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Obama Administration Supports Journalist Arrested For Recording Cops

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the to-protect-and-serve dept.

Government 238

New submitter SplatMan_DK writes "Ars Technica reports that the Obama Administration has filed a brief in support of a Maryland photojournalist who says he was arrested and beaten after he took photographs of the police arresting two other men. The brief by the Justice Department argues that the U.S. Constitution protects the right to photograph the actions of police officers in public places and prohibits police officers from arresting journalists for exercising those rights. Context: 'Garcia says that when Officer Christopher Malouf approached him, Garcia identified himself as a member of the press and held up his hands to show he was only holding a camera. But Malouf "placed Mr. Garcia in a choke hold and dragged him across the street to his police cruiser," where he "subjected him to verbal and physical abuse." According to Garcia's complaint, Malouf "forcibly dragged Mr. Garcia across the street, throwing him to the ground along the way, inflicting significant injuries." Garcia says Malouf "kicked his right foot out from under him, causing Mr. Garcia to hit his head on the police cruiser while falling to the ground." Garcia claims that Malouf took the video card from Garcia's camera and put it in his pocket. The card was never returned. Garcia was charged with disorderly conduct. In December 2011, a judge found Garcia not guilty.'"

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A sudden attack of reason (5, Funny)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121843)

There must be something (besides a dusting of snow) in the DC air - this appears to be an entirely reasonable reaction by the DOJ.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121901)

But they can still be killed by a drone strike on American soil.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (5, Informative)

Enry (630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121917)

Atty. General Holder made the position of the administration quite clear in his letter to Sen. Paul.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122013)

While he made the Administration's position clear, the fact that they would even consider doing this should appall and outrage every citizen of this nation.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122133)

Rand Paul is the one who thought up the scenario, so we should be appalled and outraged at Rand Paul?

Re:A sudden attack of reason (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122655)

Rand Paul is the one who thought up the scenario, so we should be appalled and outraged at Rand Paul?

Yes we should. Senator Paul was just obfuscating the real issue. Killing citizens with drones is not an issue: the rules should be exactly the same as any other use of deadly force. It is not different because it is "with a drone". The issue is spying on citizens. When it comes to spying, drones are a game changer (in good ways and bad).

Re:A sudden attack of reason (5, Insightful)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122269)

People like you crack me up. You do realize that a drone is just a weapons platform right? If you can conceive of a reason why the US government might reasonable kill an American citizen with a pistol, a shotgun, an assault rifle, or a tank, why would the use of a drone somehow be any different? Surely the test is whether or not the killing was legal, not what weapons platform was used to deliver the strike. OMG, they haz robots!!!!!

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122289)

Er, "might reasonably kill..."

Re:A sudden attack of reason (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122357)

"People like you crack me up. You do realize that a drone is just a weapons platform right? If you can conceive of a reason why the US government might reasonable kill an American citizen with a pistol, a shotgun, an assault rifle, or a tank, why would the use of a drone somehow be any different?"

The problem here is that so far drones haven't been used "reasonably". They've been used to kill people on the President's personal kill list, in violation of treaty, international law, and U.S. law. That's not "war", it's legally murder.

Since ALL the evidence we have (the use of drones so far) points to illegal use of drones, why should anybody expect that they would suddenly be used in a reasonable and lawful manner, once used withing the U.S.?

If you are the sort of person who values real evidence, you should see that there are very good, rational reasons to be opposed to domestic use of drones.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (4, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122617)

I must have missed that memo. I looked through my mail for anything with a subject called "The Presidents Personal Kill List", but I'm guessing I'm just not on that distribution.

I think this is where a [Citation Needed] is justified. At the parent stated, this make believe scenario was created by Rand Paul. In my opinion, it was done for one reason. Rand Paul personal ambition. The nation has always had a top list of most wanted, and dead or alive for a terrorist isn't a problem. It wasn't a problem for Bush, it wasn't a problem for Clinton, and it wasn't a problem for Bush Sr. They don't stop and try to take these folks into custody. If someone has declared them intentions and is clearly in collusion with a terrorist cell, then they have forfeited their rights as a citizen, and have declared themselves an enemy of the state.

Police will already shoot and kill an armed and dangerous person if they pull a weapon and the officer fears for his life. Now take that same scenario, apply it to a suspected terrorist with a dirty bomb. I have zero issue with said terrorist getting his ass blown away before he might harm hundreds or thousands in an OKC style bombing, or drastically worse, a dirty nuclear weapon. Walking up to such a person, and trying to arrest them and read them their miranda rights is more likely to just get them to trigger the bomb. A drone can take a person out before they have to to react and do such a thing.

