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Connecticut Bill Aims to Make Cops Pay for First Amendment Violations

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posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:01 AM
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Officers of the law in Connecticut may soon have a strong incentive to tolerate citizens filming them—financial liability. Police typically work under the condition of "qualified immunity," which protects them from liability when they screw up and say arrest a person for filming them. This deflects the legal costs (lawyer fees, settlements, etc) from the officer himself onto the city or department for which he works—the publicly-funded city or department for which he works. And, regardless of the outcome, it's taxpayers' wallets that are on the line. Well, Sen. Eric Coleman (D-Bloomfield) is having no more of it. He's sponsored a bill that will hold individual officers liable if they violate a citizen's First Amendment rights in the fairly-specific set of circumstances surrounding filming on-duty police.


I'm OK with this. Love cops, love accountability. I see nothing wrong with filming a police officer, unless under the circumstances highlighted in the article. And in some cases still think it's OK. Keep the honest cops honest, fault the bad ones, and give the good ones a pat on the back. If I'm going to be videotaped when I get pulled over, I see no issue with me videotaping a police officer. If I'm getting videotaped running a red light, then I see no issue videotaping a cop on the job. Now I can certainly see the other side of the argument here, but I really believe if you violate someones rights, and you are aware of the laws you are sworn to protect this should not be an issue.

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posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:24 AM
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I don't know what to make of you sometimes.

Connecticut is considered the "police state' in all of New England. Do you live around here?
It's like Hell driving through CT on any given weekend. I feel guilty just driving through their highways.

First state to declare martial law.... Illinois, 2nd state is Connecticut, full on shoot on site state.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:35 AM
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reply to post by JibbyJedi
 





I don't know what to make of you sometimes.


Did we used to date?

I love cops, I wanted to be one. I also hate bad cops and believe that everyone should be held accountable for their actions. If you are representing a police department, and violate laws you are sworn to protect, why in the hell should taxpayers be liable for your mistake? I believe there should be some reasonable limits on suing a cop for something like this, don't bankrupt the man, but punishing the wallet is a good way to start. Maybe $10k per violation.

I think there is only one person on this site that knows what to make of me, and that member shall not be named. I don't always agree with the positions I take, but damn there needs to be an opposing view sometimes.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:36 AM
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Being a "LEO" with 25 yrs on the force. I am all for this. The constitution comes first. We swore an oath to it. We are public servants and need to be transparent. We are not here to protect the system. We are here to keep the peace. Period. Hence our title "Peace Officer" Unfortunately we are called many other names, But in the end we are simply "Peace Officers".

As a Sgt. I am ready to retire in the next few years and to tell you the truth I am not pleased with the way the profession is going



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:59 AM
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reply to post by BioSafe
 





As a Sgt. I am ready to retire in the next few years and to tell you the truth I am not pleased with the way the profession is going


What are your main concerns? I've had very positive experiences with law enforcement for the most part. I get pulled over a lot. Used to deal with the police fairly regularly at my old job. Do you think it's the department? The area? The times? I've become increasingly critical of Tazer use, though I am a big fan of the tool in the correct hands. I think you should do a thread on what you have seen, and what you find problematic with the profession now. I for one would love to read it. I'm sure many others here would be very interested as well.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:10 AM
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Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by BioSafe
 





As a Sgt. I am ready to retire in the next few years and to tell you the truth I am not pleased with the way the profession is going


What are your main concerns? I've had very positive experiences with law enforcement for the most part. I get pulled over a lot. Used to deal with the police fairly regularly at my old job. Do you think it's the department? The area? The times? I've become increasingly critical of Tazer use, though I am a big fan of the tool in the correct hands. I think you should do a thread on what you have seen, and what you find problematic with the profession now. I for one would love to read it. I'm sure many others here would be very interested as well.

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Domo, Ill take you up on that offer. I have been debating on doing just what you suggested. I will give it some thought and will create a thread later. I don't want to take away from your thread..



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:26 AM
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reply to post by BioSafe
 





I will give it some thought and will create a thread later. I don't want to take away from your thread..


I really hope you do. I think you could write a wonderful thread that would highlight the good of police officers, point out some misconceptions, and also point out some wrongs. I believe a thread like that would be well received here. Screw my thread, I'm far more interested in you starting an honest discussion about your career, and where you think the profession is headed.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:32 AM
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Originally posted by Domo1
reply to post by BioSafe
 





I will give it some thought and will create a thread later. I don't want to take away from your thread..


I really hope you do. I think you could write a wonderful thread that would highlight the good of police officers, point out some misconceptions, and also point out some wrongs. I believe a thread like that would be well received here. Screw my thread, I'm far more interested in you starting an honest discussion about your career, and where you think the profession is headed.



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Domo, you got it. I will give you my thoughts. Let me ponder this over a good bourbon and ill put together a thread from an inside view of the profession.



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


Good for Connecticut.. Now if Illinois can fix their rectal-cranial inversion....

I don't care if a person is recording something we are doing provided their actions do not interfere in whats going on, dont place the officers or the person(s) they are dealing with in any danger, and does not place the individual recording in danger (people have a tendency to tunnel vision and dont pay attention to whats going on around them, like cars, debris etc etc etc).

As far as being recorded by an individual we are dealing with - Absolutely not unless its from their own camera / recording device inside the car and only if they are not manipulating it..

When a person is pulled over / detained, their movements are restricted under the 4th amendment. Because of that status, their safety becomes the responsibility of the agency who stopped them (specifically the officers). Allowing a person who is detained to freely record the situation poses several issues, including that of paying more attention to recording and less attention to what the officer is telling them.

If there are passengers in the car or friends on the street when contact is made by the police, and provided they aren't a part of the investigation as well as circumstances, I could care less if they want to record, again provided its done in such a manner that doe not place anyone in any type of danger.

However, since they were with the person detained, its entirely possible for them to be considered detained as well, depending on the situation, which would allow for the police to tell them to stop and go from there.

The issue with this topic is the balancing of whats going on - the officers / individual contacted safety, the safety of 3rd parties, non interference in the investigation / detention, is the presence of the person who is recording causing an escalation of anger / hostility etc?

A person who may have something to prove could very well be compliant and at ease without being recorded. If a person starts recording who is not law enforcement, the person may feel the need to act like a bad ass in order to protect some illogical status of themselves to their friends who might see the video later on.

I am all for sunlight being cast on Police actions.. However thats contingent upon that sunlight not blinding anyone that may result in adverse consequences. There is a reason on the new episode of cops you dont see the cameras going into the houses during domestics and several other crimes - courtesy of supreme court rulings.
edit on 27-4-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 07:35 AM
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It never should have come to this.

It's been upheld time and again that there is nothing wrong with filming cops yet seemingly everyday some cop somewhere gets all huffy over it and sets in motion a pointless chain of events inevitably resulting in more bad cop PR, an abused member of the public and taxpayers footing the settlement bill.

What's so hard about not acting like a psycho jackass?



posted on Apr, 27 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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Oh boy, another law! Come on, seriously? There's already an existing law for first amendment violations that's being ignored completely. Why create yet another law to be ignored?

/TOA
edit on 27-4-2012 by The Old American because: (no reason given)



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