Landmark Settlement Reached In Preakness Arrest Case

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posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 11:16 AM
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City lawsuit settlement sparks major police policy and training reforms that affect everyone with a cell phone camera.
Derek Valcourt has details on the change and what it means to you.
The police department is putting it into writing so their officers fully understand. You can record them and they can’t do anything about it. First Amendment advocates call it a major victory.
When police made an arrest at Pimlico four years ago, Christopher Sharp was one of several recording. Officers didn’t like it.
“Do me a favor and turn that off. It’s illegal to record anybody’s voice or anything else,” an officer told Sharp.

But that’s not true.
Sharp says the officers took his phone and deleted videos, including family videos.
“I still am disturbed about what happened,” Sharp said.

Link to article

And the courts did their job...


Now, four years and an ACLU-backed lawsuit later, city police agreed to a sweeping settlement: money to Sharp and his attorneys, a formal written apology from the police commissioner and, most importantly, a new department policy spelling out expectations of city officers being recorded.
“I think it’s pretty clear people have the right to film what we do. You guys are doing it right now so it should be a norm for this organization,” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said.


So from now on, this case can be used as a guide when filming the police.
I don't believe that all cops are bad, in fact, I think that most are good honest ones that are tainted by the bad ones. But in this day and age where everyone has a phone, even the bad one's better start to get a little nicer. Big Brother is watching.




posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 


It's nice to wake up and find some good news on ATS, thanks!



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 11:26 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 


Epic win for the people of that state and americans in general.
Awsome find my friend!



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 11:39 AM
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What a sad state, when citizens are "allowed" the ability to record and keep the police honest.

Police corruption and abuse has become par the course it would seem.



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 11:40 AM
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snypwsd
reply to post by network dude
 


Epic win for the people of that state and americans in general.
Awsome find my friend!


GLAD TO SEE A POSITIVE OUTCOME OF THIS CASE.. A case that should have never had to be adjudicated in the first place if common sense had been used; at least IMO.

Anyway there will probably still be abuses until the word gets out, but at least there is more of a legal standing for the people who film..



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 


I think it was more of a re-iteration of the 1st amendment. If we had camera phones in the 1700's, I think that would have been clear already, but since we didn't, we needed a lawsuit like this to clear it all up.

And I hate frivolous lawsuits. This one, however, needed to be heard.



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by network dude
 


This is great, except isn't it still the case that some states still have laws against recording police in public? Doesn't this fact open up the possibility that another court can render a conflicting decision? Wouldn't that mean that until we get a SCOTUS ruling on this , that there really is still no resolution on actions by the police in cases such as this, unless it has been clearly been spelled out in departmental policy, or by state or local law?



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by azdaze
 



TextThe law in 38 states plainly allows citizens to record police, as long as you don't physically interfere with their work. Police might still unfairly harass you, detain you, or confiscate your camera. They might even arrest you for some catchall misdemeanor such as obstruction of justice or disorderly conduct. But you will not be charged for illegally recording police.

gizmodo.com...

For what it's worth. I'd check with the laws in your state before I told any cop what the law was. (then tend not to like it when you tell them about their job, so be damn sure you are right)

And the key is, don't interfere. And my advice is to be polite, no matter what. Your rights don't matter much if you are beat to death for being a tool.



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 12:36 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 





Your rights don't matter much if you are beat to death for being a tool.


That is why you have the second amendment. At some stage, police will toe the line, but only when citizens start making citizen's arrests, of the police, at gunpoint.

P



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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pheonix358
At some stage, police will toe the line, but only when citizens start making citizen's arrests, of the police, at gunpoint.

P


I am going to go out on a limb here and say, "my goodness, that's a bad idea".

I even put it in quotes in case you want to repeat it somewhere.



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 07:16 AM
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It's nice and all but it wont change anything.

A few years back after some cops in CT smashed phones of people recording them beating a guy in the street the state did the same thing. Made it explicitly legal to film the cops and did statewide training and memos.

To this day the cops behavior has not changed and the state continues to pay out for lawsuits and apologize to people who have been locked up, detained or had their property taken or destroyed.

A memo doesnt suddenly make bad cops behave and since there are no real consequences for the abusive officer their is no incentive to change.

An individual officers ego and sense of "contempt of cop" trump every law, policy and behavioral standard.



posted on Mar, 14 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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Amerika. Land of The Free, Home of The Litigious.






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