The Constitution already charges the president with protecting it's citizens from threats both foreign and domestic. Holder already stated that using a drone, on a common American Citizen, siting in a Starbucks, would be an unnecessary use of force. That is not an ambiguous statement. I don't care what 'party' a President hails from. Any President who used a drone on innocent civilians without an overwhelming need to protect thousands more, would be impeached, and likely thrown in prison. Rand Paul claiming that this President could somehow do just that, and not face any consequences as a result was pure rhetoric, and beneath the dignity that the Office of the President deserves as a leader of the United States. Even his own party members called him out on it.

Lastly, Rand himself said he had no problem and would expect the President to use a drone to take out a terrorist who was an imminent threat in such a situation.

That 13 hours was all for the benefit of Rand, and no one else.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122789)

The same is true if a criminal is a threat to civilians as well. Police will use deadly force in those instances. The method of delivery is irrelevant.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122865)

I must have missed that memo. I looked through my mail for anything with a subject called "The Presidents Personal Kill List", but I'm guessing I'm just not on that distribution.

When even that bastion of conservative outrage, The Huffington Post, has tagged over 25 of their own articles with "Obama Kill List" [huffingtonpost.com] it seems pretty silly to pretend it doesn't exist.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (2)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122895)

I didn't state it doesn't exist. In fact I indicated that it's common for a sitting president to have a kill list. I do question that this kill list contains anything but terrorists, or suspected terrorists. Making it appear as if he's just randomly selecting people with a dart and a dartboard is disingenuous at best, and outright lying at it's worst.

Just because an article notes a phrase, doesn't validate it as true. I would expect someone from /. to at least do a little due diligence. By your standard, simply putting "Obama Kill List" here on /. is sufficient citation?

Re:A sudden attack of reason (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123019)

I do question that this kill list contains anything but terrorists, or suspected terrorists.

It doesn't seem to take much to become a "suspect terrorist" these days. Everyone gets molested at airports for being possible terrorists, and being a suspected terrorist is just a step up from that.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123113)

Interesting. Do you have a list of these US citizens being arrested and classified as terrorists at a US airport? i see a small number of people over the last few years in the UK arrested under suspicion of Terrorism who were actively engaged in planning attacks and who were fortunately stopped before they could inflict harm, but not much here in the U.S. I found 1 in Dec of 2012 in Atlanta, and one in June of 2010. The two in 2010 were actively trying to join Al Shabab, a group that claims ideological kinship with Al Qaeda.

The Dec 2012 pair also seems pretty well researched.

Wilson, also known as Rasheed Wilson, and Abukhdair are both U.S. citizens. At the time of their arrests, they were being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Mobile.
The two allegedly met online in 2010. Wilson is described in the criminal complaint as a close friend and former roommate of Omar Hammami, an American and member of the Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab. Hammami, who was raised in Alabama, is believed to be a senior leader within al-Shabaab, which is an Al Qaeda affiliate. He has been indicted on U.S. terrorism charges and is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terorrists” list.

It seems it really is more difficult than you make it seem to be classified as a terrorist to the point where they take action and arrest you. It seems in many of these, the people in question either did brain-dead things like wear bullet proof vests, and had weapons, gas masks, and other questionable material in their carry-ons, and were arrested for suspicion of terrorism, or they were already on a most wanted list as likely engaged in terrorist activities with some pretty hard links to Al Qaeda.

Care to post some valid information on how easy it is to be arrested as a terrorist? [Citation Needed]

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122907)

The police may well need to shoot a suspect that is a danger to others. They do not have the right to assassinate someone while they're asleep. Wanted, Dead Or Alive, as a legal matter, is work of a fiction.

Any President who used a drone on innocent civilians without an overwhelming need to protect thousands more, would be impeached, and likely thrown in prison.

Given that both Bush and Obama have presided over strikes that have killed thousands of innocent Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Afghans, your statement is flatly false. You live in a fantasy world where these drones are always using a missile on five terrorist in a remote mountaintop hut. News flash - they aren't.

These drones are being used in cities and towns. They are being used in areas where the "terrorists" are... which is schools, markets, homes, and everywhere else someone might go because shockingly, they're still human beings and they need to eat, sleep, and breathe like anybody else. They don't spend 24/7/365 in a training camp 10 miles outside town with a giant sign that says bomb the fuck out of us.

Instead, what we go with now is shaky intel that says Umar over there is a terrorist. Umar doesn't get a right to refute the charges. No one validates any of this shit. No one is allowed to challenge any of it. He just gets blown up by a drone one day because someone with an ax to grind "reported him" to the Americans.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (2)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123017)

Now you are equating a suspected terrorist in the midst of causing imminent harm, to assassinating someone while they are asleep? Really? Perhaps you should go back and read Holder's reply. It's very clear. Perhaps your reading comprehension needs work.

