Charge dropped against woman who taped cops from own yard

Emily Good, the Rochester woman who was arrested for filming a traffic stop from the vantage point of her own front yard, won't have to go to court. The District Attorney's office said the charge of impeding the officer should be dismissed for lack of evidence. Gary Craig writes:
[Assistant DA] Stare noted that, under the law, Good would have needed to use intimidation, force or "interference" to disrupt the police traffic stop. Good was 10 to 15 feet from the police and doing nothing to interfere with them, Stare argued in court papers. ... The dismissal of the criminal charge, however, may not bring an immediate end to the controversy. Police say they have started an internal investigation into whether Good's arrest by Officer Mario Masic was justified.
Good is considering a civil lawsuit. Good. Charge against Emily Good in videotaping case dismissed [Democrat and Chronicle via @GlennF and hal14450] Previously: Rochester police use selective enforcement of parking laws to harass attendees at a meeting in support of Emily Good


  1. Okay. I’m confused.

    Internal investigation? If Mayor Thomas S. Richards, City Council President Lovely A. Warren and Police Chief James Sheppard also support dismissal of the charges, then what recourse does the police department have? A civil suit?

    1. You’ve missed the point. The internal investigation has nothing to do with Good at all. Internal investigations are when the police decide whether or not one of their number has done something against their rules, and whether he should be punished for making the arrest.

      Of course, internal investigations have a tendency to be, shall we say excessively lenient…

      1. BS. The “internal investigation” is just so they have an excuse not to say anything when reporters and citizens come knocking with questions in the aftermath. “DERP, can’t talk. Might jeopardize the investigation,” before quietly sweeping the act back under the rug. That’s why you have to ask about the policy (-ies) and training, and not specific incidents. Put the light on why the police think they can do these things, not what happened that time. We all know what happened already.

        1. Right you are. It is a CYA maneuver. As I said in the last thread on this, Good not only needs to file her civil suit but ALSO take this matter to her city council. And bring supporters who want police reforms made to the Rochester PD, including budget increases for TRAINING especially COMMUNITY SERVICE TRAINING, and budget DECREASES for PERKS such as TASERS and NEW CRUISERS. More bicycle cops. More foot patrols. More community outreach and involvement. Mandated by the populace. Get the police out from behind their desks and windshields and INTO the community so that they see that they are us and we are them.

          It’s the separation between the police and the people that allows the police to feel superior. When you break down that separation, you decrease the likelihood of civil rights violations because the people tend to know each other, and the situation has been set up for SUCCESS rather than SUBJUGATION.

          How do I know this? Personally dealing with police issues in my town for a few years. The police are essential. We must have them. And they are human beings too (nearly all of them). But the more separate the town allows them to be, the more incendiary they become. The most proven way to keep police in line with our values is to involve them in the community and remove opportunities for them to put themselves above everyone else.

          1. Toss the cops a bone too though. A lot of police stations look like hell inside. Ancient ventilation systems, jam packed with old documents, leaking walls and roofs, etc. Maybe some training and discipline coupled with better working conditions as a carrot would go a long way.

  2. Next it should be determined if there was an unusual case of selective parking enforcement done on the supporters of Ms Good. If this is the case, the officers involved should be disciplined.

      1. It does sound ridiculous, but it ties in with the defense line. Of course, he’s now laid himself open to the question: Should someone prone to this condition be in his line of work? One would hope a medical finding is in order before he’s allowed back on the street with weapons.

        1. yeah. if he’s claimnig he was impaired during that time, where’s the charge for impaired driving? surely he drove his car there. if you can’t control yourself from threatening to tase someone, how can we expect you to be able to drive a car and not threaten to run people off the road?

          also, what happens the next time he does something like this, claim the same thing? sorry guys, i didn’t take my meds today so i could be a disgusting person and get away with it. also, i only had a small fruit salad for lunch and my tummy was grumbling, you understand.


    1. Americans learned decades ago that all you need to get away with murder is a receipt for Twinkies.

  3. @knowblox

    I think it means an “internal investigation” about whether the officer f’d up; not against Good.

  4. It’s so sad that it takes such an investment on the part of the victim to take a case like this through to its just conclusion, but it takes but a few seconds of a bigoted cop on a power trip to start someone on a trip to emotional and legal hell.

    I really do hope she makes sure the officer and his precinct gets their dues, but I feel infinitely sorry for all the crap she’ll inevitably have to endure to get there.

  5. The name “Good” makes this whole thing feel like an allegory. Hopefully Good vs. Police State will set a precedent in our collective consciousness and/or law books.

