Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Woman Arrested for Standing in Her Front Yard Filming a Police Arrest

So much for "liberty loving" Americans...

In the police state friendly democracy known as the US, if you are "observing" the police, that makes them feel "unsafe" and therefore they arrest you.

If you don't believe that, watch this...

I guess all that stuff about "basic freedoms" and "the Bill of Rights" is window dressing. The only rights you have in the US when the police order you to jump is to ask "how high?" or if they say you are making them feel "unsafe" you need to flee for the hills.

Update 2011jun24: The police in Rochester continue to prove that they can put their boot to the throat of the innocent especially anyone who refuses to kowtow to the august "authority" of the police. These are thugs in uniform. Here is their latest outrage:
Police Harass Community Members Attending Meeting in Support of Emily Good

During a public meeting to discuss support for Emily Good and issues on police accountability, the Rochester Police Department appeared at the Flying Squirrel Community Space to harass and intimidate attendees. Click to see the video of this police harassment.
Obviously the police sheriff is either an idiot or asleep. As well, the mayor of Rochester should intervene and call off the police "attack dogs". This city is now the butt of jokes about police wearing their caps so tight they can't get blood to their brains.

Update 2011jun28:Charges have now been dropped against the woman for videotaping from her front yard. From the Democrat and Chronicle:
The District Attorney’s Office today agreed to dismissal of the criminal charge against Emily Good, who was arrested in May while videotaping police making a traffic stop.

The video of Good’s arrest has gone viral, attracting nationwide news coverage, including a live interview with Good on CNN. Though the criminal charge against Good was a lone misdemeanor count, her arrest became the centerpiece of a community debate over the police response.

Good supporters maintain that the Rochester officer was peeved at Good’s videotaping and arrested her without legal cause. Others claimed the police response was justified, the proper answer to a meddling woman who could have put the officers’ and others’ lives as risk.

For prosecutors, however, the question was much more narrow: Did Good illegally impede police as defined by the state’s criminal laws?

In court papers, Good’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Stare, had requested that the charge be dismissed for lack of evidence.

Stare noted that, under the law, Good would have needed to use intimidation, force or “interference” to disrupt the police traffic stop. Good was 10 to 15 feet from the police and doing nothing to interfere with them, Stare argued in court papers.


The dismissal of the criminal charge, however, may not bring an immediate end to the controversy. Police say they have started an internal investigation into whether Good’s arrest by Officer Mario Masic was justified.

A statement issued today by Mayor Thomas S. Richards, City Council President Lovely A. Warren and Police Chief James Sheppard supported the dismissal of the charge by the District Attorney’s Office. They also said there would be an investigation into both the Good incident and subsequent parking tickets issued to some of her supporters.

Also, Good is considering a civil lawsuit, she and local lawyer Donald Thompson both said.

That action could challenge the training programs for Rochester police, Thompson said.

Good, in her pajamas, was videotaping a police traffic stop in front of her Aldine Street home on May 12 when Masic asked her to return to inside her house. He said he felt threatened by her presence; Good refused, saying she was in her right to be in her yard.

Masic then arrested her, which also was filmed.
This is such a blatantly trumped up case that the Rochester authorities had to back down. They had no case. In fact, if Emily Good was a wealthy person, she could pursue harassment and intimidation charges against the police... and win! But "the little people" are lucky enough to get out from under the oppressive thumb of overweening power that they normally are grateful to get back to their ordinary lives. It isn't clear to me that the police have learned a lesson. Heads should roll in the police department. You don't intimidate citizens for acting on their Constitutionally guaranteed rights. That is the path to a police state. It is not just the right of citizens to monitor police actions, it is a duty. Citizens have to ensure that police conduct remains legal and within bounds so that corrupt police departments or civic "government" don't become petty tyrannies using state power to run roughshod over citizens.

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