National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

Paul DeJesus Harassed for Filming

From Techdirt:

Apparently, the statement from a Lancaster, PA police spokesman that citizens are allowed to film on-duty police officers hasn’t made its way to the entire staff yet. Carlos Miller at PINAC reports that Paul Dejesus, the same man who had an officer walk away from taking an accident report because he was being filmed, was again approached by a police officer who demanded he stop filming because recording his voice “violated” Pennsylvania’s wiretapping laws.

Video at the link.   The officer threatens wiretapping charges and then disorderly conduct.

Note, however, that it is the officer that creates the disturbance around the DeJesus property.

After spotting Mr. DeJesus with his smart phone, the officer could have ignored him, or walked over and said, “Good evening folks, I saw you filming and just wanted to let you know that we received a call about ______ and that’s why we are here.  To check that out.  Have a good evening.”

H/T:  Instapundit

Blue on Blue Confrontation on NJ Turnpike

We don’t usually post on police misconduct that involves violations of police dept rules and protocols, such as using police vehicles for personal use or things like that.  This video involves a state trooper who is checking out plainclothes officers from Bergen County because there have been some cases of criminals impersonating cops in his area recently.  The plainclothes officers are outraged–wait till around the 6-7 minute mark for the fireworks.  Here’s the thing–if the plainclothes officers lose their temper in these circumstances and treat a fellow officer like this, one can only imagine how they deal with ordinary civilians.

More here.

Another False Arrest for Filming Police

 

From WECT:

LELAND, NC (WECT) – An officer with the Leland Police Department has been suspended without pay for 28 days after a teenager recorded video of an arrest on his cell phone.

According to police reports, 19-year-old Gabriel Self tried approaching Leland Police Sergeant John Keel as he was arresting another man on drug charges. Sgt. Keel told Self to leave the area….

The charge was resisting, obstructing, or delaying a law enforcement officer. Self was interfering with an investigation, according to the arrest report….

Self said Keel was simply standing in the parking lot, so he did not see how he could be interfering with anything.

Show ‘COPS’ – 25 Years on TV

From the American Conservative:

The show “COPS” is celebrating its 25th season on television, the opening strains of its signature opener as familiar as the images of mascara-stained prostitutes, half-naked wife beaters, and obscured faces of a thousand different men, planted in the asphalt by the boot of Johnny Law himself.

After all these years, the gratuitous flash of  “viewer discretion advised,” followed by the COPS trademark and the peal of sirens, still marks a half hour of testosterone-fueled, fast food entertainment, or a prompt to quickly change the channel, depending on who’s on the other side of the remote control.

For teenagers, voyeurs, and red-blooded law-and-order types who’ve made this show one of the longest running in American history, the pioneer cinéma vérité format ratifies the correct order of things—beginning smartly with heroes and villains, and ending with the crank of handcuffs and the door of a squad car slamming on another case, closed. …

“What disturbs me is that the audience is led to believe that they’re getting a fair peek at ‘real policing,’ but they don’t realize they’re seeing a distorted picture,” said Tim Lynch, director of the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice, who guesses among the throwaways are “awful mistakes, incompetence, or misconduct.”

Disorderly Deputy Arrests Orderly Man With Video Camera

From TwinCities.com:

He had been filming from about 30 feet away, he said. Henderson said deputies gave him no warning before Muellner took his camera.

The deputy wrote on the citation, “While handling a medical/check the welfare (call), (Henderson) was filming it. Data privacy HIPAA violation. Refused to identify self. Had to stop dealing with sit(uation) to deal w/Henderson.”

Henderson appeared in Ramsey County District Court on Jan. 2. A pretrial hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 30.

The allegation that his recording of the incident violated HIPAA, or the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is nonsense, said Jennifer Granick, a specialist on privacy issues at Stanford University Law School.

I like this quote from Henderson:  “I’m in the right,” he said. “If they don’t drop it, I’m definitely going to trial.”    He needs some Patriot-Attorney(s).

Philadelphia Cop Under Investigation for Excessive Force

From ABC News:

A Philadelphia cop under investigation for punching a woman in the face has been taken off the streets and restricted to administrative duties during the investigation, police said.

A video posted on YouTube shows the unidentified cop punching a woman in the face and knocking her to the ground before she is led off bloodied and handcuffed.

It was decided today that the officer would be placed on “restricted status,” meaning that he is relegated to “administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” according to Lt. Ray Evers.

Man Dies in Police Custody. Medical Examiner Rules Death a Homicide.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The Journal Sentinel reported Sunday that the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office has revised its ruling on the death of Derek Williams, who died in Milwaukee police custody in July 2011, from natural to homicide, according to the district attorney’s office. The decision came after the Journal Sentinel alerted an assistant medical examiner to newly released records.

If Williams had gotten immediate medical attention, he would not have died in the backseat of a squad car while Milwaukee police officers ignored his pleas for help, James Hall, president of the local chapter of the NAACP, said Sunday.

Video at the link above shows Derek Williams handcuffed in the backseat of police cruiser gasping for air and begging for help.   The police do not take his pleas seriously and seem to think Williams is drunk or under the influence of narcotics.

Kudos to the Journal-Sentinel for pursuing the case and obtaining the  police records and video.  The medical examiner did not have the full picture—Hmm—and reversed his conclusion only after the newspaper brought the new information to his attention.

Roadblocks and Checkpoints

It’s a common police trick–fudge a statement so the citizen thinks he just heard a police command, but, technically, it was only a request.  Here the police say “Do me a favor … and go over to secondary screening.”  Most of us think, “Oh well, something I have to do … don’t want to disobey the police.”  The driver doesn’t fall for it–he is quick to reply, “No thanks  – I want to be on my way.”   The police try to up the pressure–after all, it works all the time!–but here it fails.  Knowing they don’t have a valid legal basis for a detention, the police let this citizen go on his way.

The root of the problem in this situation is the policy, not the police officers caught on camera.  The police in the video were told to set up a checkpoint and screen drivers and passengers for citizenship.  They were professional and followed their training.  When their training  trick didn’t work, they gave up fairly quickly.  (Tho one officer, at the beginning, crossed the line and tried to coerce a response by saying, “if you don’t answer, we can detain you”).  It is good that this driver is asserting his rights and showing others how to do so. 

For additional background, go here.