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Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police
  
 
lukeb
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p.1 #1 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


The National Press Photographers Association says it appears police violated the First Amendment rights of a Detroit Free Press photographer when she was arrested after trying to get her iPhone back from a police officer who told her to stop filming on a public street and took her phone.

Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the NPPA, wrote a letter today to new Detroit Police Chief James Craig, expressing concerns over photographer Mandi Wright’s arrest and the fact that the SIM card went missing from her phone after police confiscated it.

Wright was arrested Thursday after briefly filming the arrest of a suspect on a public street. Wright said she didn’t know the man approaching her at the scene was a police officer because he wasn’t in uniform and didn’t identify himself.

“In any free country the balance between actual vigilance and over-zealous enforcement is delicate,” Osterreicher wrote. “It may be understandable that law enforcement officers have a heightened sense of awareness after pursuing an armed suspect — but that is no excuse for blatantly violating a person’s First Amendment rights — as appears to be the case here.”

He told Craig that the organization, which has nearly 7,000 members, “has pointed out to numerous groups and law enforcement agencies; photography by itself is not a suspicious activity and is protected by the First Amendment. Unfortunately the reliance by law enforcement officers to question, detain and interfere with lawful activities by photographers has become a daily occurrence.”

Detroit Police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens today said that an internal affairs investigation and an investigation into Wright’s conduct are ongoing.

Officials also are looking into the missing SIM card from her phone, as well as whether Wright was left alone in an interrogation room with the suspect she had been filming.



Jul 17, 2013 at 10:18 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #2 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Cops vs. 1st Amendment violations. Once an outrage, now so commonplace that it fails to shock. When LE is forced to comply with the Constitution it will be a news story.


Jul 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #3 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


BL,

If you are without LE experience, may I suggest that you contact your local PD and request a "ride-along." In fact, request a ride-along on MId's shift for 7 days running. I have some familiarity with your neck of the woods, so I'd recommend that you invest $800 in high quality piece of body armor. It'll lend perspective to your last post. If you do have LE experience, I'd have to question how you were trained and how you applied your training.



Jul 18, 2013 at 12:42 AM
borderlight
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p.1 #4 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


anthonysemone wrote:
BL,

If you are without LE experience, may I suggest that you contact your local PD and request a "ride-along." In fact, request a ride-along on MId's shift for 7 days running. I have some familiarity with your neck of the woods, so I'd recommend that you invest $800 in high quality piece of body armor. It'll lend perspective to your last post. If you do have LE experience, I'd have to question how you were trained and how you applied your training.


Tony... This is about 1st Amendment violations of the Press or ordinary citizens recording events with their cell phones and placed under arrest for doing so. Agreed that cops have a tough job, but illegal arrest and seizure should not be an option. The only exception is if one interferes with LE business. Police sometimes use interference as an excuse to arrest or confiscate. Police who exploit the system like in the above news story should spend as much time memorizing the Constitution as they do the Miranda. The COPS scenario doesn't apply here, but if it did they should arrest the guy in the back seat with the video camera too. It's only fair.



Jul 18, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Sarsfield
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p.1 #5 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


If you are without LE experience, may I suggest that you contact your local PD and request a "ride-along."

No disrespect to you, Mr. anthonysemone but what in the hell does this have to do with the total breakdown of individual rights in the U.S. and other "free" countries in the world? Do you read the news? Are you aware of this disturbing trend? Do you know of the recent cases of brutality leading to death that were filmed and the threats levied against those who filmed them?

I'm sorry friend. The days of respecting law enforcers are quickly coming to an end as they unjustly wield their power against the defenseless public. Yeah, there are criminals out there that need to be arrested and brought to justice but this total breakdown of true law enforcement is frightening.



Jul 18, 2013 at 01:59 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #6 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


borderlight wrote:
Tony... This is about 1st Amendment violations of the Press or ordinary citizens recording events with their cell phones and placed under arrest for doing so. Agreed that cops have a tough job, but illegal arrest and seizure should not be an option. The only exception is if one interferes with LE business. Police sometimes use interference as an excuse to arrest or confiscate. Police who exploit the system like in the above news story should spend as much time memorizing the Constitution as they do the Miranda. The COPS scenario doesn't apply here, but if it did they should
...Show more

+1



Jul 18, 2013 at 02:08 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #7 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Sarsfield wrote:
No disrespect to you, Mr. anthonysemone but what in the hell does this have to do with the total breakdown of individual rights in the U.S. and other "free" countries in the world? Do you read the news? Are you aware of this disturbing trend? Do you know of the recent cases of brutality leading to death that were filmed and the threats levied against those who filmed them?

