here - CopBlock

War on Cameras: An Interactive Map
Light blue incidents:
Annapolis, MD police officer threatens to "lock up" man for filming anti-gay marriage rally
A pro-gay marriage activist was filming an anti-gay marriage rally when a police officer ordered
him to leave the area. When he refused to cross the street, the officer said "Don't make me lock you
up." At this point, the videographer left the area.
 Carlos Miller, "Maryland capitol police threaten videographer with arrest" (Jan. 22nd, 2010),
Photography is Not a Crime
 Video of the incident
Aptos, CA State Parks ranger detains group for taking family photos
Howard McGhee was taking photographs of his family at Seacliff State Beach in California when
he was detained by a State Parks ranger and accused of taking commercial photographs.
A State Parks regulation requires commercial photographers to acquire a permit through the
California Film Commission. McGhee was not taking photographs for commercial purposes, but
the State Parks ranger told him he needed a permit anyway.
The State Parks ranger eventually allowed McGhee and his family to leave, but not before running
all their names through a computer to see if they had outstanding warrants.
 Jennifer Squires, "Family photo shoot at Seacliff State Beach highlights obscure state law"
(Dec. 3rd, 2009), Santa Cruz Sentinel
Atlanta, GA police harass Copwatchers for filming traffic stop
Two members of East Atlanta Copwatch saw police officer conducting a traffic stop and began
recording. One of the officers approached them, told them that what they were doing was illegal,
then accused them of blocking the sidewalk, and ordered them to leave. The officer ignored
multiple requests to identify himself.
The Copwatchers continued to document the traffic stop and noticed another officer sitting in a
police cruiser who pointed his phone at them and appeared to take pictures of them.
The Copwatchers continued recording and were again ordered to leave. They ignored the orders and
continued to document the traffic stop.
 Marlon Kautz, "North Ave. Traffic Stop" (Apr. 9th, 2010),
 Video of the incident
Connecticut state trooper screams at reporter for filming scene of car crash
On December 4, 2010, a news reporter was filming near the scene of a fatal car crash when he was
confronted by two Connecticut state troopers. One of the troopers exploded on the reporter,
shouting "Does it look like something that needs to be filmed?" and then screaming at him to "Turn
that goddamn thing off and get out of here!" After a few seconds, the reporter still had not left and
the officer shouted "Don't make me say it again!" The reporter then turned his camera off and left
the scene.
 Carlos Miller, "Connecticut State Police Officer Throws Tantrum Over Photojournalist"
(Dec. 5th, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 "Woman dies from injuries in fiery Fairfield crash" (Dec. 6th, 2010),
 The reporter's footage
 Shorter version of video (police confrontation only)
Court security harass man for filming outside Phoenix, AZ courthouse
Doug Hester was filming outside the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse in Phoenix to see
how long it would take before he was harassed by court security. After just a few minutes, he was
confronted by two security guards one of whom demanded to know why he was filming. Hester
asked if he was free to go and was told "Not yet." Hester continued to ask if he was free to go and
the security guard finally changed his mind.
Before Hester left, the guard said "If I catch you videotaping the building again you will be arrested
by the Phoenix Police Department."
"On what charge?," Hester asked.
"On the charge of... We'll talk to the Phoenix Police Department," the guard said.
"You’re not supposed to videotape any federal court building," said the second guard.
Hester asked what law made it illegal to record federal court buildings.
The second guard said National Security Act -- a law which has absolutely nothing to do with
filming outside courthouses -- and the first added "Oklahoma City, that’s why." (The Oklahoma
City bombing has nothing to do with the National Security Act which was, in fact, passed several
decades prior to the bombing.)
"It all comes down to Homeland Security and all that," said the second guard.
"If you want to talk to our Homeland Security people, we can arrange that right now and we will
detain you," said the first guard.
Hester asked if he was free to go and the security guards left him alone.
 Carlos Miller, "'If I catch you videotaping the building again, you will be arrested'" (Apr.
6th, 2009) Photography is Not a Crime
 Hester's footage of the incident
El Paso, TX officer harasses news station manager for filming
News station manager Hollis Grizzard was standing next to a public sidewalk and filming the
aftermath of a car accident with his iPhone. Police officer John Chavez, who was standing on the
opposite side of the street, ordered Grizzard to stand on the sidewalk. Grizzard complied.
Not long after, the officer crossed the street and said, "Sir, this is a juvenile. Why are you recording
him?" Grizzard responded that he was with a news station. The officer continued asking why
Grizzard was filming even though he had already provided an answer. The officer cited "the
integrity of the victim" as his reason for pestering Grizzard.
Grizzard later said that he felt intimidated by the officer.
 Adriennce Alvarez, "Manager Reacts to Officer Confrontation" (Mar. 5th, 2010),
Federal officers harass photographer on two separate occasions
Joel Chandler was harassed twice by federal agents for taking pictures outside federal buildings in
Tampa, FL.
The first incident, occurred in December, 2009. Chandler was approached by two Immigration and
Customs Enforcement agents. They asked Chandler a number of questions which he answered in a
friendly tone.
Eventually, Chandler decided to photograph the officers and they demanded that he stop. Chandler
pointed out that he has a right to take pictures in public and one of the officers responded "not when
a federal officer tells you that no, you can't take a picture of him." Chandler continued asserting his
right to photograph and the second officer pulled the first aside and told him that Chandler was
right. The officers then left him alone.
The second incident occurred on January 24, 2010. Chandler was approached by Federal Protective
Services officer John Bird. Bird asked why Chandler was taking pictures citing "security threat
reasons." Chandler informed the officer that he was in public and had a right to take pictures. The
officer asked to see Chandler's ID and Chandler asked if the officer was making a Terry stop. Bird
then admitted that he didn't know what a Terry stop is.
Bird continued pressing Chandler for his ID and asking him why he was taking pictures. Chandler
eventually got Bird to admit that he hadn't done anything illegal and walked away from the situation
about a minute after.
 Carlos Miller, "Federal officers twice fail at intimidating photographer" (Jan. 25th, 2010),
Photography is Not a Crime
Federal officer harasses Copwatcher for filming EPA building
On March 1st, 2010, members of East Atlanta Copwatch were filming a demonstration by
environmentalists outside of the EPA building. During the demonstration, one of the Copwatchers
was approached by a federal officer who ordered him not to take pictures of the front of the
"Is there a law against that?" the Copwatcher asked.
"Yes, there is," the officer responded before walking away.
A short time later, the officer walked by again and the Copwatcher him to identify himself. The
officer responded by asking for the Copwatchers name. After providing his name, the Copwatcher
read the officer's name off his badge which prompted the officer to demand his ID.
"Am I required to give you ID?" the Copwatcher asked.
"If I ask you to. You asked me to," the officer taunted before walking away again.
 Marlon Kautz, "Mountain Justice EPA Protest" (Mar. 1st, 2010),
 Video of the incident
Kentwood, MI mayor reports man to Homeland Security for taking photographs of water
In 2010, Ed Heil was taking photographs of a water tower when he was approached by two utility
workers who demanded to know his name and why he was taking pictures. Heil told the workers
that he wanted to be left alone and left the scene to go to a public library to get some work done.
The utility workers followed Heil into the library, continued demanding his name, and told him that
he was probably a terrorist planning to poison the city's water supply.
"I was physically shaking with anger and fear, and let them know in no uncertain terms that I did
not believe this was a legitimate exercise of authority, and I wanted them to cease harassing me and
let me work," Heil said. "I told them they had no right to demand any personal information from
me, but they were so intimidating and threatening, I did give them my name and they finally went
The mayor later praised the utility workers for harassing Heil, claiming that they did a "good job."
The major also referred the incident to the Department of Homeland Security.
Interestingly enough, pictures of the water tower Heil was photographing are published on the City
of Kentwood's website.
 John Agar, "Man's 'nerdy' hobby lands him in hot water after taking photos of Kentwood
water tower" (Sept. 25th, 2010),
Los Angeles, CA police officer detains photographer, calls him a "fruitcake"
On February 21st, 2010, a photographer began taking pictures of a police officer conducting a
traffic stop. The officer launched into a tirade: "Me, I'm a citizen of this country. I was in the Marine
Corps a few years getting shot at for you. You can move along."
When the photographer did not leave, the officer angrily called him a "fruitcake" and told him he
was being detained for taking pictures. The officer then looked up information about him and
informed him that he had unresolved parking tickets.
The officer insisted that photographing people without their permission is illegal, however, he did
not cite or arrest the photographer.
The incident was caught on video by the photographer apparently unbeknownst to the officer.
 Dennis Romero, "Caught On Tape: LAPD Officer Calls Photographer 'Fruitcake,' Detains
Him" (Jun. 2, 2010), LA Weekly
Maricopa County sherrif's deputy detains attorney for filming traffic stop
On September 5th, 2009, two attorney were observing a traffic stop conducted by Maricopa County
sheriff's deputies. One of the attorneys was filming the incident with a camera. One of the deputies
crossed the street, confronted the man, and demanded to see his ID. The man started walking away
and did not respond. The officer then accused him of "interfering" despite the fact that he was
standing nowhere near the traffic stop. The man continued walking and the deputy ordered him to
stop which he did.
The deputy then told the man to turn his camera off and turn it over as "evidence." The man
declined to turn over the camera and the deputy continued detaining both attorneys. Eventually the
deputy seemed to lose interest in them and they decided to leave.
 Carlos Miller, "Arizona deputies harass videographers on 3 occasions in less than 2 weeks"
(Sept. 9th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
 Video of the incident
Maricopa County sherrif's deputies swarm man's car after they spot him filming
In 2009, Carlos Galindo saw a group of Maricop County sheriff's office vehicles gathered in a
parking. He drove into the parking lot and began filming from his car.
A huge group of Maricopa County sheriff's deputies swarmed Galindo's car. One of the deputies
quickly told Galindo -- who is Latino -- "This has nothing to do with immigration. Nothing at all."
The officer then began ordering Galindo to leave and threatened to arrest him.
While Galindo was being ordered to leave by one deputy, a second deputy opened his driver-side
door. Galindo asked why the officer had opened his door and was yelled at to leave.
At this point, Galindo drove off.
 Carlos Miller, "Arizona deputies harass videographers on 3 occasions in less than 2 weeks"
(Sept. 9th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
 Galindo's video of the incident
Miami blogger harassessed multiple times for filming TSA checkpoint
On November 23, 2010, blogger Carlos Miller and a friend were harassed twice for filming at a
TSA checkpoint.
In the first incident, a Miami-Dade police officer approached Miller's friend and told him to stop
filming the checkpoint. The friend handed the officer a print-out of the TSA photography policy
which allows photography and videography. The officer went to confer with a supervisor, then
returned to apologize and confirm that photography and filming are allowed.
In the second incident, two police officers confronted the men and told them that they were not
allowed to film because they didn't have press credentials. They refused to stop filming and the
police demanded to see their IDs. They refused to show ID and the officers responded by calling a
lieutenant. The lieutenant confirmed that the men had the right to film and were not required to
show ID.
Miller was harassed a third time at the airport in January, 2011. Miller was filming a TSA
checkpoint when a TSA agent confronted him and told him to stop filming. Miller presented the
agent with a print-out from the TSA's blog explaining that photography and videography are
permitted. The officer read over the print-out and then conceded that Miller had the right to film/
 Carlos Miller, "Testing the TSA Policy on Photography at Miami International Airport"
(Dec. 4th, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 Carlos Miller, "Testing Out TSA Photography Policy on Flight to Colombia" (Jan. 17th,
2011), Photography is Not a Crime
 Video of the Nov. 23rd incidents
 Video of third incident
NJ transit guards harass photographer, tell him that public property is privately owned
In March, 2010, photographer and blogger Carlos Miller was taking pictures with a friend in a
parking lot outside the Liberty State Park Light Rail Station when he was confronted by a security
guard who told him photography was against the law. Miller began audio-recording the incident and
informed the guard that no such law exists.
