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Woman tapes arrest, goes to jail for not handing camera over to the cop

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:11 PM
Original message
Woman tapes arrest, goes to jail for not handing camera over to the cop
She stood under the shower, stripped naked except for the underwear she wore like a shield.

As the water fell and eyes watched, Sarah Watkins struggled to breathe, her teeth chattering as she pondered how she wound up in jail for the first time in her life.

A day earlier, she was outside her home, videotaping Akron police officer Donald Schismenos making an arrest.

For parts of two days, the 48-year-old woman was confined in the Summit County Jail before she made bail.

Her crime: refusing Officer Schismenos' demands that she turn over the camera she used to document his arrest of a rowdy drunk.

His supervisors say the officer went against his sergeant's orders ''to let it go'' and instead slapped Watkins with a felony arrest warrant.

Charges against Watkins were ultimately no-billed, or dismissed by a county grand jury, and now Schismenos is fighting a 15-day suspension.

http://www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/82574547.html
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. Let me know when it's officially a police state.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Not yet, because this officer was punished...
but with more like him we could get it going.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Ok.
Now.
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. what you said.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
47. American Colonies of China
Bwahahahaha :rofl: That is the first I have heard of that term. I love it!
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Dickhead is not a translation of subpoena.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. Jesus, I've heard of that cop.
I've read his trial testimony in our nearby DA's office. I don't really remember much about him though.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. The tragedy of the law enforcement profession is...
...that it attracts people based on what they can get away with. "Ooooo, I can abuse the less powerful and make people's lives miserable at a whim? I think I just creamed myself. Where do I sign up?"
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. Several people in Mass have been arrested for recording police
in various cities arresting others...Supposedly the SOUND portion is illegal. Our Ms. Coakley supports this.

mark
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Ex-Coakley
Just saying...
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. She's still Attorney General, and may be elected so again. (NT)
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. Recommend
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
10. Would this had happened if Sarah Watkins were white?
What color is the cop?
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
11. It's a police state now
You can be arrested and held without due process
You can be arrested, humiliated, abused and traumatized, even if the charges are eventually dropped.
You library records can be searched without your knowledge, and your book store purchase records, too.

Research the treatment of protestors at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh.

You are in a police state now.
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. If it were a police state the charges wouldn't have been dropped
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. The effects were felt, nonetheless
One doesn't have to be arrested and charged to be harassed and oppressed.

There are hundreds of people in Guantanamo Bay who have never even had charges filed, let alone dropped.
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Flaneur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. That asshole cop needs to be fired, if there is any accountability.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. He was suspended for 15 days.
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. That's not being fired.
He'll still be able to go out an do it again.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. The union likely would fight the firing, the city probably agreed to suspend him instead.
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Heywood J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Then suspend him, unpaid, for six months.
He forcibly confined someone and illegally deprived them of liberty. Police are only supposed to arrest people who commit actual crimes.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. Firing him would be fine with me. I'm just telling you why it likely didn't happen.
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #25
39. 15 days isn't good enough.
Violate someone's civil rights get a couple of weeks vacation? Bugger that!
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. I'm not arguing it was the correct punishment. I'm just telling you the way it is.
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we can do it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
34. Not Enough - When They Start Firing The Abusive F@ckers the Shit Might Stop
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #34
45. I'm not arguing that it was enough.
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BadgerKid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
13. Her fingerprints probably won't get purged either.
Police state indeed.
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DisgustipatedinCA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
15. The comments (at the article website) are both unsurprising and depressing
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 03:52 PM by DisgustipatedinCA
Here are a few:


Just_Browsing_2

Posted 09:00 AM, 01/25/2010

The lady butted in where she shouldn't have. Period.

--

biochem31
stow, oh

Posted 08:59 AM, 01/25/2010

Also, who wants idiots out taping what the police do anyways? Personally, I would have prefered no one taping this, and them teaching this recidivist a lesson with a good beating.
--
(this moron apparently doesn't understand the difference between "private" and "public"):

Just_Browsing_2

Posted 08:48 AM, 01/25/2010

While I believe that the policeman definitely overreacted, it's hard to have sympathy for her too. What gives with people constantly invading the privacy of others with their taking pictures with their cell phones and videotaping everything.
--


Toby
Akron, Oh

Posted 10:04 AM, 01/25/2010

Living in AMHA housing and has a video camera??? GET A JOB
--
(this one will make a good little nazi when the time is right)

heartfixx2
akron, oh

Posted 10:44 AM, 01/25/2010

A law is a law. You refuse to cooperate, you go to jail. Throw the race card..go ahead.
--

gg

Posted 11:07 AM, 01/25/2010

I think people that run around with cameras, taping other people without their permission, are creepy psycho stalkers and should be treated as such.
--


There are more, lots more. And somewhere close to half of them are supportive of this lady. But that leaves the other half, the ones ready for a police state, the ones who didn't like her "lip", and the ones who obviously hate black people.
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logosoco Donating Member (372 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
52. Interesting comments....
"who wants idiots out taping what police do anyway?"...well, I guess Rodney King did.
I guess in this day and age, with all the "camera technology" everyone should be prepared to be "caught" on camera. The police are doing a public "service" so they are in public. I think the only way they could have taken her camera is if she commited a crime, and I don't see where she did anything criminal. I think the city owes her now.

