Another day, another story of police in the USA trampling all over the rights of citizens. American police are heavily armed, sometimes poorly trained, underpaid, and usually have the full force of the legal system on their side. Things are getting crazier and crazier out there by the day.
On one hand the Obama administration offers millions to purchase body cameras for cops, on the other hand Illinois moves to ban citizens from recording police. If you think your rights are being trampled, often times a cell phone camera or voice recorder are one way to fight back.
Here’s one from a few months back – a woman was stuck in traffic in Baltimore and claims she witnessed a man being kicked by police so she pulled out her phone and hit record. This got her dragged out of her car, tasered twice, and slammed face first into the concrete.
They then called her a “dumb bitch”, seized her phone by snatching it out of her hands before she could lock it, then deleted the video and arrested her for allegedly hitting two officers with her car while going 1 MPH.
Problem was her video had already backed up to the cloud and it was recovered. The cops later dropped all charges and she has a lawyer and is suing.
The cops can record all they want, but their cameras seem to go dead at critical moments, ya know? Protect yourself and know your rights about video and cops (courtesy of the EFF).
Yes you can record cops making an arrest, and know that many of them will tell you that you can’t, or that you better not, and have various ways (like standing in front of your car or making another charge against you) to intimidate you.
You don’t have to give them your password even if they seize your phone but be prepared to be arrested and charges trumped up. Know your Miranda Rights and call a lawyer asap.