Police arrest man for criticizing their parking, seize cameras from witnesses
By End the Lie
While the man admitted that he was being “rude” because he “hates cops,” the reaction seems a bit extreme, to say the least.
Police in Nevada have hardly been encouraging positive publicity lately what with allegedly violating the Third Amendment by forcibly occupying private homes and now this.
Unfortunately, police violently reacting to being filmed is hardly rare these days nor is police seizing cameras from witnesses based on the claim that the videos are evidence.
Here are just a few instances:
Earlier this month, a video went viral showing police shooting a man’s dog after they arrested him for filming on a sidewalk.
In April, police claimed a cell phone was a weapon and assaulted a man for recording.
In January, a man was detained for filming police, leading to a lawsuit.
Also in January, a man was charged with two misdemeanors for filming police in public.
In September of 2012, police punched, tazed and handcuffed a man, then smashed his cellphone for recording his brother’s arrest.
In August, a man was reportedly facing 21 years in prison for filming police.
In July of last year, it was reported that police confiscated the cellphone of a witness after allegedly killing a man with his hands in the air.
Also in July, it was revealed that the NYPD labeled individuals “professional agitators” for filming them.
In April, a photojournalist filed a lawsuit after being arrested and harassed for filming police.
In March, an officer flipped out and threatened to tase a man for filming him.
Also in March, a student in Philadelphia was arrested for photographing police.
March was a busy month last year, with police in Massachusetts confiscating the cellphone of a witness and destroying evidence of alleged police brutality.
In July 2011, I wrote an in-depth article outlining multiple cases related to this trend and the laws involved.
In June of 2011, a woman was arrested for filming police from her home.
In April of 2011, an American was brutally beaten and arrested for filming police.
Also in April 2011, a man was arrested for filming police from his garage and refusing to hand over his cellphone.
Clearly, this was not an isolated incident.
This particular exchange apparently happened outside of a casino in Nevada. The first video embedded below comes from the device of the man who was arrested.
Warning: the video contains graphic language, viewer discretion is advised.
The way this man is acting hardly engenders sympathy, but he has a right to film police in public nonetheless.
Even Carlos Miller of Photography Is Not A Crime (PINAC), an outspoken proponent of photographers’ rights, notes that viewers “will probably agree that he came across very obnoxious, not to mention he would not hold his phone in the horizontal position to record in landscape mode.”
Obnoxious as he may be, it doesn’t give cops a green light to arrest him and confiscate the cameras of bystanders.
Police can be seen confiscating the cellphones of witnesses in the below video:
According to Carlos Miller, none of the cameras have been returned a whopping three months after the incident.
However, the man who was arrested, who goes by MrMike Smith on Facebook, was able to obtain the footage from two of the four seized cameras thanks to the discovery process as he prepares for trial.
He is currently facing two counts of obstruction and is slated to go to trial next month.
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