California Police Accused Of Abusive Arrest And Then Seizing Cellphones Of Witnesses Or Demanding That They Delete Photos

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 8.02.33 AMThere is another disturbing story involving the police seizure of cameras of a scene of alleged police abuse. The arrest of a homeless man was caught on camera in Antioch, California. The arrest turned violent and some accused the police of abuse on the man who appeared mentally disturbed. Regardless of the merits of those allegations, police then added to the controversy by demanding that witnesses turn over their cameras.

Witnesses said that police officers insisted that all cameras be turned over from those videotaping their conduct. One witness said that he was ordered to erase his video.

We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. (For prior columns, click here and here). Despite consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public, these abuses continue.

Often the violation of the constitutional rights of witnesses are established but there is no meaningful discipline meted out against officers. The most we have seen in many cases is “re-training” or a letter explaining that citizens have such constitutional rights. The lack of discipline reinforces the sense of protection for officers. In the vast majority of cases, citizens are likely not to take the trouble of raising the issue with outside lawyers or civil liberties groups.

The police have not commented on this incident.

Source: ABC7

Kudos: Michael Blott

41 thoughts on “California Police Accused Of Abusive Arrest And Then Seizing Cellphones Of Witnesses Or Demanding That They Delete Photos”

  1. Darren: That was good on the fat cop and bad cop thing. This incident out in Ferguson Missouri is garnering a lot of attention. I wonder if the citizens of a neighborhood that has its Quik Trip store burned out by local vigilantes deserves any public stores or even a phone booth. I don’t hear any locals sticking up for the Quik Trip owners but only hear this rant about the dead kid. This reminds me of Gaza. The news coverage reminds me of Gaza. Maybe the residents of that neighborhood in Ferguson ought to call themselves Palestinians.

  2. Beldar.

    Being obese is in my view dangerous for a line police officer. The job can put a lot of stress on the body in general and being obese compounds the problems, especially after retirement.

    One thing those guys should consider is that Heart Attack is usually the third leading cause of duty related deaths in the US.

    The four top reasons for duty related death are as follows (during most years in the last 20)

    1) Gunfire
    2) Traffic Accidents
    3) Heart Attack
    4) Vehicular Assault

    Most training focuses on the first, as it should, but the other three are often neglected. The health seems to be improving as more officers exercise than they did back in the 1980’s when fewer did.

    There have been studies on professional perception by the public of officers. The studies state that obese officers, poor uniform keeping, and shaved heads cause the public in general the regard the officer in an unfavorable way. There was also some debate back in the early 1990’s that discussed the possibility that officers who have unkempt or overbearing appearances could in-fact have higher incidents of trouble with suspects and had higher incidents of assault against them. The theory was that those officers who had a professional disposition and appearance dissuaded more often than not suspects who were considering attack.

  3. For the Oregon Coast I prefer Rockaway Beach. I like just the beach and the solitude. There are some interesting accommodations there, especially the Mom-and-Pop places. I’d stay away from Tillamook, for me it’s a bit overrated. The only thing worthwhile there is the overlook and the cheese factory. It’s kind of like America in general, just one strip mall and Burger King like the others.

    Most people think of Cannon Beach, which is nice and has some interesting shops yet it becomes a little touristy for me. Rockaway is only about a half hour away and much less costly for lodging.

    I haven’t travelled much South of Tillamook. The last time I went that way was in the early 1980’s.

  4. there is a app for android and smartphones named stop and frisk everyone needs to get it. when you hit the record button the video goes straight to the nyclu server or the civil liberty agency in your state…. so even if its erased off of your phone the evidence is on the nyclu server and they cant touch that video…(nyclu) because im in nyc)

    this will continue as the propaganda is revved up to warn the masses they are enslaved and at the mercy of law ENFORCE ment. what other reason could there be for giving military weapons to police precincts? its in preparation for whats coming and its coming fast people. in case no one is watching ww3 has begun along with another round of ebola pandemic

    Despite those who would love to deny, laugh at and/or ignore the plans of depopulation by the duopoly.. doesnt seem kind of strange that a few people in africa are found to have ebola and are BOUGHT TO THE STATES instead of being kept where they were? exactly what do we have here that couldnt be taken over there to handle it?

  5. I have to report back to planet Remulak on this issue: why police in America are fat and shave their heads? Is it a job requirement? Someone suggested that it has to do with donuts but that just covers the fat guy part. Please chime in because I am on deadline. And if anyone asks, me and my wife are from France.

  6. Wow. Robin Williams committed suicide in his Marin County home. Depression is a mofo. A comedic genius. My prayers for his family.

  7. Darren, We share the same opinion on Hipsters. It’s funny, they drink Pabst, a beer I’ve always drank. I have 4 states I’ve not been to yet. I hope to make all 50 within the next 5 years. They are Oregon, Hawaii, North Dakota and Alabama. My plan for Oregon is to drive up from San Diego in May when our lease is up and cruise Hwy 101 for a bit. I was thinking about just flying into Portland and renting a car for a tour of the area but others have the same opinion as you. Any info on the southern Oregon coast?

  8. Unlike the 1960’s the DOJ (Department of Justice) would intervene in places like Mississippi.

    Today it appears the DOJ actually embraces many of the same abuses as the local police – so maybe we need additional agencies with vast resources which is required.

  9. Nick,

    Portland is a kind of strange place. Many people like it but for me the Hipster thing is out of control there. I have no use for it personally.

    If you are curious there is a website devoted to this trend:

    The website has a page where you can create your own Hipster. I made this one for you to prepare you for what you might have to endure during your stay.

  10. Marco, I spend winter in San Diego annually. The people, food, weather, helps compensate for the criminal politicians bankrupted the beautiful state. I spend the rest of the year in another tax hell, Madison. I consider San Diego to be the best city in the US and I’ve been to almost all the major cities. I’ve never been to Cincy or Portland.

  11. Nick Spinelli said, “I see gas is over $4 a gallon in tax hell California.”

    Do you know why? The California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires that only a specially refined gas be sold in CA. These a limited refining capacity for this gas.

    Btw, you may think CA is “tax hell.” But, I bet it has half a dozen cities that are better that the city in which you live!

  12. Paul,

    I think you’re being overly harsh on these good officers that put there lives on the line everyday, it’s probably you have something against the evil residents of California.

  13. The police departments are not being held accountable by the powers of the cities and the citizens are no making enough of an issue to get themselves heard. What will probably have to happen is a couple of councilpeople will have to get elected on that issue alone and make stand at every council hearing until something is done.

  14. The destruction of evidence does raise a presumption but it is rarely used against the police or even corporations anymore. Judges Always seem to find their excuses compelling. Humans just don’t matter.

  15. This is a troubling trend that needs to be nipped in the bud. Trust in the police is vital in communities. Plus this is yet another problem coming out of my state of CA.

    There have been wonderful programs where local police cultivate relationships in the community, and get to know as many people as possible.

  16. Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply.


Comments are closed.