Suffolk County Police Accused Of Tackling Citizens Videotaping Arrest Scene and Attempting To Delete His Videotape

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 8.25.31 AMThere is another disturbing account of police reacting abusively to citizens attempting to videotape them in public in an Associated Press account out of Hauppauge, New York. Thomas Demint began filming police who were arresting two of his friends and allegedly body slammed their mother. Dement says that he was tackled by police who took away his smartphone and erased the video. However, they failed to delete the right one. The actual video is below and shows the eight minute encounter. The videotape itself shows how these situations are highly explosive and came be seen from both the perspectives of the police and the citizens in the use of force, including whether the person videotaping was getting too close. The alleged attempted deletion however is another matter entirely.

Dementia can be heard in the video below saying “I’m videotaping this, sir. I’m just videotaping this.” The 20-year-old Long Island college student has filed a complaint. The AP story includes other recent cases.

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.

In this case, Chief Kevin Fallon, a Suffolk County police spokesman, declined to comment on Demint’s case but noted “Video is certainly here to stay and people have a right to take video. But they don’t have a right to interfere.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 8.25.39 AMThe videotape captures the complexity of these cases for both police and citizens. The videographer in my view was properly told to step back and seems far too close at points. For most of the time, however, the videographer is at an appropriate distance. The angry confrontation appears to be over concern of the mother who lays on the ground without active medical attention. She then jumps up and runs toward her son and is slammed on the ground by an officer trying to keep them separate. The level of force can be viewed from both the perspectives of the officers (who are trying to control the situation) and the citizens (who are reacting angrily to the lack of medical attention). However, none of that matters. If the police did try to delete the videotape, it should be grounds for termination. There is no valid police purpose or recognized authority for such an act (again if it really did occur).

What do you think?

45 thoughts on “Suffolk County Police Accused Of Tackling Citizens Videotaping Arrest Scene and Attempting To Delete His Videotape”

  1. The facts are that the smartest guy in charge; who was that again Obama i think; knew Sadam Hussein had no WMDs; then claimed religious guidance in going into Iraq:::

    1. po – boy your grasp of world history sucks. The guy was sent in by Bush. Obama has not helped the matter, but the first mess is on the selection of the smartest guy in the room. That is never Obama.

      1. Paul, when you said this “<i<However, the guy who was in charge thought he was the smartest man in the room and now we have ISIS being led by some of Saddam’s old men. Those guys know what they are doing., it “was because :

        1- Either you did not know who that “”smartest guy”was… Bremer? Wolfowitz? Rumsfeld? certainly not Bush!
        2- Or you were trying to gloss over the fact that it was all under Bush George, who, as I alluded to, invaded a whole country which he subsequently destroyed and which led to Isis…

        So, yes, we are on the same page about who is fully responsible for that blunder…and necessarily that the person fully responsible for that blunder, ä rightwinger, was NOT “using his brains”.
        Thank you for making my case.

  2. Paul; you ought to tell that to the cabal of rightwingers that took us to Iraq led by the brainy decision that is; our father that are in heaven said to invade Iraq

        1. po – are you so ill-informed that you are unaware that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and then after several UN Resolutions, that he failed to followed, a force was put together to push him out of Kuwait. He was given every opportunity to remove his troops from Kuwait and when he didn’t meet the deadline, missiles started flying?

          1. hahahahahahaha
            As usual; Paul and his paulisms
            Ill ignore the issues with your remake of history: That was Bush 1; i was referring to latest Iraq invasion; Bush 2

            1. po – Desert Storm never actually came to a truce. They did stop fighting, but there were no peace talks and all the UN Resolutions were still effective. Saddam Hussein was either violating or pretending to violate those Resolutions.

              This is an interesting problem. You bluff that you are tougher than you are because you do not want enemy A to attack you (Iran) however that upsets the police (the UN). You take a calculated risk that the police will not bother you and enemy A will leave you alone. Sadly, the police believe you when you say you have WMDs and come looking for them. You keep lying, they get more suspicious. Finally, they put together an army and kick your behind.

              The original plan for the afterlife of Iraq was workable. Leave some Baathist in power to help stabilize the county and then do the rebuilding. However, the guy who was in charge thought he was the smartest man in the room and now we have ISIS being led by some of Saddam’s old men. Those guys know what they are doing.

  3. Thanks for that Neo, that is enlightening.

    phillyT, that’s the reason why I keep harping on the same issues, not for the benefit of this obtuse, illogical lot, but for those who read but do not speak, I am speaking through these guys to get to those guys.
    By the way, you can’t take anything Paul says seriously… he is a contrarian, gets his kicks from seeding chaos into the mix, thus to ensure he controls some of what is happening here so he gets the attention he craves. Cute sometimes!

    As for Nick…a whole other beast, just unhinged. Properly unhinged!

  4. randyjet, I know you are right, but I will keep trying. Never know when a right winger is going to have a moment of empathy and wake up–though it’s almost always because something happens to someone they know.

    1. phillyT – you are mixing your metaphors. Leftwingers use their emotions to make a decision. Rightwingers use their brains.

    1. Facts and reality are anethema to the right wingers here. phillyT. You will find that it is useless to bring such things into the conversation since they go by feelings, rather than fact.

      1. randyjet – the opinions of rightwingers are just as valid as the opinions of leftwingers.

  5. A loved community office in very liberal Madison arrested an out of control black woman. Now, many black folk know this cop and will tell you he’s a good one. But, as he the cop was struggling a crowd of haters surrounded and started yelling” Kill the cops.” I am waiting for the cop haters here to drop the pretense and start saying, “They had it comin’!” Or, “What goes around comes around.” Come on, own that hate. There is a growing percentage of black folk in the inner city w/ no respect for anything, including themselves. If this turns into a war. Just who the hell do you think will win that war???

  6. There is not one black person I know who is surprised that a black man got pulled over because of an air freshener. Not one. This crap has been going on forever here in the US of A. What’s different is that now people are finding out about it. ’bout time.

    1. phillyT – this had nothing to do with being black. They were looking for a suspect. A car with someone about the right age backs out of the driveway. The cop stops the car, hoping to get the suspect. Wrong guy. Now he needs to CYA, so he goes for the air freshener.

  7. Noe
    “Cops Caught on Body Cam Saying “Turn it Off” Before Stomping on Handcuffed Man’s Face”
    = = =
    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.”
    ~ George Orwell

  8. anon
    “This is Not a Joke: Black Man Pulled Over For Air Freshener (VIDEO)”
    = = =
    This is clearly a case of an officer ‘racially profiling’ a black man and stopping him hoping that the black man has a criminal past that needs some catching up with and fails, miserably. Fortunately enough for the rest of us, his failure now lives on in perpetuity via the intertubes and webs that catch all that is put out there for all to see…

  9. In the Land of “It’s Never When We Do”…
    … It’s never illegal when the police violate you.

  10. Anon, this is the bully era now, in which the victims are blamed for their own victimization.
    Gays blamed for being too flamboyant, woman too slutty, blacks for being violent, the poor for being…well, poor.
    Heteros are threatened by gays, men by women, white by blacks, the rich by the poor and cops by unarmed civilians…
    What an upside down world!

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