"This is private property. This belongs to the state," the security guard bizarrely responded.
Miller continued telling the guard that he had the right to take pictures, so the guard called in a
supervisor. The supervisor also claimed that the public parking lot was "private" and threatened to
call the police.
Miller and his friend decided to leave the parking lot. Miller said that they were followed by the
supervisor as they left.
 Carlos Miller, "NJ transit guard: 'This is private property. This belongs to the state.'" (mar.
8th, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
Philadelphia airport police and TSA agent harass man for filming four times in one day
On December 23, 2010, activist James Babb was filming TSA checkpoints as part of an anti-TSA
protest at the Philadelphia International Airport. Two police officers and one TSA agent told Babb
that he was not allowed to film. The second officer even threatened to seize Babb's camera if Babb
filmed him. In each case, Babb asserted his right to film and was eventually left alone.
In a fourth incident outside the airport, Babb filmed a police officer standing in the middle of the
street for no apparent reason. The officer then pulled out a bright flashlight and shined in in Babb's
direction to interfere with the video camera. The officer continued to do this for about a minute and
a half before losing interest and leaving without explanation.
 Babb's footage of the incidents
Plainclothes Jackson, WI police officer threatens man with arrest for filming
On November, 17th, 2010, two police officers, one in uniform, the other in plainclothes, entered a
fitness club to arrest Adam Mueller on a bench warrant related to an unresolved traffic ticket.
Mueller's friend Pete Eyre began filming the incident with a camera phone. The plainclothes officer
confronted Eyre and repeatedly threatened to seize his camera as "evidence" and arrest him. Eyre
refused to put his camera away and the officer eventually left him alone.
 Pete Eyre, "Adam Mueller Arrested for Bench Warrant in Jackson, WI" (Nov. 17th, 2010),
 Eyre's footage of the incident
San Diego, CA trolley cops harass man for filming brutality
On September 5th, 2009, Rob Hurlbut said he witnessed a group San Diego Transit Police tackle
and arrest a man for smoking -- an offense people are normally cited for. He began filming the
incident while the trolley cops piled on top of the man. Hurlbut's footage shows the security guards
yelling at the man to "stop resisting" despite the fact that he was not resisting in any way. The man
explained to the guards that he was trying to cooperate but that they were hurting him, but they
continued to use force against him.
A female officer spotted Hurlbut filming him and told him that he was not allowed to take pictures.
Hurlbut took a few steps back, but continued filming as the security guards brought the man to their
After the man was placed in the cruiser, a male trolley cop approached Hurlbut, demanded to see his
trolley pass, and told him to stop taking pictures. Hurlbut asked if it was against the law and the
guard replied that it was. Hurtlbut asked again and the guard responded "It's against out rights."
Hurlbut asked the guard what law made it illegal to take pictures, but the guartd refused to give him
an answer. Finally, Hurlbut shut off the camera out of fear that the trolley cops might confiscate it
and delete his footage.
Hurlbut said that several minutes after he shut off his camera, he was approached by another trolley
cop who demanded to see his pass. Hurlbut said he produced it and the officer grabbed it out of his
hands and threatened him.
On September 18, Ken Moller, president of Heritage Security Services, the company that employed
the trolley cops, issued an apology to Hurlbut and confirmed that it is legal to take pictures and
shoot video. "We have no right to tell people they can’t shoot [video] down there," he said. "My
officers were wrong in telling him that. And I put that word out as soon as I saw the video. It’s a
public place and people can certainly shoot video down there if they want to." However, Heritage
Security Services refused to release the arrest report for the smoker despite the fact that Hurlbut's
video showed the trolley cops using excessive force.
 Carlos Miller, "Photographer receives apology after armed guards harass him for shooting
video" (Feb. 5th, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
Kathryn Snyder, "We Don't Want You Taking Pictures" (Feb. 24th, 2010),
 Hurlbut's footage of the incident
 News video about the incident
Terrebonne Parish sheriff's deputy harasses videographer on behalf of oil company
In June, 2010, Drew Wheelan, conservation coordinator for the American Birding Association, was
filming himself standing in a field near the BP building/Deepwater Horizon response command in
Houma, Louisiana. Wheelan hoped to obtain access to the building and talk to a company
representative about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
While Wheelan was filming, he was confronted by a Terrebonne Parish sheriff's deputy who asked
him for personal information. When Wheelan asked if he was violating any laws, the deputy
responded "Not particularly. BP doesn't want people filming."
Wheelan told the deputy that he was not on BP's property and therefore the company had no right to
stop him from filming.
The deputy responded: "Let me explain. BP doesn't want any filming. So all I can really do is
strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense." The deputy
continued pestering Wheelan with personal questions which he answered.
After Wheelan left in his car, he was pulled over by the same deputy. The deputy detained Wheelan
for approximately 20 minutes while Kenneth Thomas, a man identified as the chief of the BP
building's private security force, interrogated him.
Wheelan said that after he was allowed to leave, he was followed by two unmarked vehicles for 20
miles. "Maybe I'm paranoid, but I was specifically trying to figure out if they were following me,
and every time I pulled over, they pulled over, " Wheelan recounted.
It was later confirmed that the sheriff's deputy was off duty and working for BP when he detained
Wheelan even though he was driving his department-issued police cruiser
 Mac McClelland, "La. Police Doing BP's Dirty Work" (Jun. 22nd, 2010), Mother Jones
 Video of the first encounter with the sheriff's deputy
TN lawmaker tries to ban reporter from house chambers
In May, 2010, Tennessee House Speaker Kent Williams collapsed while giving a speech in the
house chambers. It was later determined that Williams, who is diabetic, had passed out due to low
blood sugar.
Associated Pess reporter Erik Schlezig was sitting at a desk inside the chamber's press box when
Williams collapsed. Schlezig climbed up on the desk to take a picture of Williams. After he took the
picture, a number of Tennessee legislators approached the press box and began yelling at Schlezig
and trying to block his camera with their hands. Some of the lawmakers demanded that Schlezig be
removed and a group of state police escorted Schlezig from the building.
Joe Towns, a Democratic representative, drafted a proposal to have Schlezig's press credentials
revokes. The proposal claimed that by taking pictures of Williams, Schlezig was "needlessly
hindering emergency medical personnel from providing necessary medical care" despite the fact
that he was on the other side of a glass barrier when he took the offending photograph.
Williams said in an interview that he had no problem with Schlezig taking pictures of him and
called him a "good reporter." He urged Towns to drop the proposal to ban Schlezig which Towns
subsequently did.
 Carlos Miller, "Tenn. lawmakers try to bar reporter from chamber for taking photo" (May
17th, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 Andrea Zelinski, "Williams: AP Reporter Deserves No Punishment" (May 17th, 2010),
 Video of lawmakers shouting at Schlezig
West Lafayette, IN officer threatens student journalist with arrest
On October 20, 2010, a student journalist Michael Carney was working on a story about Election
Day when a medical emergency occurred on campus. Carney began filming the scene and was
approached by an EMT who demanded that he stopped filming. Carney did not shut the camera off
and was then approached by police officer Jeff Hegg.
Hegg obstructed Carney's camera with his body and hands and repeatedly ordered him to turn his
camera off, to leave the area, and threatened to arrest him. He claimed that the camera was an
"invasion of privacy." He also claimed that the reporter needed a press pass to film.
Carney asserted his right to film in a public place, but did show ID when asked. Hegg continued to
harass Carney for about 10 minutes before finally leaving without an explanation.
 Zoe Hayes, "Confrontation with officer raises questions" (Nov. 30th, 2010), The Exponent
 Zoe Hayes, "Exponent videographer incident continues to be debated" (Dec. 8th, 2010), The
 Video of the confrontation
Dark blue incidents:
Atlanta, GA police officer shoves Copwatcher for filming traffic stop
Members of Copwatch began video-recording police officers conduct a traffic stop that ended with
two arrests. One of the officers quickly told them that they were not allowed to take pictures and
threated to confiscate the camera they were using.
"We're just observing," one of the Copwatchers calmly told the officer.
"I don't care, brother!" the officer shouted. "Don't take a picture of me!"
The officer grabbed the camera briefly, forced the Copwatchers to back up while covering the lens
with his hand, and told them to leave before finally leaving them alone. They continued to record
the arrests.
 Marlon Kautz, "Two Arrests in Edgewood" (Feb. 28th, 2010),
 Video of the incident
Georgia State University officer attacks and threatens Copwatcher
On August 25, 209, members of the group Food Not Bombs were serving food to the homeless at
Hurt Park when they were approached by a group of police officers. Members of East Atlanta
Copwatch were present and began filming. Several of the officers began demanding that the
Copwatchers stop recording. The Copwatchers explained that were just observing and had no
intention of interfing with the officers.
Suddenly, one of the police, a George State University officer, moved towards one of the
videographers, shouting, "What did I just tell you, man? I'm not playing!" and striking the
videographer's camera.
The videographer asked for the officer's name and badge number, but the officer repeatedly refused
to give it. The videographer continued asking for the officer's name and badge which prompted the
officer to grab him by the arm and jerk him. Finally, the officer identified himself as J. Spears,
badge #156.
After identifying himself, Spears went on a brief rant in which he told the videographer over and
over that he "could walk through the park."
"Where did the other officers go?," the videographer asked, noticing that they had moved on.
The officer left without answering.
 Marlon Kautz, "Georgia State University cops harass activists" (Feb. 26th, 2010),
 Video of the incident
Hamilton County deputy attacks man, tries to seize his camera
Chris Winston, a freelance videographer, was working on a rap music video when he heard a fight
break out. He began using his camera to film it.
A Hamilton County deputy confronted Winston, grabbed him by the shirt, and attempted to seize his
camera. The camera was strapped to Winston's body, so she was unable to recover it. After realizing
this, the officer backed off.
Winston said that his rights were violated, but declined to file a complaint.
 John Madewell, "Deputy Tries To Stop Recording Of Fight" (Jun. 18th, 2010),
 "Police Stop Man Taping Strut Fight,"
 News video containing footage of the incident
 Second news video containing footage of the incident
Lafayette, LA police threaten to seize phone of man who filmed police brutality
At a Mardi Gras celebration on February 16th, 2010, a man filmed police arresting a large group of
people for allegedly participating in a fight using his iPhone. The video shows one of the officers
violently shaking a handcuffed teenage girl sitting on the ground while screaming in her face to
"shut up." The videographer claims that the officer tackled the girl prior to shaking her.
One officer approached the man and told him that his phone would be confiscated as evidence if it
contained video of the fight the suspects were being arrested for. The man responded that it did not
contain any video of the fight and the officer left him alone.
A second officer then approached the man and threatened to have him jailed for "causing a
disturbance" even though he was not interfering with the officers.
Finally, a third officer approached the man, told him "I'll give you a receipt for your phone," then
attempted to snatch it from his hands. The video cuts out at this point, but the videographer says that
the officer eventually left him alone without seizing the camera.
The officer who shook the teenage girl was placed on paid administrative leave as a result of the
video being published.
