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Atlanta police agreed to back off citizens who videotape

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posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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Atlanta police agreed to back off citizens who videotape


www.rawstory.com

The Atlanta police force will no longer tangle with citizens who videotape their actions in public, according to a recent settlement between citizen activists and the city.

"We commend the city for resolving a long-standing problem of police interfering with citizens who monitor police activity," Gerry Weber and Dan Grossman, the lawyers for the activists, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday.

The settlement involved Marlon Kautz, a 27-year-old volunteer with a group that films police activities called Copwatch. Two officers, upon taking his camera phone, told Kautz last year
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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Awesome!!

Strike one victory for the civilian populace, at least in Atlanta!

We have been seeing these episodes in recent times with certain officers confiscating people's cameras, or telling them that it is ILLEGAL to film them, which most of us know is utter BS.

But this group, "Copwatch" took the Atlanta PD to task, and SUED them over such a said confiscation of equipment, and have won their case, and also forced the department to acknowledge a public statement that they must change this behavior.

Nice to see the court system for once in a blue moon work for, and not against the civilians. lol.

www.rawstory.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 12:04 AM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


cheers Cop Watch
turnabout is fair play



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 12:16 AM
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Nice to see the court system for once in a blue moon work for, and not against the civilians. lol.


The system - that being the Constitutional form of government we've established - works far more often than people tend to think it does. Indeed, we have been led to believe that "you can't beat city hall", and that all judges are lawless, but this is just not the case. There are lawless judges, to be sure, but not all judges are so. The problem is not the lawless judges, the problem is the priest class lawyer set who act as officers of the court instead of zealous advocates for their clients.

Granted, Cop Watch relied on lawyers in this instance, but it was not a foregone conclusion that reliance on lawyers would win the day. Reliance on the law - real and undisputed law - on the other hand, will win the day almost every time, and in some instances even when confronted with a lawless judge.

Yet another problem beyond reliance on lawyers, is the unwillingness of people to stand up and fight the corruption. Fortunately that seems to be changing. We are all presumed to know the law, but we have been bamboozled into believing that every act of legislation that comes down the pike is law, instead of what it is...legislation. Legislation is not law, merely evidence of law. The sooner people come to understand this, the sooner the people will get the government they yearn for and at all times the people get the government they deserve.
edit on 14-2-2011 by Jean Paul Zodeaux because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 01:04 AM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


WTF?!?!? back off of them? Talk about a stupid policy from the start? If anything the argument should be from the citizens saying keep our Police department in line, and we wont have to record what they are doing on a constant basis. Whichever member of their command staff thought this type of policy towards the public, and then the person who issued the press release who thought it would be a good idea should be releived of their positions.

This is common sense. If anything the public should be reminded about the correct way to record Law Enforcment so it can be done safely and not jeopradize anything else going on.

After all we are adults, and as such we should conduct our business as such, up to and including resepcting the laws we are suppose to be enforcing on behalf of the people.

As far as the article goes, other departments should take note...



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 01:23 AM
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Yeah it seems like a victory but in reality nothing will change. This is nothing new. Some departments even sent out memos to officers about photography and peoples rights and it basically is still the same.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 04:58 AM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
Yeah it seems like a victory but in reality nothing will change. This is nothing new. Some departments even sent out memos to officers about photography and peoples rights and it basically is still the same.



and way back in the day a group of people told the King to shove his tea tax. Had we had the same mindset then you do now, we would still be singing God save the Wueen and taking tea at noon while dirving on the left side of the street.

Its a victory - All it takes is one to make the point.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:39 AM
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I'm sure they agreed because they place the rights of citizens above all else in a free society...


Had the issue gone to court, they would have lost and in the process wasted tax payer money.

Look how bad things have gotten. The police which works for the city, which is supposed to serve the people, is "allowing" us to have civil liberties...GFYS.



edit on 14-2-2011 by gladtobehere because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:49 AM
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reply to post by Xcathdra
 


That doesn't really qualify as comparison. Many things different. Like much more people involved in the movement against the grown. Policts etc. playing on the background. This is a very small matter and as such wont change anything.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by PsykoOps
 


actually I dont think its a small issue. This topic has come up in a bunch of states, and even the court rulings are against the police in this regard.

