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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: 1) by weilawei on Monday August 18 2014, @11:46AM

    by weilawei (109) on Monday August 18 2014, @11:46AM (#82545)

    Make taking home video a felony, with immediate suspension without pay, pending an automatic investigation and trial, followed by mandatory prison time. If you have a (near-)monopoly on doing violence in the name of the People, you should be held to a higher standard. Additionally, there should be a strong chain of custody and privacy protections on video evidence. Once a complaint/charge (not sure what the appropriate level is; this will take fine-tuning) is filed, both sides should have full copies of the raw footage to prepare and present their case (and the video should never be excluded from court).