Courts Uphold Right To Video Police, New Mexico Officer Makes Us Wonder If We Should
Boston.com’s On Liberty blog reports that the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of citizens to video police officers, ruling in part that
changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw. The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.
So great was this victory for First Amendment rights and the New Media, that an Albuquerque police officer celebrated by getting caught in flagrante delicto while in uniform. You know, in case there was any question as to why the courts really ruled this way. And if this whole story smacks of Jalopnik-style only-barely-related-to-cars desperation, we’ve got a “Stump the Best And Brightest” challenge to keep things car-centric: what model of vehicle is the officer “laying down the law” on?
It might be his wife, or girlfriend. Eventually.
I'm surprised that the "crime" wasn't witnessed by half the kids in the neighborhood - attracted by all that jingling and jangling, expecting to see Santa and his sleigh.
Police officers have been known to solicit sexual favors in exchange for not writing a ticket. I'm curious about the back story.
Imagine you are out, it is late, no one is around and you are in an industrial area ...and you really really have to urinate. You look around, find a bush off the street next a building. You say "ahhh..", finish, zip up and an police officer is standing behind you. "What do you think you are doing?" " uh, I had to pee." Result: you get arrested - charge: exposing yourself in public - a sex crime if I understand that charge. (Even if you are blocking any possible view with your CAR door - ha! I fit it in the topic!) Query: What are the chances that the officer will be so charged? Answer: Damn near zero. We can go through the ticket books of all the cops out there - and nearly ever one will have tickets that were written on the discretion of the cop - so why should this idiot get ONLY fired? The financial benefit of not being subjected to the law like we civilians should be factored into the pensions offered the police. *(Result- a downgrade in their direct financial compensation).