A 16-year-old girl was protected and served (that is, cuffed and forced to sit in the back of a police car for two hours) by two of Newark, New Jersey’s finest for the egregious crime of filming the illustrious public servants when they boarded a city bus to “deal with a man who seemed to be drunk.” The cops erased the video, but didn’t charge the girl with any crime—probably because she didn’t commit one.
The girl’s suing the Newark PD, with the help of the ACLU, for violating her civil rights. Good for her. I hope she wins. (Although, instead of forcing taxpayers to cough up more money, on top of what’s already been taken from them to pay for these piglets’ salaries, she should file criminal charges against them.)
The cops, of course, are worried that allowing people to videotape them might make their jobs more dangerous:
“They need to move quickly, in split seconds, without giving a lot of thought to what the adverse consequences for them might be,” says Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“We feel that anything that’s going to have a chilling effect on an officer moving — an apprehension that he’s being videotaped and may be made to look bad — could cost him or some citizen their life,” Pasco says, “or some serious bodily harm.”
Yes, because we wouldn’t want those fearless defenders of the public weal to hesitate for a moment or two before tazing or, better yet, shooting somebody for no reason. After all, somebody might get hurt. And think of the children.
Meanwhile, the only “chilling effect” that matters is the one that this kind of thuggish behavior by cops might have on the willingness of people to keep tabs on the armed goons who supposedly work for them:
Khaliah Fitchette’s lawyers in New Jersey say her detention was illegal. But Fitchette still says she’d think twice before filming police in Newark again.
“It would have to be important enough to get myself in trouble for, I guess,” she says.