Three Bridgeport police officers are suspended after a video was posted on YouTube showing them beating a suspect who had already been brought down with a stun gun. The ten-year-veterans — Elson Morales, Joseph Lawlor and Clive Higgins — are now under investigation.
Once again, the lack of action before the video was posted on YouTube demonstrates the key role that citizens videotaping now plays in detecting and deterring police abuse. We previously discussed how high-ranking officials like Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez prosecute citizens for filming police in public.
Even though courts have consistently ruled that such filming is protected by the Constitution, police and prosecutors continue to charge and prosecute citizens who take such videos — or detain and harass them when spotted. This occurs because of a failure to discipline officers harassing or arresting citizens in such circumstances.
In this case, it is not clear why, once again, YouTube appears the decisive factor. Presumably, none of the officers revealed what had occurred or there would have been some action taken before the YouTube posting.
Source: NY Post
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