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Justice finally prevails

A while ago, I wrote about a Nashua, New Hampshire family that was having some troubles with the local police. The authorities came to the Gagnon home when they suspected the son for some shenanigans. The inquiry got unpleasant, and Mr. Gagnon believed he had been mistreated, and went to the police station to lodge a complaint. He brought along a videotape of the entire encounter -- he had his entranceway wired, with appropriate sign.

Instead of having his complaint aired, however, he was arrested for taping the officers without their consent.

This had a lot of people -- myself included -- a bit irate at the police. I personally believe that taping a police officer while they are performing their duties (with a few rare exceptions) should not only be legal, but encouraged. And the notion that a man could put up video cameras in his own home, along with warning signs, have a discussion with the police during which he points out the camera's presence, and STILL get arrested, rankles me.

Well, it took a little over a month, but justice and sanity prevailed. Not only have the charges against Mr. Gagnon been dropped, but the detective in question has been disciplined.

The police are, in the end, public servants. They are taking our money to act in our name, on our behalf. And unless there is a compelling reason (such as the officer is undercover), the police should never have any qualms about being on camera. Hell, they already videotape nearly everything they do now, between internal cameras in their stations and dashboard cameras in their cruisers. It's only fair if citizens should start taping their encounters, too.


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Comments (15)

I don't get it. Bank ATM's ... (Below threshold)

I don't get it. Bank ATM's have camera survellience (and tapes showing crime happening beyond the immediate scope of the camera has been used as evidence in any number of crimes). What is illegal about a private citizen having a security system that includes video and audio?

Its a case of police with a... (Below threshold)
Bill:

Its a case of police with a bug up their [email protected]@. Their authority was questioned, which is the last thing a civillian ever wants to do with either police or judicial system. Both think they're perfect and above the law. Look at Florida where 11 people sent to the wrong courtroom by a courthouse employee get arrested. What happens to the Judge(WHo signed the arrest papers despite being told of the mistake)? He gets a slap on the wrist. The moron deserves to be kicked off the bench.

Welcome to the screwed up justice system of america. The lawabiding get treated like criminals.

"Welcome to the screwed up ... (Below threshold)

"Welcome to the screwed up justice system of america. The lawabiding get treated like criminals."

Dear Bill,

You could also add "every Muslim gets treated as a criminal-specially on airports."
I wish things would change, I don't really know why there is so much hate. Even here I never understand why I get to see so much hate against Muslims?
I and my family belive and hope that one day our children will live and play together as one.

May all of you be happy and be in peace brothers and sisters.

Tell ya what, MU: why don't... (Below threshold)

Tell ya what, MU: why don't you start your hopes and prayers with the guy last week who pronounced himself a "Muslim American" and then shot six women in a Jewish center (one of them pregnant), killing one. Or the ones who convince teenagers that they will be welcomed in paradise if they strap bombs to themselves and kill infidels. Or perhaps you can join in singing the praises of Allah with the next Zarqawi as he saws off the head of another hostage.

Finish cleaning up your own house first, THEN come and talk to us.

I HOPE that will put an end to your attempt to hijack this thread into another "all Muslims are innocent victims" line of bullshit.

J.

I'll seconf JT, MU, ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I'll seconf JT, MU,
LAst dozen times I was in the airport, it wasn't the darker skinned men aged 20-35 being pulled out for random searches. It was the white folks that the screeners thought couldn't claim discrimination that got extra attention.

They're still not admitting... (Below threshold)

They're still not admitting they're wrong. From the article:

Hefferan said Gannon would not be able to recoup any of the videotapes or any of the recording equipment that police confiscated during their investigation.

"That material is still illegal. It would be like returning drugs to somebody because you can't prove it. Plus, you'd have to have the consent of those involved and Detective Karlis has not consented.

Comparing a videocamera to drugs boggles the mind. The officers still need an attitude adjustment. My guess is that Gannon is right; the tape caught the officers mocking him, and the department knows that if it plays on the local news heads will roll.

Actually, Gannon should have taken his tape to the local news first. He probably would be a lot better off now.

It was the white f... (Below threshold)
It was the white folks that the screeners thought couldn't claim discrimination that got extra attention.

I've seen them give lots of special searches to elderly East Asian ladies. Clearly they go WAY out of their way NOT to profile (or even to "reverse-profile"), to the detriment of our safety.

MU:When the innoce... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

MU:

When the innocent muslims start speaking out ageinst the radicles in their religion, then you will start seeing them treated with the respect that you are seeking.

JT - thanks for trying to p... (Below threshold)
_Jon:

JT - thanks for trying to prevent the thread from being hijacked.

As for the topic - I agree with JohnAA - they didn't return his tape or equipment. He should be suing them and requiring apologies, training, and compensation. The citizens of that community should be very unhappy with their police. They are the ones performing criminal acts in this case.

I can't comprehend how a pu... (Below threshold)
Candy:

I can't comprehend how a public servant would have the audacity to complain about being videotaped while "on the clock". Let's not even DISCUSS that this was on a citizen's PROPERTY, because I might come unhinged.

As a teacher for the public school system, I am a public servant. If anyone wants to audit my class, or, as my superiors have done, see how I'm interacting with my students - they are free to do so. Although they might give me the courtesy of a "heads up", it's not required. In fact, one visit per school year is an unscheduled visit.

If I don't like it, I'm free to find a job elsewhere.

OH, JT - thanks from me, al... (Below threshold)
Candy:

OH, JT - thanks from me, also, for stopping MU in his tracks. I'm such a moron that I actually went back to re-read your story, to see where I missed the part about the guy being Muslim :)

Important Safety Tip:... (Below threshold)
sanssoucy:

Important Safety Tip:

When you have a video of police acting badly, *DON'T TAKE IT TO THE POLICE*, you frakking dumbass - post it on the internet and give copies to all your friends and CNN, too.

Then any "controversy" over what you did plays out accompanied *every time* with images of asshole cops acting like strutting fascists.

SS

This is off topic, but:... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

This is off topic, but:

I've decided that whoever is posting as "Muslim Unity" is a troll who likes to have fun by yanking our chains. And I've got to admit he does a pretty good job. Look at the way he comes in here piteously wringing his hands and saying "oh my oh my, I just don't understand why there's so much hate in the world" and "golly gee, I just can't understand why people hate Muslims so much" when it is Muslims who have declared war on the West, Muslims who have vowed to wipe Israel off the map, Muslims who strap on explosive vests and detonate themselves inside crowded pizzerias and night clubs, Muslims who launch shrapnel-filled rockets aimed not at military, but rather civilian targets, Muslims who set off bombs in train stations and railway cars, etc.

I mean, nobody can really be that utterly clueless, can they?

That's why MU's schtick has just gotta be shenanigans.

Those people are NOT true M... (Below threshold)

Those people are NOT true Muslims, but slaves of the devil purchased to make all of us look bad. We want to be friends with you'll. But will you'll ever allow that?
Trolls have no aim-I and my family has a goal, to be friends and make the world belive that Muslims are not terrorists. Come visit our blog and see what our goals are. I am sure all of you will also want to join us in our mission.
We will all be one. Our blood is always red.

Those people are NOT tru... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

Those people are NOT true Muslims, but slaves of the devil purchased to make all of us look bad.

Well, the terrorists say that it is people like YOU who are not true Muslims, so who am I to believe?

Whether they are or are not, it makes no difference to me. Whichever is the case, you need to clean up your own house before you can lecture us about how we live in ours. Capiche?




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