Brickbats

Brickbat: No Trespassing

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Cameraman
Toma Iulian / Dreamstime.com

A Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officer charged Roger Alan Morris with trespassing and obstruction for filming Franklin County High School from a nearby sidewalk and for refusing to identify himself when confronted by the officer and a Franklin County sheriff's deputy.

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  1. Papers Please.

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  2. “The RMPD later added several charges of grand larceny, alleging that Mr. Morris had used his camera to steal several trillion light quanta from the school’s exterior.”

    1. … and the souls of students.

      1. No, it’s only a high school- Virginia doesn’t permit anyone under 21 to have spirits.

        1. You ain’t from around here, are ya?
          There are plenty of spirits in the hills of Virginia.
          We got some stuff so good we won’t sell it to yankees.

          1. Watch who you’re callin’ yankee, yankee.

            And the good people of ol’ Virginny would never break the law. The very notion…

            1. Yeah, right.
              The King of England found out different.
              The damnyankees found out different. (of course, now they run the place, so I had to leave)

      2. high school is way more soul sucking than some cheap ass camera, surprised he wasn’t sucked in being that close…

    2. only several trillion? pretty dim…but then it is Virginia.

  3. ‘No dogs were harmed in this encounter.’

  4. “The officer displayed professional and reasonable conduct, working to ensure the individual was not a threat to school children, personnel or facilities,” Rocky Mount Police Department Chief Ken Criner said in a statement.

    Shooting the guy in the head would have been a better guarantee of everybody’s safety, I’m assuming this reckless disregard on the part of the officer is being thoroughly investigated. Shocking that they would allow such careless people on the police force.

  5. “The officer displayed professional and reasonable conduct, working to ensure the individual was not a threat to school children, personnel or facilities,” Rocky Mount Police Department Chief Ken Criner said in a statement.

    Subjective terms and a goal which could be used to justify action.

    1. Yeah, this one is a little complex.

      If there was some guy outside my kid’s school taking pictures and videos, I’d hope that someone would walk up and have a conversation to find out what he’s up to. I’ve had people from the school who didn’t know who I was ask similar questions at school events. Our school even has a handful of students that have a block on any pictures being taken, for whatever reason. My assumption was that it was due to custody issues and restraining orders, but maybe it was witness protection? Any way, they are very sensitive about photos of students getting published online.

      At the same time, anyone has the right to hang out on a public sidewalk and take pictures. And anyone has the right to refuse to talk to the police… or anyone else for that matter.

      1. So what do you do? The charges will likely be dismissed or tossed out by the courts. But this guy still had his rights violated and it is going to cost him quite a bit of cash, time and reputation. And that isn’t right. The “our guy was very professional” reaction is because they are looking at things from the lens of “we have kids to protect and all we are doing is investigating suspicious activity and this guy is refusing to answer some simple questions”, not from the point of view of “I was just walking on a public sidewalk taking pictures of things visible from a public space”.

        And therein lies the fundamental disconnect. If everyone would acknowledge and try to understand other people’s point of view, maybe there’d be a lot less crap we’d have to deal with.

        1. This will end up being a lawsuit against the school district, school resource officers, and the police officers involved. And they can’t claim qualified immunity because this is already settle case law in the circuit.

  6. But think of the children

  7. Link was to a story very light in detail.
    I wonder if he was documenting school administration misbehavior?

  8. Poor fool – he thought he knew his rights.

    1. Poor fool – he thought he knew his had rights.

      FTFY

    2. Rights are granted at the whims of royalty. Stupid peasant.

  9. The article said the charge was obstruction of justice for refusing to A the cop’s Q.

    1. “I invoke my rights under the Fifth Amendment. Now fuck off, slaver!

  10. He was filming his own Aqualung video.

  11. The law is pretty clear here, if you’re on a public sidewalk or public area you can photograph or film anything you can see, that includes cop stations, military bases, and therefore schools.

    1. Unless some guy with a gun says you can’t.
      (note that schools are ‘gun free zones’, but there are people that take guns there all the time. Equal protection of the law my ass)

  12. Not good that these LEO’s don’t know basic law https://youtu.be/2HRVRr4NvPg

    1. The law is in their holster. Deal with it.

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