  6. Why was everyone smiling & hugging outside the courtroom?… it was no victory.
    Unless & until the cop thugs who jumped a scantly clad female civilian in her own yard and drug her off into their squad cars at night are disciplined (read: fired) there is nothing to celebrate here.
    This unwarranted assault on American citizenry has become an all too familiar patterned by the renegade elements in every police force who have been emboldened by the broad policing powers granted them under the Patriot Act and similar laws which escalate “security & surveillance” and trump our civil liberties. At least this woman showed real spine and held her ground…. which is more than most obsequious and docile people do when confronted by overly aggressive law enforcement.
    TSA agents are the ‘role model’ for these goons.. with their hands in our underwear… and operate with impunity…still.

  7. I was reading an article about this on another website the other day and was amazed at the brainless and stupid remarks being made. Basically we should always obey, bow and bend over. Boingboing readers are more intelligent, thankfully.

  8. IA should definitely look at her supporters being targeted.A commenter and neighborhood resident had mentioned there was a club on that block who’s patrons repeatedly broke the foot-away-from the curb law and officers did nothing after repeated calls. It shouldn’t be difficult to prove they were targeted. videotaping similar no shows

  9. Hey if I’m ever charged with some sort of abuse, can I do my own investigation? I think that’d be GREAT!

  10. Is “wrongful arrest” a crime in the US?

    I mean, given the balance of power, it almost never is the sort of crime that people get prosecuted for over here. I can’t imagine it would be different there. But, still.

  11. Why are police forces so inconsistent? Hero one day, oppressor the next.

    Is it too much to wish that law enforcers learn the law?

    1. “Why are police forces so inconsistent? Hero one day, oppressor the next.”

      Which day were they heroes? What blog were you reading? ;)

  12. This is what the police were supposed to be, in the beginning.


    1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

    2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.

    3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

    4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

    5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

    6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.

    7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

    8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

    9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

  13. Crock of crap to use diabetes as an excuse to be stupid. I don’t believe for a second that he didn’t have a minute to stop at a convenience store and grab a snack. Makes me wonder if he has done things like this before and is just now getting caught. As a diabetic I know it’s important to watch your insulin levels. I also know to carry a snack with me incase I get stuck somewhere and can’t get food at the exact time I’m supposed to have it. It’s just irritating to have him use his illness as an excuse. Maybe he needs to find a different line of work. What if he has one of his “episodes” and is waving a gun in front of someone? Do they excuse a shooting because he forgot to eat? Get a clue.

  14. Cops are bullies who use arrest to intimidate. They’ve sent their message. Still you know damn well they only strong-armed her because she was a woman. If it’d been a 6’5″ man and his three sons standing in that yard, Mr. Bigcop would have been Johnny Polite Guy.

    1. I wouldn’t be entirely sure. Beating on people weaker than you is, certainly, a popular passtime; but having a bat-belt full of weapons and the pressing need to ‘defend yourself’: that is entertainment.

    2. Yeah, we just “know that”. I’m afraid your supposition is coming across as suppository.

  15. I’m worried about all the comments suggesting Good take up a civil case. Good needs to press criminal charges. The officer is guilty of multiple crimes not the least of which is wrongful arrest.

    After the criminal trial is over, then look at suing the cop in civil court.

  16. This is terrible. How dare those cops and courts and DAs get in the way of our bleak rage at how terrible all cops are. We barely had any righteous, world-view-confirming fun with this at all!

    Those good cops are worse than the bad cops, if you ask me. They cloud the issue! I mean, it’s not going to stop me from ranting about cops as though they were all clones of the guy from Smokey and the Bandit, but it really chaps my ass to have to explain to everyone how this kind of thing doesn’t mean what it looks like it means.

  17. Happens with sickening regularity. The charges are dropped but the victim has still been ‘punished’ for ‘contempt of cop’ by spending the night in jail. Too bad the internal ‘investigations’ never end up punishing the offending officers who practice this bullying maneuver!

  18. Why in America we are the most free of all the lands-except we have 25% of the worlds prisoners and only 5% of the worlds population.
    Innocent until proven guilty-is clearly guilty until proven innocent.
    The statue of liberty asks for your huddled masses yearning to be free-yet locks down its borders and arrests anyone for any reason they can imagine.
    I cant tell you how proud I used to be of America, how we were told it was great, how it was the super power, how it was the space leader, how we went out of our way to help others less fortunate.
    Now I cant tell you a reason I am proud of America. It clearly is no longer great, it is not the super power it once was, it has no space program and will eventually become useless in the fight against space weapons, and now we go out of our way to kill the less fortunate..
    Im proud of America pre-2001. After that it disgusts me. I feel like my family went to iraq to fight for my freedom, and while they were gone they stole the last remaining freedoms away.
    Children getting fondled while trying to board a plane, grandmothers removing diapers and being fondled to board a plane. Did the terrorists win? Because I surely feel terrorized right now by my own people. We all know they probably wouldnt even touch the airport anymore yet they fondle you and xray everyones genitals.

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