You might also try to remember that during military action, or war, civilians can and do get in the way. It is unavoidable. Claiming the President is sitting there directing civilians to be shot is bullshit. it's also bullshit claiming those deaths are all due to American action. A large portion are from factions within Iraq, Iran, etc. Nice straw man. It's also bullshit claiming all of those deaths are drone related. Estimates for Pakistan for example show drone related deaths to be about 2000-3500. Seems that number falls far short of your hundreds of thousands, but don't let facts get in the way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan [wikipedia.org]

It should also be noted that the Pakistani military believes that upwards of 80% of those killed in drone attacks were militants. I don't recall the twin towers being a hotbed of military planning, warehouses for weapons, or anything of that sort, but I must have missed that memo too. What they did was an act of war. You do what you can to minimize civilian fatalities (or at least the US does...the terrorists do not).

As to terrorists hiding in schools, markets, homes, etc. This is war. It's ugly. Terrorists are also known to reside in such places for just that reason. To use their own citizens as human shields. Civilian losses are always considered. Unless you have some evidence that these civilian losses were somehow disregarded as irrelevant, your just blowing smoke. Then again, you are posting anonymously. Go figure.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123117)

Seems that number falls far short of your hundreds of thousands, but don't let facts get in the way.

My post doesn't contain the phrase 'hundreds of thousands', but don't let facts get in the way.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123077)

I consider a drone strike to be along the lines of a missile strike, and Obama made more of these in his first term, that the four Presidents preceding him combined... I feel that this is unconscionable and can only indicate a disrespect for life, the risk to innocent civilians, and the population at large. There is a big difference between shooting a person with a bullet, and lobbing a shrapnel grenade, dropping a bomb, or firing a missile at a target. It's not just *deadly force* it's the risk to nearby civilians... Or should we just blow up a sky scraper in NYC the next time suspected terrorists are in there?

The fact is these kind of strikes in the "war" we are in, are pretty deplorable. I'm all for armored vehicles and sharp shooters taking out enemy combatants, but missile strikes should be reserved for those that are firing missiles back. It's overreach... just like dropping some nukes would be.

Hell, dropping a few nukes on Afghanistan would be pretty effective in removing any terrorist threats, and we wouldn't need to keep so many troops there. Why don't we just do that?

Re:A sudden attack of reason (3, Interesting)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123093)

I agree with a lot of what you say, but I do take issue with this:

If someone has declared them intentions and is clearly in collusion with a terrorist cell, then they have forfeited their rights as a citizen, and have declared themselves an enemy of the state.

I think in many situations, such as where someone is colluding with a terrorist cell but hasn't declared their intentions, that they deserve a trial. The problem is that the government is likely to claim that particular actions function as a declaration of intent. Here's a ridiculous but not entirely implausible situation:

Say an American pyromaniac moves to Pakistan. He doesn't align himself to any terrorist cause, he's just obsessed with blowing things up and his freedom in the U.S. could be jeopardized by such actions. He buys several explosives from a terrorist cell and this action is observed by a CIA spook who doesn't realize the guy is just a pyromaniac who intends to harmlessly detonate these devices in the middle of the desert. Our pyromaniac takes his explosives to his little desert shanty only to be blown away by a drone attack while he's setting up his new toys.

Let's say the guy's family finds out about it and they're outraged. They all know he was just a pyromaniac, they know he wasn't allied with terrorists. But the government is likely to claim that 1) his actions and associations with terrorists warranted treating him like a terrorist and 2) by buying items from terrorists he was in effect funding them, which makes him an enemy of the state.

The problem with allowing some government agency, agent, official, or whatever decide what constitutes a 'declaration of intent' or 'clear collusion' is that it could be abused. Say a hacker who, although he loves the U.S.A., is disgusted by the unconstitutional activities of certain agencies, decides to move to Iran. He moves to Iran so he can protest in the form of attacking the computer systems of these agencies and he's fairly certain the Iranians won't extradite him for such activity. While this is certainly a criminal act, does it make him a terrorist? Does it make him an enemy of the state?

Or one last hypothetical. Say Bradley Manning was informed that he was ratted out by the filthy rat Adrian Lamo before getting arrested. And somehow Bradley smuggled himself out of the country and was granted amnesty by. . .let's go with Syria. More than one politician has declared Manning to be an enemy of the state, to be guilty of treason, to be guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy. Are we to let the president send that drone after Manning? To leave it up to the president's discretion?

I think Rand Paul approached an important issue, and hopefully his stunt made people consider the moral repercussions of drones, the way our government deals with terrorism, the rights of the citizen, and warfare in general; but it appears to me that, like you said, Rand was just politicizing an issue and drawing attention to himself. Maybe his little filibuster will draw attention to the important issues but I doubt that was his intent - his intent was to spew FUD.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (2)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122507)

People like you crack me up. You do realize that a drone is just a weapons platform right? If you can conceive of a reason why the US government might reasonable kill an American citizen with a pistol, a shotgun, an assault rifle, or a tank, why would the use of a drone somehow be any different? Surely the test is whether or not the killing was legal, not what weapons platform was used to deliver the strike. OMG, they haz robots!!!!!

