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tell all the Truth but tell it slant -- - My brush with the "law"
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My brush with the "law"
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I got arrested today. My crime? Watching an officer potentially pester a drug user who had nodded out on a neighbor's stoop. The guy didn't even notice the officer, who had his baton out and was aiming it at the guy. An uncapped syringe had fallen out onto the stoop and I offered to pick it up and put it in a glass bottle (the safest way to discard a syringe if you don't have a sharps container). The officer found this offensive and got mad at me. I said I would stand there and observe. He said I was putting him in danger because he had to have his back to the user to talk to me. I pointed out the user was still in a nod. He told me to back away, so I did. Then I asked him for his badge number and name and he refused to give it to me. I said I would wait for it. He called another officer, who peeled around the corner onto our block with her lights flashing.

First, she and the other officer conferred, leaving the drug user to sit on the stoop. Apparently now he wasn't so dangerous that no one could turn their back on him. The second officer came up to me and I explained that I was just observing. She said I couldn't. I said I believed I could. She said that the user had a syringe, which was against the law. I said he was actually allowed to possess a syringe. She said only if he was sick. I explained the executive order permitting users to carry syringes. I offered to show her the order in writing (I carry it in my wallet). She told me to put down my bag so she could cuff me. I asked her if she was serious and she said if I didn't put down my bag, things would get ugly.

After cuffing me, she put me in the police car and drove me to the station. She had me sit in a chair by a vending machine (?), still cuffed with my hands behind me. After about 1/2 a an hour, they brought me into a room farther back in the station. I kept asking if I could call work, since my students were going to wonder what I was. They kept saying I'd be out in 10 minutes. They would not let me call a colleague to notify my students. The original officer (as opposed to the one who actually arrested me) made a sarcastic remark about how I was a college professor. I said I really wanted to call a colleague and asked about every 5-10 minutes if I or someone else could call a colleague, but they kept refusing me or ignoring me.

The officer handcuffed me to a bench and left me there for a good long time, probably well over an hour. I asked a couple of times if they could handcuff my left hand instead of my right because my right shoulder is sore and my hand was getting sore too, but they ignored me.

After awhile, I struck up a conversation with another officer who was talking about his wrists hurting when he did push ups. I said that I knew a way to position his hands so that wouldn't happen. I showed them (clumsily, I was still handcuffed) and he and another guy tried it and were all excited because it worked. He asked me how I knew this and I told them about yoga and the officer asked me all sorts of questions and I recommended the Sunday class I go to. He said he might check it out in the next few weeks. Then, I told him about the history of drugs in this country. He kept saying, "that's amazing! I never knew that!" so I kept going, placing particular emphasis on the way that most drug scares are really about controlling people on the social margins (Black folk, Asian folk, Mexicans...). Finally, he agreed to give me my phone so I could call a colleague about my class. By then, it was too late. Class had started 15 minutes before and no one had let me make a simple phone call to avoid inconveniencing my students.

After about two hours in handcuffs, I said I had to pee. No one was sure what to do. Finally, the officer led me by the cuffs to a prison cell where a young girl was standing and crying. It was beyond disgusting, but I managed to balance myself over the bowl and pee. Then the officer led me by the cuffs back to the bench, where he reattached me. I joked about being a flight risk. I asked to be handcuffed by my left wrist this time and he still wouldn't change the cuffs.

At some point, I had to sign a form about the charges, which had changed from "disorderly conduct" to "failure to disperse." I asked to see the charges before I signed the little automatic signer thing and he said I couldn't, but that it said "failure to disperse." He still had me handcuffed, but released one hand so I could write. Then he led me like a dog on a leash back to the bench. I waited another period of time, probably about half an hour, handcuffed to the bench. By now, Officer Yoga had given me my cell phone, which was ringing almost constantly, and let me read my book.

Then, the original officer unattached me and recuffed my hands behind my back and led me back out to a police car. I asked where we were going and he instructed me to sit and wait. It turns out I had to go to community court to answer to a judge for my crime. Before they drove away, when no one else was nearby, he said that, now that we both had had time to cool down (by which I can only assume he meant himself because I had not gotten angry this whole time), he was sure I understood why he had to arrest me. Then he said he'd "play dumb" with the judge. I told him to do whatever he needed to do, but pointed out that I was one of those people who helped get syringes off the street so that officers like him didn't get stuck. He said he got attacked (?) by someone with a syringe and had to go on treatment for a year and had to wear a condom with his wife. I nodded and figured I really shouldn't be talking with him much more. He also told me that he had the right to tell me to leave wherever he wanted. I would even have to leave my house if he told me.

