We have yet another case of an officer threatening to arrest a citizen for filming him in public. In the perfect libertarian nightmare, the officer was threatening a Ron Paul supporter who he had accused of distracting traffic with his sign in Exton, Pennsylvania.
The officer is clearly agitated in the confrontation just outside of Philadelphia. Philadelphia recently issued a memo to its officers telling them to stop threatening people with arrests for such filming, which is allowed under state law.
The officer was upset that one of the men was standing in the median — creating a “blind spot” for drivers. Fair enough. However, he then gets increasing irate and abusive. He says that “being nice” to citizens is not part of his “job description” and accuses the man of committing unlawful wiretapping — a common threat in these cases.
As we have seen in so many such cases (here, and here and here), this type of abuse rarely results in any type of discipline for the officers — creating a lack of deterrent. In most cases the citizens meekly comply and do not question the officer’s account of the law.