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Congressman introduces bill to protect citizens who videotape cops

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posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 11:51 AM
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Filming the Gorillas is about our only true defense these days. It is about time somebody took up the torch to protect that right as states move feverishly to take it away.

If cops can legally film us than we sure as hell should be able to film them.

The only law enforcement that is against video cameras is corrupt law enforcement, and God knows we've got a hell of a lot of that here.




posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps


A U.S. Congressman has introduced a resolution that would protect citizens who videotape cops in public from getting arrested on state wiretapping charges.


You may have heard about police arresting citizens who film them and charging them with illegal wiretapping. Now one congressman is stepping up and I think US citizens should take note of this.
It's not a law but if you have this on your side in the courtroom your changes of getting those charges thrown out might increase quite good.

PINAC


If you knew anything about "illegal wiretapping," you would know that no new statute is needed. The US constitution offers no protection against recording in public place or anywhere else where a person would not have "a reasonable expectation of privacy." If a state has passed a statute saying you cannot videotape a police officer in a public location, the US federal court system would knock it out in a minute. I recommend you read the US Supreme Court decision of Katz v. United States.

The congressman you're talking about is simply trying to make an opportunistic bid for attention.

[edit on 17-7-2010 by andrewh7]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:00 PM
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I think most of us have seen police abuse their authority, it is pretty common. Most of the time officers are just trying to do their jobs, but there are bad apples in every barrel, and use of the video taping of police in public should be clearly established as a right.

Petty local bureaucrats are already trying to punish people for doing what they have the right to do, which is to video record police abuse. Getting this right clearly established through federal law is what needs to happen.

This could also help to protect honest cops who are falsely accused of abuse when the are trying to reasonably go about their jobs, and this happens as well.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by andrewh7
The congressman you're talking about is simply trying to make an opportunistic bid for attention.


Exactly. We already have the basis of the legal system in place, making this perfectly legal.

"But they're police".

Who cares? They aren't above the law.

[edit on 17-7-2010 by mryanbrown]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by poet1b

I think most of us have seen police abuse their authority, it is pretty common.


crazy thing is they break the same laws they are suppose to uphold



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by thecause

Originally posted by poet1b

I think most of us have seen police abuse their authority, it is pretty common.


crazy thing is they break the same laws they are suppose to uphold


Even crazier is there are laws allowing them to break other laws in addition to actually breaking a law, just to get someone who is breaking 1 law.

And then charge them with 15 counts of breaking the law.

As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 12:41 PM
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"YOU are actually creating a dangerous environment if you go about your filming in the way that I imagine you "vigilantes" do."

Are police officers also creating a dangerous environment by having cameras mounted on their cruisers or by openly filming demonstrators at protests? Or does your warped sense of reasoning only apply to the public?

Keep on imagining.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by andrewh7
If you knew anything about "illegal wiretapping," you would know that no new statute is needed. The US constitution offers no protection against recording in public place or anywhere else where a person would not have "a reasonable expectation of privacy." If a state has passed a statute saying you cannot videotape a police officer in a public location, the US federal court system would knock it out in a minute. I recommend you read the US Supreme Court decision of Katz v. United States.

The congressman you're talking about is simply trying to make an opportunistic bid for attention.

[edit on 17-7-2010 by andrewh7]


Well do tell me then why is it used constanly to do just that? You say it would be shut out of the sky in minutes, then why hasn't it been? There is several ongoing cases where illegal wiretapping is used to prosecute people who film authorities in public. If what you say is true then these cases wouldn't exists.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:25 PM
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It's fascinating that this issue seems so malleable and subject to one's personal political persuasion and level of buy in regarding LEO and their ultimate authority.

There was a public works officer here in ATL that was doing a poor job and wasting tax payer dollars so some citizens filmed him on the job and ultimately he was fired.

How is the issue of filming police officers abusing the public trust or otherwise failing in their duty any different?



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


reply to post by andrewh7
 


reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Also now that I re-read the thread, this isn't a law. This is one congressman and hopefully others making an official statement that says that they think local authorities are abusing wiretapping laws. So no, this is not a law making it legal to do something that is already legal.
What I would really like to see is the congressmen from those areas where this is occuring getting behind this. That would be a clear victory in my books.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by PsykoOps
 


Just have some business cards printed up stating that you are a free lance journalist, Then actually publish something [photo/video/print] to an online news site. Take the workshop at your public access TV station to become a producer.

Freedom of the press is still allowed. The internet just made everyone a journalist that wants to be one.

Question authority. The www. has changed everything. Don't let the Fascists intimidate you! Know your rights.