Agreed, but I can't think of any possible way in which an american in US soil could be killed by a drone strike in a legal fashion.

The way I see it, there are only three manners in which the government can kill someone in US soil:

1. Self defense when attacked by a criminal, which rules out the drone.

2. Armed resistance to a legal arrest, which includes being holed up in a building, which I believe should require the officers to make every effort to take the criminals alive, so they can be tried in a court of law. This includes the case where the criminals are holed up with hostages, in which case sniping them is acceptable if it looks like they're not going to give up the hostages. A drone strike is again ruled out here. If they have no hostages, then an effort needs to be made to take them alive, and if they do have hostages, then the drone strike would harm the hostages as well.

3. After they've been sentenced in a trial to the death sentence. I don't actually approve of the death sentence, but I consider it legal until we change the books. Come to think of it, I'm actually ok if the drone strike is used in this situation. I don't think it's any more cruel than the electric chair, to have the sentenced men tied up in an open field and then order the drone strike. That said, I would argue it's far too expensive and impractical.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

SirSlud (67381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122595)

Wait, they're not allowed to shoot at an individual who is shooting at other individuals? That's not self defense.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122935)

Wait, they're not allowed to shoot at an individual who is shooting at other individuals? That's not self defense.

It is categorized as self defense from a legal perspective.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123087)

Not with a missile.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122743)

The states still have the right to declare martial law and occasionally do so. The last was after Katrina in New Orleans.

After the 1906 earthquake 200 looters were shot or hung from lamp posts by the California National Guard.

I admire reason, but.... (1)

postofreason (1305523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122879)

4. They can kill to protect others. i.e. a man about to push the button on a bomb that will kill people. They just need probable cause.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123023)

There's plenty of precedent for the government legally killing American citizens on American soil without a trial. Just look at the Civil War. The US government never recognized the Confederacy's independence, which means that all of the rebel soldiers were American citizens being killed without trial.

This scenario would likely fall into your first category -- the rebels would be viewed as criminals, and killing them is a sort of national self-defense. You said self-defense would never include a drone, because you're most likely thinking of, e.g., a cop returning fire at a gangster. But let's say some of those far-right anti-government groups gain traction and violently take over a small town, killing the police force and holing up with a gun in every window. Surely, in such a scenario, the government would be within its rights to use all of the technology at its disposal to take them out, right?

If the government decides to drone strike some protestors or something, then I'll be rioting right alongside you, but right now it seems like people are just overreacting because robots are scary.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122593)

I am from Atlanta. The principal whether or not American citizens can be targeted by military force if they are engaged in combat against the US was settled there in 1864. The method used is merely tactics.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122885)

As I recall, the illustrious civilian population of the city of Atlanta did not consider themselves citizens of the United States of America, but instead of something called the Confederate States of America.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123091)

Except the fact that its much easier to be anonymous and "unaccounted for", and its a platform utilized by organizations that regularly present to little to no transparency or even acknowledgement that they exist. So people like you crack me up believing that everything is always OK just as long as it was an official action. A person by agency "X" flying a "weapons platform" over your neighborhood can inherently be trusted implicitly to only use this resource for "X". And of course if they crash into your house that's OK right? In fact if its just another weapons platform maybe we should get a few tanks to patrol around for our safety as well.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (3, Interesting)

dizzy8578 (106660) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122457)

Just as Gen. Hayden made the Bush administration position on the 4th amendment quite clear:

Gen. Michael Hayden refused to answer question about spying on political enemies at National Press Club. At a public appearance, Bush's point man in the Office of National Intelligence was asked if the NSA was wiretapping Bush's political enemies. When Hayden dodged the question, the questioner repeated, "No, I asked, are you targeting us and people who politically oppose the Bush government, the Bush administration? Not a fishing net, but are you targeting specifically political opponents of the Bush administration?" Hayden looked at the questioner, and after a silence called on a different questioner. (Hayden National Press Club remarks, 1/23/06)

--
Landay: "...the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that you must have probable cause to violate an American's right against unreasonable searches and seizures..."

Gen. Hayden: "No, actually - the Fourth Amendment actually protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure."

Landay: "But the --"

Gen. Hayden: "That's what it says."

Landay: "The legal measure is probable cause, it says."

Gen. Hayden: "The Amendment says: unreasonable search and seizure."

Landay: "But does it not say 'probable cause'?"

Gen. Hayden [exasperated, scowling]: "No! The Amendment says unreasonable search and seizure."

