Mark Frauenfelder at 3:36 pm Thu, Apr 26, 2012
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"The Connecticut state senate approved a bill Thursday that would allow citizens to sue police officers who arrest them for recording in public, apparently the first of its kind in the nation."
Yay. A glimmer of hope every now and again feels nice.
Good news! I just wish the penalties didn’t come out of the taxpayer’s pocket.
Under the bill, “peace officers” would only get the fine paid by the state if they “were acting within their scope of authority and the conduct was not willful, wanton, or reckless.”
That sure make Illinois look foolish. Of course just about everything that happens in Illinois make Illinois look foolish.
Um… not so fast: the bill originated in the Senate, and while it was passed there, it’s still got a way to go — the House hasn’t voted yet, nor has it been signed into law by the governor.
Can we have a headline that’s more true to fact, please?
Is the law necessary? I mean – I get that it sends a message, but would the officers currently be insulated from a lawsuit of this kind?
Yes. Police enjoy a form of limited immunity in cases like this.
Or you could properly train, resource, and pay your officers of the law so that they are able and willing to enforce the law as it is, and have enough breathing space to do so with courtesy and politeness. Many countries do this successfully. This doesn’t have to be adversarial. Just a thought.
The arrests won’t stop. They’ll just invent another reason for the arrest.
That’s exactly why this law exists. Because they’ve been told “it’s OK to record you” and they’ve been using other bullshit reasons instead (like “obstructing police officers”, “interfering with an investigation” etc.)
And there’s been no way to appeal that. Now, there is. The court can say “Your reason for this arrest was a clearly bullshit attempt to stop them recording you, you are guilty of a crime, here is your slap.”
Persistent slappings would look really bad on your annual performance review, not to mention your department look bad.
A step forward? This sounds like a law that shouldn’t be needed to begin with. The police (or anyone) violating your civil rights through an abuse of power has always been a sue-able offense.
Unfortunately, with somewhat vague exception clauses, it seems like a pretty weak law…
This makes since….a lawful cop wouldn’t want this law passed. They all do their jobs according to the law right? I mean they do enforce it….
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