Colorado bill would impose $15,000 fine on cops who try to stop people from filming them

This law is much needed.  How many videos have we seen of police threatening citizens who film them and lying about it being illegal?

from ABC 7  Denver:

A package of police oversight bills introduced in the Colorado Legislature includes a measure that would impose up to $15,000 in civil penalties if a law enforcement officer seizes or destroys a citizen’s recording or interferes with someone trying to film them.

"Primarily, it came up as a result of the number of news reports we’ve been seeing about police officers telling people, ‘Give me your camera,’ or taking the data away, and that is unacceptable conduct," said Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton and co-sponsor of the bill.

Salazar said House Bill 15-1290 has support from both Democrats and Republicans, and is not intended to penalize police.

"It takes a very special person to be a police officer," Salazar said. "We want to honor them, but at the same time, we have a few bad apples who need to be aware that their conduct now has major, major consequences."

Salazar said one incident that caught his attention was a woman’s claims that Denver Police prevented her daughter from filming what happened after Jessica Hernandez, a 17-year-old in a stolen car, was shot.

Bobbie Ann Diaz lives right in front of the Park Hill ally where it happened in January. One of her daughter’s was in the car with Hernandez and another daughter, Brianna, came outside with Diaz after they heard the gunshots.
Diaz said an officer stopped her after she left her yard, telling her he would arrest her if she didn’t cooperate.

"The officer had me apprehended, he wouldn’t let me go," Diaz said.
She said she yelled to Brianna, who was still on their property, behind a fence, to record what was happening as officers pulled a lifeless Hernandez from the car.

"At that time, (the officers) put Jessie down and they were on their knees yelling at Brianna that she better not record. She better not," Diaz said. "She got scared. She got intimated. These are big officers and she didn’t want to make things worse."

Diaz said, at that time, she wasn’t aware that citizens have every right to record police as long as they are not interfering with an investigation.
"I wanted to cooperate with them," she said. "And I didn’t know it was our right to keep recording on our property."

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This is an idea that needs to catch on in all 50 states. 

Not only that, but police in every precinct in America should be required to wear vest-cameras at all times. 

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[Arthur (offscreen): The cow says “Moo!” 
Butterfly don’t say nothing. 
Pig says “You have the right to remain silent.” ] 

White man shot Black sheriff in Jan; no charges filed.

During a no-knock raid, police invade a suspect’s home, usually under the cover of darkness, to catch the criminal unawares, usually in possession of drugs or firearms.  If someone breaks into your home, you have the right to defend yourself with force, unless it’s a cop.  In that case, you go to jail.

In 2004, Cory Maye was sent to death row after killing a cop during a no-knock raid.  He said he thought he was being robbed.

In 2014, Marvin Guy killed a cop during a no-knock raid and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty  He said he didn’t know cops were breaking into his home.

They were both Black.  

Henry Magee also killed a cop during a no-knock raid (a few months before Guy), but all of his charges were

Dallas Horton shot a Black police chief four times after cops gained entry to his home back in January, but he was released shortly after questioning.

They’re both white.

What a coincidence.

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Former NYPD cop: “we fabricated charges to meet quotas”

And to think that some people wonder why there is so much animosity towards police officers!  

from NY Daily News:

A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.

"Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case," he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.

"I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy," Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

He made clear he wasn’t about to pass off the two legit arrests he had made in the bar to Tavarez.

"As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division," he said.

NYPD officials did not respond to a request for comment.

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Does this mean that all cops are bad?  Certainly not!  Does it impugn the cops who go along with these practices rather than speak out?  Yes indeed.

There is corruption in police precincts in all 50 states, and the good cops out there need to start speaking up if they don’t want to get sucked into the vortex.

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While having a yard sale, a man gets a couple of interesting customers.

San Francisco sheriff’s deputies arranged and gambled on battles between County Jail inmates, forcing one to train for the fights and telling them to lie if they needed medical attention, the city’s public defender said Thursday.

Since the beginning of March, at least four deputies at County Jail No. 4 at 850 Bryant St. threatened inmates with violence or withheld food if they did not fight each other, gladiator-style, for the entertainment of the deputies, Public Defender Jeff Adachi said.

Adachi said the ringleader in these fights was Deputy Scott Neu, who was accused in 2006 of forcing inmates to perform sexual acts on him. That case was settled out of court.