Landay: "The legal standard is probable cause, General -- "

Gen. Hayden [indignant]: "Just to be very clear ... mmkay... and believe me, if there's any Amendment to the Constitution that employees of the National Security Agency are familiar with, it's the Fourth. Alright? And it is a reasonableness standard in the Fourth Amendment. The constitutional standard is 'reasonable'" ( h/t Dale)
-- Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay questioned Gen. Michael Hayden at the National Press Club in January.

--
(4th Amendment for those who are confused...)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

" Statutes authorizing unreasonable searches were the core concern of the framers of the 4th Amendment."
  "It is a measure of the framers' fear that a passing majority might find it expedient to compromise 4th Amendment values that these values were embodied in the Constitution itself."
    --- Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, the first woman on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. 1981-2005 (resigned)
--

Re:A sudden attack of reason (-1, Offtopic)

Enry (630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122537)

So you didn't read what Holder wrote? It's a pretty short letter with small words. I'm sure you can understand it.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122965)

[encrypted]aS JyvvqC/ mkSAAg 0q8dc.[/encrypted]

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122155)

Don't be a dumbass. A seven word reply to the outrageous accusation was give and it ended with the word No. It's only two letters and should have been the first word your parents taught you as a baby. The meaning has not changed. You just don't pay attention, eh? :)

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

xevioso (598654) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122899)

It was not a seven word reply. The reply to the question was one word, No.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121941)

Was worrying for those getting Goggles....

Re:A sudden attack of reason (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122171)

When I first saw the headline, I assumed it meant the administration was supporting the cops. Is it possible that the Justice Department also misread a line and filed a brief with the wrong side?

Sounds crazy, but elected officials standing up for civilian rights against the police state sounds crazier.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (2)

SirSlud (67381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122629)

No, you sound crazy. This happens all the time. Enjoy your confirmation bias. I'm certainly not an authority ass kisser, but needing to view the world in black and white means you're going to be wrong a lot of the time.

Re:A sudden attack of reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122607)

Actually, the summary is a bit wrong. "Arrests" are not a legal action per se. You can be arrested at any time by any law officer (or actually by any citizen in several states), state or federal. What would be wrong would be to indict on some civil or criminal charge. The most common charges would be "loitering", "interfering with police activity", "disobeying an officer of the law", "disorderly conduct", "misconduct" and "aiding and abetting". If you protest the arrest, then you can get charged with "evasion", "interfering in an arrest", "failure to comply" and "resisting arrest".

What they are really saying is that none of these charges would apply to a photographer taking pictures of officers at work in public. However, they can still order you to leave a crime scene, so it might not help much if you don't.

The card was never returned. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121847)

When a lowly citizen destroys evidence, it's a crime.

Re:The card was never returned. (2)

evanism (600676) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121961)

Ah, but the government can destroy its own citizens and it is not.

An interesting thing, no?

We think we have progressed so far, only to find we are rally 2 steps behind.

Re:The card was never returned. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122061)

When a lowly citizen kidnaps and beats a reporter, strong-arm robs them of an expensive camera, and then commits perjury by accusing them of a crime in open court, then that lowly citizen goes away for a VERY VERY long time.

There should be apps for that (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122219)

Which is why if you are going to record the police, make sure it's uploading live or will e-mail the pictures away from the clumsy hands of the law

There's this app [wired.com] for New Yorkers evidently. Any suggestions from anyone for those of us who don't live in NY?

Hmmm. (2)

boarder8925 (714555) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121863)

Considering the administration's attacks on whistleblowers [guardian.co.uk] , irony abounds.

Slashdotters . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121935)

When someone in teh eevil gummint does something good, they scramble all over to yell out things that teh eevil gummint has done bad.

Re:Slashdotters . (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122029)

Well, it is newsworthy that this happened...

Re:Hmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121939)

Nope, completely different thing.

The cynic in me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122329)

The cynic in me guesses that this is an attempt to prevent the case from getting to the Supreme Court. See, this way, they say that "legitimate journalists" can video tape police, but not those bloggers or citizens.

Re:The cynic in me ... (1)

KillDaBOB (206494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122823)

Read the article. It states that the administration believes these same rights also extend to those not in the press.

Support? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121865)

Support is not writing a brief. Support is indicting the officers in question for Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law [fbi.gov] . These officers deserve the same treatment Obama's DOJ gave Aaron Swartz.

Re:Support? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122149)

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/deprivation-rights-under-color-law/XRnkSqtc

Re:Support? (1)

SirSlud (67381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122649)

That's so cute. :)

Re:Support? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122963)

Only 99,996 more votes needed!

Cops Are Never Held Accountable (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121913)

Well, if it's anything like the Alex Landau [westword.com] case, there won't be any charges against the police.

