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Thread: I was arrested for filming police tonight

  1. #1
    Regular Member 509rifas's Avatar
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    I was arrested for filming police tonight

    So I heard a commotion outside, turns out SWAT was raiding my neighbors house again. Heard a flashbang then walked down to film it. I was there for a while, maybe 20 minutes with no problems. Then I started talking to a young woman who asked me if I had it on camera when they pointed guns at her infant.
    A sgt approached and told me not to film and whatnot, and I actually turned the camera off, turned it around to show him, and THEN he arrested me for obstruction.
    He noticed my smaller camera and assumed it was on, and then arrested me. The arrest isn't actually recorded, what let up to it up to the point I stopped recording is.

    As they brought me over to the SWAT van he said something on the radio about "grabbed this guy... recording" and I'm fairly certain I heard back "stop him!." I'll find out for sure when I get the PRA records. But if that was what was said, that steps it up to another level.
    I also found out that they had gone around and threatened a number of other people with arrest if they recorded.

    I was handcuffed and told "you are under arrest for obstruction, and taken to hang out with the other gentlemen who were in the house for a while. It may have been around 30 minutes, but time is always screwy when you're in cuffs. I wasn't patted down until they were about to take the cuffs off; I'd taken my gun off right before I left my house as I didn't think it wise to bring.

    As far as I know no one was taken to jail, even the guy they had the warrant for and they found what they were looking for.

    As it stands right now, I am facing criminal charges of obstruction a law enforcement officer, and have court next week.

    Here's two, they should show the jist of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykklc4HIlNw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRL_WSaMy_E



    [Added: after asking around, I learned the warrant was to search for an item that netted the kid a 3rd Degree Possession of Stolen Property charge, a gross misdemeanor (the same as my charges). First Degree Trafficking in Stolen Property was added to the warrant, because he bought a laptop that turned out to be stolen. He was not there at the time. Unless I'm not looking at the court docs wrong, he's only facing misdemeanor charges, but they may have not been filed yet. Another family member with a CPL was handcuffed in the car for the duration and has the medical documentation about the loss of feeling in his hand because the cuffs were too tight. He was OCing when I talked to him today.]
    Last edited by 509rifas; 08-12-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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    Unless I'm mistaken filming while on public property of police is completely legal. Unless you actually did something to inhibit the process they had no cause to arrest you.

    ....Sent from hell....

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    Well, under Gilk, you can record the police but I don't know of any case that allows you to double record them

    Your charge is BS if all you were doing was taping them...

    You told them that you tape for their benefit, right? That's what the guberment tells us when they tape us...

    What was with the guy next door? Drugs I assume. (don't say he breeds dogs .... don't tell me that ahhhhhh!)

    I has low-life neighbors like that once ... they moved away oddly enough and I never had to call the cops. We came to an understanding ... they moved away and I would not have to come back over there and discuss the issue further.
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 08-11-2013 at 04:05 AM.

  4. #4
    Regular Member 509rifas's Avatar
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    I'm not worried about the charges, just frustrated and wondering if I should sue, since this type of thing seems to be escalating.

    All the material in the case law database and LE Digest regarding recording officers stems around damages for when LEOs arrest recorders.

    I know I CAN sue, but not sure if I should.


    LEO DIGEST DEC 04
    "RCW 9.73, the “Privacy Act” governing the interception and recording of private
    conversations and communications, does not define “private conversation” for purposes of
    the Act’s general prohibition on single-party-consent taping of private conversations.
    However, several decisions have held that that a citizen does not violate the statute if the
    citizen tapes the officer’s spoken words or radio communications where the contact occurs
    in a public place. State v. Flora, 68 Wn. App. 802 (Div. I, 1992) July ’93 LED:17; Alford v.
    Haner, 333 F.3d 972 (9
    th
    Cir. 2003) Sept. ’03 LED:06 (Civil rights lawsuit for unlawful
    arrest); Johnson v. City of Sequim, 382 F.3d 944 (9
    th
    Cir. 2004) Oct. ’04 LED:22; Dec. ’04
    LED:14 (Civil rights lawsuit for unlawful arrest)."


    LED DEC 2004, p16:
    "No “qualified immunity” for the arresting officer The Johnson majority opinion also holds that the Flora Court’s interpretation of chapter 9.73
    RCW was “clearly established” when the officer arrested Johnson. Therefore, the Johnson Court holds, the officer is not entitled to defend against personal liability under the federal Civil Rights Act on the “qualified immunity” ground that a reasonable officer would not have known of
    the controlling law at the time of the arrest. "


    "...Under
    City of Canton v. Harris
    , 489 U.S. 378 (1989), the Department's failure to
    train its officers about the Privacy Act may amount to "deliberate indifference"
    toward unlawful arrests under its provisions. As the Supreme Court has
    explained:... " ibid
    Last edited by 509rifas; 08-11-2013 at 04:50 AM.
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    Its not worth a suit IMHO if they drop all charges, but if they pursue the case than I would.