 Jason Brown, "Officer on leave after shaking girl" (Feb. 23rd, 2010), The Advocate
 MEspree "Lafayette Mardi Gras Teen Arrest and Police Cover" (Feb. 17th, 2010), CNN
 Carlos Miller, "Lafayette cops threaten to seize iPhone after questionable arrests" (Feb. 3rd,
2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 Recording from the man's iPhone
Los Angeles, CA riot police brutalize FOX reporters at immigration rally
On May 1, 2007, a group of riot police attacked peaceful demonstrators at an immigration rally in
McArthur Park. Police shot rubber bullets into crowds that included children and beat people with
batons. The LA police chief later said that he "was disturbed at what [he] saw" at the rally and
concluded that police used "inappropriate" force.
The city of Los Angeles eventually paid $13 million to a group of around 300 demonstrators,
bystanders, and reporters to settle a class action lawsuit.
In a separate lawsuit, the city paid $1.7 million to Patricia Ballaz, a member of a Fox news team
filming the demonstration, who was attacked by police at the rally. Christina Gonzalez, one of
Ballaz's colleagues, also sued the city, however, the jury could not reach a conclusion about the
Ballaz's lawyer commented that "There was a war against the media out there that day."
 "Jury Awards $1.7M in May Day Melee Lawsuits" (Jul. 2nd, 2010),
 "Jury awards $1.7 million to Fox camera operator hurt by LAPD" (), Los Angeles Times
 "L.A. chief: ‘Inappropriate’ police force at rally" (May 2nd, 2007), MSNBC
New Hanover County deputy harasses man for filming deputy tase naked man
In 2010, Stephen Stearns filmed New Hanover County deputies using a taser to subdue a streaker.
One of the officers confronted Stearns, repeatedly ordered him to put his camera down, grabbed at
the camera, and threatened to arrest him. Stearns asserted his right to film and stood his ground and
the deputy eventually left him alone.
New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon later confirmed that Stearns had done nothing wrong by
filming the incident. "I would actually encourage anyone who has a camera to shoot video, 'cause
I'd like to see what happened," McMahon said.
 Ramon Hererra, "Streaker at Wrightsville Beach gets tased, caught on camera" (Jun. 1st,
 Ashley White, "Police use stun gun on naked man in Wrightsville Beach" (Jun. 2nd, 2010),
New Orleans, LA police officer knocks man's cell phone to the ground
In March, 2011, New Orleans police officers arrested a dozen people who had allegedly been acting
violently at a parade. Ritchie Katko used a cell phone camera to film one of the arrests. Katko's
footage shows several officers standing over a man while screaming "Get on your fucking knees!"
repeatedly. One of the officers then approaches Katko, yells at him to "Get out of here," and then
strikes the cell phone with his hand, knocking it to the ground. Katko was able to retrieve his phone
and continue filming.
 "NOPD is reviewing arrests of 12 at Krewe of Eris parade Sunday night" (Mar. 10th, 2011),
 "Officer Hits Man Shooting Video Of Parade Bust" (Mar. 9th, 2011),
 Katko's footage of the incident
Sawyer County sherrif's deputy attacks reporter, lies about it
In August, 2008, Sawyer County sheriff's deputy Brian Knapp confronted a reporter videotaping the
site of a car accident at the Lac Courte Orreilles Reservation, grabbed his camera, and struck him in
the shoulder with his flashlight. He later lied on the police report, claiming that he had merely
attempted to block the reporter's camera to prevent him from taking pictures.
Chief Deputy Tim Ziegle said that Knapp "certainly could have handled [the situation] a different
way and did not have the authority to cover up the recording device."
In 2009, Knapp was ordered to take anger management classes. No criminal charges were brought
against him for attacking the reporter or lying on the police report.
 Mike Simonson, "Sawyer County Sheriff Deputy disciplined for confrontation with reporter
at LCO reservation" (Apr. 10th, 2010),
Texas state trooper harasses reporter, strikes his camera
In February, 2010, Aaron Dykes, a reporter for the website, was filming outside the
state capitol while working on a story about the Fausto Cardenas shooting.
Dykes was approached by a state trooper who ordered him to show ID. The trooper ordered Dykes
to "point the camera some other direction" and struck it with his hand. Dykes asked why the officer
was asking him to show ID and he responded "Suspicious person, how's that?"
Dykes continued refusing to show ID and the officer called a supervisor to deal with the situation.
While waiting, the officer used his hat to block Dykes' camera and told Dykes that he was being
detained. Dykes asked if he was suspected of a crime, but the officer ignored the question.
When the supervisor showed up, Dykes explained what happened. The supervisor quickly allowed
him to leave without showing ID.
 Aaron Dykes, "‘Papers please’ for reporter at Texas capitol shooting investigation" (Jan.
22nd, 2010),
 Dykes' footage of the incident
Wildwood, NJ police officers shove videographer, threaten to destroy his camera and arrest
In 2010, a man filmed two police officers ticketing his friend. His video does not show the reason
the officers were citing the friend, but he claims that it was because the friend was wearing a shirt
with profanity (the shirt read "Fuck I'm Lemne").
During the encounter, one of the officers approached the man in an aggressive manner, pushed his
camera, and ordered him to put it away. When the man refused, the officer struck the camera again
and threatened to throw it on the ground. He then called the man a "wise ass" and ordered him to
leave because he was supposedly "interfering."
The first officer left the man alone and he continued filming. About a minute and a half later, two
more officers showed up and one began grabbing at the man's camera repeatedly ordering him to
"put it away." The officer threatened to have the man "locked up" if he didn't put his camera away
and the man finally turned it off.
 Radley Balko, "'Do You Want Me To Throw It on the Ground?'" (Jan. 29th, 2011), The
 The man's footage of the incident
Purple incidents:
Atlanta, GA police seize Copwatcher's phone and destroy his footage
In 2010, Marlon Kautz of East Atlanta Copwatch was filming officers Mark Taylor and Anthony
Kirkman make an arrest with a cell phone camera. The officers confronted Kauts and ordered him
to stop filming. Kautz continued filming and the officers twisted his arm behind his back and seized
the phone from him.
When Kautz tried to get the camera back, he discovered that it had been classified as "evidence."
Kautz said officer Kirkman demanded to know the password for the phone so that he could delete
the video. Kautz refused to give the password and consulted with attorney Gerry Webber. He told
Kirkman that he was planning a lawsuit and the officer finally returned the phone, but the video had
been corrupted. Kautz said the damage was probably caused by officers removing the battery from
the phone.
Kautz filed a lawsuit against the police and was awarded $40,000 in a settlement. As part of the
settlement, the police were also forced to acknowledge that individuals have the right to film them.
The officers who took Kautz's phone received oral reprimands. Sgt. Stephen Zygai also received a
reprimand for failing to supervise the officers properly.
 "APD Settles Lawsuit Over Cops Stealing Activist's Camera, Trying to Destroy Footage of
Drug Raid,"
 Bill Rankin, "APD won't hinder citizens who videotape cops" (Feb. 10th, 2011), Atlanta
 Marlon Kautz, "APD Seizes Camera, Tries To Suppress Footage of Raid" (Jul. 14, 2010),
Maricopa County sherrif's deputy belittle man, seize his camera and destroy footage
In 2009, Carlos Galindo approached a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy who was investigating
alleged pirated DVD sales. Galindo asked the deputy what was going on and was immediately told
to hand over his camera as "evidence" -- a rather bizarre claim considering Galindo had only been
filming for a few seconds. Galindo declined to hand over the camera and was told to leave.
Galindo continued filming and a second deputy approached him and threatened to seize his camera.
Galindo objected and the officer shouted at him to "stop talking."
"I can't talk, I can only listen to you?," Galindo asked.
"That's exactly the way it works," the deputy responded. "We're not on the same level here. I'm up
here, you're down here right now."
The officer then seized Galindo's camera and gave him a long lecture in which he repeatedly
belittled him. "The way society works, if the police tell you something, you do it," the deputy said.
The deputy then deleted Galindo's footage. When Galindo objected, the deputy said "I'm doing you
a favor." He then told Galindo that he was as intelligent as a rock.
Unbeknownst to the deputies, the entire incident was caught on a second camera. Furthermore, the
deleted footage from the first camera was restored with recovery software.
 Carlos Miller, "Arizona deputies harass videographers on 3 occasions in less than 2 weeks"
(Sept. 9th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
 First video of the incident
 Second video of the incident
 Third video of the incident
Nashville, TN airport officer seizes man's iPhone
On November 22, 2010, a man was filming a TSA checkpoint with his iPhone when he was
confronted by a police officer who demanded that he turn over the phone. The officer claimed that
filming is a "security violation." The man informed the officer that the TSA's website says people
are allowed to film checkpoints. The officer grabbed the phone from the man anyway.
After grabbing the phone, the officer went to a TSA agent to ask about the policy. The TSA agent
confirmed that people are allowed to film and the officer returned the phone. The TSA agent then
falsely told the videographer that he was prohibited from sharing his footage with other people.
 Carlos Miller, "Airport Cop Confiscate Man's iPhone for Videotaping TSA Checkpoint"
(Nov. 23rd, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 The man's iPhone footage
New Haven, CT police officer grabs camera from man and turns it off
In 2010, Jamie Kelly was filming a group a police officers arresting a man. One of the officers
confronted Kelly, blocked his camera, threatened to arrest him, and told him to "watch [the arrest]
on the 6 O'clock news." The officer left Kelly alone and he continued filming.
A few seconds later, a second officer approached Kelly and grabbed the camera out of his hands.
"I was taking a picture," Kelly said.
"You don't take pictures of us. How's that?," the officer responded. The officer then shut the camera
 Carlos Miller, "New Haven cop: 'You don't take pictures of us.'" (Sept. 11th, 2010),
Photography is Not a Crime
 Kelly's video of the incident
NH State Police seize photographer's camera
Brian Blackden, a freelance photographer, was taking photographs at the scene of a fatal single
vehicle car accident. New Hampshire state troopers confronted Blackden and seized his digital
Major Russell Conte claimed Blackden's camera was seized to protect the privacy of the deceased
car crash victims. Blackden denied taking any pictures of the victims.
Police refused to return Blackden's camera, claiming that it might contain evidence about the car
accident. They also said that they would not rule out criminally charging him.
 "Photographer Says Police Took His Camera" (Aug. 25th, 2010),
Warminster, PA police officers harass reporter for filming protest, seize second videographer's
phone and laptop
On February 22, 2011, an animal rights group was protesting a "pigeon shoot" on a public sidewalk.
Minutes after the demonstration started, a police officer confronted a reporter filming and ordered
him to shut off his camera. The officer accused him of violating state wiretapping law. When the
reporter told the officer that wiretapping law does not make it illegal to film people in public places,
the officer decided that he was merely "asking" the reporter to stop filming "just as a courtesy."
Later, protester Steve Hindi had an angry exchange with a man in an SUV whom he said was
following him. Hindi and his girlfriend decided to follow the man and take down his license plate
number. The man stopped on a side street, stepped out of his car, and threatened them with a gun.
The altercation was captured by Hindi on a cell phone camera.
Hindi saved the video to his laptop and brought it to the police station to show the police. The
police seized both Hindi's phone and laptop. Hindi was angry with the police and said that they
should have just taken the phone. The police said they will not return any of Hindi's property until
they are done with their investigation.
 Matt Coughlin, "Protestors: man pulled gun" (Feb. 22nd, 2011),
 Footage of officer harassing reporter
 Footage of the man threatening Hindi and his girlfriend with a gun
Red incidents:
Akron, OH officer obtains warrant for woman who refused to turn over camera and arrests
On June 23, 2010, Sarah Watkins filmed police arresting a man for alleged disorderly conduct.
Police detained Watkins, refused to allow her to go back into her home, and told her that she had to
give her camera to them because it was "evidence"
During the encounter, Watkins said, "I ain't never heard of nothing like this." An officer responded,
"We do it all the time."
