Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Pennsylvania Police Officer Threatens Ron Paul Supporter for Filming Him in Public
Nevermind that Philadelphia police Commissioner Charles Ramsey circulated a memo on September 23 stating that citizens have the right to record police and it is not illegal
by Larry Simons
October 18, 2011
Here we go, another incident of police officers thinking they are above the law and can arrest people for filming their misconduct.
On October 10, an Exton, Pennsylvania police officer approaches a Ron Paul supporter and tells him he must stay off a median because it is creating a blind spot for drivers. The man is apparently with a small group of Ron Paul supporters and holding up signs.
It is a reasonable request but the police officer engages in two big problems. First, his piss-poor bullying attitude creates an unprofessional back-and-forth incident with the citizen. Shortly after the incident begins, another person [apparently from the Ron Paul group] shows up with a camera and begins recording the incident.
The cop then claims he doesn’t know who Ron Paul is. Fair enough, but if the cop were intervening on these people because he dislikes Ron Paul and his supporters, would he admit he knew who Ron Paul was? Doubtful.
About 3 years ago, I had a similar incident of someone claiming they “didn’t know” who Ron Paul was. My landlord instructed me to take my Ron Paul sign out of the inside of my window because it was not permitted per the lease. But my lease stated this: The tenant agrees that no signs will be placed or painting done on or about the premises by the tenant or at the tenant’s direction without the prior, express and written consent of the landlord.
Obviously this rule was included in the lease to deter damage that might result from either the placing of a sign or painting in the house. But the landlord did allow pictures to be hung on walls, which created holes in the walls from the nails. My Ron Paul sign created no damage whatsoever. It was simply just sitting inside the windowsill held up with a few strips of scotch tape. The landlord said I had to remove it and that he “didn’t know” who Ron Paul was. Yeah, OK. Nice try.
The point is, cops and others in authority DO act on political ideology and I am 100% convinced they know exactly who these politicians are, even when they claim they do not.
The police officer’s second big problem was that, after he found out he was being filmed, he threatened the two young men with being locked up. Then the cop tells the cameraman that if he does not delete the film in front of him, he would go get his detectives and “when we come back, we’re going to have a problem.”
The cop stated the men needed his permission to film. When one of the men said, “Well, you’re a public officer”, the policeman blew up and said, “Walk. I’m telling you to walk right now.”
Turns out, the cop is violating his own police commissioner’s memorandum that was issued on September 23. Exton is just outside of Philadelphia, where the police commissioner there, Charles Ramsey, issued a memo just weeks ago for the purpose of correcting his officers on their notably corrupt conduct [The Philadelphia Police Dept. is one of the most corrupt in the nation].
The memo said that officers “should reasonably anticipate and expect to be photographed, videotaped and/or be audibly recorded by members of the general public”. Additionally, “officers have no authority to confiscate the recording devices” and should never intentionally damage or destroy them or delete images, the memo said. However, if an officer believes that the device contains evidence of a crime and fears that it may be destroyed, the officer can confiscate it without a warrant”.
“It is not illegal to videotape a police officer”, Ramsey said in a phone interview.
“Cameras are everywhere. [Officers] need to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. If someone wants to videotape, they have the right to do so”, Ramsey added.
Exactly. If there is no misconduct or unlawful act on the officer’s part, why would he feel the need to threaten anyone recording him?
watch the video