Here is another story about a police officer who did not want a reporter to use what might have been incriminating evidence against him. So, she took the reporter’s video and erased it. That is the contention of the reporter, who is suing.
What are the legal issues? The first, fourth, and fourteenth amendments, she says.
The reporter was at a night club where underage patrons were supposedly attending. She was filming (we still use the word) the nightclub from the parking lot. She was asked to leave by a club employee and two police officers. One of them demanded the tape, which she initially refused to surrender. She then tried to leave.
The officer took the tape. When it was returned, the scene showing the officer “manhandling” a person was gone.
“We have proof that she deleted the clip,” said [Attorney] Crow. “It’s a pretty egregious case; I think the officer almost committed a crime by tampering with evidence. Because she’s an officer she could get away with it, I think if she was a regular citizen a criminal complaint could’ve been filed.”
The more famous confiscations are the government’s collection of all tapes close to the Pentagon on 9-11. There have never been a release of numerous tapes of the crash into the Pentagon.
This is why it is best for people to have two cameras, meaning a camera and a smart phone, when photographing police. The smart phone should be in communication with a backup by Skype. The backup had better record the images. This way, the police cannot delete evidence.
As this technology spreads, the police will have a tougher time suppressing video evidence against them. This is a good thing. The misuse of the police power can be recorded.
Anything we can do legally to restore our Constitutional liberties is positive. Smart phones are positive.