I'm sorry friend. The days of respecting law enforcers are quickly coming to an end as they unjustly wield their power against the defenseless public. Yeah, there are criminals out there that
...Show more

+1



Jul 18, 2013 at 02:08 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #8 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Sarsfield, are you serious "total breakdown of individual rights in the U.S" ? ? ? ? Surely that is hyperbolic commentary. Have you experienced police brutality? Illegal search and seizure? Failure to be advised of your Miranda rights? Intrusion upon your rights under the 1A to take pictures of LE in the course of their performing their duties? The only intrusion I've experienced on my individual rights has been about my free exercise of my 2A rights, and those intrusions have been unrelated to LE, except by way of idiot legislation brought on by idiot legislators who succumb to idiotic political pressure which in turn follows from the idiotic belief that laws will constrain criminal behavior.

I've been looking for a photographic project to use my newly acquired Nikkor 85/1.4 on my F4. Now I have one. I'll head into Filthadelphia to photo police while they are acting in the course of their duties. It'll be exciting to see the outcome as to how much brutality to which I'm subjected by the constabulary. I fortunately have a crack journalist for the major paper here who lives a couple doors down from me. I'm sure he can point me to areas of the city into which I can go where I'm more likely to "see the action" than others where it's less likely. Might turn into an exciting journalistic opportunity for him as well

Oh I will indeed wear my body armor - not because I fear the police, BTW.

(edit for spelling)



Jul 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM
borderlight
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p.1 #9 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Tony.... I think you are on the wrong track here. We are talking about the consequences of photographing police while on duty. Realistically it can be a hassle for both parties if the police arrest someone who is not breaking any laws. One guy sued the police for false arrest for photographing a cop on duty. The police department lost that lawsuit and had to pay $177,000. OTOH if a judge decides that you interfered with a cop's duty then you lose. There are laws in 38 states, including Mich., that expressly allow citizens to record police. Police cars are equipped to record you when stopped, why not them? It's all about 1st Amendment rights.

If you remember the days of Philly PC Frank Rizzo, or the LAPD during the Rodney King era it is not a stretch to understand police brutality. I think that Sarsfield's second paragraph expressed that. . Depending on the LE officer an arrest can be a brutal experience, but if it tramples on 1st A rights then it is even more disturbing. To ask someone if he personally experienced police brutality to justify that it doesn't happen is nutty. Do you have to experience all the horrors of history to acknowledge them?


http://gizmodo.com/5900680/7-rules-for-recording-police



Jul 18, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Squirrely Eyed
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p.1 #10 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Nobody is minimizing the difficulty our LEOs face in the line of duty, however that difficulty alone is not justification for some transgressions of the law that they commit. A fundamental moral principle of "and justice for all" is that the law enforcement adheres to the same principles expected of the laws they enforce.

There has been considerable media coverage of police confiscating recording equipment from bystanders. I have personally witnessed officers arrest somebody for taking video of an arrest who was clearly not obstructing their arrest at the time. It is quite obvious that their concern is for the collection of evidence that can be used against them, which is ironic because police across the country are frequent supporters of gaining more evidence that can be used against everybody but themselves. License plate scanning databases, warrantless collection of phone records and mobile phone location information, etc. They should expect no less privacy in public than the public itself.



Jul 18, 2013 at 03:00 PM
 

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anthonysemone
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p.1 #11 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


No, BL, I'm not on the wrong track here. I intend to photo cops doing what they do in contacts with private citizens, obtrusively if need be. I know enough not to enter a crime scene physically, one of the caveats I'm not sure fellow photogs are aware of, which, however, doesn't restrict me/them from "entering it" visually with a longer lens. We'll see how many times I get accosted.

Depending upon the level of resistance offered by the suspect, indeed level of force can be brutal. And it may not be commonly recognized that LE is empowered to use all Necessary force to gain control, NOT a minimum level of force, and NOT even a level of force equal to that shown by the suspect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFzH5Oe-YL4



Jul 18, 2013 at 03:07 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #12 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


anthonysemone wrote:

doesn't restrict me/them from "entering it" visually with a longer lens. We'll see how many times I get accosted.