They drove me downtown and led me out of the police car, still in handcuffs. While we were driving to the court, the officers discussed the possibility that I was "interfering with police work." They weighed this option in terms of whether it applied if there were a crowd or just one person. I guess they decided against it, or maybe they couldn't have brought this charge anyway, since they already filled in the form. Or they were trying to freak me out.

I got led into the court in cuffs and no one else was allowed to ride in the elevator but us. When a man tried to get in, the officer blocked the door. The guy looked confused, so I showed him my hands in cuffs and shrugged.

At the court, the intake woman (if that's what she's called) instructed me to sit on some overturned crates and asked me some questions about my health and medications. She asked me if I wanted to hurt myself. I laughed. Then she sort of rolled her eyes and told the officer to take off my cuffs. Then she had me stand up so she could frisk me. She told me I should pray to Jesus Christ because he died for our sins. I thanked her but said I had different beliefs. She said no, it *had* to be Jesus. Then she led me into the court, where I was instructed to sit in a certain place on a bench.

In front of me were five men. They all looked at me, apparently surprised to see a woman. When one man got up, the judge told him to pull up his pants because they had a "lady" in the court. The officer of the court kept making the men change seats so that they were lined up in the order of appearance. As if they couldn't just get up and walk the 5 feet to the podium. As each man went up, the officer would make them all shift down by one. I got in trouble for giving two of the men mints. "If something happens to them, I get in trouble" an officer told me.

I want to tell you one really sad part: one man went before the judge and, instead of going along with the "we'll drop the charges if you get yourself in order before your next court date now just go on your way," he said he needed help, but all the treatment centers were closing down. The judge told him social services could help and the man said they couldn't because there was nowhere for him to get treatment. The judge asked the DA and the DA said something to the effect of, "not my job." I felt really bad for that guy. Once the men were all gone, the officer of the court instructed me to leave my empty bench to move to another empty bench and sit on a certain side of it. I sat there for about 2 minutes before being called up to face the judge.

The judge asked the DA (if that's what he was) what my crime was, the DA said, "failure to disperse" and the judge said, "do you want to do something with this?" and the DA said no. So the judge told me to come back on the 27th and that if I don't get arrested between now and then, they would drop the charges. I said OK. Then I asked if I could say one more thing. The judge gave me a look and said something to the effect that talking more would be potentially very stupid. I said I wanted to say it anyway. Then I told him about a great treatment center I knew about. He looked surprised and thanked me. He asked the DA if he heard about that center and the DA basically said some version of "not my job" again. But the judge asked someone to write it down.

Then they sprung me. The whole thing lasted from 10:15, when I got arrested, to about 2:00, when I was released.

As I was walking home, the officer who arrested me pulled up in his patrol car to say that he'd kept my license by accident and handed it to me in an envelope.
Comments
altgrave From: altgrave Date: June 15th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
it's difficult for me to respond to this in the very objective way you described it. my impulse is to be, like, "fuck tha police!" - and i reserve my right to say and feel that - but it's just so much more, with the little humanising elements in there. still, i don't feel a person can be in "law enforcement" (it's not even called, like, "heroing") - and this includes "judges" - without knowing it's a faustian bargain, at best, sooo... fuck tha police. and you go, girl, while we're dealing with such statements.
cz_unit From: cz_unit Date: June 15th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, it's official: I love you.

It's amazing to hear the little tricks they were doing to get you to talk. And pray to Jesus or something.

I haven't been able to get myself arrested, but I have been in a situation where I had to ask "are you arresting me". Apparently that is one of those magic questions where they have to make a decision or something. They said no, so I asked if I was free to go. I was and I walked away slowly.

Thank you for being you.