Surveillance cameras are used everywhere to monitor employees in the workplace. Why should public officials have preferential treatment? We pay their salary's; they should be held accountable for their job performance just like anyone else.

I video everything that even might be remotely interesting and have sold some footage to MSM via our local affiliates.

Just get a Flip camcorder or other small camcorder and a phone with a good video function and don't be obvious about your videoing. In fact be very sneeky to avoid complications because LEOs will break your gear on purpose and say...."oops, sorry!"

Make movies, become involved in community affairs, participate...we will listen!!







[edit on 17-7-2010 by whaaa]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
So no, this is not a law making it legal to do something that is already legal.




A U.S. Congressman has introduced a resolution that would protect citizens who videotape cops in public from getting arrested on state wiretapping charges.


Resolutions are legislation. And once enacted becomes law. So yes, that's exactly what this is.

Introducing a resolution that once passed would become enacted into law, stating that it is legal to film the police.

Thus it is a new law reiterating already existing rights.

And to even tie it to wiretapping shows just how corrupt our courts have become.

Wiretapping first of all, involves a WIRE. Whereupon communication is intercepted from.

You are siphoning data whether digital or analog amidst point a to b communication.

Filming police under any circumstance is not under any circumstance wiretapping.

The only thing they could theoretically get individuals for is if they are "interfering with a police investigation" by either.

1. Blocking any governmental entity from completing their duty.
2. Stepping within the bounds of a crime scene.

There are several incidents of the local Maricopa Sheriffs in AZ (Sheriff Joe's group) that use the latter tactic to prosecute people who have filmed them committing heinous acts.

They claim they are interfering with a police investigation, and that the crime scene barrier is across the street. (Zoom lens anyone?)




Arizona

An individual must have the consent of at least one party to a conversation in order to legally intercept a wire or electronic communication, including wireless and cellular calls, in Arizona. Otherwise, this conduct is a felony. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3005. Utilizing a device to overhear a conversation while not present, without the consent of a party to that conversation, is also a felony.

Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for that communication. See definition of “oral communication,” Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3001.

For example, a state appellate court has held that a criminal defendant’s contention that police officers violated this law by recording their interviews with him without his consent was meritless because the defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in a police interview room. Arizona v. Hauss, 688 P.2d 1051 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1984).

It is unlawful in Arizona for an individual to photograph or film a person without consent while the person is in a restroom, locker room, bathroom or bedroom or is undressed or involved in sexual activity, unless the surveillance is for security purposes and notice is posted. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-3019. [Portion related to videotaping]


Source



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:27 PM
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A very laudable bill (for a change), but I'm still disappointed.
1) This shouldn't have to be written in to law in the first place. Unless there are already local or state laws that restrict this activity, in which case a reasonable judicial system should have struck them down.
2) Sincerely doubt it will pass.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by jam321
 


They don't upload it to the internet for the public to watch either... do they?
That's what this is really about. When you video tape, you do so in an effort to protect your rights... not to use it as a weapon to demoralize someone.



[edit on 17/7/2010 by My Home Town]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Something tells me you're just whining about this politician because he's a Democrat and you can't stand that a Democrat is fighting for such a noble cause. Just a hunch though, correct me if I'm wrong.

Regardless though, how could this just be a bid for attention when you know damn well that many of our rights must continually be clarified, re-asserted, and vigilantly guarded against tyranny and unconstitutionality? That is the ENTIRE NATURE of interpreting law and the constitution, it's not black and white, therefore resolutions like this must be enacted to clarify the rights of the citizenry. And in this case, it's a POSITIVE clarification for once.

You can lament that the system has gotten like this, I agreed with you earlier that we're slipping into what you call Napoleonic Law, which is a very poignant observation. However, don't harp on those who fight, even within that system, for our rights. Everybody has their part to play in the resistance to tyranny and the achievement/maintenance of freedom and deserves support from anyone from any walk of life who shares the struggle.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Wiretapping law doesn't need an actual wire. That's just a term especially now that many communications and recording devices are wireless.
Also I'm not an expert on US congress procedure so I rely on internet postings in this issue. Quotes from the pinac articles comment said:



Unfortunately, this bill will NOT protect anybody. It’s a resolution expressing the sense of congress, and nothing more. It will, however, do well in court when defending oneself against erroneous wiretapping charges...


And also this:



While a Resolution doesn’t have the standing or enforcement of a statute (actual law), or implementing regulation; it goes a long way to showing legislative intent...



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:34 PM
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Originally posted by NoHierarchy
reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Something tells me you're just whining about this politician because he's a Democrat and you can't stand that a Democrat is fighting for such a noble cause. Just a hunch though, correct me if I'm wrong.