This reminds me of a few years ago, the cops came to my neighbors house and they were really starting to rough him up, until they realized they had several people watching.
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
16. Something like this happened in Houston.
Two brothers filmed cops making an arrest. Cops take camera, arrest brothers. Brothers sue, county settles for seven figures.
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
33. Something like this happened to DU's RagingInMiami



With the Miami-Dade PD.


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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. K&R
fucked.up.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
21. If a police officer EVER demands your camera after you photograph/tape something...
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 04:08 PM by Xithras
1. Don't start an argument. Police are trained to win arguments, you're not. Arguing isn't going to help, and you're not going to win it.

2. Identify yourself to the police officer. Give your name and address. This is needed for the next step, but refusing is counterproductive anyway. The Supreme Court has ruled that you do not have a right to anonymity in a public place and that you can be arrested for failing to identify yourself. By refusing, you make yourself subject to arrest, giving them legal grounds to seize the camera. It's also important for....

3. Say these words: "Officer, while my photos may or may not be evidence, I was not in any way involved in the crime/arrest that I photographed and am not part of your investigation. According to both state and federal law, you need a subpoena or a warrant to search and seize my photographs."

A police officer can no more seize your camera than they can walk into a store and demand surveillance tapes from their security cameras. They can ask, but if the store (or you) refuses, they need a judges order to go any further.

The law grants police officers incredible amounts of leeway when collecting evidence from a crime scene or from people involved in a crime, but their legal powers end when they're dealing with people who weren't involved in the crime they're investigating. Remind them of that, and make sure the camera is running while you do it. If they arrest you anyway, it's a slam-dunk civil rights violation and lawsuit. Odds are, they'll walk away once you say that.
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StopTheNeoCons Donating Member (608 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thanks for this explanation
I have printed it and put it in my wallet, also sent to my kids.
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lolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #21
44. E-mail it asap
If you can send your video somewhere quickly, the horse has already left the barn.
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Dyedinthewoolliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
24. Imagine if
EVERYONE, in this day and age of cell phone and small camera videos, videoed every police transaction they ran across? Do you think it would change the behavior of the police? :shrug: I think it would. They can't put EVERYONE in jail (the approach used often in protesting the war in Vietnam), maybe if they know they were being monitored they'd be a bit nicer?
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tXr Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. The perfect video camera for such a situation:
http://tinyurl.com/yegu7r2

I'm thinking about buying a couple.
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Indy Lurker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #37
46. I perfer the pen
It records great from your shirt pocket

http://cgi.ebay.com/8GB-spy-1280-960-30fps-HD-video-Min...












Sample Photo

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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
27. Schismenos ought to be fired
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 05:35 PM by Jkid
and his salary should be given to Sarah as compensation. No one should be arrested because they excised their first amendment rights.
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PJPhreak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
28. One word.........Copwatch,
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mrbarber Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. "Fighting a 15 day paid vacation"
Suspensions are such a fucking joke.
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
31. Fire the fucking pig, he disobeyed his seargents order...
Just another jackbooted thug who thinks he can do anything he wants to and get away with it...


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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
32. Why the hell don't cops video tape themselves?
My god I wouldn't dream of being a cop without a web cam on my head, a digital camera on my gun, and wired for audio.

It would end asshole cops getting away with bullshit, and asshole people thinking they can get away with bullshit against the police.
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KonaKane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. They do
In most cities I know of, a vid cam in the cop car looking through the front windshield is routine.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. I mean like one on their heads
and one in the windshield, and one on their guns, and a 360 on top the car.

I think it is safe to say that the windshield camera is useless. All they have to do is walk 10 feet and they know there is no video evidence.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Doing someting like that in ca:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/12/29/national/main...

Calif. Cops Use Head Cams to Police Selves
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. It is a start
At 18 of the 1300 officers it is a far cry from comprehensive, but a good start.
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. So is editing the tape before taking it to court. n/t
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #35
48. Amazing how the pigs "lose" the tapes when they Rodney-King someone... n/t
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
49. Pigs don't like being videotaped when they're committing crimes... n/t
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
50. FUCK THE FASCIST PIGS!
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
51. This sounds just like RagingInMiami
As a photographer, I'm deeply disturbed by these stories.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
53. The police forces around the country are raring to go
just waiting for the inevitable supreme court decision absolving them of any crime for bashing folks heads in for any reason or no reason at all, but some can't wait.
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rcrush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
54. ...
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