Posts Tagged ‘officer’

Cop arrests man for (spins the wheel of made up laws)…”unlawful photography”

July 15, 2008

Nearly everyone carries a cell phone and it’s hard to find one without that camera feature.  It’s convenient when you want to take that impromptu photo, but a Tri-Cities area man ended up behind bars after snapping a shot of a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.

The cell phone photographer says the arrest was intimidation, but the deputy says he feared for his life.

“Here’s a guy who takes me out of the car and arrests me in front of my kids.  For what?  To take a picture of a police officer?” said Scott Conover.

A Johnson County sheriff’s deputy arrested Scott Conover for unlawful photography.

“He says you took a picture of me.  It’s illegal to take a picture of a law enforcement officer,” said Conover.

Conover took a picture of a sheriff’s deputy on the side of the road on a traffic stop.  Conover was stunned by the charge.

“This is a public highway,” said Conover.

And it was not a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy as Tennessee code states.  The deputy also asked Conover to delete the picture three times.

“He said if you don’t give it to me, you’re going to jail,” said Conover.

Under the advice of the Johnson County attorney, the sheriff would not comment and the arresting deputy said he didn’t want to incriminate himself by talking to us.

In an affidavit, the deputy said he saw something black with a red light which he thought was a threat.  Conover was also arrested for pointing a laser at a law enforcement officer.

“At no time did I have a laser.  I had an iPhone,” said Conover.

When you take a picture in the dark with Conover’s Apple iPhone, there is no flash or any light that comes from the phone that could be mistaken for a laser.

In a witness statement by a Mountain City officer, is says the deputy asked about the picture rather than looking for a laser.

“If you arrested me, wouldn’t you take the laser?  If you arrested me, wouldn’t you take the camera?” said Conover.

He expects these charges to be dismissed.

“This guy maliciously arrested me, charging me with phony charges that he don’t even understand himself,” Conover said.

The American Civil Liberties Union would not comment on Conover’s case without fully reviewing the allegations, but told us there is no law that prohibits anyone from taking photographs in public areas, even of police.  Taking photos is protected by the First Amendment.  Conover is ordered to appear in a Johnson County court on August 6th.

Source

A good resource utilized by photographers that gives an overview of a photographer’s rights can be found here.

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Kalamazoo, Michigan (U.S.) police officer smashes handcuffed suspect’s head into wall, knocks out 3 of suspect’s teeth. Consequence: a 10-day suspension.

June 20, 2008

Kalamazoo police officer Derek Nugent slammed a 16 yr. old suspect’s face into a wall at a police station, resulting in 3 of the boy’s teeth breaking. The suspect’s hands were handcuffed behind him, so he was not a physical threat to the officer. The officer received a whooping 10-day suspension. The suspect, an african-american 16 yr. old boy, has a history of criminal problems. Apparently, those 2 factors are enough to let the officer off with a slap on the wrist. Quite disgusting. Even more disgusting is the following “explanation” that continues to enable police abuse like this.

No one is justifying what Officer Nugent did, but the Kalamazoo County prosecutor confirms the teen has a long list of run ins with the law, including assault and battery and arson.

Well, hell, that makes everything ok, then, right? Imagine if there had been no video…..or imagine if this kid was from a white, middle-class family? A whole different story then…

Read more here

Disturbing video of the incident

Kalamazoo City Commission Members–feel free to drop them a line to let them know what you think of the situation.

Chicago woman awarded $7.7 million for false arrest

June 14, 2008

A trained nurse, Rachelle Jackson immediately ran toward the sound of the crash. A Chicago police car had collided with another vehicle and was starting to smoke, two officers still inside. Fearing an explosion, she quickly pulled one officer from the passenger side.She never imagined her act of kindness nearly six years ago would land her in jail for more than 10 months on charges that she robbed, battered and disarmed a peace officer.

Jackson filed a lawsuit, and on Thursday a federal jury found against the city and several Chicago police officers, awarding Jackson $7.7 million for false arrest, malicious prosecution, coercive questioning and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“I’m going to go home and lie down for a little bit,” an ecstatic Jackson, 41, said after the verdict. “I feel relieved. I’m happy, and I’m thanking God.”

The case began in November 2002, when a car ran a stop sign in Jackson’s neighborhood, slamming into the squad car. Jackson was walking nearby and rushed to the scene. When she arrived, the officer behind the wheel was unconscious and the passenger, Officer Kelly Brogan, was dazed.

She pulled Brogan from the wreckage and helped her to a nearby stoop. Soon after, police approached Jackson and told her that the driver’s weapon had been stolen. When she was asked to go to the police station for questioning, she thought it was as a witness to the accident.

Instead, Jackson was accused of the theft. She was held for two days with little food and water and was threatened with violence until she agreed to sign a statement police had prepared for her. She was then charged and spent more than 10 months in the Cook County Jail awaiting trial.

Her case was later thrown out by a Circuit Court judge. Jackson sued the city, Brogan and the two interrogation officers in 2003.

Defense attorney Andrew Hale said the amount the jury awarded Jackson was “excessive” and that he would file post-trial motions to have the amount reduced.

He also questioned Jackson’s intentions when she pulled the officer from the car.

“The officer said [Jackson] came at her, tried to get her gun and put her in a full-Nelson hold,” Hale said. “I’m disappointed the jury could think that would be a legitimate rescue technique.”

But Jackson’s attorneys said it was clear she was trying to help the officer, not harm her.

“This was an innocent woman who saved a police officer from a burning car,” said Chris Smith, who tried the case with Dan Alexander. “There were many heroes out there who helped the police, but they all turned into suspects because some guy ran away with the gun.”

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