It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In a US federal civil rights lawsuit, a Connecticut man has shared footage to bolster his claims that police illegally confronted the pedestrian because he was filming one of them. Authorities seized Michael Picard's camera and his permitted pistol, and the officers involved then accidentally recorded themselves allegedly fabricating charges against the man.
According to the lawsuit, trooper John Barone walked up to Picard and said "someone called in" a complaint about a man "waving a gun and pointing it at people." It's a claim the lawsuit alleges is fabricated. The lawsuit also states that Barone "swatted" the digital camera out of Picard's hands and onto the ground, at which point the battery dislodged. Barone seized Picard's pistol and "took the handgun permit out of Picard's pants pocket," according to the suit.
The officer briefly walked away to a patrol car, and Picard picked up his camera, inserted the battery and began filming again, according to the suit.
We are seeing more and more that cops approach people with a hostile attitude, even when the person is completely complying and have their hands up, and it does appear that they are even more apprehensive when dealing with colored people....
By doing so, the cop can already tell that you are hostile and immediately puts up his guard. This formula leads to bad encounters quite often. Many times your bad attitude with a cop will turn a warning situation into a citation or even arrest.
The Connecticut Senate passed a bill last week that allows citizens to record police officers, so long as the police officers in question don’t object to being recorded.
Bill 245, which passed 24-11 last Thursday in Connecticut’s Democrat-controlled senate, has two distinct parts: Section 1(b) lays out protections and recourse for citizens who want to record police; Section 1(c) gives police several excuses to interfere with citizen photographers without penalty.
Section 1(b) reads:
“A peace officer who interferes with any person taking a photographic or digital still or video image of such peace officer or another peace officer acting in the performance of such peace officer's duties shall, subject to sections 5-141d, 7-465 and 29-8a of the general statutes, be liable to such person in an action at law, suit in equity or other proper proceeding for redress.”
Section 1(c) reads:
“A peace officer shall not be liable under subsection (b) of this section if the peace officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the peace officer was interfering with the taking of such image in order to (1) lawfully enforce a criminal law of this state or a municipal ordinance, (2) protect the public safety, (3) preserve the integrity of a crime scene or criminal investigation, (4) safeguard the privacy interests of any person, including a victim of a crime, or (5) lawfully enforce court rules and policies of the Judicial Branch with respect to taking a photograph, videotaping or otherwise recording an image in facilities of the Judicial Branch.”
While Republicans who voted against the bill said it would expose Connecticut cops to frivolous lawsuits, this legislation couldn’t be more protective of police if it was written by the cops themselves.
Because the bill doesn't exclude police, it's conceivable that a cop could stop a recording to protect his or her own privacy.