Photographer Arrested in Seattle Gets $8,000
What did this photographer do to get arrested? Took pictures of police officers arresting somebody else. It is after things like this that the term jack booted thugs comes to mind.
An amateur photographer who was taken into custody last year after shooting pictures of two Seattle police officers making an arrest on a public street received an $8,000 settlement this week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington announced Thursday.
The photographer, Bogdan Mohora, later was released and was never charged with a crime. The two officers who arrested him were disciplined, according to police.[…]
Mohora said the woman told him she believed the arrest of her friend was wrong, and that he was being arrested on a warrant that had been quashed. She asked Mohora about obtaining copies of the photos, he said.
Two officers, James Pitts and David Toner, then ordered Mohora to hand over his camera, according to ACLU staff attorney Aaron Caplan, who handled the case. Mohora said that when he asked what he had done wrong, the officers handcuffed him and took his camera, wallet and satchel. They then drove him to a holding cell at the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct, Mohora said.
When he was released about an hour later, he said, he was told that he could be charged with disturbing the peace, provoking a riot or endangering a police officer.[…]
“Being arrested for simply being a witness to police activity was frightening and humiliating,” Mohora wrote in a claim he later filed against the city. “It bothers me to think that police can abuse their authority by arresting innocent witnesses and then not even make standard police reports to document what happened.”
Hey its a free country right? Right? Well maybe not so much anymore. Given that these cops are paid with public money, are working on public streets and are not acting as agents for the government which is supposedly “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, we should have the right to photograph them while they are on the job.
Via Radley Balko.