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The Police And Their Harassment Of Their Employers

21 July 2014 @ 14:43

Instapundit’s latest column for USA Today is a damn timely read because it deals with a serious problem that has gotten quite worse in this age of The Digital Revolution:

… police often take it even more personally if you photograph them at work. As attorney Morgan Manning reported in Popular Mechanics, people who photograph police in the process of arresting — or beating, or shooting — suspected criminals often find themselves confronted by officers who demand that they hand over their cameras or delete the incriminating images.

Again, the police don’t have any authority to do that. In fact, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has held in the case of Glik v. Cuniffe that the right to photograph police officers in public spaces is so clearly established that officers who break the law by interfering with citizens who do so can’t plead "good faith" immunity. Good-faith immunity is supposed to protect officers who have to act quickly in areas where the law is unclear. The right to take photographs of police officers in public places, said the Court of Appeals, isn’t unclear. (In fact, it’s so clear that the Justice Department has written a letter to law enforcement agencies making that point.) Now the same question is going before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which includes New York City, in response to the New York Police Department’s practice of interfering with people who record its officers.

The question shouldn’t even be close. Leaving aside the fundamental unfairness of law enforcement agencies filling the skies with drones and the streets with cameras and license-plate scanners while objecting to being recorded themselves, there’s an even more significant reason: Unlike private citizens going about their personal business, police officers — and, for that matter, public buildings — are paid for by the taxpayers. The taxpayers should have a right to keep an eye on what their employees are doing.

Dead solid perfect.

Just as when the people of The United States in their local communities and in the Several States began allowing for the creation of police departments and never relinquished their right to self-defense or their right to exercise policing powers, merely delegating the day-to-day business of it to an organized [training came later in the 19th Century] group run by a government entity, so we also never relinquished the right to monitor those employed in our name by the governments of The United States at all levels.

The police have their supervisors, but we are their bosses.

Now, of course, as Glenn points out in another context in his column, we can restrict, through our elected representatives, picture-taking under certain conditions, such as ‘certain classified military facilities‘ and of certain police officers who are at the moment working undercover. But, outside of these few actual security and real safety considerations, we, The Sovereign People [I can't emphasis that phrase enough], have the prerogative to takes pictures or film our law enforcement officials [not just police officers] in the performance of their duties. In fact, we have a Moral Duty to record their actions if we believe they are violating the law and, thus, breaking their oaths and betraying the Trust we have placed in them.

Any unreasonable restrictions of this Power that we have retained are Despotic.

Please do take the time to click here and read all of Instapundit’s column.

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3 Comments
  1. 22 July 2014 @ 07:32 07:32

    Much as strict law-and-order types like to say in defense of warrantless surveillance: if you’re innocent of any wrongdoing, how could you object to being photographed? Also, lots and lots of other people are photographed and/or videotaped as they go about their jobs and I don’t think they have any legal grounds to object. The fact is that some people become cops solely because they’re petty dictators who feel good bullying other people and it’s perfectly reasonable to keep those people on a short leash, particularly because they are sanctioned by the state to use lethal force when they deem it necessary Just look at the guy who was recently killed over selling bootleg cigarettes or that schizophrenic kid who was shot and killed because some asshole cop had no patience.

  2. smmtheory permalink
    22 July 2014 @ 09:14 09:14

    But they don’t really work for us taxpayers though, do they? After all is said and done, they are paid out of money that is extorted from taxpayers under the threat of violence by the “caretakers” in the government.

  3. 22 July 2014 @ 20:37 20:37

    Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

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