US cops attack on photographers leads to $1.7m civil rights payout

Started Mar 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
Chato
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Like?
Apparently not in this case.
In reply to LeoFS, Mar 9, 2008

LeoFS wrote:

Chris Elliott wrote:

From the Houston Chronicle.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5587245.html

The action of 4 deputies cost Harris County Texas $1.7m. They
assaulted two brothers who filmed them during a drugs raid on their
neighbour's home.

Harris County got off easy, as the police and the DA destroyed
evidence. That is foolish, no matter what.

Yet there is value for all photographers in understanding the
possible motivations of the police involved, so photographers can
understand the risks. In many such raids, there are undercover
police involved, and if these undercover police are filmed, their
lives and family can be in danger. This means it is possible that
some of the police felt the photographer's actions put a co workers
life in jeopardy. Yes, all this is speculation based on the police
having some honor and responsibility, but it is based on logic. For
the two filming, this was an exciting event that went bad. For the
police, it was a deadly situation, where each policeman has a family
to go home to.

Of course, if there was no honor,and no undercover police, then 1.7M
is cheap, and the whole lot should be fired.

The lesson? Photographers must have situational awareness.

Leo

I realise you are speculating on a part of the story, that is not there - But nonetheless the conclusion is wrong. If an undercover Cop wishes to protect his/her identity, then he/she has to protect it from eyeballs as well as photographs. Otherwise, they are just plain Stupid.

Procedure is to wear some sort of mask or head-cover - And they know this far better than we do. If you can photography a face, then you can see a face. An accomplice of a criminal, or for that matter the criminal themseles, will know damn well who you are.

Dave

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