If the cops dont figure out sooner, then the federal courts will fix the problem.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:55 AM
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Yeah this topic has popped up many times but the amount of people involved is quite small. It's not like a nation or people in anger over it. Thing is that this isnt anything new. We've had similar things happen when people complain to higher ups about not being able to video cops. As I mentioned memos sent to police, public statements comfirming it is ok and those didn't really seem to have changed anything either. Untill there is anger from more people against this issue there wont be any change.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 08:32 AM
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Ugh...there's no beating you to a story, DD. I had posted this a few hours after you as well (the ATS useless Search function and timestamps strike again), partly because it involves my home town. This was my comment.

Yay, Atlanta. This agreement had to be forced, of course, and whether it holds remains to be seen, but it's a positive step. Maybe it will set a precedent for other departments.

As someone who has been on the receiving end of this tactic/practice by police (for taking a simple picture at the end of a high-speed chase and a few other occasions), who marveled at how they even took the time and manpower to even come over and threaten to arrest me and break my camera, and who filed a few complaints as well (not to this degree), I can attest to the fact that Atlanta needed this to happen.. They do get brutal about this.

I have my own concerns about Copwatch and some of their activities and feel that there do need to be concessions made and precautions taken on both sides, but still think this was the correct decision by our local police department.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by DimensionalDetectiveWe have been seeing these episodes in recent times with certain officers confiscating people's cameras, or telling them that it is ILLEGAL to film them, which most of us know is utter BS.


It depends on where it was filmed because some states do have laws against filming the police. The only ones I can think of are Maryland, Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts so where did the cops get the idea it was illegal? Could it be possible that they are planning on getting a law like this passed?



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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Hurray! A precedent! Is this the first one, or have any other lawsuits been filed, or won?



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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Even if Legal...LEOs should never ever know when you are filming them. Stay back, stay hidden and zoom in or else use a very small HD camera or cell. Recording corruption and brutality can get you baldly hurt and or charged with other offenses.

And always film acts of heroism, and jobs well performed by those that are sworn to "protect and serve" the taxpayers that pay their salary.

It works both ways.
edit on 14-2-2011 by whaaa because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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Also, one can begin a police encounter by placing the officer on the defensive, buy asking him/her to produce ID, badge, business card, and name and hone number of the surety bondsman employed by the State/County/City. Then inform the officer that you are a Sovereign, a Freeman of the Land, and ask why are you being detained against your will? You can freely inform the officer that if they deem to waste your time, you will be happy to waste their time, plus file affidavits and complaints to the Police Chief, Sheriff, or Mayor, and the Civilian Review Board. Never, ever let them search your vehicle without a warrant, and never give any personal information that can be used against you. And do what you threaten to do, always follow up. I have gotten cops reprimanded, letters and complaints in their file, imposed fines, and made them look stupid in court with my knowledge of law. Any one of you can do the same.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by buster2010

Originally posted by DimensionalDetectiveWe have been seeing these episodes in recent times with certain officers confiscating people's cameras, or telling them that it is ILLEGAL to film them, which most of us know is utter BS.


It depends on where it was filmed because some states do have laws against filming the police. The only ones I can think of are Maryland, Florida, Illinois and Massachusetts so where did the cops get the idea it was illegal? Could it be possible that they are planning on getting a law like this passed?


Actually I am under the impression the only state left who is not going along with it being ok to record cops is Illinois. The Maryland incident with the mortorcycle was succesfully chucked out and their wiretap laws were refined by that ruling.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 11:23 AM
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Very cool!

Our right to our perspective (and recording it) is unalienable.



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


Seems reasonable to me. Hey the cops video-record (not "videotape" since no "tape" is involved) themselves without getting upset so why should they mind that we do the same? (ex: cop cars have video cams on their dashboards to record stops).



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by autowrench
Also, one can begin a police encounter by placing the officer on the defensive, buy asking him/her to produce ID, badge, business card, and name and hone number of the surety bondsman employed by the State/County/City. Then inform the officer that you are a Sovereign, a Freeman of the Land, and ask why are you being detained against your will? You can freely inform the officer that if they deem to waste your time, you will be happy to waste their time, plus file affidavits and complaints to the Police Chief, Sheriff, or Mayor, and the Civilian Review Board. Never, ever let them search your vehicle without a warrant, and never give any personal information that can be used against you. And do what you threaten to do, always follow up. I have gotten cops reprimanded, letters and complaints in their file, imposed fines, and made them look stupid in court with my knowledge of law. Any one of you can do the same.



No offense but if you start in with all that the cop is going to immediately think he has an ultra rightie to deal with and he will shift to the offensive mode for sure. Further comments will then be construed as "belligerence" and you will find yourself in the back seat charged with something like interfering with a copper.....etc etc.

So much for "sovereign freeman of the land" unless you also cite the Magna Carta.



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