Phoenix, AZ. Councilman Sal DiCiccio was enjoying the ASU-USC game on Saturday in Tempe until he saw a truck from the Phoenix Police Department with a camera videotaping tailgaters.
“It looked like something from The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. All I can tell you is it’s just creepy,” DiCiccio told AZCentral.com (video below).
He also wrote on his Facebook page: “Why does Phoenix police send out a truck with a camera videotaping tailgaters? It’s just one more level of intrusion by the government looking into our personal lives.”
The Phoenix Police Department claims it was lending it's equipment to the ASU for the game, but ASU denied this claim.
“This was part of a multi-jurisdictional operation to monitor entry and exit points from the stadium area from a homeland security perspective,” Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia said in a statement.
But Chief Garcia refused to explain why police of any jurisdiction had to "monitor entry and exit points from the stadium area" at Sun Devil Stadium.
"For security reasons. Phoenix Police and other agencies do not advertise participation in specific operations nor do we comment on specific tactics or reasons for deployment. Our participation in these multi-jurisdictional operations is a best practice recognized by our federal partners and key to preparedness in the Phoenix metro area,” said Chief Garcia.
DiCiccio is stumped by the refusal of the Phoenix police to justify their actions with a valid reason.
“It has me more concerned. The fact is there is always a concern that something can happen, anywhere, anytime, but there is a reasonable expectation from citizens for a level of privacy from their government," said DiCiccio.
"The question is how far do you want government to do everything they’re doing? Anybody can videotape anyone for any reason. It’s a problem when your government is out there doing that.”
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