I hope you aren't accosted, but testing the system in a few personal circumstances doesn't disprove that 1st A rights aren't exploited everyday, everywhere. I would hope that someone taking pictures of the police with a cell phone wouldn't be treated like someone being picked up for 1st degree murder. If that was the case I hope another person would record it. There are limits, and commonsense. Before IA the police ran loose. At least now there is accountability.

I saw the video you linked about a year ago. The guy was apparently trying to test his 1st and 2nd A rights at the same time by open-carrying a handgun in public (in a state that allows it) while filming LE responses. The guy was clearly misguided idiot. In this case the police did everything right. Maybe having a streaming camera pointed at them helped subdue their urge to arrest. Imagine if he didn't have a camera or continuously repeat his rights according to national and state law. It would be one of those cases the ACLU drools over and the PD attorneys try to avoid.




Jul 18, 2013 at 03:49 PM
jimmy462
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p.1 #13 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Hi lukeb, etal,

I personally prefer to read about news from news sources, I, otherwise, have no idea how much (your) 3rd-party reporting has added another layer of interpretation onto the events. I recommend providing a link, as such...

National Press Photographers Association expresses concern over arrest of Free Press photographer | Detroit Free Press | freep.com:
http://www.freep.com/article/20130716/NEWS01/307160109/National-Press-Photographers-Association-First-Amendment-Detroit-Free-Press-photographer-arrested

...it'll help keep that whole, "I heard from so-and-so" "game of telephone" effect at bay.

For those interested in understanding the Topic and maybe discussing the matter at hand, follow up reporting and the video of the encounter can be viewed here...

Detroit Police Arrest Newspaper Photographer for Video Recording from Public Sidewalk | PINAC:
http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/07/16/detroit-police-arrest-newspaper-photographer-for-video-recording-from-public-sidewalk/

As for my take...I find these sorts of encounters are usually best understood not in the context of "civil liberties" vs. "law enforcement needs", but rather in the context of "societal rules" vs "aggressive behavioral responses". The elephant in the room, it seems to me, is always "centuries of civilization development" vs. "billions of years of biological survival response evolution". We're hairless primates still on the lookout for tigers, but we can fly spaceships. Civilization will either succeed or fail, IMHO, based on our collective abilities to deal with the fall-out of human aggressive behavior responses. It's an evolutionary battle between the modern brain's prefrontal cortex interactions with the primitive brain's amygdala-steroid response cycles. In plain English...considerate, respectful folks vs. loud-mouthed, aggressive bullies.

I'll side with the civil libertarians on this incident.
Jimmy G

Endogenous Testosterone Modulates Prefrontal–Amygdala Connectivity during Social Emotional Behavior:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169658/

Malamalama, the magazine of the University of Hawaii system: The Biology of Aggression
http://www.hawaii.edu/malamalama/2004/05/f1_aggression.html



Jul 18, 2013 at 04:08 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #14 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


jimmy...

As for my take...I find these sorts of encounters are usually best understood not in the context of "civil liberties" vs. "law enforcement needs", but rather in the context of "societal rules" vs "aggressive behavioral responses". The elephant in the room, it seems to me, is always "centuries of civilization development" vs. "billions of years of biological survival response evolution".

I don't think it occurs to those dedicated, knuckle-dragging police to think about it in those terms unless they were prepping for a college Sociology 101 test.



Jul 18, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Squirrely Eyed
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p.1 #15 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Jimmy, I'm not sure about you, but this primate still has hair. I cannot, however, fly a spaceship.

Meanwhile, the police use cameras to record, track, and indefinitely store vehicle location. A supposed explanation is "to solve future crimes." Oh dear, just wait until they invent Precogs....

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0718/License-plate-scanners-have-allowed-police-to-log-location-and-movement-of-millions



Jul 18, 2013 at 04:40 PM
BruceF99
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p.1 #16 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


anthonysemone wrote:
BL,

If you are without LE experience, may I suggest that you contact your local PD and request a "ride-along." In fact, request a ride-along on MId's shift for 7 days running. I have some familiarity with your neck of the woods, so I'd recommend that you invest $800 in high quality piece of body armor. It'll lend perspective to your last post. If you do have LE experience, I'd have to question how you were trained and how you applied your training.

You might want to read http://photographyisnotacrime.com/ and see the encounters photojournalists and other private citizens have been having with police. It might lend some perspective to your posts.



Jul 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #17 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


Yeah Bruce, as if a thousand documented police abuses involving cameras prove anything.