    Just an over zealous cop

    ....Sent from hell....
    Last edited by spikedzombies; 08-11-2013 at 04:11 AM.

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    Assuming there isn't something more you are not divulging, the charge is certainly bogus. I've filmed police many times and not had that problem, so I empathize with you. I'd like to see what the report says as their reason for arresting. Imnsho (and case law - fwiw, recording the police has been established per judicial review as a first amendment right), it's case worthy of pursuing against them.

    Where were you standing? Unless where you were standing interfered with their execution of the warrant, it's a bogus arrest and it pisses me off.

    And this case has NOTHING to do with the privacy act, so don't worry about that. The privacy act protects private conversation from being recorded without all parties to that conversation giving consent (and./or in some case law, knowing they are being recorded and continuing to spout can constitute consent).

    There is ample case law that cops engaging in a warrant are not engagin in a "private conversation"

    the most recent case law I just read on that law says that I can record an interview I am in with a public defender investigator WITHOUT advising them, because it's not a private conversation

    fwiw, I do ALWAYS record them (I had one a month or two ago for a Manslaughter investigation) and I DO tell them I doing so - as a courtesy. I am not required to

    The report, once the investigation is completed will be public record. I'd love to read it

    We have a duty to train our cameras on cops. It's part of open govt, keeping cops honest, and it helps bring bad cops to justice, get redress for bad cop action, and helps to protect good cops who do the right thing.

    Fwiw, some SWAT teams themselves record their warrants for exactly that purpose - CYA
    Last edited by PALO; 08-11-2013 at 04:31 AM.

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    Regular Member Tacitus42's Avatar
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    post those vids here http://photographyisnotacrime.com/ Carlos Miller is an asset. Contact him be sure to read his Ten Rules for Recording Cops and other Authority Figures. Sue em, only way they will learn.
    Last edited by Tacitus42; 08-11-2013 at 05:32 AM.
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  8. #8
    Regular Member Alpine's Avatar
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    Wow, the cop in the 2nd video is a complete idiot. He keeps insisting it's against the law to record him without his permission despite him standing in a public street! He also specifically states that he will be arresting you merely for recording, not for anything else. This guy has cooked his own goose. Sue the hell out of them.

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    Regular Member Schlepnier's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I suggest getting ahold of "rapgood" (rob apgood) here on OCDO, this is the kind of thing he does for a living as a 2A lawyer in Seattle.
    +thought for the day+
    ++victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none++

  11. #11
    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    I was arrested for filming police tonight

    Sue the department. Unless they have to cough up cash, the officers will never be reprimanded for their unlawful treatment of you.
    I want to keep our founding fathers' visions and rights for this country pure. I implore you to do the same.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you are going to have to go through the hasssles, but the circus of trying to show how your filming hindered, delayed or obstructed the police from raiding your neighbor's house (again?? ) ought to be quite entertaining for those of us not so personally involved.

    Seems to me they were doing quite well in spite of you until the camera-shy guy left his assigned post and duties to come over and hassle you. (There is a hint buried in there. Can you find it?)

    stay safe.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.76.020

    RCW 9A.76.020

    Obstructing a law enforcement officer.
    (1) A person is guilty of obstructing a law enforcement officer if the person willfully hinders, delays, or obstructs any law enforcement officer in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.

    (2) "Law enforcement officer" means any general authority, limited authority, or specially commissioned Washington peace officer or federal peace officer as those terms are defined in RCW 10.93.020, and other public officers who are responsible for enforcement of fire, building, zoning, and life and safety codes.

    (3) Obstructing a law enforcement officer is a gross misdemeanor.
    [2001 c 308 3. Prior: 1995 c 285 33; 1994 c 196 1; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 9A.76.020.]
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  13. #13
    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Should you sue them?

    YES.

    They violated your rights, whether they pursue the charges or drop them, and you deserve compensation. Moreover, everyone that they violate after you will also deserve compensation, and I can only imagine that your case might have at least some effect on future cases and police conduct.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 509rifas View Post
    I know I CAN sue, but not sure if I should.
    Were you armed? Probably not. Should you fill out a "complaint form"? Yes, right away. Should you bring suit? Do you believe that they will "fix" this on their own?
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Were you actually arrested and jailed or did you merely get cited for obstruction.