C
lxbean From: lxbean Date: June 16th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
um, wow. thanks.
corvus From: corvus Date: June 16th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I reposted this to FB. This is so obnoxious and stupid.
briansiano From: briansiano Date: June 16th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
harnessphoto From: harnessphoto Date: June 16th, 2011 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
What a load of crap!
chriself From: chriself Date: June 16th, 2011 03:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I find it fairly sad when a private citizen is better versed in the law than the one sworn to uphold it. That kids are taught to think of the police as their friend, until they try to stand up for their rights or hold a public servant accountable. And that too many times people are brought up on charges because, as you said, low hanging fruit.

what ever happened to the drug user, I wonder?
lostreality From: lostreality Date: June 16th, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, sadly nothing about this post surprises me. You honestly thought they would let you call work? Or move your cuffs? Was this your first time being arrested?

A friend of mine was arrested a few months ago and they took away his phone (actually he never got his phone back, so some cop just straight out stole his expensive smart phone) and he had not memorized the phone number of anyone who could have helped him...he ended up sitting in jail for 3 weeks before the charges were dropped and no one knew what the heck had happened to him- he lost his job and his apartment and the vast majority of his possessions while he was in there too (Cause he got arrested the day before his rent want due and his roommate basically figured he had split town and threw out all his stuff).

Another (grad school) friend of mine was falsely arrested and beaten by cops during his arrest and then HE had to go on trial for resisting arrest or some bullshit (he is Latino which I'm sure didn't help).

I would never have the ovaries to confront a cop who was doing something wrong the way you did. Probably because as someone in the hippie community (and who therefore has a lot of friends who have been through the system/been harassed by cops) I expect shit like this to go down every time. Because it usually does.

That doesn't mean that you didn't do the right thing, but you should know that doing the right thing in these types of situations will always carry this type of risk. It sucks, but it's the way this bullshit system works. And honestly, if you've gotten away with confronting cops who were doing something illegal before, it's probably because of white adult middle class looking lady privilege (Being white, adult and middle class women does give us a major advantage in confrontations with cops, which also shouldn't be true, but is).
lxbean From: lxbean Date: June 16th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
this is all so fucking true. I've heard such stories from my students of color over the years and was very aware of my privilege in a situation like this. It helped that I was dressed for work and even carrying a pocket book. It also helps to know that I have access to avenues of power and significantly less to lose.

As they drove me away (and let the user go, despite a bench warrant), I realized, "better me than him." I'd be out pretty quickly and, if I wasn't, there would be hell to pay. They could hold him for 72 hours without bringing charges, treating him to withdrawal in a prison cell.

I think that with privilege like mine comes obligation. I will not stop observing police in situations like this. I will not stop speaking my mind. I don't want to be part of a society where police can intimidate civilians into granting them unearned and unfettered power. Nope. I won't. Read too much Foucault to do that.
shveta_thakrar From: shveta_thakrar Date: June 16th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't even know what to say, except that I'm not surprised?
chrissmari From: chrissmari Date: June 16th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is obnoxious and stupid on the part of the cop but there is a certain amount of this wouldn't have happened if you just minded your own damn business involved in it too.

Sorry it happened to you.
From: hatmix Date: June 16th, 2011 03:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
"this wouldn't have happened if you just minded your own damn business involved in it too."

First, they came for the socialists...

Perhaps you've not been paying attention to the growing arrogance of cops and their increasing willingness to abuse their power and privilege, but the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and its amendments are the business of all Americans. The poster was, in fact, minding her own business.
asracer From: asracer Date: June 16th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, I read this post and on the one hand she is well within her rights to stand and observe, but on the other hand she could have gone about it in an entirely different way that would not have landed her in jail.

So here's some advice for folks...

When the police are dealing with a subject like this one of the worst things you can do is approach. Stay far enough away that you are not a potential threat to them, nor are you a target should gunfire erupt. I personally know a police officer who was shot seven times when he went to check on a man sleeping at a rest area. Callers had advised the man was in a sleeping bag and they weren't sure if he was OK. The officer went to check on him and the guy pulled out a gun and shot the officer 7 times. The first shot took off part of the officer's ear, some of the remaining shots made their way through areas that were unprotected by his vest.

In lxbean's scenario, if that druggie pulled out a gun and started shooting, not only does the officer now have to deal with keeping himself safe, but he now has to worry about the bystander as well. A knife in this scenario is no better, especially from a potential intravenous drug user that could have any number of blood-borne diseases.

