California Cops Arrest, Harass Man for Videotaping Them on the Job
November 26, 2012 4:01 PM
comment(s) - last by
VideoTape All ..
Message sent is that citizens should not be able to monitor the public actions of officials they employ
"If you don't give me your ID, then you're going to jail."
That's what a California cop, Officer Gabriel "Gabe" Lira, tells a man who is videotaping a routine traffic stop. For Daniel J. Saulmon who lives in Hawethorne, a suburb of Los Angeles west of Compton, he was simply doing his citizens duty. After all, his taxes help fund the Hawethorne Police Department, so why shouldn't he be allowed to
record video of police in public
on the job, in order to ensure that they do not abuse their citizen-entrusted power?
I. Show Some ID, Bud
Unfortunately, the Hawethorne Police Department's police officers didn't feel they owed the taxpayer anything.
Instead they arrest him (as the tape clearly shows) for failing to produce ID. The only problem? There is no law in California banning recording of on-duty cops and there is no law that requires Californians to produce papers to cops. And in states where there
such laws, the requirement is that the individual be suspected of committing a crime.
Initially the HPD tried to charge the citizen with
resisting, delaying and obstructing an officer
-- an offense punishable for up to $1,000 USD in fines and a year in jail. They also cited him for
not having reflectors
on his bike pedals (punishable with a fine of up to $250 USD).
Ultimately both charges were dropped. Mr. Saulmon's video, ironically, offered vindication by showing the officer improperly demanded his identification. It also showed he was standing a good distance away from the investigation site, and hence was not obstructing.
The extra irony is that the HPD officers should definitely have known better than to pick on Mr. Saulmon. Keenly aware of his rights, he regularly records local arrests. In 2005 he was arrested in a similar situation for eavesdropping/wiretapping. The charges were eventually dropped, and the HPD paid him a settlement of $25,000 USD for the wrongful arrest.
Mr. Saulmon is likely to pursue a similar settlement from the department this time around.
He tells the blog
Photography is not a crime
, "They knew exactly who I was. They always address me as ‘Mr. Saulmon'."
II. Justice for Some, But Not All
While the incident ended in vindication for the accused, other similar encounters across the country
ended with little reprieve
for the arrested videotaper. That's because some jurisidictions have banned citizens from recording local cops. The fight to overturn these verdicts may have been given a helping hand by the U.S. Attorney General, who
penned a fiery response
arguing that such arrests were unconstitutional. U.S. Circuit Appeals courts
such taping to be well within a citizen's rights.
Some police organizations are still fighting to push back the current federal mandate and instead making taping cops a federal crime.
Jim Pasco, executive director of the
Fraternal Order of Police
, argues that officers should not have to be held accountable and should be free to arrest citizens who try to monitor their activity for wrongdoing.
The Frateneral Order of Police says citizens should not be allowed to hold cops accountable when on the job in public. [Image Source: ACLU]
He comments, "They [police officers] need to move quickly, in split seconds, without giving a lot of thought to what the adverse consequences for them might be. We feel that anything that's going to have a chilling effect on an officer moving — an apprehension that he's being videotaped and may be made to look bad — could cost him or some citizen their life or some serious bodily harm."
Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, agrees. He has stated in previous comments that his organization "absolutely supports" throwing those who tape police officers behind bars.
He complains that citizens monitoring police activities for wrongdoing might "affect how an officer does his job on the street."
Photography is Not a Crime
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: all part of a pattern
11/27/2012 12:04:13 PM
The big problem is "Bloggers" think they are reporters, but anyone can have blog. This "News" is an opinion piece designed to fuel the ignorant tempers of those who don't ask questions and are quick to judgement.
How does if feel to be a tool manipulated by a "Blogger"?
this is who MJaker is in his opinion:
"I pride myself on delivering concise, comprehensive, thought-provoking coverage with a fun spirit. I operate under the guiding principle that you should write in a way that you would want to read as a reader. I also always
try to keep an open mind
(FAIL on this opinion "story")on all topics and will happily enter discussions with my readers."
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
Police Efforts to Ban Citizen Taping Beaten Back by Department of Justice
May 17, 2012, 1:11 PM
First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Citizens Can Videotape Police
August 31, 2011, 1:33 PM
Law Enforcement: Tape Us, Go to Prison
May 16, 2011, 10:28 AM
Man Arrested for Photographing Police Officer Who Came Into His House
June 24, 2010, 2:46 PM
Retiree Sues Apple For $7,500 for Wiping Honeymoon Photos From His iPhone
November 30, 2015, 10:23 AM
iPhone 7 May Pack 3-4 GB Memory, More Storage; 4-Inch Comeback is Rumored
November 20, 2015, 10:12 PM
OnePlus One, OnePlus 2 Will Receive Android Marshmallow in Q1 2016
November 16, 2015, 9:58 AM
Lenovo Whoa: Motorola Droid MAXX 2 and Turbo 2 Break Cover in Leaks
October 26, 2015, 3:12 PM
Leak: Apple Preps for First Real Android App Foray With New Apple Music App
October 24, 2015, 1:59 PM
Pepsi Smartphone? Empty Calories Coming Soon to the Midrange
October 12, 2015, 11:41 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information