    This will still have to go before the Prosecutor and he gets to make the decision on actual charges.

    Call an attorney. Chances are this could all be handled by a phone call by him.


    Of course you could always file a civil suit. Doesn't everyone do that today???
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Wow!

    Sue them unfortunately prosecutors rarely prosecute cops, what they did is criminal.

    Curious as to why you would stop recording? They have no authority to stop you.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  17. #17
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    ....state law is very clear....
    Yes it is, just not in the cop's favor.

    Sue. Not to do so would be a disservice to the rest of Washington.

  18. #18
    Regular Member massivedesign's Avatar
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    That cop was dead wrong in his info of the LAW to you. Regardless contact should be made and this officer, as well as every other ofc. in that department needs to be re-trained law.
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    "Please don't record me, or I'll arrest you."

    Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho. Coercion to get the videographer to stop exercising his 1A right.

    There is no way police don't know its legal and protected to record them. Its been in the press for two years.

    Sue.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    ... Agree ...

    I am with everyone else here. Unless you teach them a lesson vie their pocket book, then they will continue. They are public servants and need to be reminded of their role and place as such. The police state mentality of accepting this condition is beyond me.
    - I would sue (monetary), demand serious training, and include public apology.
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    This is going to be tossed out pretty quickly IMHO. That Cop is an idiot of the 1st degree you are standing on the sidewalk out of the way. The problem you now have is that you will have an arrest record that you can not ever get rid of and trust me it will cause you problems in the future, jobs, renting an apartment, concealed carry permits etc etc that means you are damaged for life and that is why you should sue the crap out of them. That Cop also violated your Rights and he did it on purpose I am betting he has had training some time in the past. That Cop had to walk out of his way to cite you. If you do not want to do for your self do for the rest of us because every time they get away with this the worse they get.

    Palo this is the type of Cops I was talking about on that thread the other day one of them make the rest look bad and cause me to not trust any of them.
    Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hayes View Post
    This is going to be tossed out pretty quickly IMHO. That Cop is an idiot of the 1st degree you are standing on the sidewalk out of the way. The problem you now have is that you will have an arrest record that you can not ever get rid of and trust me it will cause you problems in the future, jobs, renting an apartment, concealed carry permits etc etc that means you are damaged for life and that is why you should sue the crap out of them. That Cop also violated your Rights and he did it on purpose I am betting he has had training some time in the past. That Cop had to walk out of his way to cite you. If you do not want to do for your self do for the rest of us because every time they get away with this the worse they get.

    Palo this is the type of Cops I was talking about on that thread the other day one of them make the rest look bad and cause me to not trust any of them.
    +1
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  23. #23
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    "Please don't record me, or I'll arrest you."

    Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho. Coercion to get the videographer to stop exercising his 1A right.

    There is no way police don't know its legal and protected to record them. Its been in the press for two years.

    Sue.
    +1 and qualified immunity does not apply when something is established case law or law and it has been well established in our state, so Napoleon doesn't have no excuses.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    ...

    Curious as to why you would stop recording? They have no authority to stop you.
    I'd imagine he was simply trying to defuse the situation and perhaps specifically to try to avoid being unlawfully arrested (or cited). If that's the case, IMO it just goes to show you should not "trust" the police or comply with their unlawful demands for the sole purpose of trying to avoid their persecution - perhaps short of physical resistance. If they are the type to persecute, and they've already decided to target you, compliance such as stopping recording devices will likely only empower them to persecute further.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hayes View Post
    This is going to be tossed out pretty quickly IMHO. That Cop is an idiot of the 1st degree you are standing on the sidewalk out of the way. The problem you now have is that you will have an arrest record that you can not ever get rid of and trust me it will cause you problems in the future, jobs, renting an apartment, concealed carry permits etc etc that means you are damaged for life and that is why you should sue the crap out of them. That Cop also violated your Rights and he did it on purpose I am betting he has had training some time in the past. That Cop had to walk out of his way to cite you. If you do not want to do for your self do for the rest of us because every time they get away with this the worse they get.

    Palo this is the type of Cops I was talking about on that thread the other day one of them make the rest look bad and cause me to not trust any of them.
    I trust them because I know in the overwhelming majority of incidents they do the right thing. In cases like this, where they appear to clearly have done the wrong thing, they deserve to be punished. As I have stated in other threads, agencies vary widely in training and written policies involving people filming them. I have suggested to people to contact their local PD, get a copy of their policy manual and see what, if any policies they have vis a vis people filming them. If they don't have a policy, suggest one consistent with law, so that then cops can be held accountable for violating same. Without training or policy, it is difficult if not impossible for individual cops to be held accountable (qualified immunity, failure to train etc.). That's not opinion. That's fact. I'd rather see policy enacted that PREVENTS these kinds of misconduct than see it happen and people have to sue after the fact.