Re:Cops Are Never Held Accountable (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122243)

we need a system that treats INCIDENTS as a whole and not "crimes". The charges were grievously wrong, as was the action of the police. In the course of dragging the person into court, the judge should be able to COMPEL the state's lawyers to file criminal charges against the police, and as officers of his court, compel the state's lawyers to do their best or face disbarment.

This is a case where it sounds fair to prosecute each person individually, but an increasing number of cases have prosecution giving rats favorable settlements while using bought testimony against the person least able to defend. In cases like this, the prosecution is only "filing charges" to prevent the defendant from filing abuse charges on his own.

I also think we need to bring back public whipping and a few other things. the punishment for these police needs to fit the crime, in this case PUNISHMENT is in order... seven lashes with a seven-corded whip would fix them right up. Right out on the court steps where everybody can see it.

Re:Cops Are Never Held Accountable (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122787)

Lashes wouldn't cut it when the police inflict head injuries, which they have a fondness for doing. And the charges filed to prevent charges from being filed against your officer for brutality, civil rights violations etc are commonly known as "cover charges".

The strategy generally works perfectly too. As long as the charges are serious enough. The charges against me completely prevented me from suing them, which I probably would have done otherwise. The cops know that they can beat and even kill people with impunity.

Enough is enough! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121925)

The officers should be charged with theft and assault. They should also be fired.

Re:Enough is enough! (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122301)

im more for striped naked and caged right out in the open for their stay in the county jail.... where all the other inmates can taunt them, but not quite touch them. maybe be generous and offer them a rope to hang themselves for disappointing society.

Re:Enough is enough! (3, Interesting)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122577)

Well, since the DOJ is involved, I'd make it a Federal Civil rights abuse case as well against the officers. The police in this nation have become more like paramilitary thugs in most places. Here's just a recent more pointed example. [huffingtonpost.com] They do have a difficult job to do and yes, there's nearly a 100% chance that every time they arrest somebody or go about conducting their business, they'll be recorded by a phone or some other device. They just need to get used to it and do their job and stop abusing the public!

Re:Enough is enough! (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122999)

The officers should be charged with theft and assault. They should also be fired.

How often are the police held accountable for anything they do? In LA during the Rampart scandal out of the dozens named none were fired or charged except the whistle blower. He was fired and threatened. I saw video tape of a cop in LA slamming an unconscious kid against the hood of a car. He was beaten unconscious before the camera was turned on then woke up when he was slammed against the car. No charges were filed but they did arrest the guy filming it. There have been numerous cases of unarmed people shot to death by the police for misdemeanors. I can name dozes of cases personally but trying to think of one where a police officer was held accountable for his actions is difficult.

It's better, it's not just "journalists" (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121945)

The brief explicitly says "the First Amendment right to record police officers performing public duties extends to both the public and members of the media, and the Court should not make a distinction between the publicâ(TM)s and the mediaâ(TM)s rights to record here".

This is all very strange. Hang on, is it Opposite Day?

Re:It's better, it's not just "journalists" (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43121995)

Followup note to myself: be sure to cite this sudden passion for exercising First Amendment rights on public streets the next time police force protesters into "Free Speech Zone" cages.

Re:It's better, it's not just "journalists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122411)

Free Speech Zones are about keeping you from trespassing on someone else's event or TV show.

Re:It's better, it's not just "journalists" (4, Insightful)

Cwix (1671282) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122779)

Free speech zones are for stifling protesters.

In direct contradiction to the right to free speech.

Reporter Arrested for recording cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43121965)

OK,so what's illegal about this.It is not illegal to record cops,it is legal to do so.If this guy has any sense h will file a law suit against them

Re:Reporter Arrested for recording cops (2, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122327)

but you can only file a lawsuit for MONEY... you can't file a lawsuit say to compel the court to disolve their marriages and send their kids to CPS. You can't file a lawsuit to have them striped naked and paraded through prison for a week.... I'd even settle for a 7x7 whipping on the courthouse steps.

THOSE are the kinds of things that need to happen to stop these abuses.... hurtful, spiteful, public punishments.

Re:Reporter Arrested for recording cops (1)

tonywong (96839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122517)

You might still be able to file a private prosecution depending on where you are in the US (or the world).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen's_arrest#United_States
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_prosecution#United_States

prohibits arresting just journalists? (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122027)

why are they a special class? and how to tell the difference? do blogs count?

Re:prohibits arresting just journalists? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122129)

In Lovell v. City of Griffin, Chief Justice Hughes defined the press as, "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion."

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=303&invol=444 [findlaw.com]

Re:prohibits arresting just journalists? (1)

CncRobot (2849261) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122213)

Because the equal protections under the law is in the Constitution under amendment 14. Therefore they can ignore it just like they do the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 10th amendments, amongst others.

Its for your own good, so stop asking questions.