Watkins refused to turn over the camera and the officers eventually left her alone.
Patrolman Donald Schismenos returned to the police department and obtained a felony warrant for
Watkins. He arrested Watkins the following day. She spent two days in jail. She later claimed to
have been ''stripped, humiliated, and tormented'' during the booking process at the jail.
Watkins later filed a lawsuit against the police with the help of attorney Terry Gilbert.
Schismenos was given a 15 day suspension for arresting Watkins. An internal investigation
concluded that Schismenos had ignored an order from a sergeant to not arrest her. The suspension
was later tripled by the mayor.
 Phil Trexler, "Woman sues officer who tried to seize camera" (Jun. 24th, 2010),
Albuquerque, NM police detain man for feeding homeless, arrest him for refusing to turn over
cell phone camera
Michael Herrick was detained by police officers for distributing food to homeless individuals.
Officers accused Herrick of not having a permit to distribute the food.
Herrick filmed the encounter on his cell phone camera and officers repeatedly insisted that his
phone would later be confiscated as "evidence." Eventually, Herrick was told he could leave, but
that he had to turn over his cell phone. Herrick had not been charged with a crime at this point.
Herrick refused to turn over his cell phone and was arrested.
Herrick was charged with not having a permit to distribute food, refusing to obey an officer, and
inciting a riot.
 Antoinette Antonio, "Man arrested for feeding homeless releases video of police
confrontation" (Sept. 20th, 2010),
 Footage of the incident
Amtrak police arrest man for taking photos for Amtrak-sponsored contest
On December 21st, 2008, Duane Kerzic was taking pictures of trains at Penn Station that he
planned to use for an Amtrak-sponsored photography contest.
Two Amtrak police officers with a police dog confronted Kurzic and demanded to know what he
was doing. He explained that he was taking photographs. The officers told Kurzi to put his bag on
the ground so their dog could smell it. After the dog sniffed at Kurzic's bag and confirmed that no
explosives were present, the officers demanded to see Kurzic's ID which he provided.
After checking his ID, the officers told Kurzic to show them his photos which he did. The officers
then told him that he had to delete his photos because it was illegal to photograph trains. Kurzic
refused and the officers arrested him.
Kurzic said that officers brought him to a holding cell and handcuffed him to a wall for about 90
minutes before releasing him. They charged him with "trespassing."
Kerzic's bizarre arrest was picked up by the comedy show the Colbert Report. Todd Maisel, Vice
President of the New York Press Photographers Association, said that Kurzic was awarded a "fivefigure settlement" for the arrest shortly after the segment aired.
 Jim Dwyer, "Picture This, and Risk Arrest" (Jul, 27th, 2010), The New York Times
 Carlos Miller, "Amtrak arrestee received 'five-figure settlement' after Colbert segment aired"
(Feb. 19th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
 Carlos Miller, "Amtrak photo contestant arrested by Amtrak police in NYC's Penn Station"
(Dec. 27th, 2008), Photography is Not a Crime
 Carlos Miller, "The Colbert Report follows up on Photography is Not a Crime story" (Feb.
3rd, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
Beaverton, OR police arrest man for filming arrest outside bowling alley
In 2008, Hao Vang attempted to film police arresting his mentally ill friend outside of a bowling
alley in Beaverton, OR using his cell phone because he felt the police were being too rough. The
police then arrested Vang on the charge of intercepting communications, confiscated his phone, and
locked him in jail over night.
Vang's charges never went to trial, but it took him two months to get his phone back from the
police. According to Vang, his footage had been deleted by the police before the phone was
In 2009, Vang filed a civil rights lawsuit against the police. The city of Beaverton settled the suit for
$19,000. The officer who arrested Vang and deleted his footage was supposedly disciplined,
however, details as to how he was disciplined were never made public. He was later promoted to
detective by the department.
Beaverton police chief Geoff Spalding said that he would not rule out continuing to arrest people
for filming even though lawyers for the city issued memos explaining that police do not have an
expectation of privacy in public.
 Brad Schmidt, "Beaverton police chief: Film officers at your own slight risk" (July, 10th,
 Anna Song, "Beaverton police face lawsuit over videotaped arrest" (Sept. 24th, 2009),
Boston, MA police arrest lawyer for filming them arrest another man
Updated Feb 25
In October, 2007, attorney Simon Glik filmed police officers arrest another man using a cell phone
camera. Glik decidd to film because he believed the officers were using excessive force. The
officers subsequently arrested Glik on wiretapping charges.
Four months later, Boston Municipal Court Justice Mark Summerville threw the charge out.
Summerville wrote that while the "officers were unhappy they were being recorded during an
arrest… their discomfort does not make a lawful exercise of a First Amendment right a crime."
In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit on behalf of Glik
against the police and city of Boston for "failing to properly train Boston police officers that they
cannot arrest people for openly making video or audio recordings of their conduct in public."
 "ACLU Challenges Arrest for Use of Cell Phone to Capture Police Misconduct" (Feb. 1st,
2010), American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
 Sheri Qualters, "Boston Lawyer Sues Police, City Over His Arrest for Recording an Arrest"
(Feb. 2nd, 2010),
 Harvey Silvergate and James Tierney, "Echoes of Rodney King" (Feb 21st, 2008), The
Boston Phoenix
Boynton Beach, FL police arrest woman for filming them detain her son
In February of 2009, Tasha Ford was contacted by the Boynton Beach police and told to pick up her
son who had been detained for allegedly attempting to sneak into a movie theater.
When Ford arrived at the theater, she began filming with a video camera. The officers ordered her to
stop. When Ford continued filming, she was arrested and charged with "intercepting oral
communications" and "resisting arrest" and her son was arrested for "trespassing."
Ultimately, prosecutors decided not to pursue the charges against Ford. The American Civil
Liberties Unions filed a lawsuit against the Boynton Police on Ford's behalf.
 "ACLU Sues After Mother Falsely Arrested by Boynton Beach Police Officers" (Jun. 25th,
2010), American Civil Liberties Union
 Jane Musgrave, "Boynton woman's suit fights to allow videotaping of police" (Aug. 1st,
Carlisle, PA police officer arrests man for recording traffic stop
On May 24th, 2007, Brian Kelly's friend was pulled over by officer David Rogers. Rogers cited
Kelly's friend for speeding and having his truck's bumper too low. Kelly, who was sitting in the
passenger seat, began filming the traffic stop after the officer allegedly started yelling at his friend.
Rogers saw Kelly's cameras and demanded that he hand it over. Kelly complied and then Rogers
placed him under arrest. Police consulted with a district attorney and then decided to file
wiretapping charges against Kelly.
Kelly was held in the Cumberland County Prison for 26 hours. Kelly's mother had to use her house
as security to get him out of the prison because she couldn't afford the $2,500 bail.
Kelly maintained that he did not realize it was illegal to record police officers without their consent.
The prosecuting attorney David Freed commented that "Obviously, ignorance of the law is no
defense." In fact, it was Freed who was ignorant of the law.
After receiving numerous critical phone calls and emails from concerned citizens and reviewing
court cases about Pennsylvania wiretapping law, Freed dropped the charges and admitted that Kelly
hadn't done anything illegal. Freed said he would seek to turn his decision not to prosecute Kelly
into a policy for all police departments in his county. "When police are audio- and video-recording
traffic stops with notice to the subjects, similar actions by citizens, even if done in secret, will not
result in criminal charges... I intend to communicate this decision to all police agencies within the
county so that officers on the street are better prepared to handle a similar situation should it arise
Kelly filed a federal lawsuit against the police alleging that his civil rights had been violated when
he was arrested. In 2009, judge Yvette Kane dismissed the lawsuit. She claimed that Kelly could not
sue the police because the officer who arrested him was acting in good faith. Kelly appealed this
 Matt Miller, "Attorneys defend taping of police during traffic stop" (Jun. 14th, 2007),
 Matt Miller, "Battle to continue over Carlisle wiretap arrest" (May 13th, 2009),
 Matt Miller, "DA drops wiretap charge against Carlisle man" (Jun. 20th, 2007),
 Matt Miller, "Video recording leads to felony charge" (Jun. 11th, 2007),
Chicago, IL police charge man with felony for filming own arrest
In December, 2009, Christopher Drew intentionally violated a city ordinance against selling art on
public sidewalks. Drew hoped to challenge the legality of the of the ordinance in court.
As planned, police arrested Drew for violating the ordinance. After taking him back to the police
station, officers realized Drew had been recording the incident with a camera. They charged him
with felony wiretapping.
Under Illinois state law, audio-recording a person in public without that person's consent is a felony.
Drew currently faces 15 years in prison.
 Don Terry, "Eavesdropping Laws Mean That Turning On an Audio Recorder Could Send
You to Prison" (Jan. 22nd, 2011), The New York Times
Chicago, IL police arrest woman for filming attempt to file complaint
In 2011, police arrested 20-year-old Tiawanda Moore for filming at the Chicago Police
Moore alleged that an officer who was called by her boyfriend to deal with a dispute the two were
having sexually harassed her by fondling her breasts. Moore and her boyfriend went to Police
Headquarters to file a complaint, but claim that the police tried to convince her not to file the
Moore went back to the Police Headquarters a second time with a cell phone camera to gather
evidence that the police were refusing to help her. She was arrested on two felony "eavesdropping"
Under Illinois state law, audio-recording a person in public without that person's consent is a felony.
Moore currently faces 15 years in prison.
 Don Terry, "Eavesdropping Laws Mean That Turning On an Audio Recorder Could Send
You to Prison" (Jan. 22nd, 2011), The New York Times
Court security assault and arrest videographer on fraudulent charges
On May 11, 2010, George Donnelly, James Babb, and Julian Heiklen were passing out jury
nullification pamphlets outside a federal courthouse. Donnelly was filming with a video camera.
A group of court security officers approached the men and began harassing them. The officers
refused to identify themselves despite multiple requests.
At some point during the confrontation, a male security officer grabbed at Donnelly's camera
without warning. Donnelly tried to get his camera back, but a group of federal agents tackled him,
seized his camera, and arrested him. The officers then filled out a fraudulent arrest report in which
they claimed that Donnelly had assaulted one of the security officers with a closed fist.
After being arrested, Donnelly spent several days locked up at the Lehigh County Prison. After a
few days, Donnelly had a court hearing, but the judge refused to let him out of prison unless he
agreed to submit to a number of severe conditions including random drug testing, house arrest with
an ankle monitor, and a ban on talking publicly about the case.
When Donnelly's charges went to trial, he accepted a plea deal. The most serious charges were
dropped, but Donnelly had to plead guilty to "disobeying a lawful order of the marshals." Donnelly
later called the plea deal "bullshit," but said that he had to accept it for "financial reasons."
The officers who arrested Donnelly deleted his footage, but he was able to partially restore it with
recovery software and publish it online after the case was closed.
 George Donnelly, "How US Marshals Framed a Photographer" (Sept. 22nd, 2010), Arm Your
Mind For Liberty
 George Donnelly, "Primary Sources for USA vs. George Donnelly" (Oct. 18th, 2010), Arm
Your Mind For Liberty
 Carlos Miller, "Penn. activist facing 8 years in prison after videotaping officers outside
courthouse" (May 17, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 Dave Ridley, "Caught on tape: Feds tackle cameraman. Newly released video" (Jan. 18th,
 Donnelly's raw footage
 Edited video by Donnelly (contains additional audio)
 Edited security footage of the incident
Delaware County sherrif's deputy arrests woman for filming, says he thought she had "cellphone gun"
In 2010, Delaware County sherrif's deputy Sgt. Johnathan Burke began questioning a man after
receiving reports that he had been panhandling outside of a truck stop.