    I have filmed with impunity and never been hassled. Youtube has literally thousands of videos where people filmed the cops and weren't hassled. These jerkmunches who interfere with this sacred 1st amendment right need to be held accountable.

    I'll say it again - contact your local PD and research this. It's a simple way citizens can get involved and make positive change. Imo, we get the govt. we deserve. If people aren't willing to get involved, you get crappy govt. My agency I work for , as well as the agency that polices where I live both have excellent crystal clear policies establishing the right of people to film us, and making it crystal clear that officers who interfere with filmers will be held accountable.

    And guess what? Because of that, I've never heard of a single detail in either agency where cops interfered.

    If you don't trust cops, that's sad. I;'m glad polling data confirms that the overwhelming majority of the public considers us both professional and honest.

    But for people who want to DO SOMETHING vs. wank on the internet- I've outlined something that people can do. If an agency hasn't addressed this critical issue, they MUST in roll call training and in general orders manual. And you, as the average citizen can very well insure that your local PD DOES so. You can prevent people's rights from being violated

    Many will wank and say "it's not my job". Policing the police and being responsible for those who are given powers to seize, arrest, search etc. us IS EVERYBODY's responsibility imnsho. I'm tired of arguing this point, but hopefully responsible people (vs. whiners) will take this to heart and effect positive change. The overwhelming majority of cops want to do the right thing, and the policies they work under should explain the right thing vis a vis filmers and DEMAND they do so. And imnsho, if an agency has such a policy/training, THEN ofc's in that agency who pull this kind of chicanery can and will be held accountable imo and also I believe that likely qualified immunity may even be lifted.

    I personally welcome people to film me. I'm out injured right now because yesterday, a guy I Terry stopped assaulted my partner and took off on foot . I caught up with him and had to tackle him and then deal with his whinging about how his back hurt and of course the x-rays came out negative after 4 hours at harborzoo and he's comfortably in jail with a vehicular assault warrant and assault on a PO charges. Did we do the right thing? Heck yea. Remarkable restraint in chasing and tackling the guy where he suffered only minor scrapes on his knees after he punched an officer in the face and fled. That's how it works ALMOST every time and it's why I trust cops. Because for every overreaction you have scores of incidents like this where cops exercise commendable restraint while reeling in dangerous assaultive felons.

    I *hope* there is video of this incident (he punched my partner in a gas station parking lot, but it appears it happened outside the view of their cameras) either the assault or my tackling him because it will just help protect me from bogus complaints AND help convict him, and he already has burglary conviction etc at 19 yoa and also his outstanding vehicle assault and now assault III charge to deal with.

    I also suggest if you don't trust cops, to do a ride along with your local pd. You might be surprised and impressed with the professionalism and honor your local cop brings to the job. I've done many ridealongs, before I became a cop, especially, and I've seen some stellar police work.

    It's all of our responsibility (not just the cops) to defend ourselves from criminals and to keep an eye out for criminal behavior, to be a good witness for same, to come forward if we have information about crime (REAL crime. I don't believe in the war on drugs and other victimless crime rubbish, but ymmv. I of course enforce those laws because I believe in rule of law although drug crimes are a TINY TINY percent of what I do). It's also our responsibility to come forward if we witness police misconduct and if you can effect positive change you should. Police work for you. Check out your local PD policy regarding filmers and effect some positive change.

    Cheers.

    PS When I tackled that violent felon, I did it in full view of a half dozen people sitting on their porch having a barbeque. Force , even when entirely justified is not pretty, but because I did (as cops almost always do) THE RIGHT THING and used reasonable force to tackle him and wrestle him into cuffs, we got a standing ovation of sorts from the peanut gallery. I didn't know, until after I got him in cuffs that I had an audience, but if as a cop you assume you do, and you do the right thing, you have little to worry about. these people are statistically likely to be in the overwhelming majority that trusts cops and after seeing our restraint and skillz in busting this perp, it's only logical to assume they remain in this majority camp. If I had gotten in cheap shots /used excessive force, I would have sullied the image of the police in these members of the public's eyes. And getting a standing ovation and comments like "man, that was awesome." gives me a warm fuzzy. It's people like that, that make the cop haters , the tiny minority so easy to handle. I know they are just that, a minority and I know that when push comes to shove, the average joe respects us and they've got our back!
    Last edited by PALO; 08-11-2013 at 08:07 PM.

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