve suggested not feeding the Saturday trolls, and everybody seems to hate me for it. 🙂

              1. Good point, and come to think of it Tulpa is the only troll here that has been silenced (briefly.. oh too very briefly) with enough negative feedback.

                Moar plz, FdA.

                1. I wish this comments section had an ignore button…

                  1. Get Chrome + Reasonable…it does.

        2. Bull. I’m trying to get people to agree with me.

          Did you notice the “of course”, or did you respond before looking?

          1. We agree with everything you say.

            Palin’s Buttplug| 9.2.13 @ 5:57PM |#

            If everyone agreed with me I would quit posting.

            Oh, wait, wrong asshole. Though, “If the plug fits…” is apropos.

          2. Let me try it:

            “Of course”, if they fired anti-matter missiles at the moon and destroyed it utterly they would be guilty of destroying public property.

            I’m not sure it seemed to work. My statement still is not relevant to the discussion.

  12. Here’s where I regale you all with the tale of how I was threatened with arrest by the Boston Police Department for the awful crime of singing on a public sidewalk.

    I was standing on the southwest corner of Hereford and Beacon St on the sunny afternoon of 30 May, 2010 about a quarter after 11 o’clock and was informed by half a dozen BPD officers, who had a paddy-wagon with them, that I would be arrested if I continued my public performance of Rich Astley’s opus “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

    My apologies for not getting arrested on principle, but I had car-pooled from across the country and didn’t want to strand the rest of the crew while I screamed obscenities at a Boston magistrate, so instead I walked a few blocks away and drank beer at one of the many, many bars they have there. People were watching sports on the many, many telescreens.

    When the Watertown invasion occurred, I was not the least bit surprised. Fuck Boston. Fuck Massachussetts. May you all die in the camps for your “greater good”.

    1. s/afternoon/day

      Sorry, used it as a figure of speech while forgetting it had a temporal definition as well.

    2. You tried to rickroll the Boston PD?

      1. The Rickroll was directed at the Church of Scientology across the street. The Boston PD stood in the way of the Rickroll.

        Because.

  13. Land of the Free.

  14. Here was a comment on Ann Althouse’s blog:

    Bob Ellison said…
    All of the resources and money in the world are community-owned. It’s only natural and moral to require sharing them. We allow a degree of inequality in order to motivate people, but that inequality must be controlled and tempered, especially when it gets too big.

    Don’t you dare call progressives communists though. They just want to share all of our communal resources, which is completely different than communism.

    1. So when I walk into that guy’s house with a gun and take his laptop, he’d be fine with it?

      1. That’s different. The laptop is his.

      2. Don’t you know the difference between private property and personal property? That’s ok, neither do I.

        1. That’s easy. Private property is property that your neighbors can vote to have the government thugs take away from you. Personal property is the property only the government thugs can decide to take away from you.

      3. playa, you dont understand what sharing is. To a commie sharing means him taking what is yours. He keeps what is his.

        1. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.

    2. Not that I agree with him, but he seems to be talking about a more flexible thing than socialism/communism. It would, of course, fall prey to some of the same diseases.

      1. “Flexible” meaning unmoored from even the scant restraints imposed by traditional democratic socialism?

        “Sharing” public commons is not a call to fair-minded egalitarianism, it’s a plea to entrust in TEAM BLUE new and innovative federal powers.

      2. Not that I agree with him, but he seems to be talking about a more flexible thing than socialism/communism. It would, of course, fall prey to some of the same diseases.

        Let me explain the “flexibility” for you Tulpa, since you are clearly too stupid to get it:

        His stuff is his stuff, he earned it because he was motivated to work hard. It’s the stuff owned by everyone else that is “community-owned” and needs to be controlled and tempered.

        Members of the Supreme Soviet had their dachas and Chaikas after all, to reward them for their sacrifices to the People.

  15. “Honestly, once we know and understand that “the police are our friends,” what other questions would there be to ask, really?”

    Uh…who needs enemies?

  16. I’m trying to get people to agree with me.

    It’s not working.

    Although with stuff like this:
    If the owner of the number didn’t make the call, hopefully they have evidence of forced entry into their home/lost cell phone or will provide the identity of the person who made the call using their phone.

    you are definitely building a consensus of opinion.

    1. I’m afraid there already is a consensus about Tulpa – just not the one he claims to want.

      1. You mean he really does get a paycheck from the NSA to spew stuff here?

  17. We allow a degree of inequality in order to motivate people, but that inequality must be controlled and tempered, especially when it gets too big.

    Diana Moon Glampers, please come to the white courtesy telephone.

  18. The arrests, beatings, tazerings, dog killings, and shootings of unarmed citizens will continue until moral improves.

  19. The public sector is the new aristocracy. It’s done.

    1. The public sector is the new aristocracy. It’s done.

      Eh. If we’re going to use feudalism I’d say more that the political class is the royalty, the moochers (cronyists) are the nobility, and the public sectors are merely men-at-arms.

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