Politics

Police taking cameras of journalists during OWS protest, and behaving badly

| by Jerome McCollom

I've written before about the grave threat to America, of people filming with cameras. Or, at least police who might be doing something wrong, think it is such a grave threat, because those with cameras (be they professional journalists or not) are often targeted by the police.

They might have a point. After all, if you are violating someone's civil rights and using unnecessary force, you want to cover up the evidence. The good thing for these cops is, they can destroy and cover up evidence and use their police authority to do so! If someone shouts that they have a First Amendment right to do so, you can hit them up with a charge of obstructing justice, or whatever, of course, after you destroyed the evidence. In the Occupy Wall Street protests, those journalists with cameras are being targeted.

A favorite tactic of police for those who film them is to demand I.D., which they have no right to do so unless they have a reasonable suspicion of a crime. Last I read, using your Constitutional rights of freedom of the speech and the press is not a possible crime.

Police have also tried to get security camera videos from stores erased, such as in the case of a Philly cop who drew his gun and put it to the face of a young woman while grabbing her from behind. Her crime, and the crime of those men with her? Well getting fender bended from behind from the bratty son of the cop. The son went to the police station after the minor car accident and reported the accident to the police. The officer on duty reported no suspicions from the son, of anyone in the other party having a weapon. But, according to the clerk in the store, this guy's father (who is the before mentioned cop) told him in Spanish to say he (one of the men with the woman who had a gun put to her) had a gun.

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

Popular Video

A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

The officer, Alberto Lopez Sr, of course lied about the incident and the only thing that saved this group of people from going to jail for a long time is that video tape. Lopez also wanted the videotape erased. Indeed, two officers took time out of their busy day to ask the clerk the next day, to erase the tape. So, you would think there would be some serious punishment for this? Of course not, this is America. While this cop should have been fired (and possibly those who cops who asked for the tape to be erased), after a slap on the wrist he remained on the force. This story begs the question, how badly to you have to behave to get fired as a cop in America?