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Police arrest a college student taping police activities as part of a group called "Cop Watch"

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posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:03 PM

Tarpon Springs Police arrest a college student taping police activities as part of a group called "Cop Watch"

The two say an officer walked up and said the tape was evidence. Kilgore says he was told he two options: either surrender the tape or go to jail.

When Kilgore, who has taped officers making drug busts in Tampa, said he wasn't comfortable turning the tape over without a warrant, he says the officer got agitated.

Kilgore says the officer kept saying turn it over and he kept saying he wasn't going to and the officer then put on the cuffs.

(visit the link for the full news article)

edit on 22-1-2011 by DimensionalDetective because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:03 PM
This is an issue, that in recent times, has created much controversy, and seems to be the subject of debate and uncertainty on both sides of the coin...

Is the populace allowed to film law enforcement, under constitutional freedom laws?

Or is there beginning to be some ordinance which prehibits this, and invokes confiscation / seizure, and / or possible arrest for non-compliance with handing over said equipment, or "evidence" as this officer claimed it to be?

This seems to be a recurring theme in modern times, with stories like this popping up here and there, and one group saying that L.E. can legally seize film at their discretion, and others saying this is a clear violation of constitutional law.

Discuss please...
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 22-1-2011 by DimensionalDetective because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:37 PM
Gee, what a surprise. NOT.

What's good for the goose, is good for the gander. If we can be taped without our consent, so can they. Unfortunately, they will win out on this in the end. But it doesn't make it right. A case on this needs to go all the way to the scotus, although I'm not sure that one case would or could make the difference. But multiple cases might.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:48 PM
I don't see how filming in a public place can be unlawful.
I can understand how anyone might be uncomfortable being filmed while doing their job. It might be distracting to those not used to it. Years ago I studied at the Philadelphia Child Guidance clinic, and social workers were under observation from peers and supervisors all the time while doing their thing. They were subject to on-going feedback from their observers as well. You get used to it.

The cops can definitely get used to it as well. Being filmed would only be a worry to those acting inappropriately and would actually help those doing their job the right way.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:49 PM
Im with the camera guy on this one. WE NEED TO BLOW THIS UP!!! Our camera's are all we have, if we let them take them away then we have nothing. Our camera's are our guns. We cant let cops take our camera's because they say its evidence. The most they should be able to do, is ask us for our name and number so that they may use the tape in court.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:53 PM
Sounds like Chinese law is already here. I believe the constitution allows the video taping of law enforcement, as they are just as accountable as anyone else, if not more, since the trust of the citizens is placed in them. The new police state we seem to be entering feel that the constitution by which they derive their power no longer has any standing in the operation of this nation. I hope the college student sues for all that officer is worth. There was a snippet on there that the monitary amount would fall back on tax payers, but hopefully the slap in the face will show the taxpayers the corruption that has been playing out lately.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:53 PM
The law is ridiculous, because everything is taped already. So, if those cops made an arrest of a drug bust outside my place of business, and my parking lot cam caught them, did I break the law? What is the difference between my parking lot security cam, and this kid filming the police?

What if the kid was filming his buddy, for a college project, and the cops were in the background?

What if this was a news crew that showed up and began filming?

What if this was a news copter filming from above?

What about the TV show "Cops"????

What about all reality TV shows?

The law in Florida is that both parties have to be aware of the recording, so the kid was in plain view, and the cop was aware of him, so the law was satisfied.

Lawyers are going to rip this law apart in court, but that doesn't help out on the street when you are being bullied into compliance.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 01:56 PM
It is NOT illegal to film officers in the State of Florida like this person did. It is not under wire tapping or filming laws if it is out in the open and not done secretly.

Florida filming laws

Took two seconds to find this link!


posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by ZindoDoone

Yep, and if it was a security cam on a building, they would need a warrant to get it. They couldn't just demand it with the threat of arrest. If it is "evidence" that might help in their drug case, then they should have asked for his contact information. If they needed a warrant, they could have detained him while a proper warrant was secured. There was absolutely no reason for an arrest!

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:04 PM
All people have the right to self defense. It follows then that all people have the right to collectively form a government towards that same end. A just government is one that acts in either defense of individual rights, or failing that in an attempt to establish justice as some sort of remedy if individual rights have been denied or disparaged.

A just government does not have more rights than the people it serves, and arguably has less rights than the people it serves. However, if a government has a right to photograph and record on video the people it serves, then certainly the people who have ordained this government have the right to photograph and record on video government officials.

In a free society, where a just government has been established, the notion of national or state security as an excuse to deny or disparage rights of any individual is a fallacious argument. Indeed, governments use the development of new technologies as an excuse to deny or disparage rights. Thus, when radio was first invented, it wasn't long after that the Federal Communications Commission was created, the excuse being that the technology itself needed to be regulated, but what in effect is regulated is speech.

While people have the right to travel freely, once the automobile was invented it wasn't long after this that licensing and registration schemes were created to regulate the technology, in effect regulating the right to travel, and worse, due to this licensing scheme, and registration, denying the right of property ownership, using the contract of licensing and registration as an excuse to ignore due process of law and impound vehicles before any conviction has even been rendered.

We the People have foolishly gone along with all sorts of incremental surrenders of our unalienable rights for centuries, and today, in this modern world, if we want to operate as a sole proprietor a book store, too many of us will go to city hall and apply for a license to do so. Once we get to city hall and ask for this license, some government official will inform us that we must first obtain a tax identification number from the I.R.S., and very few of us will challenge this dubious collusion between local municipalities and a federal government, and why not? We are the ones who stupidly went to that local municipality and applied for a license to do what is otherwise a right to do.