The man's girlfriend, Melissa Greenfield, began filming the incident with her cell phone and
explained that she was filming "for legal purposes and our own safety." Sgt. Burke told Greenfield
to put the phone back in her pocket several times and, when she did not, arrested her for
"obstructing official business" and "resisting arrest."
On his arrest report, Burke claimed that he thought Greenfield's phone might have been a "cellphone gun," an assertion which Greenfield's public defender called "ridiculous."
Greenfield spent three days in jail after being arrested. She claimed that when her phone was
returned to her, the video of her arrest and several vacation videos had been deleted. Greenfield
accepted a plea deal and had to pay a $20 fine, but said she did so merely out of convenience and
did not admit wrongdoing.
 Randy Ludlow, "Deputy confiscates woman's cell phone" (Jul. 29th, 2010), The Columbus
Denver, CO police attack and arrest ABC news producer during '08 Democratic National
During the 2008 Democratic National Convention, ABC news producer Asa Eslocker was working
on a story about corporate lobbyists and other wealthy individuals who donated money to the
Eslocker was taking photographs on a public sidewalk outside of the Brown Palace Hotel, a
gathering spot for Democratic officials, when he was confronted a police officer who demanded that
he leave. When Eslocker refused, the officer shoved him off the sidewalk in front of oncoming cars
then accused him of "impeding traffic."
Two hours later, Eslocker was confronted by a group of six police officers at the same location. The
officers violently arrested him on charges of “trespassing,” “interference,” and “failure to follow a
lawful order.” Video of the arrest shows one officer grabbing Eslocker and leading him around by
the neck.
The charges were eventually dropped. Eslocker decided not to pursue legal action against the
 Hoard Pankratz, "ABC producer spared DNC charges" (Oct. 17th, 2008),
 Brian Ross, "ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors"
(Aug. 27th, 2008), ABC News
 Footage of both incidents
DHS officer arrests man for filming FBI building
In 2009, Randall Thomas was standing across the street from the FBI building in New York City
filming when he was approached by a security guard who ordered him not to film the building. He
asserted his right to film which prompted to guard to call a Homeland Security officer to the scene.
The Homeland Security officer asked Thomas why he was filming and he told the officer that it was
none of his business. The office then arrested Thomas and forced him to sit on a sidewalk for
several minutes before taking him to a cell. Thomas was charged with "disorderly conduct," "failure
to comply," and "impeding duties of a federal officer."
During Thomas's incarceration, the officers persuaded Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV to
issue a search warrant for Thomas's camera and memory card.
Thomas was released after 6 hours, but his property was not returned to him.
The FBI building that the security guard and Homeland Security official were so concerned about is
visible on Google Maps.
 Carlos Miller, "Homeland Security cop arrests man for filming FBI building in NYC" (Aug,
20th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
East Haven, CT police arrest priest for filming, attempt to seize store's surveillance footage
On February 19, 2009, police entered a convenience store owned by Wilfred Matute, an Ecuadorian
immigrant, in order to seize more than 60 expired license plates which were being used as
decorations for the store. The officers claimed the plates were illegal to possess. Matute was
confused by the police officers' actions because officers had been in his store before and never told
him that the plates were illegal.
During the incident, Father James Manship, a Roman Catholic priest who regularly monitors the
police, entered the store with a video camera to record the officers. After Manship entered the store,
officer David Cari approached Manship and arrested him on charges of "disorderly conduct" and
"interfering with a police officer."
Cari filled out a fraudulent arrest report in which he claimed that he arrested Manship for his own
safety because Manship was holding an "unknown shiny silver object" and refused to tell him what
it was. This claim was contradicted by Manship's footage which shows Cari referring to the
supposedly unknown object as a camera multiple times and Manship acknowledging that he was
After arresting Manship, the officers noticed that the convenience store was equipped with
surveillance cameras. According to Elio Cruz, a witness, the officers "went crazy." The officers
went into the back of the store without asking for Matute's permission to search for the footage.
When they found the hard drive with the footage, Matute told them they weren't allowed to take it.
The officers called a detective who brought a camera to the store and unsuccessfully attempted to
download the surveillance footage off of it.
The police finally left the store after about 45 minutes, taking most of Matute's license plates with
Father Manship said that the incident was part of a campaign of harassment by East Haven police
officers against the city's Latino residents. The charges against Manship were dropped. Manship
filed a formal complaint with the Department of Justice which resulted in an investigation during
which the East Haven chief of police was put on paid leave.
 "Charges Agaginst Priest Who Videotaped Police Are Dropped" (Mar. 26th, 2009),
Associated Press
 "Cops Arrest Priest For Filming Them" (Mar. 13th, 2009), CBS News
 "East Haven Police Chief On Paid Leave" (April 21st, 2010),
 Thomas MacMillan, "City Priest pleads Not Guilty" (Mar. 4th, 2009),
 Thomas MacMillan, "Cross-Border Cops Arrest Father Jim" (Mar. 3rd, 2009),
 Thomas MacMillan, "Priest’s Video Contradicts Police Report" (Mar. 12th, 2009),
 Manship's footage of the incident
 Surveillance footage of the incident
 More surveillance footage of the incident
El Paso, TX police sergeant flies into rage, attacks two news reporters, and arrests them
In 2009, news reporters Darren Hunt and Ric Dupont were attempting to interview men who had
been involved in a car accident when they were attacked by a raging El Paso police sergeant Raul
Ramirez. Ramirez charged at one of the reporters, shoved him into a parked car, and threatened to
arrest him if he did not leave. When the reporter attempted to leave, Ramirez shoved him into the
car again, screamed at him to put his hands on the car, handcuffed him, and then shoved him into a
nearby fence.
Ramirez then confronted the second reporter, who was filming, grabbed his camera, and dropped it
on the ground. He then shoved the videographer into the fence and handcuffed him.
Both reporters were arrested, but were released without charges after a police commander reviewed
the incident. The commander concluded there was no probable cause for either arrest.
Sgt. Ramirez was placed on paid leave and later demoted.
 David Crowder, "Cop who arrested KVIA's news team on I-10 demoted" (May 5th, 2009),
 David Crowder, "Expert: Officer displayed 'contempt of cop' reaction; Internal Affairs
record shows 12 disciplinary actions" (Apr. 22nd, 2009),
 "Police Detain ABC-7 Crew Covering Crash" (2010),
 News video with footage of the incident
Eugene, OR police officer tells man he can't be in "stationary position" on sidewalk, arrests
him for refusing to turn over video camera
On January 14, 2009, political activist Joshua Schlossberg was handing out pamphlets outside of a
bank while filming with a video camera.
Officer Bill Solesbee confronted Schlossberg and ordered him to move, telling him "You can't have
a stationary position on a sidewalk without a permit." Solesbee also demanded that Schlossberg
hand over his video camera, claiming that it was "evidence." Schlossberg refused and the officer
arrested him. Schlossberg claims that after his camera was turned off, Solesbee charged at him,
forced him to the ground, and jammed a knee in his back before handcuffing him.
Schlossberg was charged with "intercepting communications" and "resisting arrest." Both charges
were later dropped.
Schlossberg filed a lawsuit alleging that his constitutional rights had been violated and that he
"suffered pain and injuries to his right temple, right ear, forehead, left side of his head, jaw, a cut to
the bridge of his nose, abrasions to both knees and wrists, pain and bruising to his right hand and
arm and left hand."
Schlossberg had filed an excessive force complaint against Solesbee in July of 2008 related to an
arrest at an anti-pesticide rally. He said that believes the second arrest was an act of retaliation.
 Jonathan Marx, "Eugene, EPD sued by activist" (Jan. 22nd, 2010), Oregon Daily Emerald
 Schlossberg's footage of the incident
Federal officers arrest videographer and seize his memory card
On November 9th, 2009, Julian Heicklen was passing out Fully Informed Jury Association
pamphlets outside a federal courthouse in New York City while Antonio Musumeci filmed with a
video camera. Federal officers ordered Heicklen to leave despite the fact that he was not breaking
any laws. Heicklen refused to leave and was subsequently arrested.
Inspector Clifford Barnes of the Federal Protective Service and a second federal officer then
confronted Musumeci and demanded to see his ID. When Musumeci asked why, Barnes told him
that it was against a federal regulation to videotape on federal property for commercial purposes.
Musumeci informed barnes that he was not filming for commercial purposes and Barnes responded
by telling he was under arrest and grabbing his camera away from him. The officers spent about 20
minutes questioning Musumeci and belittling him before issuing him a citation. Musumeci's camera
was returned, but the officers kept his memory card.
Unbeknowst to the officers, Musumeci was able to record the entire incident on a small spy camera.
Using the video as evidence, Musumeci sued the Department of Homeland Security and Federal
Protective Services with the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
As part of a settlement, Musumeci was awared $1,500 in damages and $3,350 in legal fees. The
government was also forced to recognize that people have the right to filming and take photographs
on federal property and to provide federal officers with written instructions about this right.
The government refused to return Musumeci's memory card,. They said they planned to use it as
evidence against Julian Heicklen even though they obtained it through illegal means.
 David W. Dunlap, "You Can Photograph That Federal Building" (Oct. 18th, 2010), The New
York Times
 Antonio Musumeci, "Arrested for filming the arrest of Julian Heicklen on federal property"
(Nov. 9th, 2009),
 Antonio Musumeci, "Settlement with Department of Homeland Security reached" (Oct.
18th, 2010),
 "NYCLU Lawsuit Challenges Federal Regulation Prohibiting Photography on Public Plazas
and Sidewalks" (Apr. 22nd, 2010), American Civil Liberties Union
 "NYCLU Settlement Ends Restriction on Photography Outside Federal Courthouses" (Oct.
18th, 2010), American Civil Liberties Union
 Musumeci's spy camera footage
Greenfield, MA police arrest two men for filming at jail
On July 1st, 2010, Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre entered the Franklin County Jail with the intention
of bailing a friend out of jail. They wanted to document the encounter using their video cameras.
The two arrived at the jail's front desk and, several minutes later, were told to put their cameras
away. They refused and pointed out that there were no signs saying they couldn't record and that the
jail had surveillance cameras that were recording them.They spent more than 15 minutes arguing
about the legality of filming with several police officers before a supervisor finally agreed to allow
them to bail their friend out. The officer at the front desk told them the amount of money they
needed to bail their friend out and they left to get the money from their RV which was parked
several blocks away.
While they were heading back to the jail, they were confronted by Sgt. Todd M. Dodge who asked
for their names. They asked if they were being detained and Dodge said no. They declined to
answer his question. As they walked away, Dodge asked if they were audio-recording. Once again,
they declined to answer.
When they entered the building to pay the bail, the officer at the front desk told them to put their
cameras away again even though the supervisor had said it was okay. They continued filming while
Eyre counted out the bail money, but the officer refused to accept it.
Sgt. Todd M. Dodge confronted the men a second time and told them to put their cameras away.
They argued with him briefly, then agreed to step outside. While outside, Dodge and two other
officers repeatedly told Mueller and Eyre to shut their cameras off and threatened to arrest them if
they didn't leave. Finally, after several minutes of arguing, the police arrested them and confiscated
their cameras.
After arresting Mueller and Eyre, police located their RV which was parked several blocks away
from the jail and searched it. Mueller and Eyre contend that the search was unlawful since it was
conducted without a warrant and the RV had nothing to do with their arrests. A cell phone video
shows that the police trashed the RV while searching it.
Mueller and Eyre were both charged with felony wiretapping. It took them approximately eight
months to get their footage back from the police.
