I don’t generally buy into the “Black Helicopter” crowd regarding conspiracy of government. For example, touching on the gun debate, I’m not sure it’s a given that if we register guns that one day the government will confiscate them.
However, I’ve always had a push me pull you relationship with law enforcement. I distrust 22 year old men with a uniform and a gun. I’m deeply indebted to the mature officer that puts limb and life on the line to defend me and mine.
A Ramsey County man who videotaped a sheriff’s deputy in public is now fighting a citation for obstruction and disorderly conduct.
A St. Paul Pioneer Press report says the deputy was loading another man into an ambulance, and 28-year-old Andrew Henderson videotaped the action.
Sheriff’s deputy Jacqueline Muellner confiscated the camera, saying Henderson was violating the other man’s privacy rights. Henderson says when he got the camera back the next day the recording was gone.
Muellner cited Henderson for obstructing legal process. The American Civil Liberties Union has agreed to represent him for free.
Maybe there’s room for slack on the part of the cops. They are, after all, the ones out there putting it all out there. And having someone tape you may come across as trying to “entrap” you. So I get it.
At least the force is saying the right things:
Ramsey County sheriff’s spokesman Randy Gustafson says it’s not the department’s policy to take people’s cameras. He says people are within their rights to record deputies’ activities.
It reminds me of the time I witnessed a DUI arrest in progress. The entrance to my apartment building had a small flower median. One lane in, one lane out. And the officer was parked behind the community sign IN THE WRONG LANE. The car drove in, not expecting a parked car with headlights on, and hit the brakes.
He was walked and arrested.
I watched the whole thing. And the officers clearly didn’t like it at all.