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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday August 16 2014, @01:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-I-see-you dept.

Olga Khazan writes in The Atlantic that police in Ferguson, Missouri, arrested two reporters Wednesday night as protests over the police shooting of an unarmed teenager continued for the fifth day. The journalists, the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly, were only detained for about 15 minutes before being released, but the incident provoked widespread outrage over the Ferguson police's increasingly brutal tactics.

Lowery wrote that armed officers stormed a McDonald's in which he and Reilly were working and demanded to see ID. They then told Lowery to stop video recording them, and finally they ordered the reporters to leave and claimed they weren't leaving fast enough. According to other reports, the Ferguson police also demanded that an MSNBC camera man and a local Fox News crew take down their cameras. Police hit the crew of Al Jazeera America with tear gas and dismantled their gear.

"The arrest and intimidation of journalists for documenting the events in Ferguson is particularly disturbing because it interferes with the ability of the press to hold the government accountable. But actually, anyone journalist or otherwise can take a photo of a police officer," writes Khazan. "Citizens have the right to take pictures of anything in plain view in a public space, including police officers and federal buildings. Police can not confiscate, demand to view, or delete digital photos."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tathra on Saturday August 16 2014, @03:43PM

    by tathra (3367) on Saturday August 16 2014, @03:43PM (#82083)

    they need to press charges for assault and battery, and anybody arrested or even detained for photographing/videoing police needs to press charges for kidnapping and illegal confinement. these cops are fucking criminals, its time we start treating them that way.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dcollins on Saturday August 16 2014, @08:22PM

    by dcollins (1168) on Saturday August 16 2014, @08:22PM (#82126) Homepage

    Problem: To "press charges" isn't really a thing for civilians. Regardless of the desire of the victim, the decision to bring a criminal case to court rests in the hands of the district attorney, for better or worse. And they don't prosecute cops. The end.

    "If a person decides to press charges, he must report the event that occurred in as much detail as possible. The prosecutor will then review the information provided and determine whether to prosecute or not. Not every situation leads to an arrest or trial. Sometimes, the prosecutor will decide there is insufficient evidence to arrest the accused and take him to trial; other times, the prosecutor will determine the behavior of the accused did not meet all the elements of the crime and therefore no criminal sanctions are appropriate." []

    Some people occasionally use this problem to argue for the allowance of hiring prosecutors and initiating criminal cases by private entities. I'm sympathetic, but can also see the possibility of widespread mischief on the part of the very wealthy.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Saturday August 16 2014, @09:21PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday August 16 2014, @09:21PM (#82135)

      Then the people need to set up their own independent courts and arrest and haul these cops before these courts forcibly. Then they can have swift punishments the way they used to in Colonial times, such as chopping off hands.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16 2014, @10:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16 2014, @10:22PM (#82150)

        Yeah, because that will totally work.
        Nobody is gong to come stop those independent courts at all.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16 2014, @11:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 16 2014, @11:10PM (#82156)

          If we don't reign in all these corrupt public institutions, vigilante and mob "justice" will be inevitable.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tathra on Saturday August 16 2014, @09:35PM

      by tathra (3367) on Saturday August 16 2014, @09:35PM (#82139)

      acquiescing is the worst possible thing anyone can do after being illegally harassed by police. start by filing your report and intent to press charges at a level above the perp - if its a city cop, start at county; if its county, start at state; if one level above refuses to act, go to the level above them, as high as you have to go. whatever you do, do not try to file at that officer's precinct, because then you're more likely to just get harassed even more while it gets swept under the rug. if you take it all the way up to your state's Inspector General (IG) or even all the way to federal and still no prosecutor is willing to do their fucking job, you can probably get them all for conspiracy and obstruction of justice as well.

      if all that fails and you still get nowhere, file a civil suit against the entire state. whatever you do, do not simply do nothing and acquiesce.

      at least in the military, we basically just have to say that we're going to write congress or talk to the IG and people square their shit away right away when they know they're in the wrong, so make it clear you'll go as high as you have to in order to get justice delivered to these felons.