The combat rule of thumb is that if someone attacks you with a knife and they are within 20 feet of you, they WILL cut you. There is no way you can draw your weapon and get on target fast enough to defend yourself. Who is to say that lxbean didn't have a weapon? I'm sure she didn't but the cops don't know that.

What if a struggle had ensued and pepper spray were deployed? Contrary to what people see on CSI and all those other BS cop shows pepper spray GOES EVERYWHERE. If you're in the vicinity when it is deployed you WILL get a dose whether you want to or not. Pepper spray sucks and you can expect a 30-60 minute decontamination time and then when you take a shower it will reactivate.

Then there's the fact that lxbean is unknown to the officer. He doesn't know if she's there to set him up with an ambush or what. If you think this kind of thing doesn't happen you're wrong.

So when a police officer tells you to back off, not only is it for his safety, but it is also for that of the bystanders as well. If this lady had removed herself to about 30-50 feet away, stood behind some kind of cover (either a car, structure, or something else that would have provided protection should things have gone bad) and still been able to observe then she would never have gotten arrested. Had she kept her mouth shut until they were done dealing with the subject she would have been much better off as well.

I'm not saying the police are blameless in this incident. They should have communicated where she should have moved to. This would have enabled her to continue to observe, ensured her safety should something go wrong, and remove herself as a potential threat from the officer's vicinity.

Had these simple things been done this would have been a non-issue and the guy with the warrant would have gone to jail instead.

Edited at 2011-06-16 04:40 pm (UTC)
phanatic From: phanatic Date: June 16th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
OK, I read this post and on the one hand she is well within her rights to stand and observe, but on the other hand she could have gone about it in an entirely different way that would not have landed her in jail.

What way could she have gone about that that wouldn't have led to officers being flatly ignorant of her rights under the law? One told her that she's not allowed to observe. The one who arrested her told her that if he commanded her to leave her own home, she'd be legally required to obey. Note here: he's not saying he could enforce a court order requiring her to vacate her home, he's saying *he* could order her to do so.

Given that she was dealing with officers who are demonstrably ignorant of the law, I don't think you can state with any assurance "Here's how you could have handled it and not gone to jail."

Really, here: do you honestly believe that a guy who thinks he can go around ordering people to leave their homes deserves to be a cop?


Then there's the fact that lxbean is unknown to the officer. He doesn't know if she's there to set him up with an ambush or what. If you think this kind of thing doesn't happen you're wrong.

So when a police officer tells you to back off, not only is it for his safety


I'm sure police officers wish they had all sorts of powers they don't actually have, because having those powers would make their jobs safer.


Edited at 2011-06-16 04:52 pm (UTC)
i_love_tazzus From: i_love_tazzus Date: June 16th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is what happens when fewer resources are invested in public works and law enforcement. Pathetic.
phanatic From: phanatic Date: June 16th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is what happens when fewer resources are invested in public works and law enforcement.

What are you basing this on? Spending on law enforcement continues to increase. There's an enormous amount of Federal money that flows to local law enforcement, earmarked for fighting the twin wars against drugs and terror. Even small towns with microscopic populations have SWAT teams now, police helicopters, armored vehicles, automatic weapons.

Maybe if we *weren't* spending money on all that crap, we'd have enough money to hire cops who actually understand the laws.
littleonionz From: littleonionz Date: June 16th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hello! was blown here on the winds of Twitter. Wow, that's horrible, what did Lord Acton say about power? Bit of a cliche I know, but still...
mollymoon From: mollymoon Date: June 16th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here via linkage, which I hope brings your sitch to the attention of someone who works in the civil rights portion of private law practice.

I agree with the people who pointed out that you may have been standing close enough to put the officer in a potentially dangerous scenario. I agree with the outrage over how these officers clearly abused their positions of power. I agree with those that said if we paid these jobs what they deserve to, we'd get better quality officers, not just power-hungry good ol' boys like you met today.

I also agree with everyone who wasn't surprised by this. The culture of police privilege has been growing for decades - hell, a neighbor of a relative is a cop who beats his gf, and when she calls 911 for help, the only thing that happens is that they take HER away to be checked by doctors. Thin blue line, indeed.