DOJ explicitly rejects the "just journalists" line (5, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122247)

TFS is (and so is TFA) misleading when it says that the government argues that the Constitution "prohibits police officers from arresting journalists for exercising those rights", as the actual brief filed by the Justice Department [archive.org] explicitly argues (heck, its a bolded section heading) that "Members of the Public and the Media Are Both Entitled to Protection Under the First Amendment", and, more specifically, "The First Amendment protections afforded members of the public and press when recording public police activity are coextensive" and "Although Mr. Garcia alleges facts here that show that he is a member of the press, this makes no difference to the analysis under the First Amendment",and "Courts have long held that recordings made by private citizens of police conduct or other items of public interest are entitled to First Amendment protection".

The DoJ isn't arguing that police can't arrest journalists from recording police activity, the DoJ is arguing that "that both the First and Fourth Amendments protect an individual who peacefully photographs police activity on a public street", and that "core First Amendment conduct, such as recording a police officer performing duties on a public street, cannot be the sole basis" for discretionary charges such as disturbing the peace, etc., and, finally, that "the First Amendment right to record police officers performing public duties extends to both the public and members of the media" without distinction.

Re:DOJ explicitly rejects the "just journalists" l (1)

KillDaBOB (206494) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122867)

Mod parent up. Too many people in this forum think that the post is only talking about journalists.

Jail for physical assault (2)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122119)

Malouf should be in prison for a number of reasons including armed robbery and battery.

Video card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122121)

Video card? What's a video card? Do they mean an SD card?

"Journalists" (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122139)

They want to support the "journalists" other wise it would mean "everyone" this way they can come back and arrest/prosecute non journalists.
Maybe someone should start a society of citizen journalists and let anyone join so everyone can be a journalist.

RTFB: "journalists" is just bad reporting (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122375)

They want to support the "journalists" other wise it would mean "everyone" this way they can come back and arrest/prosecute non journalists.

This argument becomes harder to maintain when you read the actual government brief [archive.org] , and realize that while Ars Technica (and, following them, the Slashdot summary) use language that makes it seem like a government defense of special privileges for journalists, the actual brief takes the exact opposite position, arguing "that both the First and Fourth Amendments protect an individual who peacefully photographs police activity on a public street" and "the First Amendment right to record police officers performing public duties extends to both the public and members of the media, and the Court should not make a distinction between the public’s and the media’s rights to record here."

The Communist Bastard (2)

fermion (181285) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122169)

How dare he give the populous the right to monitor the police state.

Defending Rights Enumerated In The Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122209)

Re: the Obama Justice Dept. Even a blind squirrel gets a nut now and then.

Yeah, we support you.... (1)

nortcele (186941) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122211)

Because if we decide we don't support you, our drones leave no evidence but a vapor trail.

April 1st already?!? (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122259)

Is this 2 good rulings out of the Obama administration in a single day? Is it April Fools' Day already?

Officer should be unemployed. (1)

Cogent91 (2203516) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122265)

Society will be a lot better off the day we stop humoring authority figures abusing their power. It shouldn't even be a question that the Officer should lose his job, yet I bet he's still getting a paycheck for something he's clearly unsuitable for. Terrible thing.

Google Glass (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122277)

That's one problem Google Glass will sort out - none of this `you can't film here` crap. I'll film wherever the hell I like, officer.

Re:Google Glass (3, Interesting)

Grashnak (1003791) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122311)

That's one problem Google Glass will sort out - none of this `you can't film here` crap. I'll film wherever the hell I like, officer.

So your theory is that cops who are willing to beat you up and take your camera will be unwilling to beat you up and take your geek glasses?

Incentives (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122395)

So your theory is that cops who are willing to beat you up and take your camera will be unwilling to beat you up and take your geek glasses?

I think the reference is more to the fact that, as a device that is normally connected and uploading to the internet, the fact that beating someone up and taking their "geek glasses" won't actually let you seize and destroy the recording, and just makes it more likely that, on top of whatever they were recording that made you want to seize the device getting out, the video of your beating them up to seize the device will also get out, which sort of removes the whole incentive for the beating-and-seizing behavior in the first place.

Re:Incentives (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122589)

Just wait until protesters are sent to the emergency room for "google glass embedded in eyeballs". it's going to happen.

Re:Incentives (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122597)

I mean when the cops smash your $1500 camera/glasses into your face, not when we all get Kurzweil-style singularity upgrades.

Re:Google Glass (3, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122479)

Since google glasses stream, or instant upload, the video, the taking of any physical sd card won't matter much. Will seizure of your google online account laws be next?