 Pete Eyre, "Greenfield, MA PD Arrest & Intimidate Activists For Filming" (July 4th, 2010),
 Eyre's footage of the first incident at the jail
 Footage of Sgt. Dodge asking the men for their names
 Eyre's footage of the second incident at the jail
 Surveillance footage of the arrest
 Video of Mueller and Eyre's trashed RV
Jones County sherrif's deputy arrests man for filming traffic stop, delete his footage
In May, 2009, Pete Eyre, Adam Mueller, and Jason Talley were pulled over by Jones County
sheriff's deputy James Atkins. Atkins said he pulled the men over because he could not read their
license plate which was a temporary tag from New Hampshire.
Atkins ordered all three men to exit their RV which they did. Adam Mueller was filming the traffic
stop with a video camera. Atkins ordered Mueller to stand in place which Mueller did.
Eventually sherrif's deputy Abraham McKenzie drove up to the scene. After exiting his cruiser, he
saw Mueller filming and ordered him to stop. Mueller said that he would not stop filming and
McKenzie responded "Then you're going to jail" and arrested him.
The deputies then arrested both Talley and Eyre. Talley was pepper sprayed and placed in a choke
hold during the arrest. After arresting all three men, the deputies ransacked the RV.
Mueller was charged with "disorderly conduct." Eyre was charged with "possession of beer in a dry
county." Talley was charged solely with "resisting arrest."
When the men were released from jail, they discovered that Mueller's footage had been deleted by
the deputies. They were able to recover it using recovery software in 2010 and published it online.
When Mueller's charge went to trial, Atkins claimed that Mueller's camera was a "distraction" and
that he thought it might have been a weapon, though none of his behavior during the traffic stop
indicates that this is true. McKenzie admitted to Mueller during cross-examination that he hadn't
actually broken any laws, but claimed that he had to arrest him anyway "for safety purposes." When
Mueller asked McKenzie why the camera made him feel unsafe, he responded with what can only
be described as word salad: "Because there are many things in distractionary devices that get his
attention on you for something to happen to him."
The trial ended with a hung jury meaning that Mueller was not convicted, but can be tried a second
time in the future for the same charge.
 Pete Eyre, "Jones County Sheriff’s Department Falsely Arrests MHD Crew" (May 15th,
2009), Motorhome Diaries
 Adam Meuller, "Arrested for Filming Police – Charged with Disorderly Conduct" (Nov.
29th, 2010),
 Adam Mueller, "Hung Jury in Jones Co, MS for Filming Police Officers" (Dec. 9th, 2010),
 Adam Mueller, "MARV Ransacked by Jones County Sheriff’s Department" (Jun. 8th, 2009),
Motorhome Diaries
 Mueller's raw footage
 Poor quality version of Mueller's footage with added narration
 Footage of the trashed RV
 Footage of Mueller's trial
Lindenhurst, IL police officer arrests man for recording traffic stop
Louis Frobe took up nocturnal animal watching and late-night movies as hobbies when medicine he
was prescribed for chronic back pain made it difficult for him to sleep at night. He was stopped
dozens of times by police officers so he began carrying video and audio recording equipment to
document his encounters.
On April 15th, 2010, Frobe was pulled over by officer Ralph Goar who informed him that he had
been speeding. Goar returned to his cruiser and Frobe switched on a recording device. When Goar
approached Frobe for the second time, he noticed the device and arrested him.
Frobe was charged with "eavesdropping" and "possession of a controlled substance" for what was
actually medication legally prescribed by a doctor. Both charges were later dropped.
In 2011, Frobe filed a federal lawsuit against the Lindenhurst police with the help of attorney Torri
Hamilton with the intention of getting the state's eavesdropping law overturned. Hamilton pointed
out that Illinois wiretapping law exempts police officers and therefore is based on a double
standard. Police officers in Illinois frequently record people without their consent using dashboard
 Bob Susnjara, "Lake Villa man sues over police video" (Mar. 18th, 2011),
Maryland State Police raid man's home and charge him with felonies for publishing video of
plainclothes cop menacing him with gun
In March, 2010, Anthony Graber was filming himself perform motorcycle stunts using a helmetmounted camera. When Graber's motorcycle was stopped, Maryland state trooper Joseph Uhler
exited an unmarked vehicle wielding a handgun. Uhler was dressed in plainclothes and aggressively
approached Graber while yelling "get off the motorcycle" multiple times before finally identifying
himself as a police officer. Various commentators compared the first few seconds of the traffic stop
to a carjacking. Graber was cited for speeding.
On March 10, Graber posted his footage of the traffic stop online. On the morning of April 8, six
police officers raided Graber's residence in Abingdon, MD, conducted a 90-minute search, and
seized his camera, thumb drives, external hard drives, and four laptops. The police had obtained the
warrant by alleging that Graber had violated Maryland's wiretapping statute by publishing the
video. Graber was not arrested at this time because he recently had gallbladder surgery, however, he
was forced to spend 26 hours in jail the following week.
On June 1, Graber was indicted on four felony charges. He faced a maximum of 16 years in prison.
On Septmeber 27, Judge Emory A Plitt Jr. dismissed the charges. "Those of us who are public
officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public," Plitt
wrote. "When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded
from public observation."
 Peter Hermann, "Alleged speeder charged with recording trooper" (May 8th, 2010), The
Baltimore Sun
 "Motorcyclist wins taping case against state police" (Sept. 27, 2010), The Baltimore Sun
 David Rittgers, "Maryland Wiretapping Law Needs an Update" (Jun.1, 2010), Cato Institute
 Annys Shin, "Traffic stop video on YouTube sparks debate on police use of Md. wiretap
laws" (Jun. 16th, 2010), The Washington Post
 Graber's footage of the traffic stop
MTA police arrest MTA employee for photographing trains
In 2009, hobbyist Robert Taylor was taking pictures of trains at the Freeman Street station in New
York City. Taylor started boarding his train when he was confronted by police who demanded that
he get off the train. The officers told him that it was illegal to photograph trains. Taylor, an MTA
employee, was familiar with the MTA's rules about photography and used his phone to show them
to the officers in order to prove that photography was perfectly legal.
The officers arrested him anyway. They charged him with "unauthorized photography," "disobeying
a lawful order," "impeding traffic," and "unreasonable noise" and locked him in a jail cell for
approximately two hours.
All the charges were eventually dropped. Taylor sued the city with the help of attorney Gerald
Cohen and was awarded $30,000 in a settlement.
After the settlement was reached, Taylor returned to the station with a Fox news crew to film a
segment about the lawsuit. During this time, the the news crew was confronted by a transit
supervisor who harassed them and used his hand to block their cameras. The suprvisor left them
alone when he realized they were "working press."
 John Deutzman, "Shutterbug Fights Bogus Ticket" (Feb. 9th, 2010),
Newark, NJ special officer attacks CBS reporter at anti-violence demonstration
In 2008, Newark special police officer Brian Sharif confronted a CBS reporter filming at an antiviolence demonstration and ordered him to put his camera away. When the reporter did not
immediately follow the order, Sharif grabbed his camera, put him in a choke hold, placed him in the
back of his cruiser, and charged him with disorderly conduct. One bystander told Sharif that he
couldn't arrest the reporter for filming and he responded "I can do whatever I want."
The victim, James Quodomine, filed a lawsuit alleging that the city offered to drop the charge if he
agreed not to sue the city. When Quodomine refused the agreement, the city dropped the charge
 Joe Ryan, "Cameraman files suit against Newark officer who tried to halt filming of
demonstration" (Nov. 3rd, 2009),
 News video featuring footage of the incident
New Haven, CT police curse at and arrest man for filming friend's arrest
In Septmeber, 2010, police were called to a public sidewalk outside a bar and detained a Quinnipiac
University student. The student's friend, Kenneth Hartford, began filming. Police asked Hartford if
he knew the man they were detaining and, when he replied in the affirmative, immediately decided
to place the friend under arrest.
Hartford asked why his friend was being arrested. One officer responded "None of your business"
then a second officer claimed the student had been accused of hitting another person. Several police
officers then approached Hartford and began yelling profanity-laced orders to shut off his camera
and leave. For instance, one officer told Hartford to "Put that [i.e., his camera] in your fucking
pocket and get the fuck out of here."
After Hartford's camera was turned off, he was tackled and placed under arrest for "disorderly
conduct" and "interfering with a police investigation." Hartford spent a night in jail.
 Matt Ciepielowski, "Senior arrested after filming another student’s arrest" (Sept. 28th,
2010), The Quinnipiac Chronicle
 Hillary Federico, "Quinnipiac students claim police brutality, 1 arrested after taping cops"
(Sept. 28th, 2010), The Middletown Press
 Hartford's footage of the incident
New York City, NY police officers arrest woman for filming at public meeting
In October, 2010, Larisa Beachy was filming at a Community Education Council (CEC) hearing
about a potential charter school. Noah Gotbaum, president of the District 3 CEC, told Beachy that
she needed a permit to film and ordered her to leave. Beachy refused and the police were called.
Beachy was arrested and charged with "refusing a lawful order."
A formal complaint was filed with Schools Chancellor Joel Klein asking him to confirm whether or
not it was legal to film at the meeting. The complaint prompted lawyers from the city's Education
Department to issue letters to all CEC officials explaining that they "may not prohibit members of
the public or press from making video or audio recordings."
 Rachel Monahan, "Success Charter scores a victory after Department of Education backs
taping of meetings" (Nov. 7th, 2010),
 Kerry Willis and Joe Kemp, "Charter school hearing in Manhattan gets ugly over videotape
flap" (Oct. 21st, 2010),
Police arrest reporter for filming outside town hall meeting
In August of 2009, newspaper reporter Jake Wagman was attempting to film police responding to a
fight that occurred outside a public school being used for a town hall-style meeting about healthcare
reform. Police demanded that Wagman leave the scene and, when he did not, arrested him for
 Carlos Miller, "Newspaper journalist arrested while filming demonstration in St. Louis"
(Aug. 9th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
 Video of Wagman's arrest
Portsmouth, NH police arrest man for filming them break up party
In 2010, police broke up a July 4th party which allegedly featured underage drinking. Police
arrested 20 people.
Police arrested 20-year-old Adam H. Whitman -- but not for drinking. Whitman was arrested for
filming the police with a cell phone camera. He was charged with violating New Hampshire's
wiretapping statute.
 Elizabeth Dinan, "Wiretapping charge for man accused of recording party bust on cell
phone" (Jul. 6th, 2010),
Portland, OR police cite man for filming stop-and-frisk
In 2008, Portland police officers stopped two men on a public street and demanded to see their IDs.
One officer accused one of the men of being a drug dealer and the other of being a buyer. Both men
were subjected to pat-down searches. Neither search turned up any evidence of illegal activity nor
was either of the men arrested.
Mike Tabor, a concerned bystander, recorded the incident on his cell phone. After the police
conducted the two searches, two officers approached Tabor, seized his camera, and issued him a
citation. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office declined to prosecute Tabor.
 Aimee Green, "Man threatens suit over seizure of videocamera after he tapes Portland police
rousting two men" (Sept. 16th, 2008),
 Tabor's footage
Roanoke, VA police ban man from courthouse for photographing elevator
In 2009, Andrew Reams, a self-proclaimed "elevator photographer," was taking photographs of an
elevator in a public building when an angry janitor threatened to destroy his camera and have him
arrested if he did not leave. The photographer left the building, but the janitor decided to call the
police anyway. The police quickly showed up and began harassing Reams who had relocated to a
public sidewalk.
The police asked Reams for his ID and other personal information. They also asked him why he had
been taking photographs. He provided them with ID and answered their questions in a friendly tone.