I think it might be time to arm ourselves with button cameras.



Jul 18, 2013 at 06:59 PM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #18 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


good url, Bruce. Read there, viewed there.


Jul 18, 2013 at 07:55 PM
lukeb
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p.1 #19 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


jimmy462 wrote:
Hi lukeb, etal,

I personally prefer to read about news from news sources, I, otherwise, have no idea how much (your) 3rd-party reporting has added another layer of interpretation onto the events. I recommend providing a link, as such...

National Press Photographers Association expresses concern over arrest of Free Press photographer | Detroit Free Press | freep.com:
http://www.freep.com/article/20130716/NEWS01/307160109/National-Press-Photographers-Association-First-Amendment-Detroit-Free-Press-photographer-arrested

...it'll help keep that whole, "I heard from so-and-so" "game of telephone" effect at bay.

For those interested in understanding the Topic and maybe discussing the matter at hand, follow up reporting and the video of the encounter can be viewed here...

Detroit Police Arrest Newspaper Photographer for
http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/07/16/detroit-police-arrest-newspaper-photographer-for-video-recording-from-public-sidewalk/

As for my take...I find these sorts of encounters are usually best understood not in the context of "civil liberties" vs. "law enforcement needs", but rather in the context of "societal rules" vs "aggressive behavioral responses". The elephant in the room, it seems to me, is always "centuries of civilization development" vs. "billions of years of biological survival response evolution". We're hairless primates still on the lookout for tigers, but we can fly spaceships. Civilization will either succeed or fail, IMHO, based on our collective abilities to deal with the fall-out of human aggressive behavior responses. It's an evolutionary battle between the modern brain's prefrontal cortex interactions with the primitive brain's amygdala-steroid response cycles. In plain English...considerate, respectful folks vs. loud-mouthed, aggressive bullies.

I'll side with the civil libertarians on this incident.
Jimmy G

Endogenous Testosterone Modulates Prefrontal–Amygdala Connectivity during Social Emotional Behavior:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3169658/

Malamalama, the magazine of the University of Hawaii system: The Biology of Aggression
http://www.hawaii.edu/malamalama/2004/05/f1_aggression.html
...Show more

Firstly, you will note that the article is verbatim.

Secondly, I really don't care for your suggestion that I would have.

Thirdly, why don't you join the NPPA and read the articles yourself.



Jul 19, 2013 at 03:58 AM
anthonysemone
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p.1 #20 · Press Photographer Arrested By Detroit Police


I just had the intriguing experience of driving through some sketchy areas in Philadelphia and was overwhelmed with the instances of police brutality I observed, directed toward citizens of those neighborhoods. I'd post the photos except there were none; nope, not one instance of police brutality. In fact, over the course of the 14.2 miles I drove, main streets, secondary and side streets, not one occasion of brutality did I see. Moreover, I witnessed no one with a cell phone taking pictures of those non-events, though there were many folks with cell phones to their ears. Indeed, I saw only two Philly PD cars, one emerging from a doughnut shop , the other at a traffic light, throughout the entire 45 minutes or so of my drive.

Next time, my attack trained Golden Retriever, Emma, and I will choose some even sketchier environs to see what we can see. Who knows, with my Arrest Me Fire Engine Red VW Beetle, I may be the next victim whose predicament will initiate a LE contact to rescue me, and a walking by citizen will witness the transaction - tony getting the shit beat out of him by a resident who doesn't like Red VW's, or whatever - begin to photo police, and be rudely treated for video'g my rescue.


I reviewed again the PINOC site, read through the posts and viewed the videos... hmmmm, asked I, how many of those instances of police brutality (sic) were instigated by the video operator? Ya know .... "hey Officer Krumpke, fuch you!" or, "I've got a goddarn right to carry my firearm openly, and you have no RAS that I've committed a crime or that I'm about to, so fuch off!! Or, "you have no right in this jurisdiction to know who I am; none; zero; zip; nada. So KMA!!!"

I'd go on, but you get my drift.

I'd like to know the data that describe the percentage of contacts by State in which there is LE/Photog confrontation that is a hand-shake all-around? As well, what are the aggregate data that summarize the total number of private citizen events in which said citizens have photographed police, irrespective of positive or negative? Any of you all obviously more versed in this area know where those data might be found?

BTW, I'm perfectly aware that my brief sojourn is not experimentally rigorous.



Jul 19, 2013 at 03:52 PM
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