What I don't agree with, that I'm seeing a lot of here (and which led me to post), is the attitude and presumption that "fuck the police" brings to this conversation. It doesn't help. Not all cops are bad cops, just as not all teachers are sleeping with their students, not all priests are lusting after your kids -- there are bad PEOPLE everywhere, in every position in life. Writing them off will never solve the problem tho.

The OP was right to try to educate the officers, its just sad that they weren't open to it -- her statement later proves tho that there are cops who ARE open to learning.

I really hope this gets passed around the 'net as much as possible, it would be a great way to start a long overdue conversation that each and every community in the US needs to have.

And I hope that the school that the OP lectures at has a Law School at it, and that she contacts a collegue there to get in touch with a civil rights lawyer, asap. Hell, this sounds right up the ACLU's alley, if there isn't a Law School, just email them this link. Once you have a lawyer, I think you need to immediately contact that stations Internal Affairs (I may be remembering the name wrong - its the department that makes sure the police aren't breaking the law by investigating them) and get a complaint filed. ASAP.

Good luck, OP.
To everyone else, remember the Golden Rule (which is MUCH older than the religion that tries to claim it as it's own original idea. Ethical reciprocity is often called the first human right.): Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Even if the other people involved don't follow it (as the arresting officer didn't imho), you still have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done right by the world. And in the end, self-respect is our most valuable possession.
From: clodann Date: June 17th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Combat Rules and First Amendment

asracer's advice about what constitutes a safe distance may be sound, but the onus should not be on Jane Citizen to know "combat rules of thumb," whereas we have every right to expect police officers to be familiar with the basic civil-rights law that outlines the limits of their authority. lxbean complied with his direction to get back; if he wanted her farther (30-50 feet) away, he should have said so.

layers_of_eli says, And to me, it doesn't seem like the OP was responding to any actual infringement on the drug user's rights or her own. It seemed like her original intervention LED to infringements, but even then, not that significant -- things like being told she couldn't observe, for instance.

"Being told she couldn't observe" -- and, indeed, being arrested for observing -- is far from insignificant. I think that's the most outrageous aspect of this story. And the injury isn't just to lxbean; it's to everybody in Philadelphia, because the right to observe police officers conducting official business in public is a critical, absolutely necessary check on police power. As the reference to Lord Acton reminds us, the temptation to abuse power is great. If no one is watching them, police have free rein to use their state-issued weapons for whatever reason, legal or not, that they find personally compelling -- because they don't like gay men, because their favorite basketball team has been insulted, because the pizza delivery was too slow, whatever.

Lxbean observed an officer, weapon drawn, approach a person who was dozing on a stoop. The guy on the stoop was not threatening the officer -- he was asleep. Is it illegal to doze on a stoop? Even Philadelphia's Sidewalk Behavior Ordinance applies only to people who are lying down, so it sort of looks like no law was being broken. This is not to say that the officer was intending to beat the man with the baton he was pointing at him, but it was perfectly reasonable to see the potential for abuse there, so she stopped to watch. We can't know what someone else's intentions are, and we can't know what happens if nobody is allowed to watch.

I'm sure that being a police officer is an enormously stressful and difficult job. And I bet that having to do it under public scrutiny doesn't make that any easier, but that's part of the job, and the Police Department needs to ensure that its officers know that. If Philadelphia cops are allowed to arrest anybody who keeps a critical eye on them, we are all less safe.
layers_of_eli From: layers_of_eli Date: June 17th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Combat Rules and First Amendment

I thought someone might say this, and I understand the thought process behind why you say it's an outrage -- the idea that police should be allowed privacy to carry out whatever they deem appropriate isn't one I agree with. I still feel like in the situation, however, any rights infringement that occurred paled in comparison to the danger the police officer faced.

That doesn't mean it's okay -- it's not okay to sacrifice upholding the rights of the people in dangerous situations. It just means it's understandable. And as much as my liberal heart wants to agree with you that it's outrageous, when I read this story, I just see someone instigating and some cops dealing with it in an inappropriate way.