During the interaction, Reams asserted his right to take pictures. One of the officers conceded that
he had a right to take pictures, but explained that he should expect to be harassed and threatened by
people anyway because he might "put their face on a naked body or something."
Officer J. A. Vance eventually issued a trespass order barring Reams from entering the building
again. The order claimed that Reams was banned because of "suspicious activity."
 Carlos Miller, "Man gets harassed for photographing elevator in Virginia courthouse" (Jan.
8th, 2010), Photography is Not a Crime
 Footage of the incident
Salisbury, NC woman convicted of resisting arrest for filming traffic stop from her porch
In November, 2009, Felicia Gibson was standing on her front porch and filming police conduct a
traffic stop. Officer Mark Hunter approached Gibson and began repeatedly yelled at her to get in her
home. Hunter placed Gibson under arrest for "resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer."
When Gibson's charge went to trial, Judge Beth Dixon convicted her and sentenced her to six
months probation and community service. Dixon said at the trial that Gibson should have observed
the traffic stop from inside her home and that she hoped the conviction would teach Gibson a
The conviction inspired a protest outside city hall.
 Shavonne Potts, "Woman who videotaped officer found guilty of resisting arrest" (Aug, 21,
 Shelley Smith, "Citizens protest against city, Hunter" (Aug. 25th, 2010),
 Gibson's footage with added voiceover
Scottsdale, AZ police taser and arrest man for filming
In August, 2009, two Scottsdale motorcycle cops rode into a parking lot and began questioning a
drunk woman who was urinating in public.
Jeffery Nappi, a friend of the girl, began filming the incident with his video camera. After arresting
the girl, one of the officers approached Nappi and ordered to turn the camera over as "evidence."
Nappi refused and the officer began trying to grab the camera from him. The officer claims that
Nappi began fighting him at this point, however, Nappi denies that he fought with the officers. It is
not disputed, however, that the second officer attacked Nappi with a taser during the confrontation.
Nappi was arrested and charged with "assault," "disorderly conduct," "hindering prosecution."
After Nappi was released from jail, he attempted to get his video camera and iPhone back from the
police, but they refused to return them.
 Carlos Miller, "AZ police refuse to return video camera to man they arrested for filming
them" (Aug. 27th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
Spring City and East Vincent, PA officers cite man for filming twice and illegally search his
In 2006, Richard Hookway began filming Spring City and East Vincent police officers because he
suspected them of spending time outside their respective jurisdictions and running personal errands
while on-duty.
On January 19, 2007, Hookway was stopped by Spring City police officer Stofflet for filming.
Several days later, he received citations in the mail for "harassment" and "disorderly conduct."
On February 1, Hookway was filming a traffic stop when he was confronted by Stofflet and East
Vincent officer Karl Jones who told him it was against the law to film. He received citations for
"harassment" and "disorderly conduct" in the mail again.
On February 19, Hookway was filming a third traffic stop when he was confronted by Spring City
police officer Smythe who locked him in the back of his police cruiser for an hour and illegally
searched his car twice. Hookway alleged that officer Smythe cursed at him, taunted him, and
threatened to confiscate his video camera and car.
The ACLU filed suits against the Spring City police and East Vincent police on behalf of Hookway.
Both departments were forced to adopt a new written policy about video-recording, train their
officers properly, and pay for the $3,2000 in legal costs Hookway incurred defending himself
against the charges. The officers who harassed Hookway were also forced to write letters of
 "ACLU of PA Announces Settlement for Man Arrested for Videotaping Police Officers in
Public" (Dec. 18th, 2008), American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania
 Michael Hays, "Police must apologize to man who taped traffic stops" (Nov. 20th, 2008),
 Carlos Miller, "Penn. police ordered to apologize to man they harassed for filming them"
(Jan. 29th, 2009), Photography is Not a Crime
St. Mary's sheriff's deputy enters private residence and arrests woman for filming
On June 12, 2010, Yvonne Nicole Shaw began filming a police response to a noise complaint at a
friend's home. She said she decided to film because officers were acting "very aggressive."
St. Mary's sheriff's deputy Patrick Handy approached Shaw and grabbed her cell phone camera
from her. Shaw went inside her friend's house to call the police department and ask if what Handy
had done was legal. Handy began following Shaw, but was told by the home's occupant, Sabrina
Mawson, that he did not have a search warrant or here consent to enter. Handy allegedly threatened
to arrest Mawson if she did not leave her home, then entered it, and placed Shaw under arrest for
"unlawful interception of communication."
The charge was later dismissed by State's Attorney Richard Fritz. Fritz confirmed that filming
police is legal, however, he also claimed that Handy had not engaged in misconduct by seizing
Shaw's phone and arresting her.
 John Wharton, "Fritz says recording of deputy legal" (Jun. 23rd, 2010), Southern Maryland
Newspapers Online
Tarpon Springs, FL officer arrests student for refusing to give up video camera
In 2011, two college students, William Kilgore and and Tommy Frain, were filming Tarpon Springs
police officers searching a man's car.
One of the officers approached Kilgore, informed him that "what you just videotaped was this
officer receiving consent to search that person," and then demanded that Kilgore surrender his video
camera or go to jail, claiming that the camera was "evidence." Kilgore chose not to provide the
officer with the camera and the officer arrested for “obstruction.”
Frain then attempted to film Kilgore’s arrest with his cell phone, but the officer the phone as well.
Frain was not arrested.
Kilgore and Frain both received their property back and plan to file a lawsuit against the Tarpon
Springs police department.
The charge against Kilgore was eventually dropped.
 "Man thrown in jail for 'cop watching'" (Feb. 7th, 2011),
 Mike Deeson, "Tarpon Springs Police arrest a college student taping police activities as part
of a group called 'Cop Watch'" (Jan. 22nd, 2011),
 Mike Deeson, "Charges dropped for kids taping cops" (Feb. 18th, 2011),
 Video of William Kilgore's arrest
Troy, NH police arrest RPI student for filming alleged police brutality
In August 28, 2010, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Nicholas Nigro filmed part of a police
response to an alleged fight.
His video is of poor quality and difficult to make out, but he claims it shows Troy police officers
repeatedly striking another student, Luis M. Lluberes, with a baton. Police later claimed that the
strikes were performed in self-defense.
Officers saw Nigro filming and approached him. One officer accused Nigro of having an open
container then began repeatedly saying "goodbye," and finally ordering him to go back into his
home. Police then arrested Nigro and charged him with disorderly conduct and having an open
container. Nigro denies having an open container.
Police Chief John Tedesco later confirmed that Nigro's disorderly conduct charge stemmed from his
"failure to disperse" meaning that he was charged for refusing to leave.
 Dave Canfield, "Video alleged to depict Troy police beating RPI student" (Aug. 31st, 2010),
The Saratogian
 Nigro's footage of the incident
U. Pittsburgh police arrest student for filming
On April 29, 2009, a group of students were stopped by University of Pittsburgh police who
demanded to see their IDs. One of the students did not have an ID, so the police put her in
Another student, Elijah Matheny, filmed the incident with his cell phone. Matheny was arrested on
wiretapping charges and for "possession of an instrument of crime" -- his cell phone.
In July of 2009, a judge dismissed both the charges. The American Civil Liberties Union of
Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit on behalf of Matheny. The lawsuit was settled by the Allegheny
County district attorney's office when it agreed to send a memo out to police and prosecutors
explaining that it is not illegal to film police officers.
 "ACLU files suit on behalf of Pittsburgh man arrested for taping police" (Aug, 13th, 2009),
American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania
 Paula Reed Ward, "DA's office agrees to unusual settlement" (Jul, 15th, 2010), Pittsburgh
Weare, NH police impound videographer's car
On March 24th, 2010, Sgt. Joseph Kelley pulled over Tyler Hanslin for allegedly speeding in front
of the Weare Middle School.
Carla Gericke, a friend of Hanslin began recording the traffic stop with a video camera. A second
friend, William Rodriguez, pulled onto the scene and began recording the incident with his own
camera. When Kelley realized he was being filmed, he called for back-up.
Gericke returned to her car, rolled up the windows, and continued documenting the scene. She was
approached by officer Brandon Montplaisir who ordered her out of her car and arrested her for
"disobeying a police officer." She was later charged with felony wiretapping as well.
Rodriguez went to try to bail Gericke out of jail, but police arrested him at the jail on wiretapping
charges. Court records indicate he was arrested for allegedly filming at the jail, but Rodriguez
claims his camera was turned off at that point.
The charges were eventually dropped, but the police had Gericke's car impounded and never
returned the cameras.
Gericke's attorney Seth Hipple attempted to obtain a dashboard camera video of Gericke's arrest,
but the police claimed their cameras weren't working at the time of the arrest.
 Dan O'Brien, "Activists claim police won't give back recording devices" (Oct. 18th, 2010),
Union Leader
 Dan O'Brien, "Weare police charge man for recording traffic stop" (Feb. 25th, 2011), Union
Weare, NH police arrest man for recording traffic stop with cell phone
On July , William Alleman left a gathering and was followed by police officer Brian Montplaisir.
Eventually, Montplaisir pulled Alleman over. While Montplaisir was approaching Alleman's car,
Alleman called a voice mail service on his cell phone to audio-record the traffic stop.
Alleman was not arrested at the traffic stop. Instead, officers arrested him on a warrant accusing
him of "interception of oral communication" on February 25, 2011.
 Dan O'Brien, "Weare police charge man for recording traffic stop" (Feb. 25th, 2011), Union
Yellow incidents:
Ambridge, PA police officers brutalize man, delete surveillance footage in attempted cover-up
On February 20th, 2009, officer Richard Heitzenrater arrested David A. Baker for urinating in
public. After the arrest, Heitzenrater confronted Baker in a holding cell at the Beaver County Jail,
brutally beat him, and threatened him by putting a gun in his mouth.
The incident was recorded by a surveillance camera, however, Heitzenrater conspired with police
Lt. Robert Kuzma to destroy the footage in an attempt to cover up his crimes.
Heitzenrater and Kuzma were both found out and charged with multiple civil rights violations. Both
men took plea deals and were convicted of "deprivation of civil rights." Heitzenrater was sentenced
to six months in a halfway house. Kuzma was given a year of probation. Both men retired from the
police force amid the investigation.
 "2 Ambridge Officers To Plead In Beating, Avoid Trial" (Feb. 25th, 2010),
 "Ambridge Officers Plead Guilty In Suspect Beating Case" (Jul. 12th, 2010),
 Rich Lord, "2 former Ambridge officers sentenced in prisoner beating" (Nov. 12th, 2010),
Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
Bethlehem, PA police officers attempt to cover up footage of alleged brutality
In 2010, police officer John Nye was accused of using excessive force while arresting Corey
Vasquez in the month of March. Nye was cleared of the excessive force charge, however, the
Bethlehem City Council unanimously voted to fire him because he lied about the existence of
dashboard camera footage of the arrest.
A second police officer, Michael Lenner, was accused of destroying surveillance footage of the
arrest. Lenner was sentenced to an "Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition" (ARD) program which
allowed him to avoid receiving a criminal record as long as he completed a period of probation and
paid court costs and fines.
The excessive force allegation against the Bethlehem PD occurred just a little over a year after
Bethlehem's police union filed a complaint with Pennsylvania's Labor Relations Board in an attempt
to get dashboard cameras removed from their police cruisers.