- - -

May you live in interesting times. - Ancient Chinese curse

Re:Google Glass (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122491)

They can take the cloud from Google, yes. That'll work. They'll also have to take lots of peoples glasses to ensure they get everyone with Google Glasses, and not just ones which look similar. It's not going to look good when there are loads of court cases with police officers faces clearly visible, and the inaccurate words `you can't film me` (along with less pleasant language) played in court. It's going to be a career damaging move, isn't it.

Re:Google Glass (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122849)

It will not damage their careers in the slightest. His department will clear him of all wrongdoing and claim that he acted appropriately no matter what the video says.

Re:Google Glass (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123073)

People don't typically understand how uniformly corrupt the police and the courts and the underlying legislation are until they've been dragged through the system unjustly. It's a complete eye-opener.

They also don't understand how tightly the self-supporting web underneath these elements of the system is woven.

Personally, I have come to the conclusion that there is no solution to be had.

Re:Google Glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122729)

No dipshit. It's so when they grab the glasses or knock them off his head, every glorious frame is recorded in IMAX and instantly uploaded for all to see. Of course, we won't know what happens after the incident but we'll hear from the victim soon enough. In the USA people do not go "missing" when in police custody. There may be a case here and there but more and more cops are being filmed and they are starting to notice.

That's a good thing. Keep filming.

Re:Google Glass (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43123125)

So, how long do you think before being within X yards of a cop doing these kinds of things renders the glasses' network connection unusable?

They routinely take down cell sites now when they think they need to. Your google glasses are just another radio, and almost any conventional radio can be jammed beyond recovery with almost no effort.

It isn't legal by any means, but you can buy, right now, a compact device that will render every cellphone in a movie theater deaf as a post, the idea behind the device being that you could actually enjoy the presentation. You can jam police radar (again, not usually legal, but...) You can certainly jam wifi, nothing special about that at all.

Of course, the police would never break the law, right? Oh, wait. They're already breaking the law, that's why they don't want you recording the acts in questions. So, like most criminals, what's just one more law sundered?

Re:Google Glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122841)

You wouldn't hit a man with glasses, would you?

As for the "Video" Card (1)

genkernel (1761338) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122509)

It will never be seen again. And the journalist will be considered lucky that he still has his camera. Given all of the talk I hear from people down in the USA concerning the sanctity of private property, it seems somewhat strange that the government would be so myopic in matters like this. I suppose I shouldn't find that strange, I guess. Just another example of how the people with power live under different laws than the rest of us.

It's a telling sign of recent behavior by the DoJ (2)

Fned (43219) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122717)

... that until I read the summary, I actually wasn't sure if the headline meant the Obama administration was on the side of the journalist, or was on the side of arresting journalists who record cops...

Doe Mr. Garcia have the new 3D-printed skull ? (1)

Tex Bravado (91447) | about a year and a half ago | (#43122737)

... if he hit his head, I guess it's not inconceivable ?

Kill the fucking pig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43122809)

Someone needs to execute that degenerate fuck before he victimizes anyone else.

Obama fully supports the abuse of photographers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123009)

Again, Slashdot's zionist owners attempt to lionise their 'boy'. Actually, by Law, no statement is required by any president or his/her cabinet in support of the rights of people to record the police. That right is ALREADY enshrined in US law.

What ordinary citizens of the US require from their president is action against the uniformed goons who assault and illegally arrest people for exercising their rights to record. Obama has specifically stated that he will NOT take such action, and has actually stated that he favours the cops themselves making the choice whether to harass or not.

What this story represents is a '1984' style act of 'newspeak'. Zionist puppet Obama merely reiterates one aspect of the constitution, and the plebs are supposed to fall to their knees and worship him for this. Obama does NOT give you your rights, you mugs. Obama is supposed to oversee the punishment of those that seek to deprive you of your rights, and this Obama has stated he will never do.

What will stop violent uniformed goons bating down on those that record them? ACTUAL punishment and dismissal of those goons. Do any of you think for even one second this is going to happen? Instead, you look for a 'victory' when having been given a 'beat-down' by Obama's goons, and dragged to court on a phoney charge, you eventually after a year or two beat the charges. What a laugh. Obama can abuse you and your family howsoever he wishes, so long as you ultimately 'beat' the rap?

Do you fools even know what a police-state means? It does NOT mean everyone being arrested, tried and imprisoned. It DOES mean out of control thug police who can rob, rape, murder, beat and fake evidence with ZERO chance of punishment. That the victim ultimately does NOT go to prison is no victory at all. Did you not see that video where that filthy cop sucker-punched a women in the head, and arrested her on fake charges. That dirty pig was CONGRATULATED for the assault by the judge at his trial, and is now certain to get his job back. Obama will never let his army of uniformed goons suffer any punishment, no matter how serious their crimes.

Funny how its the "Obama Administration" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43123049)

When the justice department does something slashdot likes but "US Justice Department" when the "Obama Administration" prosecuted Andrew Swartz.

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