I feel outrage over police brutality and some things relating to the war on drugs and how it's carried out. I don't feel outrage over this story, but more annoyance that the situation was created in the first place by someone who (to me, upon reading it) seemed intent on creating it. Just my feelings. I don't want to downplay the importance of our rights -- just bring them into the context of this real situation.
weclose_oureyes From: weclose_oureyes Date: June 17th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a friend of Trillian's. That is SO whacked! I cannot believe that happened. That first cop = MORON. They had no grounds to arrest you...
hyperiate From: hyperiate Date: June 17th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, if I were a cop who needed to investigate a potentially dangerous, potentially diseased individual who clearly has sharp objects on and about their person, I don't know that reaching down with (even gloved) hands is how I'd do it. I might try to rouse them first from a distance, like with a pole. Except I don't have a pole, I have a pole-like object in the form of a baton. So I'm going to prod the individual with the baton to try to bring them around.

10am, daylight, on a residential street and you think the officer was going to start a one-man beat down on a passed out drug user? That's a REALLY good way for a lone officer to get, at best, video recorded, and at worst, shot or beaten by a mob. People don't stand for that happening in their neighborhoods.

You work to get syringes off the streets, that's noble, but the officer doesn't know that. What the officer knows is that someone wants to take what might be evidence away from the scene and dispose of it in some way. The officer, who has also been trained in how to handle syringes and likely has the necessary evidence gathering equipment in his car, would also be responsible if lxbean was injured while handling the syringe. How long do you think the officer would be employed if he let an unknown bystander do "police work" and exposed the city to a million dollar lawsuit because you contracted AIDS after a needle prick? Or the guy woke up and lashed out, injuring you? Or you fell and pricked the officer with the needle? There's all sorts of things that could go wrong and it's the officer's job to minimize the risk of ALL of them. Adding an unknown, uncontrolled element to the situation only complicates his job.

Standing and observing shouldn't have been a problem, it's the decision to engage, even out of being helpful, that makes things complicated. He asked you to disengage, and let him do his job. You don't know whether he had any intention of making an arrest at that point or not, but made sure to tell him everything that he was doing wrong and how he was completely misinterpreting a situation that he sees on a daily basis. When he didn't fall all over himself to see your point of view you asked for his badge number, so you could talk to his boss and do a he-said-she-said over a situation you aren't even involved in.

The officer has a responsibility to control his area of operation. You refused to disengage and quietly observe the situation, so you became part of that area and fell under that control. The officer SHOULD have released you after he completed his work with the vagrant, but I guess he wanted some overtime, or to spend some time doing something a little less dangerous than poking vagrants with batons so he took you in.

I think there are many ways in which the situation could have been handled better on both sides. The sidewalk is not the place to argue points of law, and cops aren't lawyers. Unless there is imminent danger as a result of their actions, the details can be worked out in a courtroom.
lxbean From: lxbean Date: June 17th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
While I appreciate the healthy debate that has found its way to my journal, I would like to remind all of you of my original description of the events that led to my arrest.

It does no one any good -- and actually sets our discussion of an important and contentious issue back -- to posit hypothetical scenarios, motivations, and additional details as facts. This is *one* case, involving three people; to spin it out in all these different ways based on assumptions about anyone involved is not helpful.

Please note that when I request that you be a little more careful about what you do and do not know, I am speaking out of respect for ALL involved parties: the drug user, the officer, and myself.
djmadadam From: djmadadam Date: June 20th, 2011 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)
WHAT

THE

FUCK
leeanndunton From: leeanndunton Date: June 20th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
that's really disgusting. thanks for sharing.
jennem From: jennem Date: June 21st, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought failure to disperse required three or more people in PA? If so, I would look into getting the arrest expunged off of your record. Even if the charges were dropped, the arrest will stay on your record and pop up during a routine background check for employment purposes.
hoppytoad79 From: hoppytoad79 Date: June 23rd, 2011 03:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Asshole Cop Syndrome is Contageous

It was on the news tonight in Rochester, NY that a woman was arrested a month ago for taping a traffic stop and arrest. The cops, it seems, didn't feel comfortable with her taping the whole thing *from her lawn*. I heard about your situation from Kyle Cassidy and thought, at first, this was the same thing he'd been talking about, but when I looked it up in his LJ, I saw it wasn't. The recording she made has gone viral online, it seems, and is making news nationwide. Like altgrave said, fuck ta police! If they can't handle being observed and documented by a solo female, then they're long overdue for being busted down and held accountable for overstepping their bounds.
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