 Pamela Lehman, "Bethlehem police to city: Don't tape me, bro'" (Aug. 28th, 2009),
 Will Lewis, "Council Votes To Fire Police Officer" (Dec. 7th, 2010),
 Riley Yates, "DA: Bethlehem cop OK'ed for ARD" (Feb. 8th, 2011), The Chicago Tribune
Birmingham, AL police edit dashcam video to cover up beating
On January 23, 2008, police stopped Anthony Shannon Warren to question him about alleged drug
activity. Warren fled in his car and was chased by the police. The chase ended with Warren's car
colliding with a police cruiser. Warren was ejected from his car and knocked unconscious. Police
converged on Warren's unconscious body and began kicking, punching, and beating him with
Later, the police turned a dashboard camera video of the chase over to prosecutors for use in
Warren's trial, but had edited out the beating. The prosecutors said that police failed to disclose that
they had edited the video.
Five of the officers who beat Warren were fired. Two of the officers were criminally charged, but
were acquitted. The beating and attempted cover-up resulted in an FBI probe into the department.
Warren was charged with attempted murder for trying to strike a police officer during the chase, but
accepted a plea deal in which he plead guilty to first-degree assault. He was sentenced to 20 years in
Warren sued the city seeking damages damages in "excess of $100,000," but the suit was dismissed.
 Kent Faulk, "Two former Birmingham police officers not guilty in video-taped beating"
(Jan. 18th, 2011),
 Carol Robinson, "Birmingham police beating video: Did not show beating when first given
to DA" (May 21st, 2009),
 Carol Robinson, "Birmingham police beating video: Five officers fired" (May 20th, 2009),
 Bob Sims, "Birmingham police beating video: Attorney for beaten man filed claim against
city" (May 20th, 2009),
 Bob Sims, "Birmingham police beating video: FBI will investigate" (May 20th, 2009),
 Bob Sims, "Birmingham police beating video: Officers to be disciplined for beating
unconscious man" (May 20th, 2009),
 Val Walton, "Federal judge dismisses Hoover, police officer from lawsuit over Birmingham
police beating" (Aug. 13th, 2010),
 Unedited dashcam video
 Shorter video that only shows the end of the chase
Carmel, IN police refuse to release dashcam video of police handcuffing woman at gunpoint
In 2010, Justine Allen was driving behind off-duty police officer Brian Martin who she claimed was
driving very slowly. She pulled up alongside the officer and asked if something was wrong and the
officer told her to pass him.
Later, Allen arrived at her doctor's office for an appointment and was accosted by a group of police
officer who handcuffed her at gunpoint. The officers demanded to know why Allen hadn't stopped
when Martin used the lights on his cruiser. Allen informed Martin that his lights never turned on.
Martin checked his lights and realized that they were malfunctioning.
The police decided not to charge Allen with "fleeing police" when they realized their mistake, but
gave her a $165 traffic ticket for allegedly driving to close to officer Martin before passing him.
Allen claimed that Martin's dashboard camera would show that she cooperated fully with the police,
but they said the camera failed to record the incident because the blown fuse in Martin's lights were
also necessary for his camera to function properly. Other officers recorded the incident on their
dashboard cameras, but the police refused to release the videos.
Eventually, the charge against Allen was dropped.
 Bob Segall, "Young mother handcuffed at gunpoint by Carmel Police" (Sept. 23rd, 2010),
 Bob Segall, "Carmel drops charges over traffic stop" (Nov. 23rd, 2010),
Milford, CT Lieutenant destroys dashcam footage sought by family of teen killed in officerinvolved car crash
On June 13th, 2009, Officer Jason Anderson was involved in a car crash that claimed the lives of
two teenage girls. Anderson's speed was later estimated to be above 90 miles per hour at the time of
Bart Halloran, a lawyer representing the family of one of the teens killed in the crashed, later
attempted to obtain thousands of hours of dashboard camera footage from the Milford police.
Halloran hoped the footage could be used to establish that Milford officers regularly drove at
excessive speeds, however, the footage had been deleted by Lt. Dan Bothwell.
Bothwell was later suspended without pay for a single day for violating an order that required all
footage sought under a Freedom of Information request to be retained.
Both Bothwell and the police chief insisted that the footage had been deleted by mistake, but
Halloran was incredulous. "It is inconceivable to me that this evidence would have been destroyed
if it had been in any way helpful to their case," he said.
 Frank Juliano, "Milford cop suspended for erasure of dashboard video" (Sept. 28th, 2010),
Nashville, TN police officer lies about existence of dashcam video of arrest that lead to
pregnant woman being shackled to a hospital bed
On July 3rd, 2008, Sgt. Tim Coleman stopped Juana Villegas, a pregnant woman, for allegedly
driving carelessly. Coleman asked Villegas to see a driver's license, however, she only had a
Mexican ID. Normally people without driver's licenses are cited, however, Coleman decided to
arrest her because he believed her to be an undocumented immigrant. "If she is here illegally, I can
promise you she is going back to Mexico. They will deport her," Coleman said.
After being arrested, Villegas was forced to give birth while in police custody. She alleges that she
was shackled to a hospital bed while giving birth. Police admit that she was shackled to the bed, but
claim the shackles were removes two hours prior to her giving birth and were put back on several
hours after. The charges against Villegas were later dropped due to mishandling by Sgt. Coleman.
In court, Coleman was asked about the video his dashboard camera recorded of the incident.
Coleman testified that his camera was malfunctioning the day of the traffic stop so no such video
existed. Later, the department released the video in response to a Freedom of Information Act
request. The video opened with Coleman explaining that he had tested the camera and that it was
working properly.
 Nick Beres, "Arrest Video Of Pregnant Woman Raises Questions" (Aug. 9th, 2010),
 Chris Echegaray, "Dashboard cam captures pregnant woman's arrest" (Aug. 9th, 2010),
 "Hispanic woman claims racial discrimination" (Jul, 17th, 2008),
 "Police Claim Legitimate Arrest; Woman Clams Racial Profiling" (Jul. 13th, 2008),
 Dashcam video of the incident
Ozark, AR police officer tases 10-year-old girl, fails to use taser cam
In 2009, Ozark police officer Dustin Bradshaw was called to deal with a 10-year-old whose mother
claimed she was refusing to take a shower. Bradshaw used his taser on the girl after she allegedly
kicked him in the groin.
Bradshaw was later fired because he violated a department policy which required him to record the
taser deployment with a taser-mounted video camera.
Bradshaw had been disciplined for failing to use his taser camera in the past.
 Edecio Martinez, "Cop Fired After Firing Taser at 10-Year-Old Girl Who Refused to
Shower" (Dec. 2nd, 2009), CBS News
U. Maryland police offer ridiculous excuses for failure to release brutality video
In March, 2009, the University of Maryland men's basketball team beat Duke and students began
celebrating in U. Maryland's College Park. Riot police were called out to deal with the situation.
Three riot police shoved Jack McKenna into a wall and brutally beat him without any provocation.
According to McKenna's attorney, McKenna and a second student beaten by the police both
suffered concussions, contusions, and cuts. Police arrested McKenna and filed a fraudulent arrest
report claiming that McKenna assaulted them and resisted arrest. A large number of other officers
were present at the time of McKenna's beating and every single one of them failed to intervene or
even report what had happened.
After McKenna was arrested, students released iPhone videos proving that the police beat and
arrested McKenna for no reason and lied. McKenna's attorney subpoenaed three-hour clips of
surveillance video from 20 cameras that were filming the College Park the night of the beating. The
campus police turned over the footage from all the cameras except the one that recorded McKenna's
beating. They claimed that a "technical error" caused the camera to record over the footage of the
beating. Police later claimed to have found the lost video, but two key minutes of it were missing.
Interestingly, Lt. Joanne Ardovini, who heads U. Maryland's campus video surveillance system, is
married to one of the police officers named in McKenna's complaint.
The charges against McKenna were eventually dropped.
 "Missing tape in UMd. beating surfaces" (April 21st, 2010),
 Allene Moodey, "'Missing' UMaryland Surveillance Video Surfaces - With Gap" (April 21st,
Green incidents:
Houston, TX police chief says filming police encounters will lead to officers being assaulted
and killed
On February 17th, 2011, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said during a meeting with
journalists that he was becoming concerned about people filming the police. “Officers are telling
me that they’re being provoked.” McClelland said. “Even when they try to write a simple traffic
ticket, people are jumping out with cell phone cameras scanning their badge numbers and their
nametags. And I’ve asked them to remain calm and treat people with respect and dignity.”
McClelland said that this phenomenon, in conjunction with supposedly intensifying anti-police
sentiment, will lead to officers being attacked or killed. “This rhetoric can give someone a free pass
to try to assault a police officer or kill a police officer, and I’m not going to allow that,” McClelland
claimed. “My officers should be able to go out here and work in the neighborhoods and keep this
city safe without fear and without hesitation.”
McClelland also mentioned that his department's internal affairs division possesses numerous
videos that "show the violent nature of police work," but said that he is prohibited by law from
releasing them.
McClelland's comments were made two weeks after a surveillance video was released showing four
Houston, TX officers punching, kicking, and stomping on a 15-year-old burglary suspect after he
voluntarily surrendered to them. The victim, Chad Holley, filed a lawsuit against the police alleging
that he suffered a brain injury during the beating.
The district attorney, mayor, police chief, and a federal judge all worked to delay or prevent the
release of video supposedly because allowing the public to see it would prevent the officers from
receiving a fair trial, however, ABC News was able to obtain and publish a leaked copy of it.
 Wayne Dolcephino, "Exclusive video of HPD beating of teen burglar" (Feb. 3rd, 2011), ABC
 Cindy George, "Residents videotaping officers worries HPD's chief" (Feb. 18th, 2011),
Houston Chronicle
 Alexander Supgul, "Beating Lawsuit Filed Against Officer" (Jul. 8th, 2010),
 Raw video of Chad Holley beating
Philadephia, PN police officers destroy security cameras to cover up robberies
In 2009, the Philadelphia Narcotics Unit was accused of disabling surveillance video cameras at
numerous convenience stores and then stealing thousands of dollars in cash, cartons of cigarettes,
drinks, snacks, and other merchandise. Most of the alleged victims were immigrants who spoke
little English and lacked familiarity with the U.S. criminal justice system.
George Bochetto, an attorney representing the officers, claimed that the allegations were false.
Bochetto went so far as to say that "there is a not a scintilla of truth" to the accusations.
The allegations were finally proven in March when Jose Duran released footage of a police search
of his convenience store. The videos show officers enter Duran's convenience store and handcuff
everyone present. They ask Duran if his store sell little plastic bags which they claimed were "drug
After asking Duran about the bags, the officers begin asking about Duran's surveillance cameras.
They search to store to make sure they knew the location of all the cameras, then begin destroying
them. For instance, one officer is seen cutting the wires on a camera with a knife he took from the
store's deli.
Duran alleged that police took thousands of dollars in cash and cartons of cigarettes from his store,
but the police only reported taking $785 in their report.
Duran was able to release the footage because his cameras were set up to send it straight to his
home computer.
In addition to the robberies, members of the Philadelphia Narcotics Unit were also accused of
fraudulently obtaining search warrants, framing innocent people for drug crimes, and sexually
assaulting women during searches. Their corruption became the focus of a Pulitzer Prize-winning
series of articles called "Tainted Justice." The series resulted in several fraudulent drug charges
being overturned and an FBI probe into the department. None of the officers were ever charged
More than 15 lawsuits were filed against members of the Philadelphia Narcotics Unit.
 "Covering 'Tainted Justice' And Winning A Pulitzer" (May 3rd, 2010, NPR
 Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, "Drug raids gone bad" (Mar 20th, 2009),
 Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, "Eye-opening revelations lead to systemic changes"
(Dec. 29th, 2009),
 Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, "Video sharpens focus on raid" (Marc. 30th, 2010),
 First surveillance video
 Second surveillance video
 Third surveillance video