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posted by janrinok on Tuesday April 07 2015, @12:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the 'give-me-your-Bill'-said-the-officer dept.

In the light of the heated discussions about a certain bill signed in Indiana, here is a more refreshing news about a proposed bill in Colorado. The state of Colorado is considering a bill that outlines punishments for police officers who interfere with photographers. House Bill 15-1290 is titled "Concerning Prohibiting A Peace Officer From Interfering With A Person Lawfully Recording A Peace Officer-Involved Incident".

The bill states that if a person is lawfully documenting a police officer and then has their imagery seized or destroyed without a warrant, they are entitled to $15,000 for actual damages plus attorney fees and costs. The bill also would be applied when a police officer intentionally interferes with a person's ability to capture images.

It seems the bill came up as a result of the number of news reports about police officers telling people "Give me your camera", or taking the data away.

The story is covered further in The Denver channel and PetaPixel.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Tuesday April 07 2015, @01:43PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @01:43PM (#167430)

    $15K isn't enough; this will be considered like "the cost of doing business". It should be $150K, or even $1M.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07 2015, @02:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 07 2015, @02:39PM (#167460)

    If it's 15K taken out of that cops pay, it is more than sufficient. But it's probably 15k taken out of the taxpayers money, in which case almost no amount is enough, and any amount is pretty much punishing the wrong people.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by gman003 on Tuesday April 07 2015, @03:14PM

    by gman003 (4155) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @03:14PM (#167471)

    $1M from the police department funds, $100K from the violating officer himself, and throw out any current cases that officer is involved in.

    The first makes the rest of the cops stop wanting to cover for you, the second gives a measure of personal responsibility, and the third makes the DA and the rest of the non-cop justice department want you gone.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by morgauxo on Tuesday April 07 2015, @04:14PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @04:14PM (#167486)

      ", and throw out any current cases that officer is involved in."

      That is a horrible idea. What if a murderer or rapist goes free and strikes another victim because of this?

      • (Score: 2) by gman003 on Tuesday April 07 2015, @04:35PM

        by gman003 (4155) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @04:35PM (#167492)

        What if a dirty cop goes free to murder more people because we don't have this?

        • (Score: 2) by JNCF on Tuesday April 07 2015, @10:09PM

          by JNCF (4317) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @10:09PM (#167615) Journal

          I think morgauxo was only explicitly arguing against one part of your proposal, the part where we throw out all pending criminal cases the dirty cop had any involvement with. I'm sketchy on how that relates to the dirty cop getting free.

          • (Score: 2) by gman003 on Wednesday April 08 2015, @12:29AM

            by gman003 (4155) on Wednesday April 08 2015, @12:29AM (#167648)

            It's one of those "fear of the punishment keeps people from committing the crime in the first place" ideas, except with the addition that it also punishes those who would otherwise have an interest in hiding the crime. Which is, of course, the real problem with thug cops - they're protected by the rest, for various understandable (but still wrong) reasons, and it takes an extraordinary event and massive effort to break that protection.

            The idea was also motivated by the fact that a thug cop is inherently an unreliable source of evidence, which has obvious effects on the cases they're involved in.

            I will admit that throwing the cases out entirely may be too much - simply excluding all their evidence would suffice for the quality-of-evidence issue. However, our laws are harsh and unforgiving to non-police criminals - I see no reason why the punishment for corrupting the course of justice should be any less brutal.

            • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:15PM

              by morgauxo (2082) on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:15PM (#168337)

              "It's one of those "fear of the punishment keeps people from committing the crime in the first place" ideas"

              Why does a cop on his way to prison care about the outcome of what were previously his ongoing cases? He has more personal things to worry about.

              "a thug cop is inherently an unreliable source of evidence"

              I would want to know what the evidence was before determining that and automatically throwing EVERYTHING out. His word? Not worth much. Winesses he discovered? Were they in on the crime with cop or totally unrelated? What is their motivation for testifying? Photographic evidence? Well.. get an expert to check it out, make sure it wasn't photoshopped.

              And how does the case relate to what the cop did? Is a cop who took a camera away because someone was taping him harassing a minority less reliable when he is trying to put a white guy away for raping white women? (reminder - I'm not arguing for keeping the bad cop, only for continuing to prosecute the rapist)

          • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:06PM

            by morgauxo (2082) on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:06PM (#168331)

            That is correct

      • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Tuesday April 07 2015, @10:12PM

        by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 07 2015, @10:12PM (#167616) Journal

        That is a horrible idea. What if a murderer or rapist goes free and strikes another victim because of this?

        That would be a perfect question to ask an officer doing evil and confiscating the proof. What if the criminals were set free and ended up raping and murdering the offending officers family? Would you feel sorry for him?

        This reminds me of Spiderman. With great power comes great responsibility. For the record no, I don't feel sorry for Peter. He had his chance and he blew it. It was that tragedy that opened his eyes, and made him realise the importance of right and wrong.

        --
        jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
  • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday April 07 2015, @06:42PM

    by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday April 07 2015, @06:42PM (#167533)

    That's why you hire the most expensive lawyer known to man, silly.

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"