UK cops threaten to bust woman who videos her boyfriend's search on terrorism charges
Atkinson's mobile phone recorded part of the incident at Aldgate East underground station on 25 March, one month after Section 58(a) - a controversial amendment to the Terrorism Act - came into force, making it illegal to photograph a police officer if the images are considered "likely to be useful" to a terrorist...Woman 'detained' for filming police search launches high court challenge (Thanks, Richard!)
The opening part of the mobile phone clip shows two uniformed police officers searching her boyfriend, Fred Grace, 28, by a wall in the station. Atkinson said she felt that police had unfairly targeted Grace, who did not have drugs in his possession, and decided to film the officers in order to hold them to account.
Seconds later, an undercover officer wearing jeans and a black jacket enters the shot, and asks Atkinson: "Do you realise it is an offence under the Terrorism Act to film police officers?" He then adds: "Can you show me what you you just filmed?"
Atkinson stopped filming and placed her phone in her pocket. According to her account of the incident, which was submitted to the Independent Police Complaints Commission that night, the officer tried several times to forcefully grab the phone from her pocket.
Failing to get the phone, he called over two female undercover officers from nearby. Atkinson said he told the women: "This young lady had been filming me and the other officers and it's against the law. Her phone is in her right jacket pocket and I'm trying to get it..."
A second female officer approached her and said, incorrectly: "Look, your boyfriend's just been arrested for drugs, so I suggest you do as we say."
Atkinson claims the male undercover officer who initially approached her repeatedly threatened her with arrest, stating: "We believe you filmed us and that's against the law so we need to check your phone." When Atkinson protested, the officer replied: "I don't want to see myself all over the internet."
After officers made calls to the police station, possibly for legal advice on the situation, the handcuffs were removed and Atkinson was released.
She said the officers walked away - all but one of them refused to identify themselves to her.
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