We do this, in a large part, because of expedience. It is oftentimes easier to go along to get along than fight city hall. So, while we continue to go along to get along, it should not come as any surprise that those of whom we are going along with to get along with will continue to test the boundaries of how far they can push we the people. This is the nature of people and governments.

Who watches the watchmen? If not us, then who,, and if not now, then when?

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:07 PM
I have to agree here. There is no reason to seize the tape, and certainly no violation of Florida laws here. The officer and the department need to be sued. The money will not come from the taxpayers, police departments are insured just like everybody else. The money will come from the insurance company. I wonder why the msm doesn't jump on cases like this? I guess our only chance for justice is to give the information to talk radio hosts like Boortz, Savage, or Hannity(not to sure about Hannity in this case though).

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:10 PM
There are two schools of thought on this.

Those who feel it's 'wise' to protect the identities of law enforcement officers involved in 'undercover' work especially and those that feel there have to be public oversight and accountability of those who are 'technically' paid by the people to protect and serve the people.

The former argument almost becomes reasonable until you realize the basic truth that the vast majority of people arrested for narcotic violations are being arrested technically for 'having a good time', and it happens with such frequency and to such a rate, it has created a private corporate prison system to augment the state's where at both prisoners perform profitible corporate labor for slave wages (usually less than a dollar an hour and sometimes as little as a dollar a day) that is underwritten and paid for by the tax payers, but the bulk of the profits go to the corporate entities using the prison labor for products and services.

Because Congress has displayed it is willing to criminalize almost anything that allows the state greater control over the populace, profit, and to enhance an atmosphere of fear that usually accompanies and drives criminalzation, it is in fact creating a larger and larger class of armed henchmen of the state that are progressively abusing the trust and the authority placed in them more and more frequently to greater and greater excesses.

They clearly want to perpetuate and expand their powers as the same challenge to ciminals in all reality should be the same challenge to officers of the state "If you have nothing to hide..."

Clearly they feel that they do, and that should be a cause of concern for us all.

edit on 22/1/11 by ProtoplasmicTraveler because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:13 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

Man I see why you got MOD, you seem DEAD ON with this stuff.

I agree this seems like police state tactics, they are going overboard.

This is not like the cop was getting taped while he was off duty
playing at the park with his daughter (or whatever you get the point)
This is a hired government official in public,
keeping the peace of the public, (keeping the peace most of the time
they can turn their camera
on and off all the time, when ever they want.

I could see it being illegal if people are interferring with police business.
Or going against vigilanti laws.

What about the show COPS, they get followed with cameras.

They going to stop that show and take it off air?

edit on 22-1-2011 by hillynilly because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:16 PM
Never ever make a big deal out of filming cops if you value your equipment and your freedom. Always do it very discretely with a high quality phone or very small camcorder such as this high def video, good sound but not very good in low light situations.

I use a very small Canon hidden in my lunch bucket with a hole for the lens and operated with a remote. My iphone also takes great video that you can email back to your computer for safe keeping.

Your local TV station will often pay big bucks for exclusive footage of violence, celebrities, storms, stormdamage. etc. and if your footage gets picked up by network or big cable.....$$$$ yeehawww!

Video everything, corruption and heroism. But especially the fascists that want to restrict our freedom of expression and free flow of information.

Always fly under the radar....the paparazzi are not cool and usually bring the heat on themselves and often miss the money shot. Sorry for the ugly reference.
edit on 22-1-2011 by whaaa because: add stuff

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:20 PM
reply to post by whaaa

There you go, these guys were to out in the open with it.

Is it illegal to tape them WITHOUT them knowing?
Well in florida it is. Atleast both parties have to know, which if they do it
is not illegal. This was in Florida
The case has so many holes in it. If the cop knew how is it illegal?

I can see cops not wanting people showing up at every call
with a camera in their face.

So if your discreet and distant your not bothering ANYONE.

God forbid if the cop needed a little help and the camera guy SAVED HIS life.
edit on 22-1-2011 by hillynilly because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:21 PM
The male reporter on the vid is a regular in the Tampa area. He does all kinds of investigative bits exposing local government waste, corruption and general stupidity as well as "consumer affairs" type stories of people getting ripped off by businesses.

One of those guys the public loves and the "bad apples" of local government and businesses hate. Probably one of the best things the kids did for themselves was get their story to this guy.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:24 PM
If you plan on filming cops, it would behoove you to become quick with your hands like a magician. When you see the cop approach you, have an extra "memory chip" in your hand and pretend to pull the actual one but swap it with the dummy chip - hand it to him but make sure to protest while you are doing it.

Suckers fall for it all the time. They walk away thinking they are big bad-ass bullies, when really they are the chumps, because you've got the chip!

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:28 PM
reply to post by harrytuttle

Excellent idea. I have to keep that one in mind and go buy an elcheapo memory card.

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:31 PM
reply to post by harrytuttle

Very good advice. Perhaps if the LEOs think they are being filmed they might think twice before using excessive violence on a taxpayer.

But also video the incredible acts of bravery and compassion the LEOs often display.
I won an award for footage of a deputy sheriff saving a dog trapped in an rushing drainage channel.

edit on 22-1-2011 by whaaa because: sp

posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 02:31 PM
I must say that most cops that I have met are pretty cool and I hate cop-bashing threads, but Ive lived around tarpon for a while and tarpon cops are complete dicks. They have been the focus of many scandals so this doesnt completely suprise me. These are the kind of cops that give the rest a bad name.

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