I'm not whining at all. I agree with his sentiment, that it should be legal to videotape police. And OMGOSH IT IS.



Regardless though, how could this just be a bid for attention when you know damn well that many of our rights must continually be clarified, re-asserted, and vigilantly guarded against tyranny and unconstitutionality?


By demanding legislation to make something legal, even if it's to clarify and re-iterate an already existing law is stating that it is in fact illegal. Which is incorrect. Because it is perfectly legal to videotape police.

If he had any intelligence, he would be making that point. Rather than a bid for new resolutions.

If you can't easily articulate why something is lawful, you have no business drafting resolutions/legislation.



You can lament that the system has gotten like this, I agreed with you earlier that we're slipping into what you call Napoleonic Law, which is a very poignant observation. However, don't harp on those who fight, even within that system, for our rights. Everybody has their part to play in the resistance to tyranny and the achievement/maintenance of freedom and deserves support from anyone from any walk of life who shares the struggle.


Passing bills to further clarify what is lawful, rather than making what is or is not lawful easily understood. Is a stepping stone to Napoleonic law. Especially on a simple matter like this, you shouldn't have to be told that it's legal.

[edit on 17-7-2010 by mryanbrown]



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
reply to post by mryanbrown
 


Wiretapping law doesn't need an actual wire. That's just a term especially now that many communications and recording devices are wireless.
Also I'm not an expert on US congress procedure so I rely on internet postings in this issue. Quotes from the pinac articles comment said:


Touche' and what not. There doesn't need to be a wire for say intercepting wireless communication.

However the point regarding that one must intercept point a to b transmissions is still correct. Videotaping an event is not a point a to b transmission, therefor it can not be intercepted.



And also this:



While a Resolution doesn’t have the standing or enforcement of a statute (actual law), or implementing regulation; it goes a long way to showing legislative intent...



A resolution is drafted legislation. If the resolution is passed, it becomes law. That is the sole purpose to drafting them. They aren't memorandums or legislative sticky notes.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by whaaaJust get a Flip camcorder or other small camcorder and a phone with a good video function and don't be obvious about your videoing. In fact be very sneeky to avoid complications because LEOs will break your gear on purpose and say...."oops, sorry!"


Make up some steampunk style outfits. there are so many lenses and doodads in that fashion you could hide a full size hollywood movie filming unit in your outfit and blend in.

I'm waiting for them to sell Bluetooth earpieces with video cameras mounted in them. (Now what went on at that meeting in the office? - Rewind and you will never miss and important bullet point from the boss again-) that would be a great sales angle.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by mryanbrown

By demanding legislation to make something legal, even if it's to clarify and re-iterate an already existing law is stating that it is in fact illegal. Which is incorrect. Because it is perfectly legal to videotape police.

If he had any intelligence, he would be making that point. Rather than a bid for new resolutions.

If you can't easily articulate why something is lawful, you have no business drafting resolutions/legislation.


That's the thing though... cops are quite used to using an arsenal of super-vague laws in order to arrest/charge people on weak evidence, manufactured evidence, or poor interpretation of the law. The benefit of the doubt always goes to the police, we essentially live in a guilty-until-proven-innocent society. This is why we have courts, to decide the guilt/innocence of somebody charged with a crime, but we both know that the cops get away with false charges CONSTANTLY and that regardless of whether a crime was committed or it was within a defendant's rights, people are still wrongfully charged ALL THE TIME.... unless of course they dished out the dinero for the right lawyer.

It's not the job of the Congress to defend legality, that's the job of courts judges, no? And in this case obviously there is a serious problem with our law enforcement/judicial system in regards to videotaping of police officers that WARRANTS clear and decisive legislation as a basis for our rights and an end to wrongful arrest.



Passing bills to further clarify what is lawful, rather than making what is or is not lawful easily understood. Is a stepping stone to Napoleonic law. Especially on a simple matter like this, you shouldn't have to be told that it's legal.


I suppose you have a point there, but I also suppose we've already stepped into that Napoleonic land, right? Still, we must celebrate/encourage actions that enforce the rights of the citizenry while working to otherwise reverse such a system. I think both of us largely agree though... this is or has become a land where we can be arrested for more things than we can't be arrested for (it seems), where we're guilty until proven innocent, where cops get a free unpunished ride (relative to the populace) and the fight for our rights becomes mired in technicalities and drop-in-the-bucket victories. It's a #ty system, but don't be too reluctant to enjoy the sweetness when the system is worked in the favor of our rights. Ask any lawyer or politician... I'm sure they'd tell you the entire system is a rigged game that must be worked/manipulated.



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